Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Group Think," Ch. 28 of BUT...AT WHAT COST

I believe the consequences of the Progressive policies started in the early 1900s have been devastating to our American culture, in general, and to our black population, in particular. I believe the political tactics of the Left have created and maintained false perceptions which have, in turn, exacerbated racial tensions. I believe the Left’s programs to raise black success rates have failed because they were not designed to succeed. They seem to have had a different purpose from the beginning: to secure the black voting bloc. One need only look at the percentage of blacks who vote Democrat to see how well their tactics have worked. Such near unanimity can be achieved only through indoctrination.

The glory of America is having the freedom to disagree and having the opportunity to express those disagreements. We are slowly having those freedoms taken away by Progressive tactics and policies. Tea Partiers, for example, are “racists” to half the white population and probably ninety percent of the black population. This false perception was purposely created for political gain – and it worked.

We Tea Party members have been shut out from venues, harassed by elected officials, seldom allowed to state our rationales in a public forum without interruption, and singled out for attack by the IRS. There are few “in-depth” interviews or even a passing mention of a huge TP event in the main-stream media without a negative appraisal of it. Excepting a few media outlets, our freedom of speech has been effectively eliminated through slander and omission. The current battle cry against us and against Conservatives, in general, is “far-right extremists,” which essentially means anti-black, anti-gay and anti-woman, according to the rhetoric.

First, look at the groups to whom they are appealing: their base – blacks, women and gays. There are others (Hispanics, Muslims, the poor, unions, lawyers, etc.), but most attempts at vilification are aimed to influence uninformed women, blacks and gays. All political parties aim primarily at the uninformed because they are the most easily indoctrinated by sophomoric rhetoric, but the Left is particularly good at issuing it, and most of the Left-leaners I know seem particularly susceptible to it. In my experience (excepting the Religious Right whose beliefs often come from dogma or from a different rationale than I do on some issues), the uninterested (i.e., the uninformed) tend to be Democrats. Could be I’m using myself as an example too much, but I know I didn’t know anything about politics when I was a Dem. I also know the Democrats I talk to either can’t or won’t discuss rationales in depth; they seem to know absolutely nothing about Conservative or Tea Party principles beyond the anti-black, anti-gay, anti-women presumptions they’ve been taught. It’s very disheartening that so many only passively interested, but intelligent people succumb to the rhetoric. But that’s “group think.”

The Progressives have won the media wars. The vast majority of Tea Partiers and Republicans are decidedly NOT racist. Tea Partiers are among the rarest of individuals – those willing to risk the disdain of a nation in order to point out the real causes of not only our declining ghetto culture, but subsequently our entire culture.

What we have today is NOT Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Democrat Party. That is long gone; the leaders having been replaced by Progressives. Even many Republicans are Progressives now because they too have been over-exposed to the same junk science and false data presented both in the media and our classrooms.

I know I’m starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, and a nut. I’m not. The kind of conspiracy I’m alluding to is a conspiracy of belief… which is quite different from the off-the-wall theories about the 9/11 attacks or any other specific event. A certain percentage of any group of people might lean toward somewhat paranoid and ridiculous assumptions about the opposition. That kind of radical thinking can exist in any group – be it religious, political, or a group of animal-rights activists. The kind of conspiracy I’m talking about is more subtle, but just as dangerous. Perhaps more dangerous, because it’s never what it seems to be. It’s disguised and remains under the radar.

After much investigation of previous advocates of Progressive (read “Socialist”) policies (from 1900 on), I have concluded that few of the beliefs foisted on us by the advice industry was the outcome of valid scientific research. In my opinion, most of the rhetoric supplied by feminist “counselors,” in particular, was little more than political advocacy designed to weaken the family. I know this sounds way out there in crazy-land, but think of the results. Divorce rates doubled with the rise of feminist dogma. More women had to go on welfare and more families needed food stamps. I am not saying that all feminists have had a Socialist agenda, but many of those presented by the media have had. What they touted went far beyond their stated goal of equal pay; they all but crucified chauvinistic men and the women who enabled them. And they’re still doing it. Now Republicans are said to be waging a war against women. Socialist rhetoric is designed to incrementally achieve the end goal – a Socialist state, which can be achieved only if a majority feels victimized and dependent.

