A Progressive (Sorta) Figures it Out

But cut him some slack on being 7 years or so later than the non-Progressives – after all, he’s a highly respected and credentialed academic and so his knowledge of reality is on the low end of the scale. Anyways, Cornel West has some gripes about The One:

No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair…

Brother Cornel’s real problem is that he, himself, is shackled to Progressive thought as much as Obama is. It never occurred to Professor West that the reality is that Progressives are the Ruling Class.  And as such, they defend the status quo because any change to that means Progressives will be out of power and out of wealth. People like West think they are still out there getting ready to storm the barricades of the Ruling Class never realizing that they are the merest tools and foot-soldiers of the Ruling Class.  The Ruling Class likes people like West – they provide a patina of intellect to a class of people who are only in it for the money, power and fame. They also cook up arguments which allow the Ruling Class to pretend they are on the side of the people.  If West were to actually sit down and think about it all, now that he’s seen Obama for the fraud that he is, then he’d also start to realize that his Progressive ethic is the foundation of the fraud (seen more clearly in the way West – and the rest of the left – turn reality on ts head and find themselves on the side of bloodthirsty tyrants in Hamas vs the liberal democrats of Israel).

I actually have all sorts of sympathy for Mr. West.  He’s sincere. He really believes what he believes.  He really wants justice and mercy and equality to prevail – but he’s also been suckered his whole life by a left wing narrative and he’s so far proven himself incapable of breaking out of it, even when the stark, cruel truth is right in front of him. If he’d just realize that Obama hasn’t conned people any more than Reid or Pelosi or Sharpton or Jackson or Biden or Clinton (both of them), etc, etc, etc then he’d be on the route to being useful in the fight for liberty and justice for all. Solzhenitsyn noted this problem with Progressives in his Gulag Archipelago. Writing about the true-blue communists that Stalin, in his humor, raked in along with the “kulaks” and “wreckers”, Solzhenitsyn noted this inability to draw conclusions.  The communists remained convinced that the communist system was good; that Stalin was good – they couldn’t go from Step A to Step B and realize that if a gross injustice is carried out under the authority of those who claim to be for justice, then maybe they aren’t telling the truth. West is still stuck in the rut – certain that Obama is a fraud, he can’t go past that and realize that Obama is just one of many frauds…and maybe, just maybe, some on the right are better allies?

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got some blind people on the right, as well – but they are only a small minority compared to the blind on the left. In reality, you have to be a bit blind just to be of the left. You have to ignore some basic facts about humanity and history in order to really think, for instance, that a set of bureaucrats in DC could, say, craft a health care system for all Americans. But I still take it as encouraging that someone like West has at least partially awakened – and it makes me hopeful that maybe over 2014 and 2016 we can do some genuine good…that we can really get some hope for change.

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19 thoughts on “A Progressive (Sorta) Figures it Out

  1. Amazona August 25, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    I didn’t read this as a story of West “awakening”. He has not “awakened” to the reality that the Leftist ideology is a fraud. He is just ticked off that Obama has not gone far enough in ramming this ideology down our throats.

    We see it differently—we see Obamacare as an implementation of this ideology, while West no doubt fumes that the administration did not leap directly into single-payer but took an incremental approach. To people like West, it was a cop-out to pretend the plan was anything but institutionalized government-run single-payer health care, and he would only have been happy if we had just been told to drop trou and grab ankles because by damn this is what Obama was going to DO!

    He is not impressed by the assumption of legislative powers by Obama, because to him and his kind this is just the way it should be. He is not impressed by the establishment of a de facto fourth branch of government, consisting of appointed government officials and answering to no one, because this is just the way it should be. He is not impressed by the numbers of avowed Marxists in the White House, because this is just the way it should be. He looks at the same things we recognize as intolerable expansions of the size, scope and power of the federal government and intrusions into the lives of the people and sees them all as natural and desirable and not nearly enough.

    The closest West has come to an “awakening” is the realization that Obama is a fraud, an empty suit with a nice smile.

    • M. Noonan August 26, 2014 / 11:22 pm

      Well, I did say “sorta”. West is what he is – and I admit to a soft spot for him. Oddly enough, Rush picked up on this same story and he appears to have the same attitude I do about West.

      West is pretty much a “goodthinker” – Orwell’s word for those who refuse to think ill of Party Line. Obama is, too, of course. But at least West has the honesty to admit that Obama isn’t the man of justice and liberty he presented himself as. It is to be hoped that, some day, West will completely wake up – I point out to liberals like him, when I run into them, that you can still be quite liberal and not be a slave to the party line.

      • Amazona August 31, 2014 / 11:55 am

        “I point out to liberals like him, when I run into them, that you can still be quite liberal and not be a slave to the party line.”

