Monthly Archives: August 2016

Don’t vote for Progressives: They don’t represent progress

Don’t Vote For Progressives: They Don’t Represent Progress by Peter Burrows 8-19-16 elburropete@gmail.com

There are three Grant County Commissioner seats up for grabs in the election next November.  All three have candidates on the ballot who proudly call themselves Progressives: Alicia Edwards for district 3, Marilyn Alcorn for district 4, and Harry Browne for district 5.

Of the three, I’ve only briefly met Browne and Alcorn, but I’ve known Alicia Edwards for years and I think she’s wonderful, as is Harry Browne’s mother Fran, whom I met over ten years ago.  Marilyn Alcorn is, like me, a Michigan State grad, so what’s not to like?

However, as much as we may like people who call themselves Progressives, they should never be voted into public office.  Progressives place too much faith in the efficacy of government. To them, government is the solution to all our problems: Just pass a law  Government is good, and more government is better.

We see this at the national level in the Democrat’s platform. In a Washington Post article of July 12, “The most progressive Democratic platform ever,” by Katrina vanden Heuvel, we learn Bernie’s Progressives were able to get the following included in the Democrat’s platform:

1) Free (OMG!) college tuition at in-state schools for families making less than $125,000 (!!!!) per year.
2) Expand, not contract, Social Security benefits.
3) 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, per year.
4) Card check organizing for non-unionized workers.
5) Taxing U.S. corporations’ overseas earnings at U.S. levels.

They failed to get “Medicare for all,” a ban on fracking, a carbon tax, or rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.  But, they did get a $15 minimum wage, which with card check and paid family leave, means, vanden Heuvel writes,  “Democrats stand for putting their thumb on the scales in favor of workers and unions.”

None of the above has a great deal of relevance to Grant County, but don’t be surprised if future labor negotiations for Grant County employees find the Progressives on the side of the unions, not the taxpayers.  It’s too bad there are “sides” on that issue, but all across America public unions and their politically elected enablers, of both parties, have negotiated ridiculously generous pay and benefits that simply cannot be paid.

Left leaning politicians will try to solve the problem by raising taxes. It’s what they ALWAYS do.  This will pit public employees against taxpayers, and drive states and municipalities over a fiscal cliff.  Check out Chicago and Illinois.   At the national level, expanding — or even holding flat– Social Security/Medicare benefits will do the same thing to the country.

At a Progressive Voters forum a couple of months ago for the Progressive candidates running in the Grant County primaries, a smart arse asked if any of the panelists had any ideas to CUT county spending.  HA!  Of course not. Progressives don’t CUT spending  — unless it’s military spending.

If the smart arse would have had his brain working, he would have asked if Antony Gutierrez’s vacant county job should be allowed to remain vacant.  Gutierrez was hired as Executive Director of the CAP Entity, and his former job as Grant County Planning & Community Development Director has since been filled. One has to ask: Why does no-growth Grant County need such a job, and a fairly high paying one at that?

(I would have done it for nothing, but nobody asked me. Sigh.)

Also at the forum, the above three candidates all thought passing a living wage law was a good idea but not something a county should pass. State, yes. County, no.  Too much confusion otherwise.  Pass a law, eliminate poverty.  What a great idea. They should do that in Haiti.

Passing laws to set prices, which is what minimum wage laws do, are a prime example of why Progressives should never be elected.  They think that they can legislate away natural laws like the law of supply and demand.  Kind of like passing a law against gravity.

Furthermore, Progressives have been passing price control laws since The Edict of Diocletian in A.D. 284, which had the same disastrous effects of similar laws more recently passed in the Progressive Paradise of Venezuela, where shelves are empty and people are hunting cats and dogs, not to adopt but to EAT.

Progressives never learn.  They can’t, because that would mean admitting the fallibility of their God: Government.

(In all fairness, there are people who call themselves Progressives simply because it is such a flattering term.  After all, who wants to be a regressive?  But don’t let the label fool you, folks.  Progressives are  progressives like Scientologists are scientists.)

The Progressives’ worship of government is not a new idea. In fact, it’s an old idea.  The Divine Rights of Kings, Emperors, Popes and Caliphates existed for centuries.  It only disappeared in Japan in 1945, and has been reborn today in the Islamic Caliphate of ISIS, and while Progressives will tell you that they, of course, don’t think government is God, they act like government is God.

The God of progressives is not a benign God.  Their God punishes “rich” people and corporations, the prime “exploiters” of other people.  Progressives say they’re just pursuing economic justice.  Progressives like to talk about “justice,” and apply the term to all sorts of things.  Being for “justice” makes Progressives feel good about themselves, makes them feel superior.

