Commentary

Are progressives angels?

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“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary,” (James Madison, Federalist No. 51).

The problem with progressive ideology in government (predominately among Democrats and some Republicans) is threefold:

First, Progressives want to control people and are convinced that they (the Progressives) have grown in their development to the point where they are not obliged to control themselves.  Because they are consummate professionals, they can overcome the peoples’ faults and put the people on the right path.

Second, Progressives are so used to power and the ability to manipulate government to their advantage that they no longer see their own human failings.  Progressives fall prey to thinking that political theories are enough to justify their attainment of power and privilege.  When results fall short of the goals stated in Progressive theories, Progressives say that all will be well if only they had more money to “invest” in this or that failed theory; money will solve all problems.  How to pay for their failing experiments?  Borrow from China, tax the rich or both (that’s the theory; in practice it is the middle class that ends up paying the tab).

Third, Progressives are fulfilling Lord Acton’s admonition that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” For instance, look at the last presidential election.  Hillary and the Progressive Establishment were totally convinced that Hillary would crush Donald Trump, so they pulled a Nixon and tried to guarantee the results.  They weren’t concerned if they went overboard – after all, they controlled the Justice Department and would continue to do so after Hillary won the Presidency (the Clintons have always gotten away with troublesome behavior by controlling the Justice apparatus – first as Arkansas Attorney General, then as Governor, then President of the U.S. and finally as mega fund raisers for the DNC under the Obama Administration).

In pursuing their ambitions, the Progressives have employed the politicization of Federal agencies (CIA, NSA, FBI, EPA, IRS, etc.) and used these agencies against their political opponents and turned the power of government against individuals.  Good intentions don’t prevent Progressives from tipping the scales against self-rule and in favor of dictatorial government.  That the exercise of power has blind them to the violence that they are doing to the Constitution and American society is to state the obvious.

Madison’s view that neither the governors or the governed are capable of angelic behavior is proving to be true in today’s America.  Progressives need to return to the Constitution as written; to go through the Amendment process and convince the American people that their theories are valid.  Progressives must cease and desist from making it up as they go along; worshiping at the self-indulgent altar of a “living” Constitution.  Progressives need to quit limiting the liberty bequeathed to the people by the Founders and limit progressive governing to the bounds set by the Constitution.

About John MacGregor

John "Jock" MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 77 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding. Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs Arkansas. Currently, Jock comments on the role of government in society. Jock believes in a constitutionally limited government, instituted by the people, to protect their rights to life, liberty and property.

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