A previous post asks for the goal of people who call themselves Progressives. Well, the answer may have been provided by Walter Russell Mead.
In his commentary “The Progressive Crisis” Mead states the folllowing:
A strong and active federal government is the cornerstone of progressive politics. If voters lose faith in the power of more government to better their lives, the progressive era has come to an end. . .
. . . The progressive state has never seen its job as simply to check the excesses of the rich. It has also sought to correct the vices of the poor and to uplift the masses. From the Prohibition and eugenics movements of the early twentieth century to various improvement and uplift projects in our own day, well educated people have seen it as their simple duty to use the powers of government to make the people do what is right: to express the correct racial ideas, to eschew bad child rearing technique like corporal punishment, to eat nutritionally appropriate foods, to quit smoking, to use the right light bulbs and so on and so on.
Mead goes on to say, “The progressive ideal of administrative cadres leading the masses toward the light has its roots in a time when many Americans had an eighth grade education or less.” Michael Barone replies, “That is still the mindset of the Obama Democrats. Ordinary people are treated as victims who need government programs like Obamacare to help them out.”*
Mead also writes the following:
Progressives want and need to believe that the voters are tuning them out because they aren’t progressive enough. But it’s impossible to grasp the crisis of the progressive enterprise unless one grasps the degree to which voters resent the condescension and arrogance of know-it-all progressive intellectuals and administrators. . .
. . . A growing section of the American population wants to think and act for itself, without the guidance of the graduates of ivy league colleges and blue chip graduate programs.
Perhaps the goal of Progressives isn’t to turn the USA in to the United Socialist States of America. Instead, perhaps the goal of Progressives is for them (via the federal government) to be eternal nannies to the American public. Thus, the Progressive agenda is to grow the federal government, because in order to be an effective government nanny, one needs to resemble the Governator, not Barney Fife.
Sadly, government nannies believe that they look like this:
. . . when they look more like this:
The irony here is that both Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee leave once they are no longer needed. Progressives should do likewise.