Carl Jung said “People don’t have ideas. Ideas have people.” The Covid-19 lockdown has reaffirmed what many of us have already reluctantly known to be true about the ideological overtones of Progressivism. During the past three months, we can see the Progressive movement coming into fruition and we have gotten a clear glimpse of the movement’s true intentions and what a future America will become if we don’t begin to stand up against what is transpiring throughout American society. By ‘we’, I am not referring to conservatives, but all rational and good-natured Americans and residents regardless of political orientation, religion or skin color. Progressivism is an ideology that is flirting with insanity, but also one that has made real gains in nesting itself within the prominent institutions of civil society, such as the media, academia, the public educational system, the urban work environment and the Democratic party. Criticizing the Progressive Left should also not be conflated with an endorsement of Trumpism, conservatism or the GOP. Many liberals like myself are intellectually stuck between a rock and a hard place. While I have my reservations about the political right, The political left is broken as are many of our institutions, such as the media and academia. There are certainly glaring issues with Trumpism, but to ignore and not condemn what is festering within the Progressive Left would be an act of injustice. It should also be pointed out that there are good people within the Progressive movement that have gotten caught up in ideology and a subset of those individuals are going to have a ‘red pill’ moment when they finally come to their senses.
The one silver lining of the Coronavirus lockdown is that it’s has fully exposed the true nature of Progessivism and what a future America would look like in ten or twenty years if we continue to allow ourselves to be led down this dark road towards cultural suicide. It irks me to know that my arguments here are going to be dismissed as far-Right and hysterical, but there really is no way around it. The Progressive movement in 2020 is one which is ‘beyond the pale’. It has nothing to do with enfranchising historically marginalized groups, the poor or the working class and everything to do with power. In fact, its leaders, talking heads, ideological zealots and corrupted government buearucrats are drunk with power. The historically marginalized are merely pawns and the universal acceptence of individualism, personal responsibility and private property are to be dismantled and replaced by large-scale government intervention, censorship, groupthink and a new religion of ‘wokeness’. For all the virtue signaling on the Far-Left about wearing a mask and staying home, it is highly unlikely that the vast majority of Progressives are actually concerned about the Coronavirus and really see this as an opportunity to destroy the economy, pummel the rational middle class and push for their variation of socialism. While conservatives might peg it as an anti-American campaign, it is more of an anti-human one. The future world is born in the present. Although highly nuanced and overly complex, below is an attempt to capture what is actually happening within the Progressive movement and how it is highjacking the Covid-19 pandemic for political gain. In doing do so, the idea is to also highlight the ways in which it is an anti-liberal and ideologically driven movement that is hurting Americans, including those it claims to show the most compassion for. It is not only dividing us on all fronts, but bullishly tearing away at the fabric of American society.
Promote a dogmatic narrative at all costs
Progressivism in 2020 is in many ways resembles a cult or some sort of new religion. As all cults do, it relies heavily on dogma and anyone who questions the narrative is immediately labeled as far-Right, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe or whatever label is convenient. If you are a White person that is silent on the issue of race, then you might be met with an angry mob which chants, “silence is violence”. Since the election of Trump, there seems to be a more agreed upon narrative within the Progressive camp, which is echoed by members of the media, academia, and certain political figures partaking in demogoguery. The narrative is that America was founded on racism and thus is inherently racist and we can never overcome our racist history. Coalesced with this perspective is the idea that capitalism is a failed system not only because it results in income inequality, but also because it’s a system dependent on systemic racism. Furthermore, also included in this narrative is that any conservative idea should be shunned since such ideas, even the good ones, only serve the oppressor. This type of approach leads to an angry mob mentality where emotion replaces rationalism and common sense, both of which are foundational to open, democratic society. Consequently, we are losing our ability as a society to rationally dissect an issue from various points of view and formulate policies that actually benefit the American people.