Personally, I don’t think socialism works as well as capitalism, but that remains the real question for each voter to answer for himself. I sort of went through a socialist phase, but eventually I concluded I didn’t want to be delivered from my personal freedoms in order to secure the fantasy of “social justice.” It ain’t gonna happen!

“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” may sound fair and equitable, but in practice can’t work. It never has worked because people, while gregarious and loyal to group members, are also driven by self-interest. Socialism ignores this competitive spirit most folks have. We want our good work to be acknowledged and rewarded… and some phony gold star handed out to just about everyone for dedicated service to the cause isn’t enough. Our teachers are now being trained to reward “trying” instead of results. My son, Randy, had to attend one of these seminars – in my view, pure, under-the radar, socialist indoctrination.

Progressivism demands a strong central authority, and no matter how attractive it might be for many to rely on Big Brother for everything, in the end, this free woman must reject that authority and the possibility that it will increasingly impinge on my freedoms. We cannot ever be sure that those in power, be it a school board, a publisher, or a governor won’t turn against us. Look at history: look at Stalin; look at Mao; look at Hitler, look at Lenin – controllers of socialist regimes all. The first thing they do is control the media and education and thereby distort the historical context of events to suit their agendas.

The dictates of these regimes didn’t end well for the people. If you think it can’t happen here, think again. It is happening here, slowly, but that is the current trend. Anyone who supports changes in the basic constructs of our Constitution with its strong limitations on the central government is enabling the Progressive agenda.

Margaret Sanger, a heroine of many feminists, was a declared Progressive. Let’s study what she advocated: eugenics. Eugenics was a hallmark of Progressive thinking in the twenties. Sanger is responsible for the creation of Planned Parenthood, which at the time was consumed with controlling the populations of those perceived as inferior. Ashley’s aunt, Dr. Mary Halton, was a contemporary and an advisor to Margaret Sanger. I don’t doubt their intentions were good, but you need more than good intentions – you need your premise to be correct and a reasonable assessment of the possible consequences, if your premise is wrong. Their premise was wrong.

While genetics plays a huge role in determining outcomes, there are other major influences, and I, for one, think Sanger’s basic premise of racial inferiority was wrong. Though there are some genetic differences among the races, there are far too many individual exceptions and purely cultural influences on outcomes to assume anything about anyone.

Although there are plenty of valid generalities to be made concerning group beliefs and behaviors, one should NEVER use such generalities to prejudge individual members of the group. All but the most ignorant among us know this, of course, but that knowledge will not stop our brains from automatically alerting us to possible danger.

Progressives have gotten away from that rationale now, but at Margaret Sanger’s time, the explanation for black failure was genetic inferiority. Margaret Sanger was a prominent racist whose objective was to create a superior society by eliminating inferior people through birth control. No matter how she went about it (with kindness and with the individual’s welfare in mind), I find her underlying belief untrue… and her willingness to use that belief to engineer a social outcome quite despicable. It demonstrates an arrogance of belief I find intolerable – certainly not admirable. Yet, she is admired.

Sanger intended to achieve her goal by manipulating perceptions. Convince “inferior” people (primarily “Negroes”) they would have a better life if they had fewer children. True enough; they would, and society might benefit. However, her premise assumed it was not only okay, but desirable, to eliminate whole groups of genetically undesirable people. Bad (or incomplete) science and Progressive philosophy teamed up to advance proposals to achieve what they believed was a desirable outcome: fewer “Negroes.”