        This brings me back to the same thing I keep harping on—–the definition of “Liberal”. First, when used in the political context, I think it has to be capitalized, as the political meaning is antithetical to the literal meaning, referring to a political system totally illiberal in its intent, goal, and execution. The word “liberal” (lower-case “l”) is now meaningless, tossed around to describe and define all sorts of things that have nothing to do with political ideology or a general philosophy of open-mindedness and tolerance and acceptance of differences. All we have to do is look at those who define themselves as “liberal” (lower-case “l”) and see the narrowness of what they find acceptable to see that the word simply does not apply, but it is used, as you just did, as if it means something. If it is used as a political identity, with a capital L, then it should be accompanied by a coherent political philosophy based on a belief in a large central authority with no restrictions on size, scope or power.

        I contend that you can be one with a deep conviction regarding many of the Liberal causes and issues and still vote for the conservative ticket, if you simply understand (and agree) that these causes must be addressed at the state and local levels and not through the federal government. I see our failure to explain this as the worst mistake conservatives make.

        You can believe that abortion in the early stages of pregnancy is nothing more than the removal of a few cells, not the end of a human life, and still be a political conservative if you understand and agree that legislation on the matter is not allowed to the federal government. You can believe that Jim should be able to call Bob his husband and that their relationship is marriage, and still vote for the conservative ticket if you understand and agree that the definition of marriage is not one of the enumerated duties of the federal government, but must be left up to the people.

        The Left has divided the nation according to causes and issues and then convinced voters that once they enter the tent of any cause or issue they must vote for the party that has put up that tent, and/or against the party they have identified as the enemy of that cause or issue. And the Right, blindly and stupidly, plays the game, and goes right along with linking itself to some issues and coming out against others, when in fact they have nothing to do with whether or not the nation is governed according to the Constitution, with a central authority severely restricted as to size, scope and power, or in defiance of the Constitution with a federal government allowed to assume any power it wants to advance any agenda it wants.

      • Amazona August 31, 2014 / 12:24 pm

        Personally, I see West and others like him as perfect examples of ego triumphing over intellect. He is so invested in his self-identification as an “intellectual” and a “liberal” that he simply cannot see over the walls he has built around himself, and risk a little bruising to his massive ego, to see that there are other perspectives that are valid, and many that contradict his own.

        On top of that, he has his racial ID to complicate matters, and no matter how smart he thinks he is, he is not smart enough to get past that. He should learn from people like Thomas Sowell that a true intellectual is not shackled by foolish bigotries.

        I think West is a pompous ass, given a forum solely because of his color, and I have never heard a word from him that has not been based on his bigotries, his ego, and/or his political illiteracy. Even your quotes show that he is not engaging in serious political discussion or analysis. Look at what he is whining about: “The Wall Street executives go free.” ????? What is it about “Wall Street executives” that demands they NOT “go free”? This is pure Occupy bulls**t, blatant in its infantile ignorance.

        And what else has West’s panties in a twist? Well, he is miffed because Obama has not, according to him, lived up to his promise, in spite of acting “…as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality…” Here West spotlights more of his ignorance. First, the administration of Obama has been an example of Progressivism run amok, with the establishment of a de facto fourth branch of government by vastly expanding both the size and scope of authority of agencies, the statements regarding his belief that he has the authority to simply ignore Congress and make his own laws and his actions in that regard, his takeover of one-sixth of the nation’s economy by putting the federal government in the middle of health care, his erosion of America’s might and influence worldwide, his weakening of our military—-anyone with even a basic understanding of the ideology of Progressivism has to admit the extent to which Obama has imposed it upon the country. West’s whining indicates that he just doesn’t know what the word means, in political terms, and that he might be dumb enough to think it carries the literal meaning of the word before it got hijacked by the most regressive political movement in recent history.

        And what the hell does”…concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality…” mean? CONCERNED ??? He is miffed because he doesn’t think Obama CARES enough? My God, all the man DOES is care. He takes every opportunity to let us know he cares. No one cares more than he does.

        Now, if West had gone on to identify what he considers “serious injustice and inequality” and then engaged in a serious and realistic analysis of what Obama has done to further serious injustice and inequality by contributing to the degeneration of the black family through increased entitlement programs, actively promoting more racial unrest and conflict, appointing a racist Attorney General who has done his part to fan the flames of racial distrust and hatred, perpetuating economic inequality by undermining the economic opportunities once available in this country, and so on, I might develop something of a “soft spot” for the man myself. But what I get from his pissing and moaning is that he is disgruntled because Obama has not gone far enough in dividing the races by giving even more special treatment to blacks, or not confiscating enough of OPM for redistribution by the state.

  2. Cluster August 25, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    Cornell West is an integral part of the Clerisy, and in that role, he always has to be “in the struggle”. Progressives like West will never be satisfied because it is the “struggle” which gives them their position of power and influence – the most egregious example of this is Al Sharpton.

    In this article, West is just attacking Obama from the left and positioning the the left to blame Obama’s failures on “centrist policies”. It’s the same old song and dance. They just didn’t go far enough left BUT Elizabeth Warren will. I guarantee you – West will be a Warren supporter.

