The Proof is in the Pudding

A few weeks ago, I drafted a post that I thought would work well as a letter to the editor… I seem to get space in my hometown paper, the Panama City News Herald, most of the time when I want it and I used to fire off one a month just to keep the “progressive” commenters in a bit of a tizzy. Well, my latest offering was published Saturday and it generated several responses, some of which I would like to share with you now

In that post and the letter, my premise was this:

There are very few people in the United States who are “hardcore progressives.” The greater population that are counted as “progressive” or “liberal” are basically political hangers-on — people devoid of enough intellectual curiosity to truly examine the roots of their beliefs. They are not concerned with the philosophical underpinnings, just what the result of “progressivism” means to them — and as “progressivism” is a form of collectivism, it has been very, very good to some.

True to form, the left in Panama City didn’t disappoint in quickly proving my point. As evidence, I respectfully submit the following exchanges between a staunch “progressive” and frequent letter writer to the News Herald, Diane Reeves, a frequent commenter and left leaning “independent”, Steve Hough, conservatives Steve Sheridan, Black3 and myself.

You might find my rebuttals a bit harsh, but I have lost my patience and have reached the end of my ability to put up with these “google scholars” who think they can produce a quote from the internet to refute a point without having done the work of studying the context… I’m just done with it.

Diane Reeves · Top Commenter · University of West Florida

Because I am one of those whom Mr. Smith labels as a “political hanger-on – devoid of intellectual curiousity” because I am a progressive, let me remind the Great Mr. Smith that the oppositive of progressivism is “regressivism” – the last bastion of those who doggedly cling to the past because they are unable to cope with change and the idea they maybe losing control. Mr. Smith, to his discredit, uses every rhetorical fallacy known to modern discourse – from false equivalence to Tuquoque. He cleverly tries to convince readers that “up” is really “down” and that “progressivism” is really “regressivism”, reminiscent of tactics used by Big Brother in Huxley’s “1984.”
The last time I checked, Mr. Smith, the authors of the US Constitution were considered the radical, progressive free-thinkers of their day who would be unelectable by today’s neo-conservative standards because of their rebellion against traditional dogmatic religious thought – and most especially – their willingness to compromise to achieve a “More Perfect Union.”
Let me also remind the Great Mr. Smith, if the US Constitution were not a living document, unable to adapt to changing times, we would still have slavery; and, women and blacks would not have the vote, married women wouldn’t be able to own property as dictated under the old English common law concept of coveture, nor would women be able to leave a husband who beat the crap out of her – unless she were willing to do so destitute, with no way to support herself because the abusive man owned all the property.
The one thing that binds arrogant regressives, like Mr. Smith, is their strict adherence to ideologies that were based on the writings of those who thought the earth was flat and who’ve not been able to “progress” much beyond that point.
  • Michael Smith · Top Commenter · University of Utah

    “rebellion against dogmatic thought”? Hardly, madam, as Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington recently noted:”…all the founding Fathers spoke freely of God, and included appeals to God and God’s will in their remarks. This is true even of Thomas Jefferson. Any visit to the Jefferson Memorial will demonstrate that. A number of his writings and speeches are chiseled on the walls, most of them referring to God. Most of these Founding Fathers who, according to modern secularists, want this dramatic separation of Church and State, were involved in drafting the Constitution.

    Most secularists love to point out that God is never mentioned in the Constitution. But actually He is! Specifically Jesus is mentioned and called our Lord! The final line of the Constitution reads thus:

    Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord…”

    The Constitution was designed to be changed – but in a deliberative manner – by a prescribed amendment process. Nobody is arguing that, I certainly am not. What I am saying is that the clear language should not be “interpreted” to allow the government to do anything it wishes based on the desires of the day. If that is allowed the document is worthless. The Declaration of Independence provides guidance when it states that “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…” and that is good advice…would that “progressives” and activist judiciary heed that advice.

    You, madam, are the one employing rhetorical sleight of hand by stating things that I clearly did not say or mean and then arguing against them – I believe that is called a “straw man”. Good luck with that.

