Since I’ve been contributing to America’s Right, I’ve always been upfront about the fact that I do not, in any sense, consider myself a political expert. Rather, I more readily consider myself a pretty good student of common sense, human nature and, to a lesser extent, psychology. If you had asked me about a lot of this stuff five to ten years ago, I might have had some type of a luke-warm, everyday-guy response. Since I began noticing what I could see–heck, even what Oedipus could have seen–were obvious problems in America, however, I decided to take the initiative to read and read and, when I was finished reading, to read some more.
In short, I took the responsibility upon myself to make sure that I was more informed, about both what was going on in the present and some of the issues that led to our current predicament.
That being said, all the recent hullabaloo about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s questionable comments had me shaking my head. That Reid made those comments came as no surprise to me whatsoever, because anybody who has made the effort to learn about the history of the far-left progressive movement in America over the last century would come to more clearly see that it is the progressives–and to some extent, the elitist Democrats–who are more to blame than any other group for fostering the racism that leads to the divisiveness and polarization in this country. Ultimately, that’s what the progressives want: to divide us as a people. Why, for example, is there language in the proposed health-care monstrosity that penalizes people who have the temerity to remain married? Because it would be so much easier and cost-effective to divorce, or perhaps to never get married at all. Beginning to get the picture?
Let’s consider three of the leading progressives in American politics today: the aforementioned Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Quite honestly, I’d be willing to bet that most Americans who consider themselves “liberals” really do not understand what that term truly suggests. Let’s start by referencing another infamous comment of Reid’s about “the people,” which came out of his mouth in December of 2008 when the new visitor’s center at the Capitol was opened, re-routing the throngs of visitors through a different set of entrances and such:
“My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway,” said Reid in his remarks. “In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”
If that doesn’t smack of elitism, I’m not sure what does. That Reid could utter words such as these should not, in any sense, surprise anyone who knows at least something of the progressive movement as an ideology, and I’ll offer up Pelosi as Exhibit B.
Nancy Pelosi is a woman who is a regular recipient of bouquets and applause from the people of the American far-left for her stance on a number of issues, but perhaps none so prominent as illegal immigration. With regard to our attitude toward the rising tide of illegal immigrants making their way into and making their lives in the United States, Pelosi feels that it is an “un-American” concept for us to keep, out of the country, all of the people streaming across our borders looking for a better life. Hey, Nancy — I’m all for bringing people of any race, religion, or ideology to this country, especially if they’re hard workers and want to become American, but I’d also prefer that it’s done legally. Believe it or not, our rules for earning U.S. citizenship are really not all that stringent.
Given her vociferous arguments in favor of sanctuary cities and amnesty and health care for all, documented or not, I cannot help but wonder what her motivation is. Could it be that she’s just a strong advocate of open borders because she has a big heart? Maybe, but progressive policies are usually more about the expansion of government than the greater good. Could it be that she wants the cheap, undocumented labor for her vineyards? Perhaps, but in that case she’d be playing right into the “taking jobs from Americans” argument against illegal immigration. Or, could it be that she just views these people as inferior, and enjoys the class divide? Given her colleague’s statement about the odor of everyday Americans, it makes you wonder.
Hillary Clinton is another interesting consideration, especially when you pair what I have to say with her husband’s alleged comment in a conversation with the late Ted Kennedy, when he (Clinton) made reference to Barack Obama being the type of politician who would have been “serving them coffee” in the good ol’ days of the past. Clinton’s comment sure smacked of elitism and, when looked at alongside the ‘light-skinned’ tenor of Reid’s remarks, it definitely bordered on racist. Kind of similar to Maureen Dowd’s claim that South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” outburst during one of President Obama’s speeches on healthcare was actually akin to his saying, “You Lie, boy!”
Hillary–who I’d take in the Oval Office right now in a heartbeat over Obama, and that’s saying quite a bit–has not only admitted that she considers herself a “early 20th century progressive,” but in the past has gone on record as an ardent admirer of Margaret Sanger. Here’s the $128,000 question, folks: how many people who consider themselves “liberals” know anything about Margaret Sanger?
