Glenn Beck has done it again. During his moving speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last Saturday, Beck argued that the single largest problem facing the nation, ironically, is “progressivism.”
It seems almost contradictory that a movement called “progressivism” would have any negative consequences. As Americans, we are always looking for “progressive” solutions to make our lives better. We are all about moving forward and dealing with daily issues in a “progressive” way. This word is so infused in our culture that when it received a political meaning, we never knew what hit us.
As Beck explained, “progressivism” is really just a nicely packaged form of radical liberalism. Liberal thinkers have always had a way with candy-coating extreme ideas throughout history, and “progressivism” is a prime example of this trend. After all, “progressivism” sounds much better than “deficit spending” or “higher taxes,” let alone “socialism.”
Progressivism means extended government control and reckless spending. It’s not about moving forward; it’s about reverting back to the same methods that led us into the Great Depression, and bringing the nation closer to the principles of communism. As Beck clearly asserted, the Roaring ’20s came to a halt when the government became looser with its purse strings during the Hoover Administration. The only difference between Hoover and Roosevelt was that Hoover didn’t try to be creative when he realized the American economy was taking a dive. Oh, and by the way, it was not drastic domestic spending that got us out of the Depression; it was a little something called World War II. Although its short-term results seemed promising, Roosevelt’s “New Deal” really just put us deeper into the endless pit of national debt.
It seemed shocking at first to see Beck reprimand the Republican Party at the CPAC of all places, but he made it clear that the Democratic legislators are not the only ones to blame. Republican lawmakers have started to drift away from truly Republican values over in Washington. The “progressive” movement has infiltrated the Republican Party ever since Theodore Roosevelt came to office. Values like the “right of the individual,” “the American Dream” and a dedication to our first principles have suddenly dissipated as “progressive solutions” have promised to save us from life’s struggles. Instead of working things out, America has tried to take the easy way out by allowing the government to rescue them. And rather than being realistic, some Republican politicians have acquiesced under the pressure in order to avoid being afflicted with shame by the opposition.
Probably the most dramatic example of this is the 2008 financial meltdown. Back in the ’90s, Rep. Barney Frank and his cronies tried to demonize Republicans that disagreed with Clinton’s economic policy. Republicans tried to fight against Clinton’s massive Wall Street bailouts and the risky practices of Fannie and Freddie, but this powerful minority muted them.
And look where we are now: The government’s recent bailout of Wall Street had little success, and even Frank, who previously wanted to “roll the dice a little bit more” with Fannie and Freddie, now wants to abolish the two giants. We probably could have halted the economic crisis before it metastasized to a full-on recession, but we didn’t because we were plagued with the demands of “progressivism” in Washington.
We have allowed the government to interfere with our personal lives to a point where individual hard work and merit have almost become inconsequential. “When did it become an object of shame and ridicule to become a self-made man in America?” Beck asked. Small business has kept Americans employed, and yet they receive no mercy when the economy takes a dip. As Beck said, “(Small business) employers are the people who are really struggling, and those are the people we are hardly noticing anymore.”
The government has no concern for the heart and soul of our economy, as it is under the false impression that spending money will solve all our problems.
It’s never good to be behind the times, but “progressivism” is far from progressive. The government needs to stop getting in the way of the American Dream, and to let the movers and shakers of our economy see the fruits of their labors. Otherwise, we will remain trapped in the cycle of “progressive” failure.