A blog entry for July 16, 2015 by Dr. William M. Briggs titled Take Burnham's Test To See If You're A Liberal: Suicide of the West at 50 included this:
It's (past) time we examined James Burnham's under-appreciated classic Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism, a book written fifty years ago (in 1964). Everybody (yes, including you) should buy this book and follow along.
To find out who's who, Burnham created a test of "thirty-nine sentences", which do not quite mirror the 39 articles, to which you may assent or disclaim. Let's try (pp 31-35 in the edition linked above) and then we'll have a go at modernizing the list. This only serves as a quick filter. Burnham had much more to say on this subject.
Dr. Briggs then quotes the list of 39 questions and adds this, also quoted by him from the Burnham book, about them:
These sentences were not devised arbitrarily. Many of them are taken directly or adapted from the writings of well-known liberals, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, or liberal questionnaires that have been put out in recent years by the American Civil Liberties Union. The last eight are quoted verbatim from the United Nations 'Universal Declarations of Human Rights,' adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.
A full-blown liberal will mark every one, or very nearly every one, of these thirty-nine sentences, Agree. A convinced conservative will mark many or most of them, a reactionary all or nearly all of them, Disagree ... I have confirmed experimentally. . . that the result is seldom an even balance between Agree and Disagree . . . self-defined liberals almost never drop below 85 percent of Agree answers, or self-defined reactionaries below 85 percent of Disagree; a perfect 100 percent is common. Certain types of self-styled conservatives yield almost as high a Disagree percentage as the admitted reactionaries...
In this essay I've reproduced the 39 sentences, adding a comment for each one on how today's (2018) progressives honor liberal commitment to each expressed value or opinion.
On a personal basis I agreed with the surface meanings of 36 of the 39 and would not want to spend beer time with anyone who could genuinely disagree with a majority of these -but that's as each is understood in light of the interpretive assumptions a normal person might reasonably make on a casual first reading of them. Look a bit deeper and it becomes both more difficult to agree with them and easy to find real, but often apparently tendentious, interpretations and/or constructions requiring people of conscience to disagree strongly with all 39 propositions.
The reason this works is that the non repetitive components in these statements tend to be ambiguous and/or incomplete and so interpretations other than those most probably intended by the writers can often be achieved simply by either dropping or adding preferred context to the words as written. The general prohibition against discrimination found in several of statements can, for example, be mis-read as forbidding the use of educational testing and professional certification since the clear purpose of both is discriminatory simply by dropping all context -- while the same words can be brought to require discrimination on racial or other grounds by adding the idea that action today should balance actions from yesterday to produce net zero long term discrimination.
If we try, however, to understand and interpret each of Burnham's test statements as it was most probably meant then it becomes clear that those which have not been made obsolete by the passage of time individually present one or more aspects of a set of values and assumptions through which liberal progressives filter their perception of the world outside themselves -and that they rely on their shared allegiance to the blinders imposed by this world view to justify their perception of themselves as morally and intellectually superior to those with more inclusive views of the world.
On a broader front this normative filtration afflicts progressives everywhere because knowing what something should say in whatever the current political context is, allows them to ignore whatever it does say; and knowing what reality ought to be allows them to selectively amplify the importance of whatever elements in reality fit their worldview whole ignoring the disconfirmatory information making up the totality of reality as it actually is.
Progressives therefore tend to apply law according to the meaning they understand it to have - according to the meaning, in other words, appropriate to their immediate needs. Thus their perceived enemies can be hung by the letter of the law, but that same text can be ignored, re-interpreted, or imaginatively extended when doing so reinforces progressive belief. Thus federal courts up to and including the supreme court, to cite a particularly egregious example, have seen fit to imagine constitutional penumbra and then issue rulings based on those as if the imagined text actually existed.
This is not mere hypocrisy, it is true insanity: the progressive genuinely believes himself acting in accordance with both reality and his own beliefs - even where those conflict dramatically. Thus the typical progressive can demand that "climate deniers" be executed while signing a petition to end capital punishment for serial murderers; a phrase in law like "established by the state" can mean nothing at all; rights unmentioned in the constitution can be imagined into existence; and, "the most open administration in history" can be open about American and Israeli military secrets while applying what Senator Grassley called "tortured logic," to shut down inspector general investigations less than a week after the Intelligence Community Inspector General raised a possible criminal complaint against Hillary Clinton.