    Reply · 2 · Like · Saturday at 7:02pm
  • Michael Smith · Top Commenter · University of Utah

    No, Ms. Reeves, I didn’t use any rhetorical tricks. I merely related your ideology directly to it’s roots, those of communism. There is no reason to cling to the past because the principles of liberty are the same as those espoused by John Locke in the 1680’s…but you are correct about one thing – “progressives” are the most regressive people on the face of the earth.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Saturday at 7:05pm
  • Joe Bakanovic III · Ah…I am Tiger Models at Tiger Model Designs

    “Regressivism?” Hardly. In fact, pursuing the “progressive” agenda is to take man backward – not forward. Simply applying a spiffy name to a fail ideology doesn’t save it from the condemnation of history. And as for your attacks on Mr. Smith for being fallacious… Sorry, had to stop laughing. Ah, ma’am, you might want to go check your history: Orwell was writing about PROGRESSIVISM when he wrote “1984.” OH! And that is not “my opinion,” ORWELL SAID SO!
    Reply · 1 · Like · Saturday at 9:22pm
  • Steve Sheridan· Top Commenter

    The Progressive agenda not only is regressive, the necessary enforcement of its beliefs upon the masses is “oppressive”. The use of the term “progressive” and “liberal” in opposite of thier meaning by such progressives should be all one needs to understand what they are. Nearly every enemy this country has faced since before its foundation has held the same root belief of progressives- That government control is preferred over self determination and free markets. From King George, to Stalin, to Castro, Mussolini, Saddam, Vietnam, N. Korea, Nazi Germany. They all were “progressive”, and they all fail.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Saturday at 11:23pm
  • Steve Hough · Top Commenter · Florida State University

    Michael Smith -Michael Smith -I’m waiting for someone to say Jesus Christ was a communist or socialist. The stuff is really gonna hit the fan then.
    Reply · Like · 22 hours ago
  • Michael Smith · Top Commenter · University of Utah

    Steve Hough Communism and socialism are governance and economic systems – Christ was about neither, the taught about the judicious use of wealth in the Parable of the Talents and also that from a governmental perspective, we should “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” – so no matter how hard you try to stir up a controversy, there isn’t one. Christ actually taught against totalitarian and communist systems that replaced God with man, something that is a feature of communism. Communism is built on a socialist economic system, so it is likely that had it been known in Christ’s time, he probably would have been against it, too. Christ taught that we should be kind to one another, to treat people as w wished to be treated – he never said turn charity over to the government or that it was an indifferent government’s responsibility to take care of the disadvantaged – that one was the story of the Good Samaritan.May I suggest that along with studying up on the Constitution, you might want to add a little Bible study in there, too.

    You are more than welcome to come over to and show us the error of our ways. Consider this an open invitation to all, Mr. Budd and Ms. Reeves included.

    Reply · 1 · Like · 21 hours ago
Followed shortly thereafter by this:

Diane Reeves · Top Commenter · University of West Florida

Rather than quoting some priest about Jefferson’s ideas about religion, here’s an actual Jefferson quote about religion for you: “What has been the effect of religious coercion [on mankind]? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.” – Thomas Jefferson, Notes of the State of Virginia – 1785. Additionally, it might interest you to know that the philosopher who MOST influenced Thomas Jefferson AND James Madison was “John Locke” – who influenced Kant who influenced Hegel who influenced Marx – get the picture! Oh yea, Locke also influenced Voltaire who said: “Man will truly NOT be free until the last monarch is strangled by the entrails of the last priest.” Just in case you are not aware of this fact, but John Locke is considered the “Father of Modern LIBERALISM” – ohhh the HORROR!
  • Joe Bakanovic III · Ah…I am Tiger Models at Tiger Model Designs

