PROGRESSIVES: NO LIMITS

d. hARRY
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Recently, forty people died in mass shootings in El Paso and Midland, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We’ve had too many of these, and we need thoughtful and honest discussions about causes and solutions. But as usual, before the bodies are cold and the facts are in, progressives call to ban guns, confiscate guns and hyper-regulate lawful gun owners. Progressives attack the NRA as if the NRA and its members pulled the trigger. Many progressives oppose the 2nd Amendment. While some nominally support it, they could easily change their minds. What’s to stop them from legislating the 2nd A. out of existence?

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Uber-progressive New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pretending to support the 2nd A.  Gun owners: Does seeing Cuomo with a gun make you feel better?

The fundamentals of progressivism should frighten all who value individual liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Progressives believe in a “living Constitution,” which means the Constitution changes with time and circumstances. But as if by magic, their reading of the Constitution always grows government and empowers progressives.

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Woodrow Wilson on the Constitution: “…It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.  Woodrow Wilson on government: “…no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the state may not cross at will….”

Woodrow Wilson was a founding member of the progressive movement and our 28th President. For Wilson and present-day progressives the Constitution is an evolving document, which makes it possible to evolve the 2nd Amendment out of existence. I can hear the Democrats bleating now: “The 2nd Amendment was written for a different age. It doesn’t work in modern times. To protect our children we must outlaw all assault rifles.” They’ve already done it. Democrats passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. An assault weapon is a political construct. The ban did not reduce gun crime one bit but it did frighten voters, which was the point. And again, progressives attack so-called assault rifles—a stealth attack on semi-autos. That’s one trigger pull and one shot. What happens if the next madman uses a bolt action rifle? Then it will be: ban the bolt. Think it won’t happen here? It’s already happened in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are based on natural rights, the idea that we are born with rights that predate any government. Natural rights are rooted in our humanity. The will to survive and to protect our loved ones is as human as breathing. That is the basis of the 2nd Amendment. Progressives do not believe that we are born with rights. Instead, they believe that our rights come from government. But what the government gives – the government can take away.

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The Constitution codifies the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Our freedoms are precious and worth fighting for. If we lose them, they’re gone forever.

Progressives are not bound by the principles embodied in the Declaration. Nor are they bound by the text of the Constitution, or by tradition. Theirs is a political philosophy motivated by the needs of the moment, a political movement with no limits, and they are the core of the Democrat party. To them, your right to defend hearth and home is obsolete, a relic of a bygone era and part of a deeply flawed Constitution that needs fixing. Deleting the Second Amendment is high on their to-do list. Don’t let them. They are absent internal limits so it falls to us, the freedom-loving people to impose limits via elections, law, political contributions, participation in political parties and joining organizations that will defend our rights. If they don’t know their limitations, let’s show them what limits are.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

THE PROGRESSIVE EUPHEMISM MACHINE

Progressives are expert at misbranding and using euphemisms to shape the terms of a debate. Let’s start with abortion.

Abortion ends a life and buries a potential that will never be realized.

As the character Bill Munn, played by Clint Eastwood in the movie Unforgiven, said, “It’s a hell of a thing killing a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.”

Given this unarguable reality, the lefty spin machine has given us: “reproductive rights,” “choice,” “reproductive health care,” and “women’s health care.” Notice what’s missing? No mention of the death of a human being and what could have been. Why? Because women vote, and fetuses don’t.

Renewable energy” and “green energy” are outright falsehoods. There is no such thing as renewable energy. Energy always has a source, be it natural gas or solar cells. Both require a manufacturing process that relies on fossil fuels and consumes resources that are mined or drilled. Taken as a whole, there’s nothing green or renewable about either of them.

Whoever coined the phrase “environmental justice” should be charged with assault on the English language. Justice is a human concept. People who are wronged seek justice. The environment can’t seek justice because it isn’t human. Progressives claim to speak for the environment. If so, I want the progressive who claims he heard the environment ask for justice removed from office for mental health reasons.

This leads us quite neatly to healthcare. Progressives have branded their Venezuelan-style takeover of healthcare as the innocuous-sounding “Single-Payer,” “Universal Healthcare,” or the very utopian “Medicare for All”. It’s properly called nationalization, which is defined as “transfer from private to state ownership or control.”

Describing criminal border-jumpers as “Undocumented Immigrants” belongs in the euphemism hall of fame. Immigrants are people who are here legally. If they’re undocumented, they are illegal. If they’re illegal, they are most accurately called aliens. Alien means “not of this place.” An individual who violates immigration law to get here or stay here is an illegal alien.