Basically, liberals see and use words to mean whatever seems right to them at the time and what Burnham's 39 statements illustrate most of all isn't that none of the writers ever took contract law seriously, but that each statement is deceptive because acceptable if loosely interpreted and either nonsense or unintelligible if closely read - in fact the conservatives who disagree with most may simply be better, or at least more literal, readers than the liberals.
Burnham's first shibboleth, for example, says "All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong" and that seems pretty unexceptional when understood in the context of the 1960s American civil rights movement, but dropping (as courts facing law they disagree with often do) the unwritten context to assess the thing as written brings up the problem that many forms of racial segregation and discrimination are either voluntary (like the self-ghettoization characterizing many black and Latin communities across the country) or make perfect sense: breed standards for food grains and cattle have, for example, proven enormously beneficial.
More subtly, the statement is inherently incoherent, subject to what C. J. Cherryh refers to somewhere as "a rhythm of justice, a joining of cancelling forces" because you can't object to racial discrimination, for example, unless you see those involved as racially different - an apparent paradox akin to the parable that you can't point a finger at the other guy without pointing three back at yourself.
Compare, however, the meaning of each of Burnham's statements as understood through the liberal-progressive shared context filter to liberal-progressive actions when in power and you get an unpleasant surprise: what they say they believe in and both the basis for, and the predictable consequences of, the actions they take when given power, are quite consistently polar, or near polar, opposites.
This has a surprising corollary: the greatest achievements claimed by the democratic party in the United States were generally opposed by democrats and forced forward by republicans.
Lincoln was a republican, the last avowed segregationist to run for president, ran as a democrat; major environmental legislation like the Clean Air Act originated with the GOP; and even hallmark achievements like the FDR's New Deal divide rather nicely into two groups: utter, and generally counter-productive, failures, and arguable successes whose success, such it was or is, came largely from compromises forced on democrats by republicans. Thus FDR's economic program plainly did not work but republican ameliorations insisted on by the house after the 1938 elections undid much of the damage before the effects of WWII were felt; while the 1935 Social Security act, which arguably did work, drew the vociferous opposition of such democratic luminaries as Oklahoma senator Thomas Gore (and nearly every democratic congressional leader since) largely because they opposed, and continue to oppose, the GOP initiated compromises (most importantly the arms-length trust establishment combined with independent funding through payroll and related taxes) that made its relative success possible.
It may be, of course, that I suffer from partisan tunnel vision but it seems true (although obviously it shouldn't be) that it is much easier to find ten examples of progressives acting against their own stated principles than one in which they act in accordance with those principles without an electoral or other gun pointed at their heads - and, this isn't a recent thing: J.R. Dunn's Death by Liberalism: The Fatal Outcome of Well-Meaning Liberal Policies offers a fairly detailed look at the processes through which progressives achieve the opposite of what they claim to value in a series of examples drawn from over 200 years of American history.
With that in mind, therefore, here's Burnham's 1964 list with, for each statement liberal-progressives are expected to agree with some discussion of consistent liberal-progressive action in opposition to it.
- All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong.
Affirmative action (insisted on by democrats), consistent leftist anti-Semitism, and Obama administration support for La Raza are all examples of racial discrimination.
Similarly, progressive media enthusiasm for an obviously racist appeal to democratic voters enabled progressives to turn the deaths of three thugs: Freddie Brown, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin, into national tragedies simply because they were black -while the same editors who resolutely turn a blind eye to black violence, ignore comparable white deaths and generally refuse to treat the deaths of hundreds of non criminal whites, like San Francisco's Katie Steinle, at the hands of blacks and illegals as reportable news.
Note too that democrats are currently waging a campaign against old white males: sample headline, from Salon.com, GOP's toxic white male bluster: Trump, Cruz and Christie bully to overcompensate.
Equally significantly, socialists from Nietzche to FDR and Obama health care advisor Ezekiel Emanuel have been strong supporters of the Eugenics movement dedicated to the extermination of the lesser races through selective breeding of their genetic superiors.
- Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.
In practice, however, Obama era progressives want Fox news shut down, people like James O'Keefe permanently silenced, climate deniers jailed or killed, the web tightly monitored for subversive opinion, and Christian organizations denied the right to speak out against progressive shibboleths like gay marriage and abortion.