    Incidentally, in the following quote – West is blaming America and Israel.

    The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free.

  3. Cluster August 26, 2014 / 5:30 pm

    Should we be surprised?

    (CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama sent no White House representative to the memorial Mass held yesterday in Rochester, New Hampshire, for James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists. President Obama, however, did send three White House aides to Monday’s funeral for Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American fatally shot in an encounter with a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/obama-sent-no-representative-memorial-mass-beheaded-journalist-james

      • Cluster August 27, 2014 / 7:53 am

        I recently read that as well about the Major General and Obama’s absence at that funeral is even more egregious. And “filth” is just one mild descriptive of the culture of this administration.

    • M. Noonan August 26, 2014 / 11:24 pm

      Not at all surprised – there is no gain for Obama in this death. It can’t be painted in a way which will potentially excite the liberal base in front of November and, indeed, by focusing on the death, it just brings to mind Obama’s manifest foreign policy failures.

  4. Retired Spook August 27, 2014 / 8:48 am

    My wife and I just got back from a 2-week trip to the east coast, visiting friends and relatives in Richmond, VA, Philadelphia, PA, New Haven, CT, and down-state NY — an interesting microcosm of people and ideologies. Two of the couples are main stream Conservatives, one couple is decidedly Progressive (2 retired college English professors), and my cousin, who is pretty conservative but married to a knee-jerk Liberal (“all our current problems are the fault of George W. Bush”), who, interestingly, teaches 7th grade social studies. (yeah, comparisons to Casper crossed my mind as well.)

    We got is some interesting discussions, but the one that gave me a glimmer of hope was with the retired English professor in Connecticut. He’s reading Ralph Nader’s new book, “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State”, and suggested we might want to read it as well. But then, just as I was getting that warm, hopey-changy feeling, my wife asked him what he thought about Hillary, and he said he thought she’d make a great president and would enthusiastically vote for her if she ran.

    Every time I think I see light at the end of the tunnel, it, almost always ends up being a train coming the other way.

    • Cluster August 27, 2014 / 10:35 am

      I would like to know why he thinks she would make a “great President”. Was it her success as SecState? Not. Was it her remarkable tenure as NY Sen.? Not. Is it her vast private sector experience? None. Or is it her ability to pander, placate, and say whatever she needs to say depending on the audience?? Probably.

      • Retired Spook August 27, 2014 / 12:34 pm

        We were on our way to the car to leave when he made that statement, and the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the driveway and argue Hillary Clinton’s qualifications to be POTUS. In addition to your excellent questions, I would ask him if he thinks she will help forge, or at least join in a left/right political coalition to dismantle the corporate state.

        There may be some on the Left who would sincerely like to find common ground with Conservatives, probably about the same percentage as voted for Nader in his numerous presidential runs. But I think for most Leftists, any compromise with them will be decidedly one-sided on our part.

      • Cluster August 27, 2014 / 1:37 pm

        Agreed. I am only interested in compromising with Democrats if it is on our terms.

      • Retired Spook August 27, 2014 / 3:46 pm

        Agreed. I am only interested in compromising with Democrats if it is on our terms.

        I’m only interested in compromises that have a positive effect on individual liberty and/or prosperity and that are in compliance with the Constitution.

      • Cluster August 27, 2014 / 3:59 pm

        I believe those are our terms

      • Amazona August 27, 2014 / 5:02 pm

        Compromise on goals? No.

        Compromise on how to achieve mutually agreed-upon goals? Of course.

        If our goals include reducing the size, scope and power of the Federal Government, and restoring authority to the states or the people, these should not be modified in any way. However, I can see how there could be different approaches to making this happen, and therefore areas of potential compromise.

        And so on………….

    • M. Noonan August 27, 2014 / 11:55 am

      I’m with Cluster – I’d really like to have a liberal tell me what they believe makes Hillary credible as President. Of course, there was nothing which made Obama credible…

    • Amazona August 27, 2014 / 4:37 pm

      There is literally not one single thing to indicate that Hillary would make a “great president”. Not one. Or even a moderatly decent president. She has no perceptible leadership qualities, as we saw in her tenure at the State Department. She has never been successful at anything but riding the coattails of Bill Clinton’s political savvy. She has failed at everything she has tried—Hillarycare was a monumental failure on many levels, and her stint as Sec of State was one miserable failure after another, from the giddy schoolgirl giggling over the infantile “RESET” button (which no one in her agency even vetted to see if they were using the correct word—more lack of leadership) to her abandonment of our people in Benghazi. Add to this her vile and toxic personality and the fact that she constantly lies, and you have the heroine of many Leftist dreams.

      But she is a woman. (Or so some say.) And these people have decided that our next president should be a woman. ‘Nuff said. Or at least till Lizzy Warren tangles with her, which ought to be an interesting battle.

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