Look around you. Lean back in your chair and survey the bland sterility of the current presidential campaign. Do you notice that something is missing?
There’s not a wisp of progressive thinking in sight! Nada! All things progressive have been driven from the scene even though polls show that most Americans are partial to many of the progressive positions.
The truth is, George, that progressives have been hoisted by their own petard of ideological prissiness. What we have is not a unified progressive movement but a disparate gaggle of groups, each with its own ideological axe to grind, be it the ethical treatment of animals, peace, reproductive rights, gun control, social justice, obesity or spotted owls. And none of them are willing to compromise their specific principle to advance the overall progressive cause.
Let me give you an example of this. The Green Party is running a couple of street fighters for president and vice president, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, both of them radicals to the core.
Now, unmoor your imagination from its vacuous pier and imagine McKinney getting up in front of an audience of Good Ol’ Boys in Tennessee and giving the following speech:
I want to start by saying one thing: keep your guns! We don’t want to take them away. But I ask one favor in return—teach your sons how to hunt.
Hell! Teach your daughters too!
When you bring down a buck, the venison that goes into your freezer is a boon to the environment. That meat was raised with a minimal impact on the environment. And it displaces the beef you might ordinarily buy, beef raised on a factory farm that is an environmental disaster area with its gigantic pools of steer shit, its stench and the danger it presents of contracting Mad Cow Disease.
You know, there’s another way that you and I are on the same page.
I know you don’t want to see the wood where your father taught you to hunt and where you’re teaching your son to hunt bulldozed down to make way for yuppie condos or an upscale shopping mall.
I know you don’t want to see the stream where your father taught you to fish and where you’re teaching your son to fish clogged with silt because some goddamn mine owner decided it would be cheaper to take the top off of a mountain instead of tunneling into it.
Factions within the progressive movement that hate hunting and guns would go absolutely spastic, so the NASCAR demographic would remain as alienated as ever, and the speech, were ever made, would be filled with pale platitudes.
Rest assured that with the Democratic Leadership Council guarding the door, progressives remain homeless waifs huddled in hungry alleys as they wait for someone to toss them a scrap of meat or a bread crumb, just enough to keep their corpse alive, though they will refuse to take it unless it's organic.
But by God, their principles remain pure and unsullied.