The terms “weapon of war” and “assault weapon” is an attempt to brand every firearm as “military” and therefore too dangerous for public use. This argument is easily skewered. A single-shot revolutionary war musket was an assault weapon and obviously a weapon of war. Progressives will always mount an argument, no matter how silly.

Progressives hijacked the term “liberal.” Up until the 1930’s, liberals were people who believed in individual rights, limited government and economic freedom, which sounds like – you guessed it – conservatives. Now, “liberals” believe in group rights, centrally planned economies and big government.

Democratic Socialism” is an oxymoron, using two contradictory terms. There is nothing democratic about socialism, which always requires extensive government control. It is elected tyranny.

Progressives control almost every part of culture, entertainment and news media. That’s how they get away with mangling the language. We can push back by, for example, calling “undocumented immigrants” by the correct term, illegal aliens. Doing this in our own lives makes it harder for progressives to frame the issues, and makes it easier to hold them accountable for the real damage that their policies do.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

RUSSIAN TO JUDGEMENT

 

It may seem that the left has lost its collective mind over the supposed Trump-Russia collusion, but the upper echelons of the Democrat party know what they’re doing – enacting a cynical political strategy to discredit Trump and slow his agenda. While Democrats are now suddenly pro-America and anti-dictator, they have a long history of cozying up to terrorists, tyrants and thugs of all stripes, even Russians.

In 1927, a group of progressive activists who became known as The Travelers journeyed to the Soviet Union because they were unhappy with the economic boom under Republican Calvin Coolidge. The 1920’s were called the Roaring Twenties because this was one of the most prosperous periods in American history. Therefore, the Travelers visited a brutal dictatorship to see how authoritarians run an economy. They toured factories, work camps, construction projects and the Kremlin itself, where they met Stalin. They were deeply impressed by all they saw, and were especially enamored of Stalin. Within six years several of the Travelers wound up serving in the FDR administration, among them Stewart Chase, who coined the term “New Deal.”

In the early 1980’s Ted Kennedy, the Democrat Senator from Massachusetts known as the Liberal Lion of the Senate, made an offer to then-Soviet dictator Yuri Andropov. Through an intermediary, Democrat Senator John Tunny of California, Kennedy offered to give Andropov talking points and other political advice to be used to attack Republican President Reagan. With a humming economy resulting from Reagan’s tax cuts, the only place where Kennedy felt Reagan was politically vulnerable was foreign policy.

In 1984 the Reagan administration supported the Contras, an opposition group trying to overthrow the communist dictatorship of Nicaragua led by Daniel Ortega. Ten Democrat Congressmen, including the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the Majority Leader, wrote what became known as the Dear Comandante Letter to Ortega. They asked Ortega for free elections and promised they would not vote to fund the Contras. This undermined Reagan’s foreign policy, made the country look weak, and usurped the executive branch’s authority in conducting foreign policy.

John Kerry, who later became the Democrat Presidential nominee in 2004, traveled to Nicaragua to attack Reagan’s policies and give support to Ortega. Ultimately, because of Reagan’s tough stand, Nicaragua held free elections in 1990. Kerry of course ran as a moderate in 2004, distancing himself from his far-left record on Latin America.

Democrats always cite extraordinary, unprecedented and life-threatening circumstances when they collude with thugs, but only when a Republican is in the

White House, and only when they sense political advantage.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

 

WHY BREAK YOUR SILENCE NOW?

The Corning Leader ran a guest editorial (June 24th 2018) from former Hornell mayor and Steuben County Democrat Chairman Shawn Hogan entitled “Silent No More.” It’s a factless screed against President Trump, full of the usual Democrat talking points: he’s a racist, he’s incompetent, yadda yadda. The article begged the question: as a former party chairman and mayor, when was Hogan ever silent? The answer is: when Democrats were in charge.

Hogan is verrry worried about our democracy; putting on his best “bipartisan” face, he writes, “This is not about Republican and Democrats, this is about the survival of our Democracy.” Oh, really? Think back to March 2010, when Democrat Eric Massa resigned from Congress, a special election was needed to find his replacement and Republican newcomer Tom Reed was the favorite. Obamacare was being debated in Congress and Democrats, then as now, ran New York State. Democrat Governor Patterson delayed calling a special election while Democrat county chairmen (including Hogan, Steuben County’s Chairman) “vetted” candidates. The time between Massa’s resignation and the special election set a state record that may never be broken for the longest time to a special election. When Obamacare was voted on, Democrats made sure we were unrepresented in Congress. Why? Because Tom Reed would have voted against Obamacare, and the Democrats couldn’t risk another “no” vote. Denying people representation is a direct threat to our democracy, and Hogan went along with it and never said a word, the people of Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler Counties be damned.