Very tricky business, this. Eugenics through birth control, as long as it is not forced, is probably morally okay – at least to me, though the Catholic Church surely disagrees. Through abortion? I’m not so sure – not when ten million of the almost sixty million abortions since Roe vs. Wade have been performed on black women. Granted, if a personal choice and not forced, it is probably acceptable, but when it’s a choice of personal convenience rather than necessity for anyone, it rather rankles my sensitivities – especially when it effectively results in the demise of so many lives that are decidedly NOT genetically inferior or damaged. We’ll never know whom we lost. It always gets back to my first-born Randy for me. I can’t imagine my world without him and his offspring. News of his impending arrival was decidedly inconvenient to deal with, but I sure am glad I couldn’t walk into a clinic in a moment of panic and just be rid of the “problem.” To let live or kill is not an easy choice – nor should it be.

When I was in high school, we had debates on the subject of sterilization of the mentally inferior, but now, unless your kid is lucky enough to have a very brave teacher, the morality of such a topic as that or abortion cannot be discussed in depth. Our kids are thoroughly indoctrinated into the Progressive point of view of free birth control and abortions for all. The rationale is: one mistake shouldn’t ruin your life. Believe me, I get it; one mistake shouldn’t ruin your whole life, but it won’t if you have the courage and fortitude to take responsibility for your actions. You may even feel good about yourself for having done so.

That is the part that is mostly absent from conversation these days – is it right to abandon your responsibilities and allow Big Brother to take care of everything for you? To me, this is the moral dilemma that should be discussed – not the abortion part so much as the abandonment of responsibility part. When an inherently selfish act like abortion is perceived as an okay way to eliminate an inconvenience, where are we headed? That’s the ol’ slippery-slope dilemma. Once one accepts a selfish solution to any of life’s problems, how far away are we from accepting selfish solutions for everything? If life is, indeed, of so little worth, why should a parent stick around to take care of that life – especially if the government will do it? Beliefs have consequences.

Reasonable people can disagree whether there are situations that justify the taking of an innocent life. I’m pragmatic and not at all religious, so I’m pro-choice… with a rather large BUT (with a single “t”). The consignee should understand her choice has nothing to do with women’s rights. That’s a politically initiated misconception. Abortion is a purely personal moral dilemma, not to be taken lightly. I can accept either choice, up to a point.

Progressive doctrine creates the false perception of victimhood and neediness… and results in unnecessary hand-wringing and, I think, unnecessary abortions. In my view, there are no real bad guys in the abortion debate. There is virtue on both sides: some folks believe very strongly in the right to life; others are pragmatists and value practical solutions over righteous ones. I deplore the politically generated animus between the two sides of this issue.

In a way (even though I’m pro-choice), I think the angels are on the side of the pro-lifers. Every time I think I might have aborted Randy merely to make my life easier, I cringe. I truly understand the “lifers” point of view. They are not attacking a woman’s right to choose; they are trying to save the innocents. There is virtue in that. I see slightly less virtue in making a purely pragmatic choice. When the pro –choice crowd tries to make it a political “rights” issue instead of the moral issue it is, they lose me. I mean, can anyone reasonably describe a life and death choice as anything other than a moral decision? It’s the very essence of morality, as is one’s moral responsibility to take care of a life one has created.

Pro-choice advocates should not ignore morality as a legitimate argument for life; nor should pro-life advocates ignore the realities of incompetent parents having children they are unable to support and who will become wards of the State. That’s a moral decision too. The “choice” truly is a personal one, based on which moral construct is more important or relevant to one’s situation. I think it would have been immoral for me to have chosen to abort Randy because our situation did not in any way demand it. We could afford to make the right choice for us. Others are not so lucky, so for them, abortion might be an acceptable moral choice – though there are still other alternatives such as adoption which should be considered first.

There will always be culturally imposed differences in beliefs among people. That’s why I would hope we have honest, unbiased politicians to make the necessarily arbitrary decisions that become our laws. For abortions, before twenty weeks seems a reasonable cut-off date… but probably, one that will stick in the craw of both sides, as arbitrary decisions rarely please opposing advocates. Oh, well.

Politically, I lean heavily toward the side of free choice, but I hope I (and everyone else) will always recognize abortion as a personal moral issue, not as a way to solve a societal problem. Just as it was unacceptable morally to use birth control as a means of ethnic cleansing (which was, at its inception, Planned Parenthood’s and the Progressives’ goal), it is also morally unacceptable for advocates to target the underclasses and young people for abortions. Such targeting (which does exist) seems wrong to me because it recommends a selfish solution and forgives irresponsible behavior.

