Liberals like to distort the English language in an attempt to manipulate public opinion. For example, in the language of liberals abortion becomes “choice,” homosexuals are “gay,” and leftwing policies that undermine the economy and subvert our culture are called “progressive.” In the Alice-in-Wonderland world inhabited by liberals, if a principle, practice, or policy might be poorly perceived by the public, it is simply called something else; something that sounds inherently appealing or, at least, less unappealing. Linguistic distortion has been an effective, albeit deceptive, tactic for liberals.
Think about it. The word abortion calls to mind a heinous practice that would cause even its most ardent supporters to turn away in revulsion if forced to watch a video of the process, but the word choice has nothing but positive connotations. Nobody likes being dictated to—we like being able to make our own choices. The word homosexual is fraught with negative connotations but the word gay is a synonym for happy. Who among us is opposed to happiness? Finally, the word liberal has come to be associated with socialism, but the word progressive conjures up an image of moving forward in ways that will make life better. Consequently, adopting the word progressive was a smart public-relations tactic on the part of liberals, provided of course the truth is not a consideration.
Those of us who are interested in the truth know there is very little that is progressive in the principles, practices, and policies of contemporary progressives. My use of the term “contemporary progressives” here is intentional because an important distinction must be made. There was a time when progressivism was a positive, useful force in American politics. In fact, although today’s so-called progressives don’t like to admit it, one of the most effective adherents of progressivism in American politics was Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican. But progressivism in TR’s day meant something vastly different from the concept advocated by contemporary liberals. A self-proclaimed progressive, TR was a committed advocate of the concepts of competition, opportunity, entrepreneurship, and the dignity of work. Today’s progressives, on the other hand, promote policies that subvert competitiveness, encourage entitlement, impede of entrepreneurship, and promote idleness.
Contemporary progressives sometimes cite the example of TR’s trust-busting battles with the industrial monopolies of his day in an attempt to rationalize their anti-business policies and pro-regulation attitudes. But the comparison is not only invalid it is political theater at its worst. TR was never anti-business. Rather, he was anti-monopoly. TR had to deal with a situation that no longer exists in America and that most Americans can’t imagine ever did exist: a few all-powerful monopolistic businesses in such critical industries as steel, banking, petroleum, coal, railroads, and shipping that had an unbreakable stranglehold on the American economy and the lives of American workers. The robber barons who controlled the monopolies of TR’s day make Bill Gates and company look like insignificant beggars when it comes to the power they are able to exert over America’s economy.
The monopolies TR fought were established to ensure that: 1) they would face no competition, 2) there would be no opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish new businesses that might challenge them, 3) small businesses would succeed or fail based on the whims of the monopolies, and 4) working people had no opportunities to improve their lives regardless of how hard, smart, and long they worked. A comparable situation does not exist today and has not existed for a long time—thanks in large part to TR. The only contemporary monopoly that even approaches the control J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and several other Robber Barons had over the lives of individual Americans is the U.S. government.
Fast-forward to the present. Today’s progressive movement is embodied by the presidency of Barack Obama. Under President Obama progressivism has morphed into a statist philosophy in which businesses—both large and small—are treated like enemies of the state. Further, the entitlement mentality has replaced entrepreneurship, opportunity, and the work ethic. As a result, idly living off of government handouts has become an acceptable lifestyle, and poverty has become a multi-billion dollar self-sustaining industry. TR was a strong advocate for small businesses and working people, but under President Obama’s progressive administration no two groups have been hurt worse than small businesses and working-class people. Small businesses are being taxed and regulated out of business by today’s progressive politicians and millions of working-class people are out of work or are under-employed because of ill-conceived progressive economic policies.
What is needed if Americans are going to save America is critical thinking and discernment. Accepting that a philosophy is progressive because liberals call it progressive is unacceptable. Voters need to learn to look past the Madison-Avenue inspired names liberals attach to themselves and their policies and start asking what the names really mean. As things stand now, liberals are lying to America and Americans are letting them get away with it. Next time you are talking with a liberal politician, ask this question: Where is the progress in progressivism?