To sell Obamacare, President Obama served up the now-familiar lies to the American people: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor…if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” It wasn’t true, and anyone who read the plan knew it, but Obama said it some 30 times. Millions were kicked off health care plans they liked, and lost their doctors too. Hogan was silent, and never said a word about Obama’s whoppers on a subject as personal and important to the people as their health care.

Obama said immediately following his election that “We are days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Hogan never raised a peep. He never questioned why Obama wanted to remake a country he claims to love.

Hogan never complained about the Democrat-sponsored tax, regulate and spend policies out of Albany that are killing Upstate. I don’t recall him “breaking his silence” about the massive population losses upstate, nor about the Cuomo corruption trial over the Buffalo billion.

Hogan reserves his very selective outrage for Republicans only.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

WHO ME?

Progressives usually blame the country (us) for their failures. And so it is with a new report from the Brookings Institute (a left-leaning think tank) on urban racial income inequality.

The author, Alan Berube, details racial income inequality (RII) in the nation’s 100 largest cities from 2014 to 2016.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/city-and-metropolitan-income-inequality-data-reveal-ups-and-downs-through-2016/

New York has its share of RII. On May 20, the Elmira Star-Gazette’s headline blared: “A startling racial income gap in Monroe County.”

According to the Brookings report, whites make twice as much as blacks in Monroe county. Onondaga county is the seventh worst county in the nation, while Kings County (Brooklyn) is 18th worst. Two New York cities made the RII top ten, New York (7th) and Buffalo (10th).

Politicians predictably reached into their bag of politically correct cliches. Rochester mayor Lovely Warren said: “The data in this report confirms what we’ve known for a long time – that there is a lack of equality in our work force.” (What exactly does that mean?)

Naturally, there’s a program to address the issue, the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Its director, Leonard Brock, says the program is focused on institutional racism, stating, “We could give people jobs all day, but that doesn’t necessarily mitigate some of the structural challenges that create inequality.” (Wait – a $25-per-hour job wouldn’t help?)

The lack of imagination, critical thinking and common sense on the part of politicians and the press are, to borrow a phrase, “startling.” Every city in the top ten is governed by Democrats. The study covered a period when Democrat Barak Obama had been President for six years. Cuomo, a Democrat, had been Governor for four years. Cuomo said he wanted New York to be “the progressive leader” of all states. Every statewide office in New York is held by Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in New York by 2:1.

Psychologists call it externalization, which means fixing responsibility outside yourself. In the minds of progressives, their policies never lead to bad outcomes; it’s racism, sexism or some kind of “ism”, which means it’s your fault – you, the citizen, with no power to make policy, simply going about your business each day. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren acts like an innocent bystander. Her party, her political philosophy and her decisions as mayor are in no way culpable.

Where’s the press skepticism of Democrats in power? Where are the editorials asking why their policies haven’t worked? The press never asks such questions of them.

African-Americans vote 90% Democrat. Progressives build straw-men to deflect from their incompetence and keep minorities voting for them. This is the progressive Houdini trick: to slip the shackles of responsibility and point the finger of blame away from them and at the rest of us.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D

 

WHO’S TOLERANT?

According to Merriam Webster, tolerance is defined as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.” With this in mind, please have a look at an excellent video from Prager University called “Do you have any Republican friends?” The young interviewer asks this simple question to people in the very heart of New York City. The answers are disturbing but sadly, not surprising. Here’s the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKYfarmt-N4

Clearly, these people have had no contact with conservatives. They have heard only one side of the national argument, and it isn’t ours. They think we’re racist and intolerant. Based on what? They have no idea how we think or see the world, and worse, they’re incurious, having no desire to know us, what we think, or why we think it.

The woman who said Republicans are always telling people no, telling them what to do, and won’t let people live their lives obviously has it 180 degrees wrong. We’re not the regulators, the Democrats are – and I’ll bet she votes Democrat. What blows me away is that she lives in the most regulated, highest-tax locale in the country, dominated by Democrats, and yet she doesn’t seem to notice or care. But what is most disturbing is the contempt for our side.

Preceding contempt is dripping arrogance. In the stark absence of any real substantive knowledge, these people know that they are right, and that they are better. We are left with the label of bigot – the worst blight of all. When people see their political opponents through a lens of contempt, dehumanization follows, and that is a very dangerous turn indeed.

Watch the video and decide for yourself. But I advise caution. Let’s remain hopeful but realistic. Let’s not be like the people in this video. Try not judge the whole by this very sad sample.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.