American Progressivism

Posted on Wed 04/11/2018 by


By Cole Levine ~

The times have certainly changed for America since she won her independence from a despotic British Empire. The Founding Fathers earned the responsibility to craft a brilliant federalist system of government, implementing mechanisms to separate powers and limit its scope. The American people, the lucky recipients of this great experiment, have experienced liberty, prosperity, and a unique sense of national pride since the beginning. That is not to say that the fight for liberty was over after 1783; after all, an entire Civil War nearly destroyed the nation in a tragic, yet necessary battle over slavery.

Quite frankly, this incredible war, which was filled with gruesome bloodshed and patriotic sacrifices, is a long while behind us- but not that long.

Immediately thereafter, the Reconstruction Era (1860-1877) emerged, where Americans learned to live along with freed slaves, while rebuilding much of the nation in the aftermath of seemingly insurmountable destruction.

Fast-forward to the Industrial Era, (1876-1900) and the boom of technology and manufacturing permanently advanced the nation into incredible new heights. High amounts of personal and economic liberty contributed to the rejuvenation of the private sector.

Then came the Progressive Era.

Perhaps it is inevitable that tremendous national success always comes with calls for wealth redistribution schemes, regulations, and other forms of government interference in a nation’s economy. In a small segment of history, the United States economic system was bombarded with all sorts of measures to tighten the reigns on the private sector, opening the doors for extreme crony capitalism and protectionism.

Sure, Calvin Coolidge, one of the few conservative presidents of American history, oversaw the boom of the “Roaring Twenties”, promoting the rise in wealth through massive tax cuts, regulation removals, and other measures to promote liberty.

However, it wasn’t enough to prevent the disastrous initiatives of presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Hoover, much like Lincoln and Reagan’s successors, did not continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor. The man was a phony Republican, supporting progressive reforms with increased federal funding and an economic policy that led to devastating consequences. Months after the Great Depression severely damaged the economy in 1929, he decided to sign the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, raising taxes on tens of thousands of imported products to the second highest levels of all time. The effects of this law were nothing short of catastrophic; the decrease in trade as well as the increased expenses of it drastically exacerbated the Great Depression, extending the time it would take to recover by several years.

America was in grave trouble, and they willfully decided to place faith in Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal.

FDR, perhaps one of the most radical and transformative tyrants in American history, completely expanded the role of the executive branch, signing 3,728 executive orders in his 12 years of presidential service. For reference, George Washington signed 8. Many of these executive orders were completely unconstitutional, such as the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II, the confiscation of almost all gold held by American citizens, and his famous court-packing scheme, where he attempted to increase the amount of justices on the Supreme Court. This was done in order to overpower Conservative judges who conducted proper judicial review of his New Deal policies, previously ruling many of them as unconstitutional.

FDR is also credited with creating the welfare state, expanding the size of the federal government, ballooning up the national debt, and presiding over double-digit unemployment rates until the industrial demands of World War II finally saved the American economy. A strong post-war boom emerged, and massive wealth creation immediately advanced the nation into a global superpower, even being tasked with reconstructing war-torn Europe.

The rest is history. We all know what Jimmy Carter did, leading to the evisceration of his legacy by Ronald Reagan. Reagan is credited with leading the most profound Conservative revolution in modern American history, slashing taxes and regulations, reducing spending, and asserting the might and unquestionable superiority of the United States military. Unfortunately, both George Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all but trampled on Reagan’s vision for America themselves, by establishing a norm of progressivism.

Essentially, Republicans are no longer Conservatives, and Democrats are now radical Marxists. The recent Omnibus demonstrates just how sickening the elite ruling class has become, rushing spending bills through Congress that are too long to read without the consent of the governed.

Progressives have so many damaging facets to their ideological agenda that cannot be completely discussed in one article. Whether it be their domestic policies that fail to acknowledge basic economic realities, their belief and promotion of a centralized government involved in nearly every aspect of life, or perhaps their tolerance and encouragement of a morally reprehensible culture, they have been unrelenting in their advance. The progressive sees no limits to their means, draws no boundaries between the government and the individual, (unless it’s about abortions and recreational drugs) and attacks all noble qualities of American culture that are the reason for her greatness, such as the family and religion.

Next week, we will delve into a constitutional solution crafted by the framers for our current predicament. I am confident that this will help restore and revitalize our nation. As well, you will be able to be a part of the solution. We have to fix this. If we do not take on the responsibility now, future generations will suffer tragic consequences. We can continue to be complacent, or we can be patriots, and start taking back control of our representatives. It is important to remember that they are not our masters; they are public servants.

Cole Levine is a college student seeking to promote liberty. Please feel free to visit his new website dedicated to the rejuvenation of Conservatism. He hopes to see you there.