The expression “scorched earth” has been used liberally in political speak over the years to describe advanced forms of negative campaigning. Many desperate or opportunistic candidates and movements wanting to deflect attention from themselves have resorted to unrelenting and mostly exaggerated claims designed to shift public focus to the transgressions of their opponents. That is politics. But what if a movement of millions within one of only two major parties in this country intended to all but literally go scorched earth in calling for widespread destruction of the existing order? What strategy would they employ to affect the desired outcome? Today’s progressive insanity has provided a roadmap.
Certainly, job one would be to marginalize their enemies – pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it, per Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Then they would abolish, or “cancel,” the institutions and foundations underpinning their adversaries – the political equivalent of burning down enemy fortifications. Once they have isolated the target from sympathy and cut off the support network, they would be most of the way toward reaching their spectacularly ambitious goals.
This has been the exact playbook of progressives – or to be blunt, neo-Marxists – over the last several years. They quickly realized the danger posed by Donald Trump and employed ridicule – another Alinsky principle – to marginalize him as a white supremacist and advance a false narrative about collusion with Russia designed to drive down his approval and cripple his presidency. But that was just a warmup for what would transpire in the 2020 summer from hell.
In the wake of the George Floyd affair, progressives called – with a straight face – for abolishing (defunding) the police. Spineless party hacks, from Joe Biden to Nancy Pelosi, went along for the ride. So much for the number one priority among the citizenry: safety. Thousands of cops quit. Chaos replaces order. Mission accomplished.
Peak Progressive Insanity
This week, we got an apt bookend for that initial bout of progressive psychosis. With Roe v. Wade now itself aborted from the law of the land, wild-eyed leftists have gone on a rampage, from ugly protests outside the homes of justices to attacks on crisis pregnancy centers offering alternatives to abortion. And it all culminated with a most revealing demand from unhinged progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “In Massachusetts right now, those crisis pregnancy centers that are there to fool people who are looking for pregnancy termination help … We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts and we need to shut them down all around the country.”
Wow. A member of the United States Senate proposes abolishing an entire industry – and not just any industry, but one which uniquely serves the most urgent needs of one of Sen. Warren’s most critical constituencies. And why not? She believes the right of a woman to “terminate” the child growing inside of her is a theological imperative and would thus strip all women of the right to medical counsel that does not present abortion as the preferred – if not exclusive – response to an unwanted pregnancy.
This is yet further proof – as if we needed it – that no one, likely even progressives themselves, would claim their beliefs are rational. Any political philosophy which relies on emotion and one-step thinking to affect constructive reform – playing checkers when all responsible reform requires 4D chess – is reckless at best, catastrophic at worst. But consider all the things the left’s single-step thought process has led them to advocate. Recent history is replete with examples.
They were enraged and envious of Donald Trump naming three justices to the Supreme Court in a single term, and so they want to cancel the court as we know it. They would settle for packing it with just enough liberal justices to guarantee a progressive majority but would ideally abolish the institution and replace it with a democratically elected body. It would thus become just another political branch – one they could control – rather than the one designed specifically, and crucially, to be independent of the others.
Unable to win in an open marketplace of ideas, they cancel every opinion which does not conform with their own and abolish monuments of great or prominent Americans they don’t like by desecrating or toppling them. Per the San Francisco school board, later dismissed en masse, they abolish the names of schools titled with any figure associated with American history, including the man who actually freed the slaves, Abraham Lincoln. They overtake public education with anti-American propaganda defiling the country’s founding generation, evaluating individuals solely by their demographic profile, and forcing young white people to cancel themselves.
Of course, guns are the most threatening item in the progressive abolition universe. They represent the things these scorched-earth control freaks most fear and oppose – independence and self-reliance – so they try and try again to abolish our principle means of self-defense by any means available. Along the same lines, since fossil fuels which make possible our prosperous way of life cause damage to the environment – and even more so to their scorched-earth agenda – instead of pursuing sensible, balanced policies desired by the broad mass of Americans, they seek to simply abolish the industry and replace it with a “green” energy grid utterly incapable of meeting the demands of a vital nation.
There are too many examples of progressive cancellation to chronicle in a single sitting, but the left’s one-step thinking – the progressive insanity – is not limited to institutions and industries. It also involves principles. Inflation is a problem affecting every American? Damn the torpedoes and pass trillions in new social spending anyway. Abolish fiscal sanity. Hiring people based on qualifications? Abolish merit. Too many white people involved in running embedded institutions? Cancel them with the far left’s noxious ‘anti-racism.”
Have the Cancelers Canceled Themselves?
The only area where leftists appear to believe in freedom of choice is abortion. Everything else is either mandatory or forbidden, regulated to as fine a point as ever more permissive law allows, assuring that our progressive betters will rightfully assume the task of determining down to the micro level what is best for our lives. And with the tragedy of transgenderism all the rage these days, they abolish even names and identities, “deadnaming” those who believe God was in error by making them male or female. So actually, they do believe in choice when it comes to gender assignment and pronouns. Give them that.
Knowing they did not have enough votes to ram through their extreme agenda, they set out to abolish the one remaining protection for the minority party, the filibuster. They almost succeeded. In fact, it is downright chilling to think how the cancellation of the filibuster, and so many of the unthinkable initiatives described herein, could actually have been instituted by today’s Democratic Party, were it not for that party’s single sensible man left standing, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). But instead, the party got all of the liabilities associated with a radical movement, without any of the assets. They are trying to abolish everything not nailed down in an effort to affect Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America while advocating for policies that are anathema to broad swaths of the voting public. But by failing to actually pass almost any of their patently anti-constitutional proposals into law, they present as both radical and incompetent, and set themselves up to be slaughtered in midterm elections.
In the end, the revolutionary makeover of this republic desired by the far left requires as close to absolute control of our lives as possible – the kind progressives have long sought, but which they will soon forfeit for as far as the eye can see after unmasking their deep-down, abominable intentions. The George Floyd affair provided their moment in the sun, their opportunity to proclaim their beliefs to receptive and well-intentioned Americans. But they chose violence over enlightenment. And even as chaos ensued across urban America, cowardly establishment liberals atop the Democratic Party continued to drink the Kool-Aid. As plunging poll numbers affirm – nay, scream – they blew it all sky high. Indeed, reeling party leaders will long be paying a steep price for their foolish embrace of progressives who have unmasked themselves as an infernal force seeking to all but abolish the America we know.