    Excuse me, ma’am, but what have you been reading? Locke is the antithesis of Hegel and Marx. Have you bothered to read the first thing Locke wrote? I doubt it, as he was DEVOUTLY Christian, and wrote profusely in defense of both Christianity AND how science supports the Bible and Scripture. As for Jefferson, you are cherry-picking to suit your purposes. He also said thet the morality of Christ’s Gospel is the purest Man will ever know and in the sense of LIVING Christ’s Gospel, he was a Christian. What you have done is committed the fallacy of equivocation caused by an error in etymology. The founders used religion to mean many things, and what Jefferson was objecting to in your quote is man’s perversion and abuse of others in the name of religion – NOT the necessity of faith to liberty.
    Reply · Like · 17 hours ago
  • Joe Bakanovic III · Ah…I am Tiger Models at Tiger Model Designs

    Also, Locke is NOT the founder of modern liberalism. I’m also pretty sure that Locke died before Voltair was 10, so, ah… Someone has taught you a series of untruths. Please go back and READ Locke so you will not continue in these false beliefs.
    Reply · Like · 17 hours ago
  • Michael Smith · Top Commenter · University of Utah

    Like Joe says, you are totally wrong on Locke being the precursor to Kant and Hegel – if you had read any of Locke’s works instead of cherry picking google searched quotes to create the illusion of scholarship, you would know that. May I suggest that you get Mark Levin’s book, Ameritopia, it will help you understand how wrong you are…or just read Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government – I have…Hell, I’ll save you the time – read this: or this: – before you embarrass yourself by posting more ignorance. Here’s a little taste:

    A man has the sole rights to the fruits of his labor:

    Sec. 27. Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.

    And note that the covetous and quarrelsome have no right to claim any product of that labor, nor do they have a right to claim that the industrious are required to provide for those who are not productive in the use of the skills and faculties that God has given them.

    Sec. 34. God gave the world to men in common; but since he gave it them for their benefit, and the greatest conveniencies of life they were capable to draw from it, it cannot be supposed he meant it should always remain common and uncultivated. He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational, (and labour was to be his title to it;) not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious. He that had as good left for his improvement, as was already taken up, needed not complain, ought not to meddle with what was already improved by another’s labour: if he did, it is plain he desired the benefit of another’s pains, which he had no right to, and not the ground which God had given him in common with others to labour on, and whereof there was as good left, as that already possessed, and more than he knew what to do with, or his industry could reach to.

    So suffice it to say, Locke would not have been down with the Occupy Wall Street “movement”, Obama’s administration or any of the “progressives” for that matter. Ole John was not a big fan of redistributin’.

    Joe is also correct about modern liberalism. Locke was the father of CLASSICAL LIBERALISM, something that is 180 degrees in opposition to the communist inspired modern American liberalism that exists today. You have the words right but like your citations of Jefferson and Locke, you have the definitions wrong.

    Proof, once again, that “progressives” like yourself (you admitted that you were the subject matter of my letter), know nothing about the origins of your ideology and must construct a post-modern definition of it in order for your arguments to work.

    I don’t think that you are evil, Ms. Reeves, just ignorant of your ideological pedigree and therefore simply wrong.

    Reply · Like · 12 hours ago

Don’t you just love the ignorance? From “conservatives want slavery and to beat their wives” to Locke was the father of modern liberalism (when modern liberalism is the antithesis of what could be defined as “liberalism” in Locke’s time) to Locke being the father of communism through Kant and Hegel (even though nothing Locke ever wrote could ever fit the philosophies of either).

Ms. Reeves displays exactly the kind of illogical, baseless ideology that all the flippant, “I want to feel good about myself, so I’ll vote for the unqualified black guy”, dilettante “progressives” are marked by.

Like I wrote in my reply to her:

I don’t think that you are evil, Ms. Reeves, just ignorant of your ideological pedigree and therefore simply wrong.

3 thoughts on “The Proof is in the Pudding

  1. Okay; admittedly, I’m seeing a bit of red! Why is it that Diane is referred to as madam and ma’am, and I’m referred to as platinum sister? Be forewarned…The “platinum sister she-devil’ shall take up this fight for the madam if you don’t behave! Of course, I like to see the messieurs sweat…….

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