The truth be­hind Hil­lary’s ‘pro­gres­sive’ be­liefs

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Joseph Farah

Hil­lary Clin­ton says she doesn’t re­ally like the de­scrip­tive word “lib­eral,” pre­fer­ring to be char­ac­ter­ized as a “pro­gres­sive.” “You know, (lib­eral) is a word that orig­i­nally meant that you were for free­dom [. . .] that you were will­ing to stand against big power and on be­half of the in­di­vid­ual,” she said at the CNN/YouTube de­bate. “Un­for­tu­nately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head, and it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that de­scribes big gov­ern­ment, to­tally con­trary to what its mean­ing was in the 19th and early 20th cen­tury.” She con­tin­ued: “I pre­fer the word ‘pro­gres­sive,’ which has a real Amer­i­can mean­ing, go­ing back to the pro­gres­sive era at the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury. I con­sider my­self a mod­ern pro­gres­sive.”

Oth­ers al­ready have made the point it is sig­nif­i­cant that Hil­lary Clin­ton, the lead­ing Demo­cratic Party can­di­date for pres­i­dent, is run­ning away from the lib­eral la­bel.

It’s not sur­pris­ing. Hil­lary Clin­ton, like her hus­band, al­ways has been about ob­fus­ca­tion, about hid­ing true agen­das, about sow­ing con­fu­sion in the minds of prospec­tive vot­ers about her real in­ten­tions, be­cause she knows the Amer­i­can peo­ple would never fol­low her or elect her if they un­der­stood who she is and where she wants to take Amer­ica.

Yet what no one else has ob­served with re­gard to this quote is what it ac­tu­ally re­veals about Hil­lary. It re­lates di­rectly to Hil­lary’s po­lit­i­cal roots and her re­cently re­leased Welles­ley the­sis on her rad­i­cal hero, Saul Alin­sky.

While Hil­lary may de­fend liber- al­ism to­day, I don’t think she ever con­sid­ered her­self one. Hav­ing some first­hand fa­mil­iar­ity with the “New Left” of which Hil­lary was a part in the 1960s, I can tell you the rad­i­cals of that move­ment had no use for lib­er­als. Lib­er­als were sell­outs to them. Lib­er­als were at best “use­ful id­iots.” Lib­er­als were peo­ple who could not be found when the go­ing got tough. That’s the way Hil­lary and her hero, Saul Alin­sky, viewed lib­er­als. It was the same way the “Old Left” — the Com­mu­nist Party — viewed lib­er­als.

In her the­sis, Hil­lary quoted Alin­sky as ex­plain­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween a lib­eral and a rad­i­cal: “The lib­eral re­fuses to fight for the goals he pro­fesses.”

I’m sure Hil­lary still sees her­self to­day as a “rad­i­cal.” But she could never use that term and re­main a vi­able politi­cian. So she has adopted an­other term — “pro­gres­sive” — which means the same thing to those in the know. This is the fa­vored term of the Com­mu­nist Party, too. They don’t call them­selves lib­er­als, ei­ther. They call them­selves “pro­gres­sives.” They al­ways have. Noth­ing has changed.

In fact, who were the lead­ers of the Pro­gres­sive Move­ment of the early 20th cen­tury with whom Hil­lary so closely iden­ti­fies? Among the most no­table lead­ers were W.E.B. Du Bois, a Com­mu­nist Party mem­ber, and Mar­garet Sanger, the founder of Planned Par­ent­hood and an ad­vo­cate of racial eu­gen­ics, an idea that in­spired Adolf Hitler to kill six mil­lion Jews. I don’t ex­ag­ger­ate. Th­ese are peo­ple and ideas that get Hil­lary’s adren­a­line pump­ing.

Hil­lary is be­ing hon­est when she says she’s a “pro­gres­sive” and not a lib­eral. Sel­dom have I wit­nessed such can­dor from her. At the same time, in her soft de­fense of lib­er­al­ism, she does re­sort to spin.

She sug­gests lib­er­als some­how have got­ten a bad rap. She doesn’t ex­plain how, but lib­er­als have be­come mis­un­der­stood as pro­mot­ing big gov­ern­ment and not stand­ing up for in­di­vid­ual free­dom.

Let’s be clear: There is no mis­un­der­stand­ing about mod­ern lib­er­als. They sim­ply are be­ing judged by their words and deeds. Lib­er­als dom­i­nated the Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal scene for a gen­er­a­tion, and peo­ple were able to see for them­selves how they gov­erned and what they ac­tu­ally be­lieved.

“Lib­er­als,” in to­day’s par­lance,

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