There is something important in the nexus of Obama’s announcement of the proposed $1 billion “climate resilience fund” and the modern state of “progressivism.” This fund is designed, as the Washington Post says, “to help communities prepare for the effects of climate change and to fund research and technology to protect against its impact.”
It isn’t the expense. It is the sentiment.
It signals that the “progressives” have given up the belief that man actually has dominion over the earth.
Obama traveled to Fresno, in the San Joaquin Valley of California, an area that is responsible for the production of over half of all fruit and vegetables sold in the United States to officially announce that surrender.
Historical American “progressives”, while certainly favoring the central planning and control brought about through socialism, were builders. They created Art Deco adorned monuments to their power, but these were monuments that were created with productive use in mind. Through their brand of socialism, they aggressively pursued actual human progress – perhaps the greatest of these “builders” was the patron saint of American “progressivism”, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Under FDR and in the throes of the Great Depression, some of the most massive construction projects were undertaken, most with the goal of harnessing the raw forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. Hoover Dam, the Grand Coulee Dam, Fort Pack Dam, the Overseas Highway connecting Miami to Key West, the Lincoln Tunnel and the Triborough Bridge (renamed the Robert Kennedy Bridge), LaGuardia Airport and even the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were part of the “progressive” construction boom.
Perhaps most significant was the creation of the massive river impoundment and rural electrification program started after the federal charter of the Tennessee Valley Authority in May of 1933. At the end of the dam building project that followed, 29 hydroelectric dams had been built to supply electricity to the rural Southeast.
Also in 1933, The Central Valley Project (CVP), a federal water management project in the state of California under the supervision of the United States Bureau of Reclamation. Designed to provide irrigation and municipal water to much of California’s Central Valley by regulating and storing water in reservoirs in the water-rich northern half of the state, and transporting it to the water-poor San Joaquin Valley and its surroundings by means of a series of canals, aqueducts and pump plants created one of the greatest agricultural booms America has ever seen. The agricultural industry in California not only provided food, it provided jobs for thousands of Californians (and also more than a few illegal immigrants as well).
Now, the great “progressive” tradition using government for the progress of humankind is over. In a dual quest to cement the undying support of the radical environmentalist lobby and to save a three inch long minnow called the Delta Smelt from being turned into sushi by irrigation pumps, the contemporary “progressives” now wish to use government to issue laws and regulations to arrest actual progress. Instead of using government power to harness nature for human benefit, they now want to use government as a piggy bank to collect and disburse taxpayer dollars to pay Americans not produce, to not progress and to prevent humans from bending nature to our will for the betterment of our nation and our people.
If there ever was a redeeming quality to the early to mid-20th Century “progressive” movement, it was that it actually sought real progress. There is no doubt that government funded, private company executed projects like the Hoover Dam (that was actually finished years ahead of schedule due to private sector efficiency) have yielded true value to America unlike the Keynesian “stimulus” projects of the Age of Obama. Obama spent that 800 billion and it yielded nothing of lasting value except a few bike paths and a lot of happy Democrat donors and lobbyists.
Now that Obama has signaled the end of the “progressive builders” and given in to defeat through creation of this billion dollar payoff fund, there are no redeeming qualities to contemporary “progressivism”. We don’t need a national sugar daddy to pay Americans to sit in their kitchens and wait patiently for extinction so the Delta Smelt can live.
“Progressives” are no longer pyramid builders. They are as extinct as the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.
It is time for this ideology to be consigned to the dustbin of history.