The Black Lives Matter movement in relation to the protest over the death of George Floyd is a good example of this. Virtually everyone in America agrees that the murder of George Floyd was a horrific act and protests are completely justified in this case. However, we also have to right to denounce rioting and looting and doing so should not be conflated with the idea that one condones police brutality or racism. The idea from the Progressive Left that we must bow down at all costs and never question movements such as Black Lives Matter or the #MeToo campaign is contray to open, liberal society. The idea that one could be fired from his or her job or lose social status for simply dissenting reveals a grotesque truth about the intent of Progressivism. For all the talk about compassion and justice, there is a real willingness to completely discard rationalism, open political discourse and free speech. Why can’t a White person support the cause to end racism, but also question organizations, such as Black Lives Matter without being met by an angry mob that demands absolute atonement? And if you dare to question, oppose or even present credible arguments backed by scientific data, the mob is coming after you and the rioting has demonstrated that this same angry mob is more than willing to justify violence.
It is sort of a religion and promotes the idea of ‘repeat’ and ‘don’t think’. Wokeness or the culture of identity politics is taking the place of religion. The segment of the population that subscribes to this new religion often tends to be White, urban, college-eduated, upper-middle class and conveys an open hostility towards Christianity and Judism. If you don’t agree with them not just on few issues, but entirely and wholeheartedly buy into their agenda, you are are veiwed as a heretic. The ‘church of wokeness’ preaches compassion, but has zero tolerance for those that simply disagree. The real issue is that woke culture is deterring us from having real political discourse and coming to some logical agreement in times of crisis and the Coronvirus pandemic has exemplified this. Logic and reason tells us that we need to reopen the country because the cure is going to end up being worse than the disease itself. Yet, the far Left with the support of the media, has made reopening a political one. If you support reopening, then must not care about lives or communities of color. No, I care about communities of color, the poor and the working class and the next generation of young people, which is why we need to reopen. Not suprisingly, most within the progressive camp are quite affluent and work from home, so they can afford to stay home forever if it helps to destroy the American economy, demoralize the American spirit and ultimately usher in a new era of massive government intervention
Destroy the entrepreneurial spirit of America
While thousands of businesses across the country are closing up shop and laying off millions of workers, the more hard-core ideologues of the Progressive Left are actually cheering this on. Why? Because the spirit of entrepreneurialship is antithetical to the myopic belief in massive government intervention and the idea that only an omnipresent government system can alleviate the ills of society and eradicate income inequality. The culture of entrepreneurship is also one fully embraced by conservatives, but all ideas cherished by the opposition must also be eradicated even if they are good ones and beneficial to society. According to the Progressive Left, we can only solve income inequality and end racism if we do away with the market economy, thwart self-rugged individualism, rewrite the Constitution and make a drastic turn towards socialism. This is not to say that there aren’t issues with American capitalism or that income inequality is not a problem, but these issue are not going to be resolved by handing over all power to the government. We are not going to create a more equitable society by shutting down the economy for months at a time and sending everyone checks. The culture of entrepreneurialship is integral in woving the fabric of American society and it is a culture that has improved the lives and given meaning to millions of Americans and immigrants regardless of political orientation, race or religion. For all the talk about income inequality and anti-market rhetoric, what is often forgotten is the fact that entrepreneurialship is an essential path that affords the poor and working classes a real opportunity to better their lives and move up in society. But again, Progressivism is not about empowering the poor and marginalized, but rather perpetuating a culture of victimhood and dependence on the government.
As small businesses are decimated, a few large corporations will continue to consolidate power
I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time in Target, Walmart, Home Depot and my regional big-chain supermarket during the past three months than I have in the previous three years. After all, they are really the only places that have been fully open, at least in blue states, since March and they seem to be packed more than ever. But where is the outrage from the Progressive Left about the fact that these giant retail chains are raking in tremendous profits while thousands of small chains and mom and pop businesses are not only shutting their doors for good, but the owners of these etablishments are seeing their life’s savings and years of hard work literally vanish at the hands of the government? Where is the ‘objective journalism’ from CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and other mainstream outlets about the millions of lives that are being destroyed? Why is it that individuals are being forced to close their businesses, but I can stand in line for twenty minutes at Walmart?
