jump to last post 1-8 of 8 discussions (41 posts)

Progressivism Should Have Limits

  1. GA Anderson profile image84
    GA Andersonposted 3 years ago

    In the course of another conversation I stumbled across this quote from Justice Felix Frankfurter in the context of a court case concerning forcing school children to say the Pledge of Allegiance, (West Va. Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette):

    “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

    The reason I was so struck by this quote is that he said it in 1943 - as if his crystal ball were showing him where we would be today if we did not hold a similar view.

    I think his advice has been ignored, and unrestrained Progressivism has been the result. To our nations detriment.

    The article's author then said this in his concluding paragraph;
    "...consequence of bad political philosophy—specifically the infatuation of our intellectual elites for “democracy,” unconnected to the conception of individual rights with which any proper understanding of democracy ought to begin."

    Oh my, Intellectual elites? Bang goes the hammer on the nail head.

    GA

    *See the full article By Timothy Sandefur
    **Thanks to JaneSix for prompting this search

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image87
      Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      "Across the rich world, welfare states are running out of money, growth is slowing and inequality is rising—and yet the left’s only answer is higher tax rates on wealth-creators. Messrs Obama, Miliband and Hollande need to come up with something that promises both fairness and progress. Otherwise, everyone will pay."
      Another interesting article:
      http://www.economist.com/node/21564556
      If this is off point, it is not my fault.
      What was Your actual point GA?
      We need a "...for instance,"

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        And what is wrong with everybody paying?

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image87
          Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          The article talks about,  "...individual rights with which any proper understanding of democracy ought to begin."
          Do YOU care about individual rights, John Holden?

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            So, what is wrong with everybody paying?

            And I assume that forcing pupils to sat the pledge of allegiance contravenes the Bill of Rights.

            1. Silverspeeder profile image60
              Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Paying for what John?

        2. gmwilliams profile image82
          gmwilliamsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Boy oh boy oh boy, WHAT'S WRONG WITH EVERYONE PAYING?   Each person who is ABLE should pay for himself/herself and make his/her own way.  No one OWES anyone ANYTHING.  There are people who expect for others to rescue them out of their socioeconomic morass.

          Well, it DOESN'T go THAT WAY!  That's the problem some people want to live off others' hard work and success-THAT'S WRONG!   I believe that welfare should be reduced to the bare minimum i.e. for those who are disabled either physically, mentally, and psychologically and the elderly.   Anyone is who able physically, mentally, and psychologically IS TO WORK or STARVE, simple as that- and I'm a LIBERAL!

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            So, you agree that everybody should pay!

      2. GA Anderson profile image84
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        My original point was just to start a conversation on a non-religious, non-zany topic that I think many in this forum might have an opinion on, and, could feel comfortable responding to - as it is posed as a "What do you think" topic..

        GA

      3. GA Anderson profile image84
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I forgot to mention your link. I think it was a good one. I enjoyed the read. Thanks.

        It wasn't really to the point of the OP, but it was in the ballpark.

        GA

    2. Credence2 profile image88
      Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      GA, have you any more explicit examples of your take on this idea of progressives going amuck?

      Conservatives would say that things have gone to pot since 1791, with all these new definitions of rights? Women should be allowed to vote, or perhaps those that do not own property?  Thank God that my rights are not determined by these folks, huh? It is the conservative that insist on religious dogma in public schools and compelling impressionable minors to take loyalty oaths. I recited the pledge of allegiance while in school  but that was decades ago.  I would not force anyone to do so as the left has enlightened us that forced loyalty oaths are not appropriate in our democratic system

      So we have government, legislature, executive, and judicial on the premise that my individual rights must end where your nose begins and we cannot all have what we want. That is not contrived by liberals, but is natural, the reality
      .
      Yes, individual rights and democracy are important and enshrined as part of the Constitution, as progressives how are we adverse to this idea?
      States rights are fine, when the state does not use its legislature to deprive individuals of the rights guaranteed to them within the Constitution, and we all know that it had been done before. You and I have spoken on this in the past.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        You ARE aware that there is a difference between conservatism and the far religious right?  That the two are not one and the same?

        1. Credence2 profile image88
          Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, you have spoken on it before, but it (the religious right) is more certainly not 'progressive'. I see far fewer of these 'true conservatives' you speak of and more of the right wingers that call themselves such and the impression is lasting and runs deep through our understanding of politics. One thing I do know is that they do not define themselves as liberals....

