Tags: Anti-democracy


Friday, 17 August 2007 12:00 AM

"I prefer the word progressive," replied New York Sen. Hillary Clinton to a YouTuber who asked during the July 23 CNN Democratic presidential debate if she considered herself a Liberal.

The word Liberal, Clinton said, has in recent decades come to be seen as a label for those favoring bigger government.

But the label progressive, she said, "has a real American meaning, going back to the Progressive Era at the beginning of the 20th Century. I consider myself a modern Progressive . . ."

From the 1920s onward, famed progressive Robert LaFollette, who served Wisconsin as governor and senator, slid deeper and deeper into a psychopathological hatred of capitalism.

By 1948, the Progressive Party presidential campaign of Henry Wallace, a former vice president under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and lover of everything Soviet, became a dust magnet for Marxists.

The label progressive became a mask worn by socialists and Communists of many hues, from pale pink to blood red, used to disguise their anti-American radical politics.

At the dawn of the 20th century an earlier, more idealistic generation of activists embraced the word Progressive because they believed in progress. Most disliked the political power of wealthy tycoons, but the best known self-proclaimed Progressive of this era was Republican President Teddy Roosevelt.

One of the good things given to us by these early Progressive reformers is the direct democracy of initiative, referendum and recall.

Initiatives allow voters via petition signatures to put proposed laws and Constitutional amendments on the ballot, where a majority of voters can enact them directly. Twenty-four of our 50 states provide this power of Initiative.

Referenda allow voters to affirm or repeal acts of the legislature, among other things. All 50 states allow referenda put on the ballot by state legislatures. Twenty-four states empower the people to put referenda on the ballot themselves.

Eighteen states give the people a direct means to remove public officials. In 2003 Californians used recall to remove Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replace him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The ruling elites hate these progressive measures that give people the power to bypass, override and remove their rulers.

Washington Post liberal David Broder went nearly apoplectic seven years ago in his screed "Democracy Derailed: Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money."

Special interests can use initiatives to put measures before the voters. Teacher unions in California a few years ago used ads with cute children to divert additional billions of taxpayer dollars into teacher and union pockets.

But what most horrifies Broder is that voters in places like California can impose Proposition 13, locking property taxes at approximately one percent. Where will liberal welfare states get money if the people can vote to limit taxes?

Unlike their progressive ancestors, today's "modern progressives" clearly want no power whatsoever in the hands of the people.

The usual liberal method of thwarting direct democracy has been activist judges. When Californians voted overwhelmingly to deny taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens, e.g., a Democrat-appointed judge simply nullified this initiative.

The judge took care not to offer any legal justification for her high-handed erasure of a vote of the people. When asked why she gutted Proposition 187, she haughtily replied: "It would hurt people."

In Missouri "modern progressives" of the Democratic Party have found another undemocratic way to steal power from the people.

As Cybercast News Service reporter Kevin Mooney wrote on Thursday, American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) Chairman Ward Connerly is working to place anti-discrimination initiatives on the November 2008 ballot in five states.

Voters in Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, wrote Mooney, "will be asked whether racial preferences and quotas should be banned.

"Missouri law stipulates that ballot language be drawn up ‘in the form of a question using language neither intentionally argumentative nor likely to create prejudice either for or against the proposed measure.'"

But "Connerly claims that Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has conspired with Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to craft a statement designed to skew the outcome."

Connerly's initiative as originally written says: "The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."

But the proposed Nixon-Carnahan changes to be presented to voters on election day as a summary statement, wrote Mooney, read as follows:

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ban affirmative action programs designed to eliminate discrimination against; and improve opportunities for woman and minorities in public contracting, employment and education; and allow preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin to meet federal program funds eligibility standards as well as preferential treatment for bona fide qualifications based on sex?"

"The ballot language has been rewritten so that it sounds like the initiative would ban affirmative action programs preventing discrimination against minorities and women," Connerly said. "But the actual [original] language makes it clear the initiative would prevent the state from discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of race, sex, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin."

This is not the first time Carnahan, daughter of Missouri's late liberal Governor Mel Carnahan and of former Democratic U.S. Sen. Jean Carnahan, has played fast and loose with ethics and rules.

Carnahan, e.g., refused to certify an eminent domain initiative for the ballot on grounds that its petitions lacked enough valid signatures.

This happened because she arbitrarily shortened the deadline for signatures and then, because a judge two days before this deadline ordered the change of two minor words in the petition, refused to count nearly 220,000 signatures on petitions that used the exact language her office had approved.

As property rights activist Patrick Tuohey said, Carnahan's actions "allow the government to act as a veto on a petition process, whose point is to get around government."

Like modern Liberals, "modern progressives" are far closer to authoritarian socialists than to the pro-democracy progressives whose once-honorable name they have expropriated.


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"I prefer the word progressive," replied New York Sen. Hillary Clinton to a YouTuber who asked during the July 23 CNN Democratic presidential debate if she considered herself a Liberal. The word Liberal, Clinton said, has in recent decades come to be seen as a label for...
Friday, 17 August 2007 12:00 AM
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