Did you know there is something called The Global Justice Movement? Their website says they are in favor of monetary justice, social justice, economic justice, environmental justice and peace justice, all of which is in pursuit of inclusive justice. Oh, my.  They left out fresh-fruit justice, just to name one obvious omission.

The problem with this Progressive obsession with “justice” is that it requires someone to judge. Gosh, who do you think the Progressives have in mind for that task?  Government, of course, and who do you think they think is best able to govern?  If you said “Progressives” go to the head of the class.

There are two problems with these nebulous concepts of justice.  The first is that they are quite subjective, meaning that justice would be a helluva lot different with ME as Cosmic Supreme Ruler rather than Bernie Sanders.  Secondly, the enforcement of subjective, always changing standards of “justice” means that government power is not held in check by objective laws.  Such power will always be abused. Witness Hugo Chavez’s billionaire kids.

In fact, humanity did not begin to make real social and economic progress until they began to put specific legal restraints on the power of government, starting with the Magna Carta and culminating in what is truly the most progressive document in history, the United States Constitution.  People who call themselves Progressives want to do away with the Constitutional constraints on government, and they have been working on that since Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.  This is progress?

At heart, Progressives are totalitarians who think that people should work for the government, not the other way around.  In Grant County, as elsewhere, that means every problem can be solved by the government if only the government had the power to force people to ride bicycles, use paper sacks, install solar panels, grow their own food, etc. etc, and of course, if this requires more money, the people, especially the rich ones, will have to pay more in taxes.  Taxes, you see are “good.”  Just ask a Progressive.

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How The Political World Works

How the Political World Works 8/6/16 elburropete@gmail.com

Democrats and Progressives may not know how the world outside of politics works, but they sure know how the world inside of politics works: EMOTIONS TRUMP FACTS.  They know this instinctively. I think it’s in their genes.

For example, at a meeting of the local Democrats a few months back, they were discussing issues to use in the coming elections and one of their really big hitters piped up and said, “We’ve got to get emotional!!” She knew what she was talking about.

On issue after issue, state, local and national, emotions win elections.  Pundits blame Romney’s loss in the last presidential election because voters perceived he “didn’t care.”  That was actually an issue in the election. Think about that.

An occasional Republican gets it. Jack Kemp used to say that voters don’t care what you know until they know you care.  That’s sad because how do politicians show they “care?” By spending other peoples’ money, usually  on programs that do more harm than good. Sometimes the “caring” is in the form of laws that force other people, usually businesses, to spend money on such things as minimum wages, day care centers, sick leave, health insurance, maternity leave, wheelchair ramps, and so on.

I call this the compassion con, the “I feel your pain” con, and it really gets my knickers knotted when politicians are praised for their “generosity” when no such thing was involved.  What brought this to mind was an ad I saw on the Internet by some company in the business of refinancing mortgages. The headline said that “Obama generously” gave homeowners a one-time chance to refinance.  A lot of people, including Obama, probably think he was in fact “generous.”

Maybe the number one emotional hot-button of politics that doesn’t involve money is the identity con.  Why vote for Hillary? Because she’s a woman.  Why vote for Barrack Obama? Because he’s black.  The Democrats have mastered identity politics, and they have managed to fool their Republican colleagues into supporting immigration laws that over the years have resulted in a virtual stuffing of the ballot box for Democrats.

They knew what they were doing.  It is doubtful the nation can survive if racial identity becomes more important than national identity.  Anybody who criticizes La Raza, Black Lives Matter, CAIR, whatever, is a racist, troglodyte, xenophobe, a.k.a. a Republican. Maybe the Republicans can figure out how to divide and conquer before the nation is torn apart by identity politics, but I doubt it.

The emotional hot-button that brings it all together is the victim con.   “Oh, you poor (black, Hispanic, woman, single mom, unemployed college grad/factory worker/etc., LGBT, Muslim, welfare recipient, and so on ), your problems ARE NOT YOUR FAULT. Vote for me and I’ll punish your tormentors, be they corporations, banks, Christians, Jews, racists (if they‘re white), employers, cops, imports and whatever/whomever is the devil du jour.”

It’s very discouraging. As Winston Churchill once said, the biggest argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.  On the other hand, the biggest argument against a dictatorship is after your five-minute conversation with that man on-the-street, ask yourself, would you like to be ruled by THAT SOB?

Unfortunately, if that SOB is a skilled demagogue able to hit enough hot buttons,  he, or she, will rule you.  It’s democracy’s fatal flaw.