Why are the Far Right criticisms of Progressives almost always retreads? (Much like their “new” proposals for promoting broadly shared prosperity and political inclusion, which have never seem to have been implemented quite purely or thoroughly enough to produce results even remotely close to those that have been promised—or so the repeated rationalization of their failure goes.)
For how long will those critical of Progressives continue to employ the very timeworn tactic of countering criticisms from Progressives by turning them into criticisms of Progressives?
If you assert that they are war-mongers or even that defense spending is consuming too much of the national treasure, they will charge you with being unpatriotic, with being feckless pacifists bent on destroying America—with being the unwitting accomplices of our enemies, real and imagined.
If you assert that they are economically exploiting or militarily wrecking another nation, they will charge you with being an internationalist, with wanting to subvert American cultural values by engaging in cultural relativism.
If you assert that good government is a good thing, they will charge you with being socialists–with being deaf to the needs of the governed, because in their view only a government that barely exists is truly responsive and responsible.
If you assert that they are hypocrites for being so determined to hold government office while dismissing government as inimical to democracy, they will charge you with being fascists, with being obsessed with power for the sake of power.
If you assert that public institutions serve the public good and that privatization is simply the reduction of public services to corporate profit centers and the sacrifice of the public good to corporate interests, they will charge you with being unable to look beyond your own self-interest to the “efficiencies” that they insist are always the close corollary to profits.
If you assert that they are terribly uncaring in refusing to provide a sufficient social safety net, they will charge you with being too willing to sacrifice a “real” sense of community to shared dependence.
If you assert that they are suppressing voting rights, they will charge you with attempting to undermine the electoral process by permitting the rampant cheating for which they cannot provide any proof but which therefore must exist because an election without voter fraud is inconceivable to them, especially if their candidates are defeated.
Indeed, if you manage to win an election despite voter suppression measures and extreme gerrymandering, they will charge that the election was undemocratic because too many voters were too easily convinced that their ideology was dangerous: that is, the legitimacy of the voters and not the ideology against which they were voting must be regarded as being very suspect.
If you assert that they are undermining democracy by promoting oligarchy, they will charge you with trying to undermine fundamental individual rights by not recognizing that they ought to be extended to corporations.
If you assert that unrestricted personal and corporate contributions to political campaigns are skewing electoral results, they will charge you with trying to equate political engagement with undue influence.
If you assert that they are racists, they will charge you with being the “real” racists because you are so race-obsessed that you can’t ignore racism.
If you assert that they are intolerant, they will charge you with being guilty of the “real” intolerance because you cannot tolerate their intolerance.
If you assert that they are suppressing free expression, they will charge you with being the “real” censors for attempting to challenge their aggressive expression of their ideology.
If you assert that their ideas are the products of a narrow or anachronistic cultural mindset, of a regimented political ideology, or of simple stupidity, they will charge you with being an elitist. Being called an elitist is tantamount to being called un-American because elitism is the opposite of equality, which is the fundamental principle on which America was founded. Indeed, equality is the principle that must be defended at all costs unless the defense of equality goes too far—that is, unless it is going to cost anyone who is very wealthy any real money. Then equality becomes class warfare, or, from their perspective, not just the economic opposite of increasing income inequality but the moral opposite of concentrated wealth, which is the ultimate measure of both self-worth and social value. Thus, wealth, which provides not just socio-economic but political and cultural distinctions, becomes also the most necessary mechanism for preserving equality.