This is the paradox of the Progressive Left and its leaders. They do not actually care about regular, hard-working people, many of whom are people of color who operate brick and mortal shops in minority dominant neighborhoods. This is completely about control. The future is clear under the direction of Progressivism. It entails mass unemployment, a few mega corporations consolidating power and large-scale government intervention, which essentially equates to the government sending monthly checks to millions of unemployed. What is really disturbing is the way many of these large corporations, such as Target, Amazon and Nike are pandering to social justice issues and bowing down to the angry mob out of fear that there brand will be tarnished from accusations of racism, sexism or homophobia. Firstly, corporations for the most part should stay out of politics and instead focus on creating sustainable companies that provide desirable goods, services and employment. But more importantly, it is highly unlikely that any of the individuals that sit on the corporate boards of these companies actually care about social justice issues. This is all about large businesses protecting their bottom line and fending off the angry mob of wokeness which deems ‘silence as violence’.
A corrupt media that clearly has a political agenda
As much as you may despise Trump, he is more or less correct to label the media as “fake news”. Although labeling the media as fake has become a Right-wing talking point, it objectively shouldn’t be a Right or Left issue. Some would counter this argument and say, “What about Fox News?”. Well, I agree, which is why I don’t consider Fox news a credible news source either. But if you look at the mainstream media, excluding Fox News, there clearly is a political agenda that has pivoted far beyond the traditional liberal bias. The willingness of the media to outright lie, exclude vital information and manipulate the public has become clearer than ever during the Covid-19 lockdown. There are really three main problems with the media that seriously threaten to undermine American democracy. First, rather than objectively presenting the news to the American people, much of the coverage has been the sort of panic-driven type which is essentially scaring people. It is as if the media is rooting for the Coronavirus to win in the hope that it will destroy the American economy, ultimately leading to the defeat of Donald Trump in November.
Second, the problem is not necessarily what the media covers, but often the problem is what it excludes from the public. This has been an issue for a number years and the coverage of Covid-19 has further demonstrated this. We often see the headlines read something like, “100,000 Americans dead” or “a huge spike in new cases.” These headlines are intended to invoke fear and chaos in the American psyche rather than to objectively inform the public. Although sad, the reality is that nearly half of Coronavirus related deaths have come from nursing homes. Furthermore, the average age of those that die from Covid-19 is around 80 years old and 80% of US Coronavirus deaths are of people 65 and older. When we reached the 50,000 death milestone, many media outlets ran the highly misleading headline that more people have died from Covid-19 than all US soldiers during the Vietnam War. Comparing victims in nursing homes with young soliders and millions of Vietnamese, including children, that perished in the Vietnam war was not only dishonest, but completely antithetical to the purpose of the media in a Democratic society and something we would expect more of in a third-world dictatorship.
Third, the the Progressive media has spearheaded the campaign to politicize the Coronavirus pandemic. Again, this is not something that should occur in a liberal, democratic society. Although there was a brief moment of unity during the first few weeks of the pandemic, the media quickly went to work in turning this into a political issue once talks of reopening began. The media was highly critical of Republican governors in states that were the first to reopen, such as Georgia, Flordia and Texas, all of which made the decision based on the fact there were relatively small number of Coronavirus cases in those same states compared to notable hotspots. Conversely, virutally nothing was said about the Democratic governor of Colorado, who also pushed to reopen his state early. All we heard was how irresponsible and reckless the governors of Georgia and Florida were for reopening in the beginning of May. It is now mid-June and there has not been a huge spike in cases in those states as was being predicted by the media. Furthermore, the media also immediately pegged the anti-lockdown protest that began in late April as strictly being supported by members of the alt-Right. I have a hard time believing that all and even the majority of those protesters to reopen the economy or those that were even sympathic to the protesters were far-right. There are many people in this country that hold moderate political views and many others that are apolitical. These types of individiuals, regardless of race or ethnicity, rely on reason and common sense. Instead, we’ve had to listen to prominent members of the media, all of which are affluent, lecture the American people that they were being selfish for wanting to reopen the economy and get back to work. The reality is that many members of the media are actually leftist activist disguised as journalist and they are more than willing to distort the news or spin a national crisis as a means to achieve a political agenda.
