Lincoln * Institute

Dr. Paul Kengor

Dr. Paul Kengor

Executive Director
Center for Vision & Values
at Grove City College

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Kengor's Corner

Obama's Progress

by Paul Kengor
 

Try to define [4]progressivism. In fact, [5]ask progressives to try to define

progressivism. All we really know is that they're, well, progressing. They and

their ideas and their politics are always changing, evolving. This means that

what they believe and hold fast and dear today may not be what they believe and

hold fast and dear tomorrow, or decades or a century from now.

For instance, when progressive heroine [6]Margaret Sanger started her American

Birth Control League a century ago, she was seeking birth control for, among

other purposes, what she and fellow progressives termed "race improvement." She

hoped to expunge the gene pool of what she termed "[7]human weeds," "morons,"

and "imbeciles." She repudiated abortion, calling it "an alternative that I

cannot too strongly condemn … the practice of it merely for limitation of

offspring is dangerous and vicious." She clarified in no uncertain terms: "some

ill-informed persons have the notion that when we speak of birth control we

include abortion as a method. We certainly do not."

Today, Sanger's American Birth Control League is Planned Parenthood, America's

largest abortion provider. Progressives have not only progressed to that level

but also to the point where they demand full taxpayer funding of Planned

Parenthood and birth control and abortion drugs. Most amazing, those who

disagree are castigated as Neanderthals favoring a "war on women."

How did we suddenly progress to this latest stage?

That's a long answer with a lot of factors, but we cannot disregard the huge

impact of the latest influence: President Obama. If you would have told me five

years ago that the president of the United States, by executive fiat, would

force all Americans–including all religious organizations–to fund sterilization

services and abortion drugs, I would have at least taken solace in one thing: my

liberal friends would surely respect my religious beliefs and insist their

president was crossing the line.

Sorry, the opposite is true. With President Obama leading, millions of Democrats

have willfully fallen in line. He is not bending, and neither are they. If we

disagree with what they're compelling us to do … that's our fault. We have

failed to progress to their understanding.

My pro-choice friends always promised they'd never force me to pay for their

abortions. With Obama out front, that has changed. They simply hadn't progressed

there yet.

The same is true for gay marriage, where liberals–immediately after Obama's

statement on gay marriage to ABC a few months ago–are suddenly on fire for the

cause, from blasting Chick-fil-A to, according to The New York Times,

considering the unprecedented step of placing gay marriage in the Democratic

Party platform. Consider liberals' progression on this issue:

A half century ago, the concept of "gay marriage" would have been unthinkable to

any Democrat. Currently, I'm being frequently asked about parallels in thinking

between Obama and his mentor, [8]Frank Marshall Davis. There are striking

similarities when it comes to their words on Wall Street, the rich, tax cuts,

wealth redistribution, universal healthcare. I'm often asked if Davis' writings

indicated support for gay marriage and abortion. Are you kidding? Anyone who

might have voiced public support for those things back then, Democrat or

Republican or radical, would have been hauled off to an asylum as a public

menace.

Just 20 years ago, the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton, supported

the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as strictly between a man

and a woman.

While support for gay marriage has increased since then, what the progressive

movement needed was a front man to light the fuse and take the lead. They got it

big-time from President Obama. Just like that, the entire public debate has

changed, with gay-marriage advocates on the offensive and opponents on the

defensive. [9]Those opposing the unwavering norm since the dawn of humanity,

following the billions before us–what Chesterton called the [10]"Democracy of

the Dead"–are suddenly framed as extremists who must explain ourselves. And CEOs

of companies who voice a mere opinion to the contrary–e.g., Chick-fil-A–are

picketed, protested, banned, and attacked by the nation's mayors for

manufacturing everything from "hate thoughts" to "hate chicken."

Progressivism. No one can see where it will end up, but we can see how it

unfolds. In this latest manifestation–call it President Obama's progress–it

compels all of us to acquiesce on gay marriage and abortion. Obama didn't begin

the push, but, in only four years, he has advanced the progressive project by

leaps and bounds, a stunning surge that doesn't happen without him.

In 2008, Barack Obama promised fundamental, transformational change–and now,

thanks to the American electorate, we're getting it.

– Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College,

executive director of [11]The Center for Vision Values, and author of the

book, [12]"The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack

Obama's Mentor." His other books include [13]"The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and

the Fall of Communism" and [14]"Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have

Manipulated Progressives for a Century."

© 2012 by The Center for Vision Values at Grove City College. The views &

opinions

expressed herein may, but do not necessarily, reflect the views of Grove City

College.

[15]www.VisionAndValues.org | [16]www.VisionAndValuesEvents.com

References

1.

mailto:visandvals@gcc.edu?subject=Publication%2Fcitation%20notice&body=1.%20Submission%20title%3A%0A%0A2.%20Publication%28s%29%2Fmedia%20outlet%28s%29%3A%0A%0A3.%20Tentative%20publication%2Fcitation%20date%28s%29%3A

2. http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/08/obamas-progress/

3. http://www.VisionAndValues.org/

4.

http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/03/a-centennial-verdict-on-progressivism-1912-2012/

5.

http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/06/the-nations-top-progressives-and-socialists-and-communists/

6. http://www.visionandvalues.org/2011/04/on-margaret-sanger-the-soviets-and-democrats/

7.

http://www.visionandvalues.org/2011/04/sterilizing-those-pesky-humans-earth-day-with-paul-ehrlich/

8. http://www.visionandvalues.org/the-communist/

9.

http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/08/gay-marriage-killing-the-democracy-of-the-dead/

10.

http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/08/gay-marriage-killing-the-democracy-of-the-dead/

11. http://www.visionandvalues.org/

12. http://www.visionandvalues.org/the-communist/

13. http://www.amazon.com/The-Crusader-Ronald-Reagan-Communism/dp/B002FL5ELM/

14.

http://www.amazon.com/Dupes-Americas-Adversaries-Manipulated-Progressives/dp/1935191756/

15. http://www.VisionAndValues.org/

16. http://www.VisionAndValuesEvents.com/

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