So, you’ve stumbled onto my humble little blog. Perhaps you are a Millenial wondering why most of your friends aren’t fully employed. Or wondering why ObamaKare is being shoved down your throat. Or why your generation is on the hook for a national debt that stands at $17 $18 Trillion and counting. Maybe you are scratching your head wondering why your President thinks Global Warming the weather is more worrisome than Islamic Terror. And perhaps you’ve started to become aware there might be something the corrupt and biased lame stream media isn’t telling you. The answer, to these and other existential questions, is ... the Left - specifically, the modern American Progressive. Think of this site as a portal to a richer understanding of this answer, a portal purposely designed with a consciously cock-eyed bent to keep it entertaining. Because the First Amendment is forever and the Internet never forgets. (Plus you better figure out FICA isn't the name of a Swedish bikini model, before she eats your entire paycheck.)

How to use the portal? You could dive into my archive*. I was most active here 2010-2012, but that matters not. How many times do I need to demonstrate the central point? To wit, the political / ideological Left is a menace to the constitutional republic and must be resisted lest the American experiment in liberty devolve into socialist dystopia. If it's the more pointed hand-to-hand combat of the comment board that whets your appetite, click the 'My Disqus Comments' widget. I continue to visit that world from time to time as a light diversion. Or you could browse through my blog roll. It's a very representative collection of center-right blogs, though hardly exhaustive. I can't do the political / ideology thing 24x7, and you probably can't either. Leave that to the hysterical, talking point chanting, mob agitating, race baiting, election stealing, gaia worshiping, straw man torching, Islamic Terrorist appeasing, organized Left (aka OFA, MSNBC, UAW, SEIU, Think Progress, Media Matters, most of legacy media, the politically correct faculty lounge, anybody who belonged to Journolist, anybody connected to Occupy Wall Street, anything funded by George Soros or Tom Steyer, their paid Internet trolls, and the rest of the usual Team Leftie suspects).

*Re-posting encouraged. No need to ask for permission. Just follow the commonly accepted convention of acknowledging this site as original source with a link back. That way, you leave the asking for forgiveness to me.

A Table With Clickable Stuff

My Disqus
US Debt Clock

Enter your
email address:

Visit to learn more!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Obama: Brought to You by Ely, Holmes, Dewey, and Croly

The cover story on the December 31 issue of National Review (NR) is an excellent read for anyone wishing to understand the intellectual roots of today’s progressive Lefties. I’ve been meaning for days to finish this posting. But, frankly, it’s just been too much fun enjoying hand-to-hand combat on the web with sarcastic comments. (See my “random droppings” link on the right, or my NY Times Censorship Poll at the top, if this form of amusement appeals to you).

For the uninitiated, NR was founded by the great William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1955. I like to think of NR as the original “conservative underground” (with apologies to Sean Hannity, who has been using this tag line for his radio show). As NR grew in circulation over the years, it gained a well-deserved reputation as the flagship publication for conservative opinion. To this day, if you read it in NR, you can take it to the bank.

The 12-31-09 NR cover story is four short articles describing the careers and influences of four original progressives. NR’s writers plainly show the philosophical line that stretches directly from these men to today’s liberals. If you can break away from the People magazine puff piece on Obama for half an hour, you should give this a read.

Richard Ely was an influential professor of economics at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin. He is credited with a collection of ideas that emphasize the collective over the individual. The one Ely quote on economics that jumped out at me from the article is: “The nation in its economic life is an organism, in which individuals, families, and groups…form parts.” Some of the specific policies he advanced had merit in his time - abolishing child labor, for example. Perhaps his biggest impression on liberals was stylistic. Ely was raised in an extremely pious religious tradition, and he lived out his life literally believing he was doing God’s work (according to how I read the article). Another Ely quote from the article: “It [the State] is religious in its essence …” I get the sense it was Ely who first taught Lefties the ends justify the means.

