The Seattle Weekly, normally a weekly newspaper that wraps itself in the flag of progressivism, seems to be waking up to the downside of its own agenda.In a remarkable column, the Seattle Weekly finally admits
that “progressive” Seattle is really no less religious than evangelical conservatism wrapped in secular clothe. It's a different type of religion, to be sure, but no less based on faith ....
You hear all kinds of hyperbole from the lips of nanny statists these days. In Seattle, it ties in nicely with the city's long tradition of hyperearnest citizens, people the critic H.L. Mencken called "uplifters." Those are the folks who "know" what's good for everyone else and have no tolerance for anything they consider against the rules of clean living. They seek to ban whatever activity they don't like. That's often the way of social conservatives, the people who helped bring about Prohibition in the last century and today want to ban a woman's right to choose or eliminate gay rights. They know what's good for everyone because, often, their religious conviction tells them so.Seattle and Washington state’s politicians are practiced at fishing with emotional bait, and our populace seems gullible enough to swallow it hook, lock, and sinker. Nobody seems to realize that trading away one civil liberty amounts to creating a precedent that enables people like Seattle’s Mayor Nickels to take ten more. Eventually, government hits a tipping point where the erosion of your freedoms and rights becomes a landslide of state-ism.
But of late, liberals and progressives around the country are acting just as religious, except many wrap their arguments in the secular prophecy of public-health officials and all-knowing advocacy groups. Progressives are going after "rights" connected to behavior they consider unhealthful. They want to ban smoking completely. They want to so limit alcohol consumption that the speakeasy, once again, becomes reality. They want to ban gun ownership. They want to control what people eat. In Seattle, nannies like Mayor Greg Nickels want to drive strip clubs out of business. And, if progressives cannot get their way through education and mass-media campaigns, then they will resort to the ballot box, coercion, and in the case of Washington state government, a call for social discrimination.
It’s surprising that it takes people this long to wake up to the hegemony of Seattle nanny-ism calling itself “progressive.” Looking at Seattle, you see all the reasons why it is never a good idea to trade away any amount of freedom, no matter what the cause.
If you are willing to hand over your freedom to someone like Mayor Nickels, he’ll happily take it. In fact, Seattle Democrats seem to be racing Republicans toward ever increasing nanny-ism, promising to alleviate every risk we face if only we will let them. Hillary Clinton will run for the White House with just such a posture, appealing to progressivism's religious beliefs in things like feminism, environmentalism, and socialized healthcare, and hoping the rest of middle America is fooled. The only difference is that while Republican evangelicals have the Bible to point to as a moral compass (perhaps a more honest and time tested method for discerning morals to live by), Hillary Rodham will pretend to by our all-knowing mother who knows best.
In fact, Seattle is a microcosm and purified form of where our country seems to be heading. And there doesn’t seem to be any way out. Neither party stands for classical liberal values any longer. Seattle’s Democrats will appeal to your emotions; national Republicans will appeal to your morals. In the end, they’ll both tell you what your emotions and morals should be, and punish you if you disagree.
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