In July of 2015, for example, house democrats sent a letter to Attorney General Lynch demanding a criminal investigation into the production and release of videos showing Planned Parenthood (which received around $560 million in federal funding for the 2014/15 fiscal year) executives offering "harvested" fetal organs for sale -as Jim Treacher, writing for The Daily Caller rather trenchantly put it: If You Accurately Quote Abortionists Discussing Organ Harvesting, The Democrats Will Demand An Investigation... Of YOU.
Note too that no divergent opinion is allowed on the nation's campuses while facebook, twitter, and google now routinely censor conservative opinion.
- Everyone has a right to free, public education.
This lacks definition: no liberal, for example, accepts that everyone has a right to a public education in either weapons use or military methods, history, and ethics. The assumption, therefore, is that the education in question is in right thinking -so home schooling, for example, is considered evil while the democrat sponsored common core initiative aimed at imposing educational streaming (a process under which the state directs all of the student's educational career choices) is considered good.
- Political, economic or social discrimination based on religious belief is wrong.
Obviously, to democrats, the right to believe depends on the belief. Thus a Christian football player caught praying in public needs to be massively shamed and repudiated, but Muslims are allowed to do so.
Similarly, Catholic institutions may be legally forced to provide abortions, but people and institutions following sharia law are untouchable; aboriginal sentencing circles represent restorative justice processes at their finest; but a company's shareholders must be punished if their CEO agrees to speak at a Christian conference.
- In political or military conflict it is wrong to use methods of torture and physical terror.
Democrats generally believe this but elevate the likes of Mao Tse Dung and Hugo Chavez to the status of folk hero while consistently supporting the use of both terror and torture by "activists" and "militants" against Israelis.
Thus democratic media platforms such as the New York Times and The Economist, along with leftist political and entertainment figures like John Kerry and "Hanoi Jane", have consistently and vociferously opposed the use of torture and terror to combat both socialist and Islamic expansionism, but have been equally consistent in maintaining an apparently approving silence about their use by regimes such as that of Hanoi's Ho Che Minh or Iran's Khamenei in the suppression of popular revolutions against totalitarian governments.
To them, politics is war; so they extend this support for extremist behavior to American politics: acting, for example, as if using the IRS to terrorize (and the EPA to shut down) political opponents is fair game; applauding the use of rent-a-mobs in community activism; supporting the modern brown shirts masquerading as anti-fascists; organizing demonstrations at the homes and work places of political opponents and their families; doxxing anyone questioning their dicta; and defending the publication of the names and addresses of gun permit holders, complete with neighborhood maps, as all perfectly reasonable.
- A popular movement or revolt against a tyranny or dictatorship is right, and deserves approval.
This statement of support for real or pretend revolutionaries like the weather underground does not extend to people challenging religious or socialist dictatorships: so Allende was an arch-villain to be hated; the free Iran movement doesn't exist; and, Hong Kong's student strikers are criminals, but Guevara, Mugabe, Ortega, and Castro are heros to be widely celebrated.
The Obama administration, for example, cheered when Egyptian mobs led by the Muslim Brotherhood (founded by committed NAZI and Hitler confidant Hassan al-Banna) deposed its pro-American, somewhat democratic, government; but bitterly opposed the subsequent revolt against the vicious dictatorship this produced - despite the latter's relative effectiveness in bringing back some semblance of democracy, religious tolerance, and respect for law.
Meanwhile, leftist celebrities including Danny Glover and Sean Penn cheer the use of Cuban regulars to keep down unrest in Venezuela; applaud Obama administration efforts to use American tourism to prop up Cuba's failing economy; and attack Trump administration support for Venezuelan opposition politicians as corrupt and racist.
- The government has a duty to provide for the ill, aged, unemployed and poor if they cannot take care of themselves.
This particular thesis, although repeated in other forms below, is somewhat ill-defined throughout but sounds like an obligation to provide positive care and support for the elderly, the incapable, and the infirm.
This is not, however, generally the result of progressive policy. In England, for example, far left energy policy and taxes have left many elderly unable to heat their homes -producing something in the range of 30,000 unnecessary deaths during the winter of 2013/14 and nearly twice that number in 2018/19. Similarly, Obama administration action at the VA has produced extensive new waiting lists with a recent review suggesting that as many as one third of those now on VA waiting lists die waiting for access to severely rationed services - while the current liberal enthusiasm for municipally supported safe injection sites and free paraphernalia has had the effect of vastly increasing both addiction and death rates among the most vulnerable.
