The Abject Cruelty of Progressivism

Progressivism is an extraordinarily cruel ideology.

Progressive cruelty is everywhere. Consider the poor and poverty. What America’s poor need, more than anything else, is opportunity. Generations of Americans began poor and worked their way upward, handing their children better lives than they themselves had been handed. Opportunity, and opportunity alone, breeds social and economic mobility — handing the poor a dignified way out of poverty.

Government cannot mandate opportunity. Opportunity requires a robust, growth-oriented economy, jobs, training and educational opportunities. Progressivism is ideologically averse to opportunity-generation.

Progressives despise the free-market capitalism that promotes economic growth and jobs, view internships and mentoring programs as forms of exploitation and reject school choice for all but the very wealthy.

While fighting to squelch growth and mobility, progressive economics preaches division and distribution. Progressives pit groups against each other fighting for government largesse. They decry any attempts to inculcate responsible behavior and positive cultural values. Progressivism seeks to keep the poor mired in poverty, addicted to government handouts, terrified of advancement — and at arms’ length.

Progressives like to cast their attempts to make poverty a little less uncomfortable as compassionate. That demonstrates little other than that progressivism has deconstructed yet another term. Eliminating opportunity and mobility while trapping the poor in poverty isn’t compassionate; it’s cruel.

Consider America’s minority communities: Black, Asian, Latino, Muslim and others. Each of these communities has distinct strengths and faces unique challenges. Each boasts a diverse array of voices, opinions, and priorities. Progressives approach them each as monoliths — designating their angriest, least constructive elements as authentic, while denigrating those most eager to seek the American dream.

Our Black community is suffering from the collapse of its family structure and a weakening of its historic faith. Young Black men are disproportionately likely both to commit and to be victims of violent crime — and consequently to be mistaken for perpetrators or intended victims. Black neighborhoods remain among America most dangerous, driving out investment, making jobs scarce, and yielding poor public schools.

A compassionate approach to America’s Black community would seek ways to strengthen families and churches, improve neighborhood safety, promote investment, and enhance school choice, training programs, and internship opportunities. Progressives work overtime against these goals.

They seek to reduce policing and eliminate the nuclear family, deter investment, and maintain rigid control over school placement. Given the Black community’s real needs, such a program can only be characterized as cruel.

Our Latino community is following in the footsteps of so many wonderful immigrant communities of the past. Its greatest needs are stability and Americanization. New arrivals must learn English, civics, American history, and entrepreneurship. Progressives oppose all of those objectives. Instead, they seek to flood Latino neighborhoods with a constant stream of poorly-vetted new arrivals, importing to America the gang violence so many decent Latinos fled. Again, the cruel progressive plan is to impede mobility, integration, and Americanization.

Our Muslim community — even more so than America’s Latinos — came here to escape violence and oppression. Compassion would help them learn to synthesize their culture with the American mainstream, embracing notions of individual liberty and personal responsibility.

Progressives, however, embrace only their most outraged, victimized voices — leaders and organizations whose mission is to radicalize first-generation Muslims, cruelly turning them into caricatures of the very people their parents fled.

Our diverse Asian communities — Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and others — arrive with a committed work ethic and a desire to improve, believing deeply in the American dream and seeking it for their children. Their communities foster family, education, and hard work.

For the most part, they engage in a quiet Americanization. A compassionate approach would recognize them as an asset to America, provide them with the assistance they need, and laud their cultural success. Progressives, however, hold the Asian commitment to the American dream in contempt; they cruelly seek ways to degrade schools that reward excellence, downplay earned merit, and submit Asians to debilitating quotas.

Progressives perpetrate acts of cruelty throughout American society. Their promotion of gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for sexually uncertain adolescents is child abuse. Their gleeful insistence that nuns fund abortion is anti-Christian bigotry. Their fixation on Jewish power is antisemitism. Their injection of men-who-identify-as-female into women’s shelters, sports, and bathrooms is misogyny.

Their aversion to reopening the economy is class warfare. They cruelly “cancel” people for comments made long ago in different cultural contexts. In the age of COVID, progressives are unable to see a photo of people enjoying life, family and community without shouting “there ought to be a law against that!”

As America’s dominant cultural movement, progressivism is turning us into an increasingly cruel society. We can do better. To restore America’s traditional sense of compassion, we must defeat progressivism as surely as we defeated its cruel predecessors, fascism and communism.


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