My friend Gary Horton recently wrote a letter to the editor in which he questioned the premise of a column written by Gwendolyn Sims.
Ms. Sims looked at the question of whether the GOP would “take back America” from the failed liberal policies of the last eight years. Gary seemed to take exception to this thesis and labeled it as “regressive” and not conservative.
Regressive would apparently mean a return to the “bad old days” of our past, looking only at the more negative aspects such as poverty, lack of social services, and abortions performed with coat hangers.
Why don’t we just throw in slavery, child labor and the KKK as long as we are at it?
Liberals tend to define things in such narrow terms – sort of like a road that is traveled in only one direction. That is, toward more liberalism. To be “progressive” means to travel down the road with eyes locked on that goal.
I’ve always wondered what is at the end of that road? Is it the “worker’s paradise” that Marx and Lenin promised to the world? Is it the utopia mentioned in Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm?
You see this same thinking in Sacramento. Legislative leaders want to safeguard the “advances” made in the granting of rights and privileges to undocumented workers. Read: illegal aliens.
These legislators are buckling down and refusing to recognize that the national wind has changed. They are digging in their heels with regards to immigration policy.
Apparently, there is no “going backward” by returning California to respecting federal law.
Is there no realization that a large portion of the California state budget comes from the Feds? Is Sacramento willing to risk financial disaster over mere stubbornness?
If so, our elected representatives are failing all of us badly.
I have always envisioned politics as more of a pendulum than a one-way road. Sometimes, the pendulum swings to the left. Sometimes, it swings back toward the right. The folks in the middle often play a major role in how it swings.
Such is the case with the last election. I think many moderates were fed up with the liberal policies of the last administration and wanted more balance. The pendulum needed to come back to the right. Enter The Donald.
We see the cyclical nature of things in many areas. The business cycle tends to plow a furrow regardless of who or what is in the White House. Frankly, it seems this cycle is largely immune to politics. Unless, of course, there is a “stimulus.”
Observers of politics have seen cycles as well. Remember Reagan and the “moral majority” of the 1980s followed by the liberal policies of Clinton’s 1990s? We could go back in time and look at other administrations and cyclic policies – Johnson’s Great Society followed by a conservative Nixon in the early 1970s, for example.
Liberals must learn that politics is not simply a one-way street from which, once traveled, there is no return. What if we discover that a basic tenant or policy of progressive thought is incorrect? Does that mean we can’t revisit that policy?
And if the goal is a truly socialist society, I would suggest that this is a very poor goal. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of socialism in general make me think that a single-minded push toward this end is not beneficial.
What about a more flexible way of thinking? Maybe liberals can say, “Hey, I’m not comfortable with your conservative idea but let’s give it a shot and see where it takes us.” As long as we agree that there can be some negotiation and compromise, maybe the pendulum swing back to the right will not be so bad.
The attitude that anything conservative is regressive can clearly be seen in Ms. Streep’s comments. She pointedly insinuated that if all the “outsiders” were eliminated, all we’d have to watch was football and mixed martial arts, a clear dig at all the conservative “deplorables” who elected Trump president.
Maybe liberals need to listen to conservatives and understand why the pendulum swing is not toxic and there may be benefits to our society. There are more people living in this nation than just East Coast and West Coast “progressives.”
Regression? I don’t think so. A balanced pendulum seems to be what we need.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and really hopes this thing is not a road – it’s really muddy right now with all the rain. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.