Worse, many influential democrats today recapitulate, particularly with respect to late term (or post term) abortion and assisted suicide, many of the arguments leading to NAZI practice in removing the aged, the infirm, the mentally deficient, and the otherwise unwanted from society -thus Obamacare included extensive support for abortion, for "death panels", and for "family planning"; while Obama's own "presidential advisor" on medical ethics, Ezekiel Emanuel, makes headlines repeating arguments first put forward by 1920s and 30s eugenicists advocating easy access to euthanasia as the best way of addressing society's responsibilities toward the socially undesirable.
- Progressive income and inheritance taxes are the fairest form of taxation.
In practice democrats generally like all taxes, but tend not to act on their own proposals for raising inheritance and related gift and transfer taxes. Thus the Obama administration proposed such increases several times, but without taking action on this even when their control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency allowed them to raise other taxes and fees falling mostly on the poor and middle classes to record levels.
What they do act on is the creation and empowerment of regulatory authorities - all of which then produce regulations whose net effects amount to deeply regressive taxation. The Obama era push to kill coal power generation through regulation, for example, raised the cost of energy for everyone while decreasing employment opportunities across the country. In addition the increased demand this created for alternatives like natural gas pushed up prices for everyone by roughly the same amount per kilojoule, but not only does that price increase disproportionally affect the poor and near poor by increasing the proportion of their income dedicated to energy purchases, the policies also reduced their ability to pay those costs by taking away job opportunities.
In general, democrat financial and regulatory initiatives, like Dodds-Frank, "network neutrality", or stacking the NLRB with union representatives, favor large, well connected, businesses over their smaller competitors; add or expand loopholes enabling the very rich to avoid or reduce taxes; and genuinely raise only those taxes, fees, and regulatory barriers, affecting the middle and lower classes they claim to support.
- If reasonable compensation is made, the government of a nation has the legal and moral right to expropriate private property within its borders, whether owned by citizens or foreigners.
This lacks definition but appears to be a restatement of the progressive belief in eminent domain -the belief that governments, like the kings of old, need recognize no property rights beyond their own.
If so, it is revealing that a quick google search didn't find a single incident anywhere in the United States in which a billionaire Obama era bundler gave property to government without drawing at least some reasonable seeming claims that they got above market compensation.
Democrats, furthermore, generally fight both eminent domain and its cousin, confiscatory taxation, tooth and nail when it applies to either their own property or public property in which they have an interest. So John Kerry, for example, harbors his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid Massachusetts taxes; Vinod Khosla can block public access to "his beach"; the Kennedys fight to prevent windmill construction on public property because it might obstruct their view; and, Harry Reid protected his own properties from development while using the Bureau of Land Management to clear ranchers off public lands so they could be leased to Chinese players for solar development.
- We have a duty to mankind; that is, to men in general.
This lacks definition in leaving its interpretation to the imagination of the responder -but Uncle Joe, Che Guevara, and Mao Tse Dung are beloved heros of the left despite spending most of their time killing those who disagreed with them, so clearly the implied duty doesn't involve the preservation of the individual.
More subtly, the ideas one assumes lie behind this statement appear to have changed. In the 1951 movie version of the 1940 short story "The day the earth stood still" the aliens intercede on earth because mankind's development of rockets and nuclear weapons threatens the galactic peace; but in the 2008 remake, the intercession happens because the aliens see humans as a plague that will ultimately destroy Gaia. Thus in 1951 (and 1940) the duty to mankind expresses as forcing peaceful co-existence, but in 2008 progressive doctrine sees a duty to commit racial suicide.
- The United Nations, even if limited in accomplishment, is a step in the right direction.
This lacks definition but seems to assume that world government is good without saying anything about whose control that government would be under or how it would be constituted.
It is possible, however, to judge the "right direction" progressives think the U.N. points in from a governance and human rights perspective by comparing Palestine to Israel.
Palestine, after nearly seventy years of increasingly strident leftist support, billions in aid, and unrelenting U.N. enthusiasm for its causes is an economic and social disaster - a population characterized by hopelessness and unfocused anger barely governed by armed gangs; totally lacking in modern social infrastructure support for commerce, education, or health care; and almost entirely dependent on foreign aid for basics including food and water.
Israel, in contrast, has suffered nearly seventy years of increasingly strident leftist and U.N. vilification and gets no significant foreign aid, but has developed into a strong and prosperous democracy where human rights are guaranteed, education is available to all, and the people take pride in their work, their accomplishments, and their country.
