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Who says they’re “Progressive”?

May 12, 2010

Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan made a speech about American exceptionalism to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in Oklahoma City on March 31, 2010. You can read the speech on Real Clear Politics.

It is worth reading because it summarizes the massive mismanagement of the government by these spendthrift socialists. One has to wonder how even they think this spending spree will end–especially given not only the magnitude of the deficits but also the transfer of the productive private sector of the economy to the non-productive government sector.

What really caught my eye was his paragraph on progressivism. You see, he and I both grew up in Wisconsin which taught the virtues of one of the biggest progressives, Robert “Fighting Bob” LaFollette–a Republican.  Let me quote a paragraph:

Early Progressives wanted to empower and engage the people. They fought for populist reforms like initiative and referendum, recalls, judicial elections, the breakup of monopoly corporations, and the elimination of vote buying and urban patronage. But Progressivism turned away from popular control toward central government planning. It lost most Americans and consumed itself in paternalism, arrogance, and snobbish condescension. “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson would have scorned the self-proclaimed “Progressives” of our day for handing out bailout checks to giant corporations, corrupting the Congress to purchase votes for government controlled health care, and funneling billions in Jobs Stimulus money to local politicians to pay for make-work patronage. That’s not “Progressivism,” that’s what real Progressives fought against!

You see, these so-called progressives aren’t.  In Colorado, the Democrat-controlled legislature are trying to make it harder for citizens to petition: the petition (referendum) was a key piece of the progressive agenda. They are trying to restructure the state constitution, repeal rules against gerrymandering, and remove controls on voting procedure that would allow for massive fraud.

They’re not progressives at all: they are radical Marxists trying hard to find any label for themselves other than that.


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