Wilson was one of our most Progressive Presidents… and also one of our most racist Presidents. He too was a product of his time and believed as most then did that Negroes were genetically inferior. Progressives, in general, believe in social engineering, also – a very dangerous combination of beliefs in a President, I’d say.

We are all partly products of our time. That is why it is so crucial to question those in power – to understand their true beliefs and motivations, and to understand the strategies and tactics employed by them to achieve their political ends. From their beginnings, Progressive strategies have almost always employed racial politics to their advantage – and by saying one thing and doing another.

All politicians do this to some degree, but from Wilson on, Progressives stand as the unchallenged champions of double-speak. For example, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, published in 1971, outlines their treacherous tactics for community organizing (one of the standard means by which Progressives plan to achieve social justice). It’s a textbook for the end-justify-the-means philosophy. In other words, it’s okay to create false perceptions (such as the rampant racism of Republicans) if such a belief will achieve parity in outcomes – the stated Progressive end-goal.

First, I don’t think parity in outcomes is possible, because it is antithetical to human nature. Each person is inherently different and so will necessarily perform differently. Socialism itself is antithetical to human nature because it basically ignores or devalues those differences. Thus, we get the one-size-fits-all child rearing practices, the unconditional acceptance of culturally disparate groups, and equal rewards for unequal achievements. For decades the Progressives have tried, very diligently, to eliminate our competitive natures. It didn’t work, did it? We are as competitive as ever. The only way to squash our competitive natures is by regulation – by putting all the power in the hands of a political class that does not reward talent, effort, ethics, or even luck. Socialist policies, even in their mildest forms, fail. They produce perverse incentives.

Most people naturally favor a society that recognizes achievement and punishes sloth. Few of us can endure the lack of freedom and the authoritarianism long-term socialist policies demand. Social Democracy (European socialism as practiced in Sweden, Denmark, etc.) might be possible, but it is not economically feasible in large, diverse societies, because, in the long run, any country (even the U.S.), will run out of money and patience if the disparities remain obvious and tend to break down along racial or ethnic lines. Smaller, less diverse countries do not have these problems. Family groups and other relatively small, culturally discrete groups can function under socialist, to each according to his needs, policies. It is basically the policy of most family groups; we take care of each other. However, what is acceptable in family dynamics is rarely acceptable across culturally disparate groups if their behaviors and values do not align with the majority view of right and wrong. In other words, economic parity cannot be the goal without an expectation for moral parity too.

Trust me, (okay, don’t trust me; study history), economic parity is NOT the primary goal of Progressives – at least not a realistic goal, because it is antithetical to human nature. Most of us crave freedom and power over our own lives; Progressives crave power over all our lives.

Idealistic fools (i.e., Progressives) say they want an egalitarian state. So do I, but how they are going about it is dishonest – the stuff of children’s cartoon features such as Avatar – Indoctrination 101. Hate the capitalists. When at least six out of nine award-winning cartoon features have a capitalist as the villain (see Your Teacher Said What?), you can be sure we are steadfastly being indoctrinated into the socialist mythology.

Political conspiracies are primarily conspiracies of deception. Some proselytizers are true believers, but the means many Progressives use (because they follow a more radical ends-justify-the-means philosophy) are more deceptive, more hidden, and unfortunately, tend to create many more unwanted consequences, like perpetual racial animus, than their Conservative counterparts.

I am a truth-seeker and abhor purposeful deception, no matter what the end goal is. That’s me. And that’s why I am no longer a Democrat. I was and perhaps still would be a Moynihan Democrat, but the tactics and policies of today’s Progressives (President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid et al.) are way too dishonest and divisive for me.

We are serializing here Judith Axtell's memoir, BUT...AT WHAT COST, which tells of her gradual transition from liberal to conservative. Published by Outskirts Press, it is available from OP and from on-line booksellers like and I am proud to have coached her and edited her book.

My other site is

No comments:

Post a Comment