- Any interference with free speech and free assembly, except for cases of immediate public danger or juvenile corruption, is wrong.
This qualifies thesis number two, above, by added exceptions allowing the denunciation of those who corrupt minors or threaten the public peace -thus conservative speakers can be rioted off stage; a Nobel prize winning chemist making a marginally off-color joke in a semi-private meeting may have his tenure revoked and life destroyed; a Catholic bishop carefully enunciating opposition to gay marriage may be mercilessly hounded; conservative websites may be dropped from search engine results; talk radio should be shut down; and a Canadian incautious enough to argue with some far left feminists on twitter may have his life destroyed through the court process.
- Wealthy nations, like the United States, have a duty to aid the less privileged portions of mankind.
Since progressives believe neither in God nor in hard work ("you didn't build that") any attempt to interpret this has to side step the issue of where the alleged privilege came from. Thus Bush administration efforts to combat AIDS in Africa, or bring democracy to the middle east, had to be stopped as counter-productive, but Obama administration efforts to get the Republic of Mauritania a seat on the U.N. human rights commission clearly express this duty to mankind by rewarding a slaver regime where people who teach evolution can be executed for doing so.
- Colonialism and imperialism are wrong.
American democrats have consistently supported aggressive communist regimes around the world. Thus the New York Times has, for example, endorsed both "Mr. Hitler" and "Uncle Joe"; spoken loudly for recognition of North Vietnam's right to annex the south; suppressed reports of Chinese imperialism in Tibet and the offshore islands; supported Cuban attempts to export communism at the expense of democratic governments across Latin America and southern Africa; attacked republicans for supporting democracy anywhere; and resolutely refuses to recognize Turkish and Iranian efforts to eradicate the Kurds.
Obama administration crony capitalism (using taxpayer money, the courts, and political power to develop and expand big player monopolies) has a colonialist parallel, and the same people who condemn the pre-revolutionary American presence in Cuba now think that Canada should annex a few Caribbean islands while the U.S. makes Puerto Rico a state. On June 9, 2015, for example, The Hill, a largely democrat oriented news organ, published this utterly unself-conscious indictment of far left neo-colonialism at work:
Despite its 2012 electoral loss and recurring internal power-struggles, Puerto Rico's pro-statehood New Progressive Party (PNP) is probably in better shape than it has ever been. Its fund raising capabilities are unmatched; its pro-statehood stance is preferred over the current Commonwealth status by a plurality of Puerto Ricans; it has controlled both legislative chambers for much of the last two-and-a-half decades; and it holds a super majority in the Supreme Court that is guaranteed to last decades. Despite this, in previous years it has experienced serious obstacles to its ideological legitimacy.
- Hotels, motels, stores and restaurants in southern United States ought to be obliged by law to allow Negroes to use all of their facilities on the same basis as whites.
In reality this has been in the American constitution since 1789 and in the law since the end of the civil war, but southern democrats have fought implementation tooth and nail. Lincoln was a republican, George Wallace a democrat; and Mr. Obama is the first American president to publicly and repeatedly take positions on matters before the courts (Henry Gates, Eric Garner, Donald Sterling) entirely on racial grounds.
The Jim Crow laws were passed and enforced by democrats, opposed by Republicans.
The last senator to speak against the cloture motion required for the 1964 Civil Rights Act to pass was Georgia Democrat Richard Russell -and he spoke right after Democratic senator Robert Byrd finished a historic 14 hour, 13 minute speech aimed at stopping the bill. Republican minority leader Everett Dirksen led the opposition to the democratic filibuster and helped the bill pass with a veto proof majority -led by republicans in both the house and the senate.
Today democrats massively support La Raza, a frankly racist organization (whose name was popularized by both Franco and Mussolini in their efforts to sell national socialism to Spanish and Italian speakers respectively) taking pride in the virtual erasure of black culture in Mexico, and eager to import the same strategies into the United States.
- The chief sources of delinquency and crime are ignorance, discrimination, poverty and exploitation.
In practice, however, democrats consistently oppose effective programs like the use of school vouchers and performance testing, redirect educational spending from teaching to administration, and insist on programs like educational affirmative action whose net effect is to raise costs while reducing teaching standards.
