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Opinion: Columns

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Jim Woulfe

One View

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.

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Reader Comments

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Posted: January 24th, 2012 7:38 AM

Mr. Woulfe--congratulations on your relocation. You are no longer relevant. Thanks for playing.

Jim Woulfe from Raleigh, NC  

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 4:06 PM

As the "author" of the above piece, I thought more readers would get what I was doing with it. It is simply an almost identical word for transposed word of the original Ken Trainor piece entitled "What conservatives stand for". All I did was go through his bullet points, change a word slightly or transpose his words to take him up on his challenge to respond with "What progressives stand for". Please just reread the original piece and this becomes very clear.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2012 5:17 PM

Thank you Jim. Both political sides have something to be ashamed about. However, what is never mentioned needs to be remembered.Sen. Robert Byrd,SC DEM was a active member of the Ku Klux Klan and sought and obtained middle management in that organization. No one moved against his estate to help the families of his victims. In my Vonnegut Mother Night world, I hope he was an FBI informant. But I dont think so.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 18th, 2012 4:04 PM

Brian, there's no benefit to be gained by targeting people as racists because their political party once engaged those henious practices. We would not want to label all GOP supporters as disturbed based upon the recent actions of the Kansas state legislator who sent out a "prayer" calling for the death of President Obama. American history is filled with examples of people behaving in a unacceptable ways in the name of their party or religion. You're right to call them out. No broad brush,please.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 18th, 2012 3:51 PM

Mares, a problem with Jim Woufle's essay is that it's a rather boring opinion piece and cannot be considered accurate. He is welcome to express his thoughts and concerns regarding these issues. I would prefer reading how he came to conclude that these views must be shared by progressives. Where is the basis of fact? Ronald Reagan raised taxes and granted amnesty. Do we call him a progressive? The closing comment that "readers will find my reply amusing" doesn't work for me. It's just not funny.


Posted: January 18th, 2012 2:10 PM

Jim, I believe Kenny Boy just went blind after reading this. Brian S., please don't bring up actual facts, Kenny Boy has no need for them.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 18th, 2012 1:57 PM

Jim, I've got a pretty good sense of humor but could not recognize exactly how you were attempting to amuse readers with your posting. Who's your targeted audience? You did raise some interesting issues that deserve discussion. Have you anything good to say about progressives or are they truly "evil" as opposed to the mutli-national corporations you appear to be defending? And there's nothing funny about going to war based upon false and misleading evidence. Same goes for war profiteering.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2012 1:39 PM

Jim you left out liberal racism. Nathan Forest,So. Democrat b4 & after the Civil War, co founder of the Ku Klu Klan. N. Democrats calling for an end of the civil war w/o resolution of the slavery question.Wilson refusing blacks as civil servants.FDR vetoing a federal anti lynching law in 1943. The Daley administration of a segregated city,code worded neighborhoods, for decades. S. Democrats forming the Dixiecrat party to impose Jim Crow laws.More REP. voted for the 64 Civil Right law than DEM

JED from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2012 11:16 AM

Jim. You missed a couple things. You need a copyright sign on this -from the Tea Party maybe, or the US Chamber of Commerce, or Americans For Prosperity, or the Koch Foundations? You managed to parrot the thoughts of every Republican political group in this One View. You should be crediting the folks you cribbed from. Find something other than RW talking points and I hope a good discussion can happen. Probably not, though as folks who use these have nothing else to say.

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