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            No, you will find few of the far religious right calling themselves "liberal".  "Progressive" maybe, depending on how they define that word, but not "liberal".

            But that doesn't mean that it is wise to lump the majority into a small vocal and obnoxious minority.  It doesn't promote communication, it causes confusion and disbelief, and in extreme cases, anger.

            1. Credence2 profile image88
              Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              No offense intended. But to learn where you really stand on things as a conservative, is there just one contemporary politician that you can point to whose position is one that you would support the most extensively?  I would read up on the record of him or her and get a better idea of what "conservatism" should be...

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                No.  While I don't follow individual politicians outside my state (for the most part) I haven't heard one speak for years now that I would follow.  Lying seems to be the primary thing out of their mouth, and I'm not much interested in that.

                Conservative - believing in minimal govt. intrusion into private lives.  On the practical side that means minimal taxation, minimal government and minimal entitlements.  It does NOT mean that half the country lives off the efforts of the other half, that government produces laws/rules dictating who we love or the size of a soda.  It does NOT mean that half our earnings go to government,  it does not mean that a faceless bureaucrat half way across the world knows better than we do how we should live our lives, and it most definitely does NOT mean that a select religion gets to force their way into our everyday lives through public icons, teaching their specific myth in schools or requiring public displays of obeisance to their god.

                1. Credence2 profile image88
                  Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I sort of thought that it would be hard to find the 'true conservative' among today's political choices. As it is, politically, you are destined to be disappointed for some time into the future.

                  While there are extremes on the right, the soda pop laws represents extremes on the left and many of us do not go along. I say, minimal taxation and government consistent with attending to the people's business, (the trains have to run on time, the traffic lights have to work and the meat has to be inspected. I don't have to be a conservative to espouse the virtues of capitalism as a preference over other economic systems, consequently I support private property and self reliance. We may differ in what constitutes 'acceptable entitlements'. We all agree on your stated principles, it is just a matter as to what extent. There are many on the right that claim that Social Security is an entitlement. Well maybe if the politicians did not use the fund as a piggy bank or as a way to avoid raising taxes, the program would be much more sound today. I am a moderate lefty, ideologically aligned with Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Doesn't sound like we are that far apart politically, with perhaps the biggest sticking point being the size of the entitlement programs. 

                    And SS - yes, had those in charge of our (our) money exhibited any sort of fiduciary care, the elderly in our society would be rich.  Instead they bought votes with it, enriching themselves and impoverishing our seniors.  I know - I'm one of them and have calculated what various rates of returns would have gotten me over a 40+ year work history.  It was a real eye opener.

                  2. profile image83
                    Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    You're more aligned with Bill Clinton than Barrack Obama.  I mean that as a compliment.

          2. profile image83
            Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            The majority of the Left is also religious or at least believes in God.  It's funny how only the Religious Right is ever mentioned.  I'm pretty certain that I can expect a diatribe, from somebody but not necessarily you, about how the Religious Right acts differently, how it's different from the Religious Left.  Many people vote based on their religion and moral values, perhaps a lot more than the Left would like to admit.

            1. Credence2 profile image88
              Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, the moral majority. I could go into this in depth. The religious right is only mentioned as there is no counterpart on the left with strident politics and agendas. Do I need to present further evidence? Looking at the last few elections those that identify themselves primarily through their faith protestant, evangelical, etc, overwhelmingly vote GOP.

              1. profile image83
                Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Don't forget Reverend Jeremiah Wright or Reverend Jesse Jackson.  I, too, could go into this in depth.  You don't need to present more evidence about the Christian Right, but I do believe that you need to accept that the same can be said about the Left.

                http://skippingtothepiccolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Christian-Left.png

      2. GA Anderson profile image84
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Greetings Cred, I admit my hopeful anticipation that you would pop in on this thread.

        In your response I see you have taken my intent a step further than it was meant to go.

        The concept was "Progressivism" not just Progressives. Although that may seem to be semantically picky - I see it as making a difference to my point.

        I believe you know that I think Progressives are as necessary as Conservatives to our nation's growth.

        But to carry on...

        You also know that I cannot let your, "Conservatives would say that things have gone to pot since 1791..." etc.) slide. Now if you had qualified it by saying some, or maybe even many, then I would be forced to agree, but your blanket condemnation is simply not correct.