Education didn't come under significant federal regulation in the United States until President Carter created the Federal Department of Education in 1979. Between 1979 and 2011 the percentage of high school graduates who grade as functionally illiterate rose from about 4% to about 18% (by 2018 25% of candidates with high school diplomas were failing the very basic literacy test needed for recruitment into the United States Army); most non professional certifications offered by colleges and universities lost nearly all value; and, the Department of Education grew to control an estimated $146 billion in expenditures for 2016/17.
- Communists have a right to express their opinions.
Although this is rather obviously special pleading by and for the left it is important to note that democrats tend to limit this to the statement as written -the implied right of free speech does not, for example, apply to groups democrats disapprove of. Thus Christians have no right to their opinions, climate deniers are criminals, all republicans are stupid and should just shut up, and, in general, leftist revealed truth is not to be questioned.
- We should always be ready to negotiate with the Soviet Union and other communist nations.
Again, this is from 1964 and then meant literally: but the implied principle applies today only to negotiations with forces democrats agree with. After the 2008 elections, for example, Mr. Obama announced that he had won, elections have consequences, and that there would be no negotiation with republicans on anything -one of the few positions he maintained over his entire time in office. Similarly, he insulted America's closest and most traditional ally, England; worked to subvert elections in Israel; treated the Germans, the French, and the Japanese with casual disrespect; negotiated utterly dishonest and anti-American deals with the mullahs in Iran; visibly approved of the dictators in North Korea and Cuba; and, gave trade preference to the communist Chinese while freezing Taiwan out of further trade and security negotiations.
- Corporal punishment, except possibly for small children, is wrong.
Leading Obama era progressives have called for their political opponents to be killed or jailed while maintaining total silence over public whippings and other forms of physical punishment conducted under sharia law by people whose policies they approve of.
The progressive media, for example, made a national scandal over an employer's refusal to pay for a particular career activist's birth control pills, but continues to turn a resolutely blind eye to the physical and mental abuse of a billion Muslim owned women around the world.
- All nations and peoples, including the nations and peoples of Asia and Africa, have a right to political independence when a majority of the population wants it.
The redundant inclusion of Asia and Africa has a purpose here because, in 1964, thousands of Cuban refugees were arriving in the United States and progressives did not want anything to threaten Castro's right to take and control Cuba.
The pattern has continued since with democrats supporting revolutionaries like the Sandinista national liberation front against democratic governments; supporting totalitarian regimes whether Islamic (e.g. Iran) or socialist (Communist China) against pro-democracy revolutionaries like Iran's green movement or Hong Kong's student strikers; and changing deployments, the rules of engagement, and the tenor of press coverage in the United States to make it easier for organizations like the Taliban and Islamic State to regain control of Afghanistan and Iraq respectively.
- We always ought to respect the religious beliefs of others.
Except for Christians and conservatives: they must be hounded and shamed for acting on their beliefs - and anti-Semitism is, of course, rampant throughout the left.
- The primary goal of international policy in the nuclear age ought to be peace.
In its 1964 context this bit of nonsense amounted to a Chamberlain like plea for surrender to Soviet expansionism - particularly with respect to Cuba, South Africa, and south east Asia.
Progressive orthodoxy favors socialist imperialism, but opposes western, or Christian, attempts to defend against it. Thus American action killing or disabling perhaps 100,000 Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring a quick end to a war that threatened to kill another half million Americans and probably more Japanese, is generally presented as a criminal act of international terror because against a national socialist regime.
Similarly the Bush administration's attempts to reduce attacks on the United States originating in Afghanistan and Iraq were treated by liberals as international crimes to be reversed at the first opportunity with the repressive, pro-terror, and totalitarian regimes they prefer now largely reinstated.
Anti-Semitism, furthermore, easily trumps the rejection of nuclear weapons for the defense of western, Christian, democracy: thus every Obama administration action in the middle east, from the withdrawal of support for Israel to the dropping of sanctions against Iran, seemed intended to (or, at least, destined to) bring about a nuclear holocaust in Israel.
- Except in cases of a clear threat to national security or, possibly, to juvenile morals, censorship is wrong.
Democrats believe this, but media censorship of anything that might be damaging to democrats, or any other far left, action group is legendary.
For example, both The New York Times and The Economist refused to publish information about the military purges being carried out by the Hitler and Stalin regimes in the 1930s, continued this stance with respect to the replacement of Iran's professional military with revolutionary guards after 1979, and remain silent, today, about similar Obama administration efforts to replace career military in the United States with the more politically correct.
- Congressional investigating committees are dangerous institutions, and need to be watched and curbed if they are not to become a serious threat to freedom.
