The Progressives have long insisted that man's nature could evolve rapidly with proper indoctrination in the government-run schools to engineer American youth who hold socialist values. Some of the indoctrinated would prove suitable to be selected as the new members of the aristocracy, but most would just be trained to be docile followers. The government-run schools reflect this philosophy, with many schools being little more than holding cells to train the inmates in being members of an underclass and in doing as they are told by authorities. Some schools have effective multiple tracks and some few produce many future Progressive elitists. These indoctrinated youth are then to vote democratically to further enlarge government.
The old American tradition, stated in the Declaration of Independence, in which the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect the equal, sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the enemy of progress in their viewpoint. This traditional American viewpoint necessitates a very limited government and a very dynamic private sector, where everyone has an equal right to exercise his choices and to find others who will associate or trade with him for a given purpose in a voluntary activity. That limited government was provided for by the Constitution. The Progressives claim these traditional, but radical, American ideals deny the science of history. They have pointed to a long history of governments around the world always trying to expand their powers and usually succeeding in doing so. They have claimed that history is a march of progress, so if many governments have succeeded in expanding their powers, this must be what progress is and progress must be good. These governments with expanded powers need to be directed by energetic leaders who will not shrink from using force to promote the General Welfare, which is always found in the organic expression of shared democratic will. The government tells the people what their rights are. Those suitable for leadership are those most indoctrinated and knowledgeable about the goals of socialism. These leaders are the graduates of the right colleges and are those who are well-connected in the network of Progressive activists.
The Progressives look down on people who produce goods and services in the free market and are paid with money. They believe those who serve have a higher moral status, even if those who serve do so as government employees and are well paid with taxes levied mostly on the producers and taken from the producers under the threat of force. The producers are evil because they use resources of the earth such as materials, because they change the earth, and because they pander to individuals acting on their individual goals and needs. The Progressives believe that when the individual is subsumed by some group or other, the individual has become an organic part of a greater whole. They believe there is some higher ideal reached whenever the individuality of the individual is diminished. But Progressives do not have a very high regard for the ability of most people to choose their own values and then to manage their own lives in accordance with those values. Indeed, they find the very idea of such an expression of individuality to be abhorrent. If people were actually to do any such thing, the government would not be able to satisfy them with its central planning efforts. The people must be taught to identify themselves with one group or even a number of different groups, so the Progressives and government can deal with the easier problem of just dealing with this much smaller number of groups.
Once the people are just so many groups or special interests, or factions, then the democratic process can be used to sort out who the winners and losers will be. Of course, this results in quite a bit of a free-for-all, but that is why the elitist Progressives are needed as leaders and controllers of the governments. They are the parents watching over the children squabbling over the toys in the sandbox and setting the rules of play. The elite Progressives make the laws and regulations in government as the democratic rulers. So, Progressives tend to flock to government positions because that is where the real action is. They shun the private sector and they grow the public sector. The game is in fact one of redistributing the wealth produced by the private sector through their hands in government and handing it out to grateful groups who will vote for them, give them money, and sing their praises.
Of course, these leaders are so important to the cause of Progressivism, that it is perfectly reasonable for them to use their power to extort those in the private sector with threats to do them harm, unless the leaders are given enough money for their re-election campaigns ad nauseam. Or, these leaders offer factions favorable legislation in exchange for re-election campaign backing, as they do to labor unions, teachers, trial lawyers, and many Wall Street investment firms. These Progressive government employees are the new aristocracy. Like the aristocracy of old, they control the levers of power to do whatever they want as they manipulate the peasants and give them just enough to keep them from rebelling. At least this is how it has often worked in the past and it is how they believe it is supposed to be working now.
The Progressive elite is now furious. Many of the peasants are revolting. This is how they see the Tea Party protesters. Their response has been one of utter hatred. The hatred is so strong, that they describe the Tea Party rebels with all the words they have long associated with evil or disdain. So, the Tea Party rebels must be racists. They must be ignorant. They must be trailer trash. The Progressives know this to be so, because the peasants must be evil to rebel against the progress of history and the evolution of society.
The Tea Party activists are not evil. Mostly, they are American individualists who have finally taken notice that Progressivism is an attack upon their individuality. It is an attempt to dictate to them what their personal values will be. It is an attempt to micromanage their lives. It is a refusal to recognize them as individuals. It is a thorough-going attack upon the very idea that they have sovereign and unalienable rights which are not given to them by government. It is an attack on the idea that legitimate government exists to protect the equal rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Tea Party protesters are sick of the attacks on the productive Americans to force them to forever subsidize less productive Americans and illegal aliens. They are sick of the transfer of wealth from the private sector to the public sector. They are sick of the transformation of their personal choices in the private sector to democratic and factional choices in the public sector. They are tired of being ignored and denigrated. They are tired of an aristocracy of bureaucrats, politicians, college professors, and media people who look upon them as peasants. They are sure that they are competent to choose their own values. They know they are able to manage their own lives and make their own choices. They have awakened to the fact that it is the free market that provides them with these choices and the opportunity to express themselves as individuals. They are coming to understand that they have made themselves the individuals they are in large part and they want to continue to be in control of the development of their own character and that of their children.
A choice has to be made about the purpose and scope of government. Our Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution chose very limited government consistent with the viewpoint that the General Welfare of the People who institute government was best served when government's function and scope was to simply protect the equal, sovereign, inalienable right of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The individual American was seen as capable of choosing his own values and of managing his own life. Freedoms such as freedom of speech, of press, and of assembly would allow any American to develop his knowledge, his judgment, and his character. Americans had the freedom to work and to own property and the income from their work. When an American individual wanted to work with others for a common goal, he could arrange that using his many freedoms of association and contract in the free market. There he would have a plethora of choices and ample expression of his individuality. The interests of many individuals could be worked out in great harmony in the private sector. While our government had a measure of democracy in the choosing of its leaders, that democracy was constrained by the Constitution, which gave us a representative limited government. This government of limited powers had a further balance of power within the branches of the government and between the federal government and the states that required a strong consensus to be developed before the federal government could act. The power of government was to be limited, so that the warfare among factions would be limited. Too powerful a government led to too many factions being created. These factions then would fight too viciously for too much power. In that environment, the rights of the individual could not be equally protected and they would not even be protected. The General Welfare and the peace and tranquility of the nation would be damaged by such factional squabbles over the exercise of government power. The antithesis of this American viewpoint is Progressivism, which is largely a European import.
Now consider what we have seen. We have a Progressive government, which very little constrains itself in accordance with the Constitution. We have top leaders who are disdainful of the People. We have top leaders who have said they disagree with the Constitution and its limits on their power. We have top leaders who tell us we only have the rights the government gives us. It is clear this government is a Progressive government. So, I ask you:
- Have we seen government serving the best interests of the American people (the General Welfare) with minimal factionalism and a great tranquility of our society?
- Do we see evidence that Americans have evolved such characters that they have lost their individuality and are willing to submerge themselves in a Hegelian whole of society?
- Have we seen solid evidence that the Progressive ruling elite is able to choose our values for us better than we can choose them ourselves?
- Have we seen a powerful government evolve which wisely micromanages our lives?
- Have we seen this government make centrally planned economic decisions which are wise?
- Have we seen this government responsibly manage its finances and minimize the debt to be passed on to later generations?
- Do we like what we see in Europe so much that we agree that their way is superior to the American way of life?