Monday, January 28, 2013

Change is Inevitable - Liberal/Progressive Ideas will Prevail

I often struggle with how much I should use this blog to advocate, discuss and harp on my personal beliefs and ideas.  In particular, I have some strong opinions in areas regarding politics and religion.  I normally don't touch upon my beliefs regarding religion as I feel that religion is based exclusively upon faith.  Who am I to tell someone that their beliefs about religion are wrong when no one knows.  There are no facts that can be verified or disproved about religion.  We accept what we believe as a matter of faith.  There is no way to say "I am right and you are wrong" about religion.

Politics on the other hand is a whole different ball of wax.  I don't have any qualms about discussing politics and political opinions.  My reason for this is that politics is not a faith based belief as there are empirical facts that can be proven about politics.  We can objectively prove the American federal government's deficit is higher than in previous years.  We can prove that US tax rates are lower than historical averages.  We can prove how many people are killed via gun violence as opposed to other countries that have banned the private ownership of guns.

However, I don't want to make this blog exclusively about my politics because that isn't what it is all about.  This blog is about the life that Zack and I lead as a small family.  I don't know that I would even be blogging today except for all the difficult times that Zack and I suffered through between 2006 and 2011.  Politics will never define this blog,but there are times in which I feel the need to discuss politics. So for those of you who hold different political beliefs than do I, please keep reading as my ventures into the wild and crazy land of politics will be few.  And if you don't hold my views, at least read what I have to say, perhaps I might change your opinion.

The title of today's blog reflects what I consider to be my overriding viewpoint regarding politics - change is inevitable.  This is a point that I have been harping on continuously in a number of Facebook posts of recent.  My point has been that the ideas and ideals represented by conservatives are rearguard actions by elements of society that are attempting to prevent change.

If you look at conservative ideas and ideals over time, you will notice that what is considered conservative today was once considered extremely liberal in the past.  And what was once considered conservative in the past is now, in many cases considered biased, racist, intolerant or just plain wrong!

So what do I mean by all of that.  Perhaps it is best illustrated through a series of examples.  Example 1  - In 1776, the liberal thought process said that the 13 colonies needed to split from England, while the conservative thought process was that the 13 colonies needed to stay tied to England.  The conservative view point fought the concepts of liberty and self-determination.  Splitting from England was a bad thing because it rejected the status quo and sought to institutionalize the equality of the men.  Of course in the end, the conservative viewpoint lost and lost in a big way.  The entire existence of our country was established by the rejection of conservative ideals represented by the English monarchy.

Example 2 -  In the 1830's, 1840s, 1850's the liberal thought process was that slavery needed to be abolished in the United States. During that same time the conservative thought process was that slavery needed to remain for the nation to be true to it's ideals. The conservatives said if slavery were abolished it would herald the end of the United States.  In this case the conservative ideals of the time spoke for a viewpoint that is racist, elitist and just wrong.  History decided this clash of viewpoints in a decisive manner.  Though some in our country still try to battle for the Confederacy!

Example 3 - In the 1910's and 1920's the liberal thought process said that women needed the right to vote. The conservative thought process was the women had no business voting.  The conservative ideas of the time didn't value the participation of women in the democratic process.  Could you imagine anyone advocating such extreme viewpoints like that today?  Once again history has rightly assigned this conservative ideal to the trash heap.

Example 4 - In the 1940's and 1950's liberals challenged the notion of racial segregation. Conservatives fought for it.   The people who campaigned for civil rights were labeled as extremists, radicals and even communists.  What has been the judgement of history?  The judgement of history says those that fought against civil rights were the extremists who were determined to hold back the progress of the nation so that the status quo would prevail. 

Today conservatives are fighting against gay marriage, abortion, gun control, legalization of MMJ, etc.  How will these issues be resolved in future years?  The writing in many cases is already on the wall.  I'll address the issue of same sex marriage as a prime example as it seems to be the issue closest to being resolved.  In the last 10 - 15 years public perception of this entire issue has been turned on its head.  In the early 2000's public opinion was squarely against this concept and conservatives/Republicans used it to their advantage in the elections of 2002 and 2004.  However the winds of change have already begun blowing with the passage of voter initiatives in a number of states in 2012 to approve same sex marriage.  As reported in the news today, another nail in the coffin of the sexual orientation discrimination is set to happen as the Boy Scouts of America, one of the staunchest opponents of gay rights is set to reverse their policies and allow gay Americans to publicly serve in Boy Scouts. (Yes there are a lot of caveats to what the BSA is going to announce, but it is still a far cry from their "No Gays" policy of the past.)

The issues associated with sexual orientation and same sex marriage are just one example of the tidal wave of social change that is coming.  As the older generation that came of age during WWII dies off the mores of the United States are set to take a decided tilt to the left on issues as far ranging as abortion, the environment and climate change, gun regulation and immigration.  In all of these cases the conservative idea and ideal is going to lose.

I think a good argument can be made that in general conservative ideas and ideals always lose.  Humanity is marching forever forward and maintaining the status quo is not possible.   There are examples in which conservatives have triumphed for a while, but in the end run those gains are short lived and usually reversed within a generation or two.  A great example of this that didn't even take a generation or two to reverse was the 18th Amendment to the constitution - Prohibition.  In the case of Prohibition - another cause advocated by the conservatives of that time, it only took 14 years for the tides of change to wipe it away.

It's hard to see this if you are of the conservative viewpoint, but history doesn't lie.  In western civilization and culture, conservative ideas and ideals always lose to the more liberal progressive ideas.  Trying to resist the change brought about by liberal, progressive ideas is like the Luddites smashing the automated weaving looms at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  (See the following article on the Luddites.   It gives you some idea of the similarities between the Luddites and today's conservatives.)

 (King Ludd - the leader of the Luddites)

Change is inevitable!  So get on board and go along for the ride.  It might be a bumpy ride but humanity is going to move forward.

Moving on from the political thought of the day, we finally got a bit of snow here in Denver this evening.  It wasn't much, only about 2 inches but at this point anything we get is better than nothing.  

Zack and I went to an open house night at the Cherry Creek High School this evening.  This will be the high school that he attends next year.  I have never been on the high school campus and I must say I was shocked at its size.  The overall size of the campus seems to be bigger than the size of the campus of the university I attended.  The size is a little intimidating, however I think it will force Zack to really grow up much faster than if he went to the sheltered environs of smaller school.  Here's hoping it is a good thing as the formal registration process kicks off next Monday and he is registering for classes there.  Gulp!  Hard to believe my boy is going to be headed to high school in seven months!!!

I hope everyone's Monday has been good and that your weeks are off to good starts!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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