Ely also influenced many other people who rose to high public positions. One of them was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who served on the Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932. Holmes was appointed by Theodore Roosevelt, also heavily influenced by Ely. Holmes laid a strong foundation for today’s judicial activism. His three decades on the court are a long record of decisions based on the judge’s interpretation of moral right versus wrong, instead of the previously traditional strict interpretation of the Constitution. The only problem I have with this article is it presents “pragmatism” as a negative “ism” that was behind Holmes’ thinking. I’ve always thought it a virtue to be pragmatic – i.e. taking care to react realistically to the real world, and the opposite of automatic ideological responses. I choose to stick with my interpretation for the remainder of my time on this Earth. It’s beside the point, anyway. Holmes showed Lefties how to use the courts to achieve the ends they fail to achieve in representative bodies.

John Dewey was a professor of philosophy and education who mainly taught at the University of Chicago and Columbia University. He also regularly contributed to New Republic magazine, then edited by our fourth suspect, Herbert Croly (see below). Dewey worked tirelessly to redefine the concept of “freedom.” For Dewey, “freedom” did not simply mean the individual being free of government obstacles. He devoted himself to the proposition “freedom” means the government actively enabling individual results. Dewey indoctrinated Lefties with a belief in “social justice” and a sense of entitlement.

Herbert Croly was an author and editor whose writings were used on university campuses all the way up to the 1960’s. He was a strong proponent of centralized government. He also espoused the idea of cleanly breaking from the past of our Founding. I also interpreted from the article that Croly carried with him a strong streak of elitism.  The governing style of today’s Lefties reflects the attitudes handed down to them by Croly.

The most important reason to read this stuff is today’s Lefties are already planning to change the label they use for themselves. They know they’ve worn out “liberal” with us. They are already starting to pivot back to “progressive,” because they think we’ve forgotten about the history of these original “progressives.” The problem for them, however, is we can look this stuff up for ourselves.


Footnote 1


Jets! Jets! Jets!

Footnote 2

Tomorrow’s election for the Massachusetts Senate seat will be a victory for the Conservative Ascendancy, regardless of which way it falls. Just as Doug Hoffman’s run in New York 23 was. If Coakley (more accurately the Massachusetts Democrat machine) squeaks through; we can just look back at both of these races, along with the Virginia and New Jersey victories, as harbingers for November. If Brown pulls off the improbable win, then all I can say is the Conservative Ascendancy is rising quicker than even I thought. Keep up the charge, patriots!
Share the genius :


  1. To footnote 2 -- I agree. Either way, it's a victory...
    ...but man, I hope Brown wins! I'd rather not have to wait until next January to end the 60-seat tyranny... that's way too much time for the left to slash, hack and burn our country.
    I'm curious about what you said about pragmatism vs. ideology. I've always thought of our conservatism as an ideology (the correct ideology). How do you define "ideology"?

  2. Excellent question, James, which gave me good food for thought. I've always thought the primary virtue of conservative philosophy is its’ essentially NON-ideological nature. Not an "ism" at all.

    The primary virtue of any conservative thinker is to first take in the world as it is, and go from there. (I've spent my life thinking to be pragmatic was to put this virtue in action. I never thought being pragmatic meant to be unguided by a larger body of principles.)

    Ideologies (or "isms"), by contrast, try to provide prescriptive solutions to all problems; known or unknown. Ideologies are comforting to people who don’t really wish to think at all. All they need to ask themselves is “what would [fill in the blank with the prescription of your choice] want me to do or say?” Ideologues naturally also think they have all the answers to everything. Why shouldn’t they? They’ve gone all in with a totally prescriptive philosophy, after all.

    Bad things always happen when ideologues get into power. Just look at the 20th century wreckage caused by adherents to Karl Marx’s socialist utopian theories.

    Ideologues also tend to look stupid, or out of touch, when confronted with events not fitting their pre-determined templates. Exhibit A: In the news today is Mr. Obama’s assessment of the Massachusetts Senate race. He seems to be saying the bluest of blue states voted Republican because they are mad at George Bush. Huh?


*All Reasonable Feedback Always Welcome*