“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
This got a little long to be a comment, so I promoted it to a post. This is in response to co-blogger texas’ comment on my prior post here.
Texas: the issue is that there are good people who have had their reason confiscated by a belief that is contradictory to itself.
“Progressives” practice a sort of “subtractive liberty” where:
- All rights are bestowed by government, and
- The goal is equality of outcome, not opportunity, and
- Liberty is a finite commodity, for all to have liberty, some must have liberty (economic or political) taken from them and given to others.
How can you profess an allegiance to liberty and freedom if you believe that you must restrict the freedom of some to distribute it to others? Doesn’t the restriction of liberty of one individual negate the premise that it is about liberty at all?
It is the same circular logic that was put on display by Liz “Fauxcahontas” Warren last year and at Obama’s Roanoke Moment – that you didn’t build that, somebody else did that for you – that your success is because of what the government did with infrastructure and economic climate when the very businesses and individuals that benefited from those conditions have paid and are paying for them through taxes, and the infrastructure is created in response to a need – either an existing need or an anticipated need as dictated by the citizens themselves. We didn’t build a network of highways first and then the people came, the highways were built in response to the need for travel and commerce between existing populations – the people came first.
So in a nutshell, what Warren and Obama are essentially saying is that you are responsible for your own success…not really the point that they were trying to make but that is the logical conclusion to the proposition. What they were/are trying to portray is the belief that government is an entity on its own, an independent agent free to act on its own through ideological whims and is not constrained by the consent of the governed. It is a “we know what is good for you even if you don’t and we are going to do it anyway” mentality. This is a core belief of “progressives” and is unsupported by both history and the literal words of the Constitution.
I’ll believe differently as soon as one “progressive” can show me a single government salary, program or activity that isn’t funded or backed by money that comes from fees, permits or taxes. Sure, the government does stuff – but that stuff is at the behest of citizens and paid for by the very citizens who pay the taxes.
Once you believe that government is the root of all rights and not Nature and Nature’s God, it is easy to think that liberty is finite, has man-made boundaries and can be meted out – as opposed to being a gift from a higher power and therefore infinite. “Progressives” focus on outcomes because they demand control and they can’t control opportunities and what people can do with them – those are as varied as the individual and what the individual can create but they can seek to control outcomes by placing limits on what can be achieved or by siphoning off part of the achievement to redistribute to the collective. “Progressives” also can’t abide the “inequality” of success that individualism brings nor conceptualize that there are simply people out there that can’t or won’t take advantage of the opportunities present in our own American system. Lastly, the way that they seek to create this false equality is by taking from some and giving to others through regulation and taxation, to achieve “fairness” – to resolve inequality though creating inequality, to promote success by penalizing and limiting it, to remedy discrimination by discriminating, to pay for benefits for all through the contributions of a few, to assure “freedom” through regulations and restrictions and to “create” liberty by compromising true liberty. See what I mean by stating that “progressive” ideology is contradictory to itself? Black3 is correct, “progressives” understand these concepts to mean very, very different things as compared to the rest of us.
- A “progressive” income tax system where 47% pay no income taxes and the top 10% of filers pay 70.5% of all income taxes, the lower 90% paying only 29.5%,
- Federally funded insurance that includes contraception and/or abortion – even if I have objections to either issue, I must support it, and
- Same-sex marriage – same situation, I have been stripped of my right to disagree with the practice by law.
There is simply no logical way that a “progressive” can claim to support the core values of the United States as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers or the Constitution of the United States. It simply isn’t possible. No matter what they say, the end effect is the same – to provide freedom for all, freedom must be restricted for some. To provide “income equality” for some, income must be taken from others, to provide “social justice” for a few, religious beliefs of many must be rendered invalid (when God handed Moses the Tablets, what was on them wasn’t then put to a vote and the Israelites just picked what they wanted to go with).
The Constitution of the United States never contemplated equality of outcomes because the Framers understood 1) the impossibility of creating equal outcomes in a nation of individuals and 2) that even trying would usurp the very liberty and individual freedom that they sought to protect. They understood that when we give freely of ourselves to those who need it, it is called charity – when it is coerced by government, it is called tyranny.
I challenge any “progressive” to show one situation where they have championed an issue that didn’t require the application of this idea of “subtractive liberty” to take from one and give to another.
While they will vehemently deny it, this concept is the ideological DNA twin to Marx’s “From each according to his ability to each according to his need”.