Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just What IS a Progressive, Anyway?

I have come to realize, viewing the ungodly mess that is American politics at this time, that the word "progressive" has lost all meaning.

Those who use it really employed a sort of circular logic, anyway. "It's progress because we like it, so since we think it's progress, that's what it is." Circular reasoning subjects itself to no outside scrutiny; it simply says what it says, and that -- to those who think within that circle -- is enough to make it so.

There's a reason I haven't posted much here in quite a while, and it goes beyond the fact that I'm now establishing myself as a professional freelance writer. That takes time, it's true -- but it doesn't take THAT much time. I haven't been posting regularly because I've been taking it all in: watching, listening and learning. Doing a lot of thinking and rethinking, and coming to the conclusions that will guide this Blog from this point on.

Those on the Left are cackling about what hypocrites the conservatives are for having blindly followed Boy Bush for eight years, thereby forfeiting any right they ever had to claim they stood for limited government, low taxes or individual liberty. And they are right in this criticism -- as far as it goes.

The trouble is that it doesn't really go very far. The "progressives" haven't really learned anything from those eight nightmarish years, either. At least -- however belatedly, and with however much egg on their faces -- conservatives are now waking up. The Leftists are still cackling and crowing about what hypocrites the conservatives are -- but these sterling "progressives" are even bigger hypocrites than they are.

They haven't learned anything from it all, either.

All they want to do, now, is take over the more-gargantuan-and-monstrous-than-ever big-government apparatus Boy Bush built up and run it themselves. They talked a good libertarian game, many of them, when they were out of power. I hoped that they were sincere, but I have come to see they weren't.

If this healthcare boondoggle passes, American citizens will actually be forced by law to buy government-run health insurance -- or be penalized for resisting. Would another four years of Bush have been worse than this?

Just as bad, perhaps. But it's hard to believe it could have been worse.

Barack Obama is an unmitigated disaster as President of the United States. I'm sorry I ever voted for him. I still don't think McCain was any prize, either, but he almost certainly would have been better.

I still have my quarrels with some libertarians. But I guess I forgot for a while that my differences were with them as individuals, rather than with libertarianism itself. This cult of personality business can lead us into any number of errors.

So, all in all, I have come to realize I'm still a libertarian (small "l"). And earlier this month, I made the move official by joining the Libertarian (big "L") Party. I still can't stand the direction the Republicans have been going. They have a lot of changing to do before I'd ever consider them. Their long association with bigots and religious quacks is far too embarrassing for me to want to have anything to do with.

Anyway, this Blog is now set to sally forth. It isn't really a new direction, just a steadier one. I still consider myself (not a progressive, which has come to mean next to nothing, but) a liberal. But I suppose I can best describe myself as a Classical Liberal. Which is the same thing, really, as a Goldwater conservative.

It all still makes my head spin. But damn, it's fascinating stuff. I love politics, no matter how crazy. If you'll keep tuning in here, I can promise you'll get all the crazy politics you can handle.



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