        I already said I did not agree the Pledge should be forced, but in the same breath I questioned whether the kids were feeling forced. Did you feel coerced when your class stood to recite it? I did not. And isn't it a bit haughty of you to proclaim the Left's credit for enlightening the rest of us on the fallacy of forced oaths? I am not of the left, and I never thought it was right, and I certainly don't see myself as unique.

        Regarding your paragraph about the government branches and your individual rights, here is a continuum of quotes that I think says it well;

        "It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself..."

        And I agree that legislative power has been abused at times, who wouldn't? And to that point...

        "I understand a number of citizens...are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community..."

        Quiz bonus points - Can you name the author?

        I picked the Court's Pledge rulings as good examples of both the need for Progessivism, and the need to control it.

        And yes, I do have another example for you, but...

        I am hesitant to promote the best example of Progressivism run amok, because I don't want this to turn into a religious discussion, but I must because it is the obvious choice... The Progressive's crusade regarding the separation of church and state!

        There, I said it. But beware. Any attempts to respond religiously will be noted in "The Book." (no, I don't mean the Bible!)

        To my point.. I think it is fairly obvious that the original intent of the Founders was to declare that the government could not force a religion on anyone, or impose religious litmus tests - is a simple explanation of the First Amendment. Can you really think that they intended to prohibit a cross in a public place, or a public official or anyone involved in any activity under the auspices of government business from saying a prayer while "on the clock?"

        Yet, that is where we are today. To my mind, and using one of your terms - that is "left enlightenment" and Progressivism overreach at its most extreme.

        GA

        1. Credence2 profile image88
          Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          You were right,GA,  this topic did bring me out of dormancy.

          " I believe you know that I think Progressives are as necessary as Conservatives to our nation's growth.'

          You could not be a 'purple' without having acknowledge this

          'You also know that I cannot let your, "Conservatives would say that things have gone to pot since 1791..." etc.) slide. Now if you had qualified it by saying some, or maybe even many, then I would be forced to agree, but your blanket condemnation is simply not correct.'

          Yes, I am guilty of exaggerating a bit for emphasis of my point

          We both know as kids we pretty much did as we were told, so it is important that parents, school faculty and students are aware that reciting the pledge is a choice and that that choice is openly and freely offered. GA, I never had any problem with 'the pledge', but I was not aware that there were any other choice besides reciting it as those in charge said that was what we were to do. At 7 or 8 years old, I did not know any better, did you? The fact that there was a court decision in the 1940's, obviously showed that not everybody saw 'the pledge' as a 'choice' in the public schools.

          'And isn't it a bit haughty of you to proclaim the Left's credit for enlightening the rest of us on the fallacy of forced oaths?'

          As for this, I guess, I need to study why the concept of the pledge was upheld in one Supreme court decision yet, the decision reversed not soon after. If I understand a little about conservatives, they are more affixed to the idea of traditions and the pledge is certainly one of those fixtures in American life, at least for some time.  After the court decision, prohibiting religious establishment in public schools in the early 60's, in the face of school integration fever of the time, many were saying '' they are putting blacks in the schools and kicking God out'. Could you say that those most in opposition to integration and secularizing the public schools were defined as conservative?

          My purple may have a deeper tinge of blue, but the purple is there and fear of giving any governmental entity freedom to operate without restraint is part of that. That is supposed to be the covenant between the government and the people here in America.
          Because people are not angels, government and laws are in place to keep the order. To do that does not mean that the process has to be totalitarian in nature. We all recognizing this frailty among us and consent to a government, where, in the ideal, we govern ourselves. But we the people can hold this Government accountable and it must not reach the point where we (the people) are no longer in control of how we agree to be governed.

          I could not take credit for recognizing the work of James Madison in the quote you provided before looking it up. 

          I do agree with you that I do not think that the founders were interested in keeping Christmas trees from the White House Lawn and such. The issue for me and reasonable progressives is the issue of 'establishment'. The government is to neither promote or prohibit religion in American life. As long as their is no religious litmus test, which surprisingly enough a few mostly southern states still have on the books as qualification for those seeking political office in the state, I have no problem. Progressives are not running God out of the schools, but my kid should not be compelled in public schools to worship or pay deference to a God or Gods as presented by other mere mortals merely because they are draped in the authority of public school boards.