Science is increasingly politicized to mirror Progressive causes
Science, including medical science, should remain apolitical and devoted to the objective truth even under the most tumultuous circumstances. This is vital in a functioning, liberal, democratic society. This is not to say that scientist and health experts should not hold personal political beliefs, but science as the objective truth should always come first. We’ve been told repeatedly by health experts that we must stay home to save lives. For three months, you could turn on NPR and you get a health expert discussing the reckless behavior of those that want to attend church or get a haircut or simply work in order to pay the bills. After being locked down for three months, we’ve now seen mass protests throughout the United States in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy. Undoubtedly, the protests are completely justified in effort to denounce police brutality. However, what is strange is that the same public health experts on NPR and CNN who were chastising the ‘far-Right’ anti-lockdown protesters for being selfish and spreading the virus are now championing the new protesters as being heroes standing up to oppression. On a personal level, if they support the protesters and the cause against racism and police brutality, that is fine, but these are supposed to be individuals of science. The Coronavirus does not care about race or political issues. Why is that each time I now turn on NPR, I hear a public health expert talking about systemic racism and injustice? What about the millions of Americans, including millions in the Black and Latino community that are either out of a job or have seen their businesses collapse? If our scientific and medial institutions are going to be politicized, why wouldn’t all of our institutions, if not already, eventually become infiltrated by Progressive ideology?
Politicians engaging in demagoguery in exchange for power
The curve was successfully flattened by early May, but political leaders, mostly Democrats continued to appeal to emotion and politics rather than reason. In states, such as California and New York, elected officials knowing full well the devastating economic impact of the lockdown on working class families and small businesses, continued to bend the knee to urban professionals, elites and the Progressive media, all of which insisted that we must continue to stay home despite growing evidence that the lockdown approach for long durations of time is not going to make much difference in the spread of the virus. This is not to stay that our elected officials were wrong to initiate the lockdown in the middle of March. During that time, there was a broad consensus across the US and virutally the world that a lockdown was necessary to ‘flatten the curve’. But once the Covid-19 pandemic became politicized, as is virtually every issue in American society, it became clear that many Democratic politicians were not going to govern in the interest of the people, but rather engage in demagoguery in order to appease the woke base that sees this as an opportunity to ‘tear down the system’.
There is nobody more guilty of this than New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has become a media darling. Cuomo, the son of former governor Mario Cuomo and someone born into wealth and priviledge, was severely critical of non-essential workers for simply wanting to reopen the economy so they could pay their bills. Everyday, we see him on TV talking about ‘saving lives’ and we should be doing everything we can to minimize the spread of Covid-19, but what about the 40 million Americans out of work and thousands of small businesses that have closed up shop forever? Where are the rational and pragmatic arguments from our elected officials in times of a crisis? The lack of moral character among elected officials is obviously a problem on the political Right as well, but it is the Progressive politicians that are cast as the ‘good guys’ by the mainstream media. Unless there is some moral force to stop it, this slide into demogoguery among our elected officials is going to continue. We have a dearth of genuine leaders and too many politicians that are ‘drunk on power’ and willing to side with the angry mob of Progressivism even when they know know it is wrong, but they do it anyway for the sake of either maintaining power or obtaining it. Just like the corporate whores who give in to the mob to protect their bottom line, Democratic politicians are terrified of the ‘woke brigade’ because they are fully aware that the Progressive mob will eat their own. Jacob Frey, the wildly progressive mayor of Minneapolis, was booed off stage for saying that he was against abolishing the police depaertment. He did express strong support for significantly reducing police funding and drastic structural change, but that wasn’t enough. These people are insane as are most members of a cult.
Divide and conquer along racial and political divisions
The main narrative of the Progressive Left is that America is a racist country founded on slavery and we must completely tear down Western Civilization and replace it with a woke variation of socialism. Another trait of the Progressive movement is to find a way tie any issue or crisis to systemic racism. We’ve seen the narrative being pushed by the media that the Coronavirus is killing a high number of the Black population and people of color compared to the White population. However, statistics can also be misleading and construed. There is a lower percentage of White fatalities in the case of Covid-19, but that is also because the country is still nearly 65% White and there are varying economic classes of White people. If you were to compare the bottom 40% of White people economically speaking with the affluent White population, you would also find a signifiant disparity in the percentage of fatalities. Just as the case with much of the Latino and Black population, poor and working class Whites have much higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and underlying health conditions compared to wealthy, college-educated Whites. So while race may be a factor in relation to Covid-19 deaths, economic class also plays a vital role and the reality is that people of the lower classes, regardless of skin color are going to have a much higher rate of obesity and underlying health conditions. In the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, why aren’t we having a national discussion about obesity and strengthening our immune systems by embracing healthier lifestyles?
