Unsurprisingly, not much. Doughy pantload and professional freeloader, oops, sorry… “sociology student”… Patrick Ross launches into yet another one of his painfully tiresome, windy and wholly ill-informed attacks on his nemesis and unrequited love-object, Canadian Cynic. This time he builds his ridiculous argument on the feeble contention that Cynic is not a “Progressive”…
Oh dear, here we go again with semantic labels and ideological definitions. In this case, Patrick hangs his baseball cap on a short blurb from the obscure website of some undistinguished outfit called “The Progressive Living Foundation” that defines “progressivism” as follows:
“…a political movement that represents the interests of ordinary people in their roles as taxpayers, consumers, employees, citizens, and parents. To coin a phrase, progressivism champions government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.’”
Gee, could that be a little more vacuous or fluffy? One hardly thinks so. Let’s see if we can come up with something more edifying. Wikipedia is often a good place to start:
“…a general branch of political thought which arose as a response to the vast changes brought by industrialization, and as an alternative both to the traditional conservative response to social and economic issues and to the various more or less radical streams of socialism and anarchism which opposed them. Progressivism historically advocates the advancement of workers’ rights and social justice. The progressives were early proponents of anti-trust laws, regulation of large corporations and monopolies, as well as government-funded environmentalism and the creation of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.”
Of course “Progressivism” is a colossally broad, nebulous sort of term and therefore difficult to define with any precision. It’s interesting to note the vast array of disparate individuals deemed to be “progressives” in the Wikipedia entry; from Upton Sinclair to Thorstein Veblen, and Dennis Kucinich to Woodrow Wilson. But to put a somewhat finer point on matters, John Halpin, senior advisor at the Center for American Progress offers up this insight:
“Progressivism is an orientation towards politics, It’s not a long-standing ideology like liberalism, but an historically-grounded concept... that accepts the world as dynamic.”
Unfortunately, this sort of delicate attitudinal nuance is apparently incapable of penetrating Patrick’s fantastically dense mullet, resulting in him just moronically squawking the dimestore mantra that “Progressivism represents the interests of ordinary people.” Well, duh. What political movement doesn’t make similar claims?
Following on from this stupendously dim revelation is a lot of cheap, utterly meaningless blather (over 800 words, all signifying nothing whatsoever) about “Cynic and his coterie of vicious hooligans” that don’t bear repeating or even skimming really, but behold this brilliant gem:
“What either fail to recognize, or fail to admit, is that the freedom for those who disagree with them to express their views without fear of attack or harassment is part and parcel of a progressive social contract in which people -- each presumably as equal as the next -- are permitted to hold to hold their own opinions, recognize their own interests, organize in order to pursue their interests, and express their opinions in that regard.”
Yeah, well I’ll certainly keep that in mind when Frank Hilliard launches into his next spirited defense of the individual rights of people who choose to “pursue their interests” by driving whilst intoxicated or when he starts hysterically shrieking that Halal certification on certain lamb products is a sure sign that the imposition of Sharia Law by the treacherous Islamofascists in our midst is close at hand. Likewise, I’ll try to remind myself to be a little more sensitive to Kate McMillan the next time she endorses the “free speech” of a self-confessed “full time Nazi” who advocates the wholesale murder of homosexuals based on a commandment from Scripture.
Perhaps others can back me up on this, but the last time I glanced at my “Progressive” membership card, I don’t recall there being any requirement that I check my brains at the door and automatically subscribe to the ludicrous notion that all ideas and opinions are of equal merit. I forget the exact wording, but it may in fact even have suggested something to the contrary — that some ideas are catastrophically dumb and therefore quite deserving of being figuratively pilloried and mocked to death. Like say… much of the flatulent nonsense of Patrick Ross.
And so it goes.