  2. aware profile image71
    awareposted 3 years ago

    forcing kids to go to school? or saying the pledge? kids are not adults . anyone ever ask a kid if they minded  saying the pledge? id like to know out of 10000 kids polled how many would say they did. im betting 10000 would answer . that they were indifferent  to the quandary or the task
    '

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      And your point is?

    2. Kathryn L Hill profile image87
      Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      What is GA's stance on this topic, I would like to know.

      1. GA Anderson profile image84
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        LOL, Inquiring minds want to know...

        The meat of my original post was from a discussion that evolved from a Pledge case, West Va. Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, in which the court overturned an earlier Supreme Court finding, and ruled that it was unconstitutional to force kids in school to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

        I agree with that court decision, even though I think every kid in school should say the Pledge, if for no other reason than to raise their awareness of their nation. But I do not think it is right that it is forced on them. Force is seldom the best solution.

        I also completely agree with "aware's" response. My gut tells me he is right - it is the adults that object, not the kids. Generally speaking of course. Sort of like the odds "Aware" mentioned; 1 in 10,000... or something like that.

        To throw a little more meat on the trail, I will expand on my OP and say that I think that Justice Frankfurter, (are the joke wheels turning?), saw the dangerous path of social engineering by majority rule that our nation was taking. He was seeing then, and in times to come, the sacrifice of personal liberties on the Progressive alter of "the collective good."

        Regarding almost any issue concerning humans, if there ever is the question, "Do the ends justify the means?" The correct and moral answer is almost always no.

        So, as the lion says, "That's just my two cents worth..."

        GA

  3. aware profile image71
    awareposted 3 years ago

    I know you  cant watch a child stave to death. u know it. ur mouth is full of words you cant apply

  4. aware profile image71
    awareposted 3 years ago

    GA?

    1. GA Anderson profile image84
      GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      What? Am I to be the bait on the hook just because I chartered the boat?

      Ok, but your "GA?" doesn't give me much of a clue to what you are expecting. So I'll take a shot that it is in reference to your first comment and John's response... simply put, (as I mentioned in my response to Kathryne) - I agree with you.

      I didn't respond to your comment directly because you and John were already hashing it out.

      Was that the "GA?"

      GA

  5. aware profile image71
    awareposted 3 years ago

    my point is  kids don't have the rights of a adult. id rather hear a youths opinions on prayer or the pledge in schools . than entertain a adults back seat ideas.. adults  have the problem . im betting the kids don't care

  6. aware profile image71
    awareposted 3 years ago

    ohh I thought she meant Georgia  . my bad .u I don't know. now I seem to know more tho

    1. GA Anderson profile image84
      GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      That's ok. Don't mind me, I'm just a potted plant in the corner.

      GA

  7. aware profile image71
    awareposted 3 years ago

    GA ?  I appreciate  your forum .thank you .for entertaining my opinions. you seem to be civil and thoughtful .

  8. Kathryn L Hill profile image87
    Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago

    Progressivism: "(of a group, person, or idea) favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas." Dictionary

    Many things need limits. Setting them is always the difficulty. If we do not set limits to political progressiveness, no one will be able to pay...
    for anything.

    1. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I don't know if progressivism is a wise direction as the only point of view that should be considered when attacking current day problems. But on the other hand standing in a hole and directing all thought towards remaining in a no answer mode is equally disconcerting. The act of governing from two unwavering sides of our problems has been a dismal failure as well. What is the purpose of open debate if not to come to an understanding? But points made on both sides only fall on deaf ears when a personal position of being right overburdens the need for compromise. Is taxation on an equal percentage fair? We shall not know as the powers that be refuse to allow the debate. Why is that do you think? And what about the poor who have given up (mind you I have not said the destitute who require help), are they not responsible for their plight and abuse of the system? The problem with government is its one size fits all determinations with regards to dealing with the many different issues arising from assistance. While one issue is addressed another is ignored or not dealt with adequately. What are we to do? Learn to listen before we talk is the only solution I can think that makes sense.

      1. GA Anderson profile image84
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        "...The problem with government is its one size fits all determinations with regards to dealing with the many different issues arising from assistance"

        Good point, and relative to more issues than just assistance. It is because of the inadequacies of "one-size-fits-all " solutions that I am such a strong advocate of State's rights and limited Federal government.

        State politics have most of the same negatives as federal politics, but I think it is easier to find solutions when you are dealing with problems that are "closer to home." I think compromise is also easier when you are standing next to the problem - instead of viewing it from afar.

        GA

 
working