I recently moved from River Forest where I lived for 20 years. I still receive my subscription to Wednesday Journal here in North Carolina. I was energized by your Jan. 4 column [What conservatives stand for, Ken Trainor, Viewpoints] and your challenge to readers to "take a crack" at defining what "What progressives stand for." You, as a progressive, did a pretty exhaustive compilation of bullet points of conservative views. I would like to take you up on your challenge. My apologies for any similarities to your original list.
What progressives stand for:
- The federal government is the solution. The free market is the problem.
- Government governs best when it governs most.
- Under the tax-and-spend liberals, from FDR to Obama, the federal government became lean and efficient.
- Government should not be shrunk to a more manageable size. (Everett Dirksen: "A billion here a billion there, pretty soon you are talking real money").
- The federal government should decide most issues, not individual states.
- Taxes should always be raised under any circumstances.
- Taxes should be raised because individuals are incapable of deciding what to do with his or her hard-earned money.
- Raising taxes stimulates the economy and always results in more government revenue.
- Government should increase regulations so the free market is more able to work its magic. Regulations stimulate economic growth.
- Enlightened self interest and a free market leads to an unfair concentration of wealth. Redistribution of this wealth will more fairly sink everyone in the same boat.
- Increasing spending is the only way to balance the budget. Raising taxes encourages job creation.
- The federal government does not have enough social service programs. They encourage people to be self-reliant and promote personal responsibility. Get people on welfare and they'll be better off. Leave charity to the government. Who needs churches, the private sector or the rich?
- Supreme Court cases should be decided based on what unelected but enlightened, progressive judges say the law should be, not on what the framers of the Constitution intended.
- Social Security should be the sole savings program available because people are incapable of making their own decisions about investing their retirement funds.
- The more government controls things, the more efficiently everything is run. That includes health care which must be weaned from the free market, like everything else.
- Cut the defense budget.
- It's never OK to go to war even if you have probable cause, even if you have the evidence.
- Go easy on crime. Go even easier on terrorism.
- Campaign funding is not equivalent to free speech, so there should be restrictions on donations and donors to non-progressive causes should be disclosed. Corporations are evil and should not enjoy the same right to free speech. (Unions are OK though).
- Open our borders and give amnesty to anyone who has been able to slip through. Immigrants should be encouraged to keep their own language, customs and identities and we should all support their desire not to assimilate.
- The government has to control our ecology. Improving the environment but hurting business should never result in a loss of jobs.
- America is about serfdom, which means having the government tell us how to live our lives.
- Change should be speeded up. In general, the wisdom of the past is a poor guide for the future.
I feel very confident that this response will find its way immediately into your circular file or be deleted if you do not print it out. I buy my ink by the cartridge, you buy yours by the gallon, and I am at the mercy of your editorial decision as to whether this reply merits anything more than just derision. However, if you have a sense of humor and can throttle back your ego a little bit, I think your readers will find my reply amusing.
Jim Woulfe lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Answer Book 2019
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