Despite this, the media and political figures pretend that those protesting to end the lockdown are merely White, far-right and racist elements of American society. Rather than addressing Covid-19 pragmatically, as is the case with all issues in America, the Progressive movement must find a way to further divide us. Nevermind the fact that the Black and Latino populations are actually being hit the hardest economically speaking from the lockdown. For the affluent, White Progressive, minority populations are merely pawns in the game of woke politics. These people are to be patronized only as a means to virtue signal and all non-progressive Whites are to demonized. Why? Because they need to keep us separated, divided and suspicious of each other. The irony is that working class, non-progressive Whites have much more in common with the Black and Latino community compared to college-education, Progressive Whites. The reality is that White, woke Progressives are out of touch with virtually everyone outside their own group.
As states have begun to reopen, once again we are seeing the woke mob attempting to further divide Americans along racial lines after the killing of George Floyd. While just about every American agrees that we need police reform in America and what happened to George Floyd was a horrific act that must be prevented from ever happening again, the Progressive movement has hijacked the peaceful effort of the legitimate protesters to push the narrative even further that everything about America is racist. They are peddling the idea that America of 2020 is no different than America in 1950. According to the Progressive, all White people are racist and all of the problems within the Black community are the result of systemic racism. Is racism still an issue in America and do we need police reform? Absolutely. But to pretend that we have made no progress in the past sixty years is an outright lie. To pretend that that the Black community in 2020 is being held back by White America is a farse. In 1950 you could make that case, but not in 2020. While there are certainly still problems in America and there is still much room for improvement, this idea that America and the American flag and all of Western Civilization is inherently evil and thus we must tear this world down and build a brand new one is not going to create a better world and it certainly isn’t going to uplift people of color.
And what kind of message are we sending to young people of color? What we are really saying is that the system is completely rigged against you, so you there is no use in even trying. You can work really hard and do all of the right things, but you’ll still be held down by the Man, by the coronavirus or by White people of priviledge. Such a message limits young people of color before they even have a chance to reach adulthood and makes them feel worse about their place in society. Racism, police brutality and injustice still exist in America and we should continue to root these out of American culture, which is what we have been doing for the past sixty years or so and we’ve made modest progress in that time. But the reality is that the political actors of the Progressive movement, the ones that pull the strings, want us to hate each other. Division and demogogery is good for their brand of politics. A divided society creates a power vacuum that can allow the Progressive agenda to finally manifest. They speak of racial justice and equality, but they don’t want a harmonious society nor do they actually want progress. If they practiced what they preached, they would push for rational solutions that solve problems, but they’ve chosen dogma in the place of reason.
What is the solution?
We should always remember that we have a tarnished past, but also recognize that we can and have been overcoming that past. In criticizing the Progressive left, we also need to remember that some of the issues raised by that same movement are legitimate ones. Income inequality is a real problem as is police brutality. Castigating woke Progressivism should never be conflated with the idea that we aren’t in need of significant reform both politically and economically in many specific areas. As a society, if we do not proactively address those grievances nor listen and instead stubbornly refute those claims, we will only fan the fire of woke Progressivism. Pragmatism and reason aren’t sexy, but socialism and radicalism are quite appealing to a large segment of the population. If we are going to defeat woke Progressivism, we need to understand why individuals are being drawn into this mindset in the first place.
Conversely, even deeply entrenched liberalism has to recognize that there are certain conservative ideas which are not only beneficial to the individual, but vital to the sustainability of a functioning democracy. The fatal flaw of woke Progressivism is that it completely shuns all conservative ideas, including personal responsibility, and fills in the gap with a culture of victimhood. Are there conservatives out there that are racist? Probably. However, to equate all of conservatism with bigotry is not only a dishonest argument, but a dangerous one. What America desperately needs is a return to rationalism. We have to steer this massive and overly complicated ship back in the direction of sanity before we plunge further into this Orwellian abyss. There is no need for us to be divided along political and racial lines. We need to relearn how to communicate with each other because when we actually engage with other individuals that look or think differently, we realize that we have more in common than we are different. That is the common thread which binds Americans together regardless of race or ethnicity.