Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 3, 2013

The progressives: Advancing un-American ideas for fun and profit

BLUEFIELD — They once called themselves “liberals,” but as practiced here in the U.S. through the years that word gathered lots of negative energy, casting adherents in a bad light, so they changed their moniker and now call themselves “progressives.”

But the term “progressives” is a misnomer, unless you consider it progress for America to slowly abandon the freedom that was once our hallmark, and move instead toward being more under the thumb of an increasingly over-reaching government.

To demonstrate how off-the-mark some progressives’ thinking is, consider the following:

On ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” a frequent guest named Kevin Blackistone said that football games should not include the singing of the national anthem during the pregame, calling the “Star-Spangled Banner” a “war anthem.”

Mr. Blackistone was addressing controversy over Northwestern University’s American flag-themed football uniforms, designed to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. In the “Buy or Sell” show segment he said he would “sell” the uniforms: “I’m going to sell it for the same reasons. If you sell this along with me, you should also be selling the rest of the military symbolism embrace of sports. Whether it’s the singing of a war anthem to open every game. Whether it’s going to get a hotdog and being able to sign up for the Army at the same time. Whether it’s the NFL’s embrace of the mythology of the Pat Tillman story. It has been going on in sports since the first national anthem was played in the World Series back in 1917. And it’s time for people to back away.”

Mr. Blackistone clearly is a man who neither understands nor cares for America.

And this from Mary Margaret Penrose, a Texas A&M School of Law professor, who expressed her frustration with the fact that President Barack Obama has failed to pass more gun control since the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Professor Penrose said gun laws should be decided on a per-state basis, versus the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The beauty of a states’ rights model solution is it allows those of you who want to live in a state with very loose restrictions to do so.” She went on to say that her problems with the Constitution are not limited to the Second Amendment, and advocates in her law courses redrafting the entire U.S. Constitution.

Is advocating abandoning the supreme law of the land acceptable in helping law students learn about and understand our system of laws?

More wisdom from the halls of academia comes from Professor Noel Ignatiev of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, who tells his students things like this: “If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a white male do? He’s good for nothing. Slavery, genocides against aboriginal peoples and massive land confiscation, the inquisition, the holocaust, white males are all to blame! You maintain your white male privilege only by oppressing, discriminating against and enslaving others.” He suggests that all white males should commit suicide.

Two thoughts arise from this; first, we should enthusiastically applaud the professor’s recent decision to stop “teaching,” and second, since he is a white male, ask why he is still alive and see if he will continue to be a hypocrite, or if he will follow his own advice.

Not to be outdone in the expression of un-American ideas, The Washington Post had its own expert academic opinion from Jonathan Zimmerman, who professes history and education at New York University.

“Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re-election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him,” he wrote. “Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.”

The professor must have missed that part of his history education when Congress proposed an amendment to the Constitution to limit the president to two four-year terms, and why it did so. The 22nd Amendment was ratified in 1951, following FDR’s election to four terms, having been approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. It prevented the likely possibility of a “president for life” evolving and creating a situation like the one the colonies suffered under that led to armed revolt. A “president for life” is not unlike a monarch.

Maybe he thinks monarchy is superior to the form of government the founders created, the obligation of which was to guarantee basic freedoms to the people it was created to serve. If it’s oppression he wants, there are many countries to which he can relocate.

A major feature of progressivism is to limit the liberties our ancestors fought and died for in the naïve hope of creating a perfect society. Over the last century or so they have chipped away enough of the protections and guarantees that the system doesn’t work as it was designed to, and their solution is to continue to destroy it, rather than to restore it.

James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.

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