I’d bet my house that there aren’t very many. It’s only a modest house, anyway.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Sanger was one of the people at the epicenter of what was the heyday of the initial progressive movement, a movement that is sometimes referred to as the “Southern Progressive Movement.” She was an avowed socialist, an advocate of eugenics, and was also the founder of what would eventually become Planned Parenthood.
Sharpen the historical ideological lenses, people. You’ve been duped. The problem is that there are now many, many people in this country who consider themselves “liberal” or “progressive” and have a considerable personal, ideological and, in some cases, financial investment in Republicans being racist. It’s actually rather amusing, because they themselves are actually ardent supporters of historical figures who were flagrant racists. Consider Harry Reid’s recent comments that the Republicans were the party which stymied the civil rights movement, when it was actually those on Reid’s own side of the aisle which perpetuated segregationist policies. And, to wit, try these quotes from Margaret Sanger herself from the 1930’s:
“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social service backgrounds and with engaging personalities . . . We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
“I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan . . . I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses…I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak . . . In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.”
No – Progressives would never admire a woman like that, would they?
As mentioned before, Sanger was also the founder of the American Birth Control League, a group which would eventually become Planned Parenthood and a group to which many of our most ardent progressive politicians are financially beholden. It turns out that Margaret Sanger was also an admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime because of its emphasis on eugenics, and Hillary Clinton is even on record as claiming that she feels that Sanger was a better person than Thomas Jefferson because Jefferson owned slaves.
Now, it might just be me, but I fail to see any of the logic in that argument. While the Founding Fathers were slave-owners–a subject that should merit some discussion, certainly–how is owning a slave comparable to apparently having some type of an interest in culling the African population? The period in early American history during which slavery was practiced is a mark that can never be erased, to be sure, and while no one will excuse the Founding Fathers for having owned slaves, there are two points to consider: first, it’s culturally unfair to judge one set of people who’ve been dead for two centuries by the standards of one that has changed in so many ways over the course of time, and second, it’s pretty much a fact that Jefferson treated his slaves in as benevolent a fashion as humanly possible. Remember, his initial draft of the Declaration of Independence called for the end to the practice of slavery, but he was summarily overruled because of the political expediency of the moment. And also remember that slavery in one form or another had been around for millennia, but was excised in the United States of America in less than two hundred years.
The initial American Progressive movement, which grew in significance between the 1890’s and 1930’s, was a movement in which its political adherents claimed to ferment “social justice” via the intervention of a bigger government apparatus. It also just happened to be the worst period since Emancipation for southern blacks, as state-sponsored racism and Jim Crow laws were decidedly the norm rather than the exception. Lynching was also a practice that once again began to rear its ugly head.
Today’s Progressives will never publicly go on record as acknowledging the history of their movement, because it would therefore suggest that they either aren’t intelligent enough to understand what it is that they’re advocating or, incredibly, they just might be fully well aware of what it is that they’re following and not want to come clean. Remember, one of the heroes of the Democratic Progressives during the early part of the twentieth century was President Woodrow Wilson, an ardent, hard-core racist who had practically no use for blacks. Wilson was actually considered regressive when it came to the development of racial relations in this country. In fact, he applied his concept of “more government regulation” by backing many powerful southerners in his administration and imposed segregation throughout all levels of government.
Now that’s progress. No, wait — that’s actually white elitism.
Regardless, it sure makes you take a closer look at the comments of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, doesn’t it? Come to think of it, he and Wilson do bear some resemblance to one another.
John Feeny is the author of the recently published book, Congress Shall Make No Law…Abridging Freedom of Speech and works in secondary education at a Catholic high school in the Northeast. He and his wife, Sheila–who works in higher education–have been married for 14 years and have become increasingly alarmed with the direction of the young people in our society and what that means for the future of our society. They’ve been blessed with one son, who at 11 years old is in the process of giving John a run for his money. John has been an America’s Right contributor since September 2009.
Congress Shall Make No Law…Abridging Freedom of Speech can be purchased at Amazon.com and is currently being sold alongside the books of Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Michele Malkin at Patriots Heart Network. John can also be followed at Twitter (JJFeen).