30th April 2012
Victor Davis Hanson lays out certain ironic characteristics of those who call themselves ‘progressive’ but really aren’t.
About fifteen years ago, many liberals began to self-identify as progressives—partly because of the implosion of the Great Society and the Reagan reaction that had tarnished the liberal brand and left it as something akin to “permissive” or “naïve,” partly because “progressive” was supposedly an ideological rather than a political identification, and had included some early twentieth-century Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.
But twenty-first century progressivism is not aimed at political reform. There is no new effort at racial unity. There is not much realization that we are in a globalized, rapidly changing, high-tech economy or that race and gender are not as they were fifty years ago. Instead, progressivism has become a reactionary return to the 1960s—or even well before.
Actually, if you actually listen to what they say, they’d like to put us back before 1900, where most of the country was wilderness, most of what was left was farms, the height of transportation technology was the railroad (both within cities and between cities), and the automobile was a toy for the rich.