In 1964 this meant that McCarthy era investigations into the far left's anti-American activities should be opposed; but the same methods, enhanced through the use of modern technology and a captive mainstream media, now form the foundation for widespread progressive lawfare against ordinary people -demonstrating, whether applied to Walker supporters in Wisconsin, or merely to the shouting down of dissenting voices in political debate, that democrat abuse of investigative law does indeed constitute a serious threat to American freedoms.
Further, it should be noted that democrats during the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, both Bush administrations, and the post 2017 Trump era made and continue to make extensive use of congressional committees and special prosecutors to hound their political enemies -even, as in the cases of Scooter Libby and Trump's russian collusion, when everyone involved knew that the target wasn't guilty of anything.
- The money amount of school and university scholarships ought to be decided primarily by need.
To a progressive, targeting counts, funding limitations do not. The most important determinant for public funding today, affirmative action, is race, not need, based -and the vast majority of college and university application processes which have been made public recently suggest that need is now defined more by skin color and political correctness than either poverty or ability.
- Qualified teachers, at least at the university level, are entitled to academic freedom: that is, the right to express their own beliefs and opinions, in or out of the classroom, without interference from administrators, trustees, parents or public bodies. Except, of course, for those guilty of harboring dissenting opinion. As people from Professor John McAdams at Marquette to Dr. Wei-Hock Soon at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astro-Physics Institute have discovered, contrary opinion is not to be allowed and its expression is quickly punished by everything from public shaming to the withdrawal of tenure and outright firing.
- In determining who is to be admitted to schools and universities, quota systems based on color, religion, family or similar factors are wrong.
Essentially every democrat sponsored admissions program replaces academic qualifications with a social (usually racial) qualification -except that the sons and daughters of the very rich are almost automatically eligible for enrollment at ivy league institutions. Mr. Obama himself, for example, is said to have been admitted to Harvard at the request of Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulazziz.
- The national government should guarantee that all adult citizens, except for criminals and the insane, should have the right to vote.
Democrats totally oppose any form of voter identification or qualification and routinely suggest that teenagers, convicts, and illegal aliens should be encouraged to vote - but also routinely manage to lose or delay military votes in close elections.
In this context it is important to note that an illegal vote cast by a political cheater or illegal immigrant can cancel a legitimate vote cast by an American citizen and thus deprives that person of the vote. Given that the overwhelming majority of illegal votes are thought to be counted for democrats, their support for the process (and frantic opposition to voter identification and process reform) actually favors the removal or reduction of voting rights for their political opponents.
- Joseph McCarthy was probably the most dangerous man in American public life during the fifteen years following the Second World War.
This looks like a pure statement of partisan hatred -a far better case could be made against Mr. Kennedy in that his incompetence at the Vienna summit, coupled with his panic during the Cuban missile crisis, would have set off World War III had calmer heads at the DoD not intervened.
- There are no significant differences in intellectual, moral or civilizing capacity among human races and ethnic types.
This is a bit of nonsense everyone is expected to salute, but even leftists who claim to actually believe it generally enforce and applaud race based standards -themselves generally written, legislated, and enforced by democrats for everything from social program eligibility to school admissions.
Note too that democrats may all profess to hate Dr. Lawrence Summers, but few would really want to argue that the intellectual attainments and contributions of native Americans are the equal of those made by Europeans -and essentially none would sit down to have a root canal done by an Australian Aboriginal without putting more effort into verifying the person's credentials then they would if the doctor's name was Saul Heisenberg.
It is important to add, in this context, that the fundamental argument justifying socialism in either its communist or nationalist forms (Neitzche's Darwinian justification for the extermination of inferior races by the more evolved) is definitionally either racist or elitist or both depending on the make-up of the group using socialism as its route to power.
- Steps toward world disarmament would be a good thing.
This lacks definition. In 1964 it probably meant unilateral American disarmament, which is certainly what democrats try to do whenever they control the defence budget, but it is obviously not something the far left generally believes in. At present the most socialist governments in the world are in North Korea, China, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, and Vietnam -all of which seem to outspend the United States on arms by more than two to one if estimated military spending is assessed as a fraction of estimated GDP.
- Everyone is entitled to political and social rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
All socialist governments to date have been intensely hierarchal -featuring the kind of contempt for the masses found in the United States only among progressive billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or the Kennedys.
