October 4, 2006


Who Are the Progressives These Days? (THOMAS BRAY, October 4, 2006, NY Sun)

[B]allot propositions have been the friend of conservatives for the last quarter century. There is considerable irony in that. The Initiative and Referendum Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Southern California School of Law, notes that the I&R movement of the early 20th century was spawned by progressives who shared a Jeffersonian belief in the basic wisdom of the people. They saw direct voting on issues as a way to bypass supposedly hidebound, corrupt legislatures.

But beginning in 1978 with voter approval of California's famous Proposition 13, which limited property taxes, the biggest users of the ballot proposal became conservative populists. The progressives, to paraphrase William F. Buckley, were relegated to standing athwart history, yelling stop, as one conservative proposal after another was enacted into law by voters rebelling against the nanny state.

Indeed, the emerging strategy of the left is to prevent people from voting at all on many ballot proposals.

When you're terrified of the voters in a democracy, you've lost.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2006 9:05 AM

If an I&R were put on the ballot of all states in 06 about rounding up and sending home all illegal aliens, and it passed, would progressives be terrified?

Posted by: AllenS at October 4, 2006 9:54 AM

No, gleeful.

Posted by: oj at October 4, 2006 10:00 AM

Please, when we use the word, progressive," to refer to the left, let us preface it with "so-called," or "self-proclaimed," or at least enclose the word itself in quotation marks, lest we become participants in the canard that those scoundrels are other than atavistic, throwback reactionaries.

At least the linked article begins to question the gigantic lie that the left is about moving forward.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 4, 2006 10:17 AM

Have to agree with Lou on the use of the word "progressive", which I dislike as well. Maybe if the media wasn't allowing liberals to rename themselves, they'd realize that it isn't that "Republicans turned 'liberal' into a dirty word" as they sometimes claim - but that they did it to themselves.

However, if they want to call themselves "regressives", they are more than welcome. The term is distinctive, and has the advantage of describing them accurately.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at October 4, 2006 11:36 AM

Whatever you want to call the left, they are understandably afraid of limiting voting to those who legally qualify. If an ID would be required to register to vote, they would win very few elections outside poverty pimp encampments.

Student ID's would, of course, be issued with their home addresses, so they would no longer be able to vote from their campuses and possibly sway election results leftward against the wishes of the permanent residents. I believe it was former President Carter who was instrumental in making this change.

It's positively uncanny how changes in voting rules and regs seem to benefit those of the liberal persuasion, to wit, Clinton disallowing voting at military bases, but not making that change known until it was too late for the military to obtain absentee ballots from their home addresses, thereby effectively disenfranchising many potential Republicans voters.

Posted by: erp at October 4, 2006 11:48 AM