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The Rapid ‘Progress’ of Progressivism

The Rapid ‘Progress’ of Progressivism

Not long ago I waited for a flight to board. The plane took off 45 minutes late. There were only two attendants to accommodate eleven passengers who had requested wheelchair assistance.

Such growing efforts to ensure that the physically challenged can easily fly are certainly welcome. But when our plane landed — late and in danger of causing many passengers to miss their connecting flights — most of the eleven wheelchair-bound passengers left their seats unassisted and hurried out. It was almost as if newfound concerns about making connections had somehow improved their health during the flight.

Two passengers had boarded with two dogs each. No doubt the airlines’ policy of allowing an occasional dog on a flight is understandable. But now planes are starting to sound and smell like kennels.

Special blue parking placards were initially a long-overdue effort to help the disabled. But these days, the definition of “disabled” has so expanded that a large percentage of the population can qualify for special parking privileges — or cheat in order to qualify.

In California, 26,000 disabled parking placards are currently issued to people over 100 years of age, even though state records list only about 8,000 living centenarians.

Current crises such as homelessness and illegal immigration did not start out as much of a public concern.

Originally, progressive politicians felt that cities should bend their vagrancy laws a bit to allow some of the poor to camp on the sidewalks. Bathroom and public-health issues were considered minor, given the relatively small pool of so-called street people.

Few objected to illegal immigration in the 1960s and 1970s. Foreign nationals came unlawfully across the border in relatively small numbers — thousands, not millions. Fifty years ago, America was eager to assimilate even the few arrivals who arrived illegally. Not now. The melting pot gave way to the identity politics of the tribe that asks little integration of the newcomers.

Whether out of guilt or out of fear of being perceived as exclusionary by harder leftists, progressives cannot, or will not, draw realistic limits to illegal immigration or homelessness. Yet both cost the law-abiding public billions of dollars in social services, often at the expense of American poor.

This rapid spread of progressivism leads to an endless race for absolute equality and an erosion of prior rules. It also makes once-liberal positions seem passé, recasting those positions as dangerously reactionary. Continue…

another good read from victor hanson, as usual… but best while sitting back in your chair, sip’n on some hot fresh morning coffee :)

emmmmm… coffee……..

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