Worse, the Obama era democrats in trying to treat illegals arriving in the United States as world citizens equal in every way to American citizens, consistently discriminate against American citizens.
Less subtly, progressives consistently deny the rights of Christians while strengthening those of Muslims -and, of course, insist that white males are both willfully and inherently evil, while blacks and illegals are volitionless generational victims.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression.
Except those who oppose democrat shibboleths like their beliefs on gay marriage, human caused global warming, or abortion.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Except those who oppose democrat shibboleths like their beliefs on gay marriage, human caused global warming, or abortion.
- The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
In reality, democrats consistently fight to over-turn referendum results they don't like -thinking nothing of using their appointees to federal courts, for example, to impose the views of the very few on the very many.
- Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security.
This statement assumes the existence of a social security infrastructure with someone to pay for it. Thus American democrats generally act to expand both the role of government and the taxes needed to support this vision -but do not, in practice, support the universality to which this statement aspires. Instead they want to use social security, along with other programs, to enforce compliance.
The Obama administration, for example, tried to use social security payments to force gun control on recipients.
Note too that democrats consistently block attempts to put social security on a solid, longer term, financial footing -presumably because doing so would reduce their ability to use control of year to year funding for political leverage. Consider, for example, the rationalizations for their repeated refusals to take funding out of the political arena embedded in this bit of spin from the the Huffington Post for 01/12/15:
WASHINGTON --A group of Democrats in the U.S. Senate came out against a rule Monday that blocks Congress from shifting Social Security funds to prevent a cut to disability insurance next year.
Last week the House approved a rule saying the lower chamber can't consider legislation that would reallocate funds from Social Security's retirement insurance program to shore up its smaller disability insurance program. The Social Security Administration's actuaries say the latter program will run out of money next year and that incoming payroll taxes will only be able to cover 80 percent of scheduled benefits.
Rep. Sam Johnson, the Texas Republican who pushed the rule change, said he did it to force Congress to reform Social Security Disability Insurance, which Republicans have criticized as rife with waste, fraud and abuse. Johnson said the rule prevents a "raid" on retirement insurance.
"It is cynical to try and pit retirees and beneficiaries with disabilities against each other, as the House Republican rule change attempts to do," the Senate Democrats said in their letter. It was signed by Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and by Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.
- Everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Well, except for women who work for elected democrats, the Clintons or others of the blessed; blacks; illegals; and those owned by the namenclatura in communist or Muslim countries.
- Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions.
In reality, democrats consistently oppose the right not to join, consistently support thug directed pro-unionization "votes" (with the Obama administration stacking the National labor Relations Board with Union nominees) and see nothing wrong with unions spending dues contributed under duress by conservative members to support the election of radical democrats.
- Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
This lacks definition but seems to be a platitudinous restatement of Louis Blanc's line, made famous by its use in a denunciation of what became menshevism by Karl Marx, about giving people what they need in exchange for what they can provide, and is particularly revealing here in its reliance on the American nuclear family -an institution democrats have consistently fought hard to destroy.
So what's the bottom line? Well, here are 39 statements enunciating principles liberal progressives generally hold dear and can therefore be expected to live by -but which, in every case, they subvert when given the power to do so.
Thus they claim to favor freedom of expression, but use the courts, college and university committees, and the media to punish and shout down anyone who disagrees with them; think they oppose racism but force race based decision making on everything from health care services and education to military recruitment; shout their support for education, but work to lower standards throughout the system while shifting funds from teaching to administration and from science and engineering to variations on basket weaving like "Women's Studies" and "The History of Hip Hop Culture".
The day after I drafted this Tom Trinko published a 22 element denunciation on American Thinker of exactly this type of contradiction between what liberals say and what they do -his list starts with these:
A liberal is someone who thinks the third world's problems can be fixed by killing enough brown babies and who calls people who object to that "racists".
A liberal is someone who thinks tax increases on businesses are paid out of the secret stash of cash all businesses hide in their basement.
A liberal is someone who thinks prayer in school is obscene but who believes schools should teach Nietzsche.
Dog whistles aside, it's as if democrats were a crowd painting a large barn black while believing themselves using white paint, shouting their preference for white, and collectively stoning a child naive enough to question their eyesight.
And that's really the bottom line: progressivism is characterized by genuine emotional commitments to behavioral principles people like Jesus, John Locke, and America's founding fathers would generally have found ways to agree with, combined with an equal commitment to actions opposite in both intent and consequence to those same principles.