Monday, January 07, 2019

The Progress of Connecticut’s Progressives: Is Larson Toast?

Connecticut’s gerrymandered First District, the eagle’s aerie for the last 20 years of US Representative-for-life John Larson, may in the future develop progressive cracks. Have Connecticut’s “safe” Democrat districts become suddenly vulnerable to attack – certainly not from moderate or right of center Republicans, but from newly animated progressives? Representative-for-life Rosa DeLauro of the 3rd District may be less vulnerable than other more moderate Democrats in Connecticut’s US Congressional delegation, because she is, and has been for a long while, the tip of the progressive spear point in Connecticut. But DeLauro too is getting on – she is 75 years young – and while the spirit may be willing, frail human bodies are subject to all the ills flesh is heir to.

Here in Connecticut, progressives now have a legitimate claim on Democrat politicians in the state’s General Assembly. Almost half of the legislature’s Democrat caucus is made up of progressives. And their brains are swelling with progressive ideas. They also are laying claim to members of the state’s all Democrat US Congressional Delegation.

Progressives in Connecticut have big expectations of Larson, we are told in a recent story: “Hours before the most diverse congressional class in U.S. history was sworn in on Capitol Hill, about a dozen progressive activists gathered in U.S. Rep. John Larson’s Hartford office in their quest to get the longtime congressman on board with their agenda.”

Broadly speaking, the agenda of progressives in the United States is to make the world over. None of the radical reformers appear to be acquainted with an article written by William Graham Sumner published in the Forum way back in 1894 titled The Absurd Effort To Make The World Over. Sumner was an early sociologist, before the profession became encumbered with quasi-socialist, highly politicized Ivy League professors.

Foreshadowing the rise of fascism, Sumner pointedly asked in his essay, “Can anyone imagine that the masterfulness, the overbearing disposition, the greed of gain, and the ruthlessness in methods, which are the faults of the master of industry at his worst, would cease when he was a functionary of the State, which had relieved him of risk and endowed him with authority? Can anyone imagine that politicians would no longer be corruptly fond of money, intriguing and crafty when they were charged, not only with patronage and government contracts, but also with factories, stores, ships and railroads? Could we expect anything except that, when the politicians and the masters of industry were joined on one, we should have the voices of both unchecked by the restraints of either?”

And then Sumner shot this howitzer over the bow of socialism, which had yet to achieve perfection in communism: “In any socialistic state, there will be one set of positions which will offer chances of wealth beyond the wildest dreams of avarice, viz., on the governing committees. Then there will be rich men whose wealth will indeed be a menace to social interests, and instead of industrial peace, there will be such a war as no one has dreamed of yet; the war between the political ins and outs – that is between those who are on the committee and those who want to get on it.”

The world made over by modern progressives would be a much better place, so Connecticut progressives assert, without cars, which pollute the environment, and it might be better off if politicians like Larson -- who is, a news report advises, “out of step with the political moment… An old-school back-slapper with a crown of white hair and clipped, Kennedyesque inflections” – were to be replaced by progressive politicians seriously engaged in the absurd effort to make the world over.

Thus far, Kennedyesque politicians in the Democrat Party such as Larson have assumed they will be able to manage progressives who support, among other measures, “a ‘Green New Deal,’ an economic stimulus program designed to get the U.S. off fossil fuels by 2030,” part of a globalist, United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The UN 2030 globalist agenda  seeks to “protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations…  ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature… foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence… mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.”

Anthony Cherolis, a Hartford progressive activist, was discomforted by Larson’s close alliance with military contractors such as Pratt&Whitney, a major manufacturer in Larson’s district. “Connecticut,” Cherolis told Larson, who had arranged a meeting with the group, “is a state that benefits significantly from the military industrial complex spending and our climate crisis is significantly impacted by that massive spending.”

It is so far an open question whether the new globalist progressives will swallow Larson or whether the old-time glad-hander will be able to manage their absurd efforts to make the world over. Larson assured the “Indivisible Activists,” as they call themselves, that “We’re simpatico with all of the efforts of a Green New Deal.”

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