Progressivism is Reactionary and Ancient, not Progressive

By Jim MacDonald

In 1776 a nation was birthed that would forever change the course of mankind. God established a land that would be the beacon of hope for freedom and liberty around the world. Never before had a government been so uniquely formed to govern such a diverse group of people. It would be a land of opportunity, not without flaws, of course—but a land of principles, whose history is recorded in three distinctive documents.

The embodiment of those principles first began with the Mayflower Compact. In which the pilgrims dedicated that land to the Lord. Next, they appeared in the Declaration of Independence, breaking the bonds of tyranny and acknowledging that our Creator endowed us with inalienable rights. And third, the Constitution of the United States, inspired by God, was written to govern the people and to secure their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Constitution, designed to prevent the government from becoming tyrannical, has protected us for nearly 234 years. No other nation has even come close to this achievement—the average Constitution lasting only seven years, and many of those ending by revolutions.

What makes our Constitution Great

With inspiration from God, the Founders set out to write a document that would provide just enough power for the federal government to preserve the rights of freedom and liberty while restraining the people from tyranny. The government was afforded three separate but unique branches, with enumerated powers granted for each while setting up a means of “checks and balances” for keeping them in line.

For the first time in the history of the world, the Founders created a constitutional republic. A republican form of government where restraints, limiting the politicians to certain powers and no others. A representative form of government where those in power derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Astonishingly, Woodrow Wilson would call this document of freedom and self-governance a “straight-jacket” that held back the government.

The Founding Fathers labored over the framing of the Constitution. Having studied governments, both past, and present, they decerned what worked and what didn’t. The Founders also understood the nature of man when given unrestrained power—corruption and greed follow. Therefore, limited government authority was critical in the Constitution’s design to preserve freedom among self-governing people.

Additionally, the Founders wanted the Constitution to be difficult to modify. They wanted good solid reasons to make any changes. Madison wrote in Federalist 49:

“It is the reason of the public alone that ought to control and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government.”

Again, the Founders understood man’s nature and didn’t want the people pressing for change over a temporary passionate issue. For example, two thousand years ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people praised Him and laid down palm branches.

They thought Jesus was riding in, as a king, to free the people from the tyranny of Rome. Less than a week later, the same people were screaming, crucify him! Crucify him!

Self-governance Changed the World

Giving the people an opportunity for self-governance allowed them to think outside the box, to create, serve, and prosper like no other time in history. This has brought us from telegraph to cellular phones, horses, and buggies to cars. We’ve built planes to take people around the world and rockets to travel to the moon. We’ve found cures for diseases and develop medicines for comforting people in times of pain.

Most importantly, because of our ability to exercise our God-given freedom, we’ve been able to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. We have written bibles in over 2000 different languages with some scripture in an additional 2000 languages. A significant number of Americans are serving in far-off lands, teaching the Good News of Christ like never before.

Freedom and liberty are gifts from God that we must cherish. When we begin taking these gifts for granted or forget where they came from, we risk losing them.

Man can’t Leave Well Enough Alone

One hundred twenty-plus years after the writing of the Constitution along comes a new philosophy of government. Rather, it is only a new name on failed old ideas. It’s called progressivism—but it is far from progressive. Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, among others, rejected the Founders’ views of restricting the federal government’s power and the idea of having checks and balances. They also expressed disdain for the philosophy of our natural rights given to us by the Creator of the universe. As “highly educated” people, Wilson and the progressives had contempt for the general population. They felt they knew better how to run the lives of the American people. Wilson wrote:

“We are coming now to realize that life is so complicated that we are not dealing with the old conditions and that the law has to step in and create new conditions under which we may live, the conditions which will make it tolerable to live.”

Wilson felt that man had evolved over the previous century and became more disciplined, and therefore, no longer needed the restraints on government. Progressives, rather than viewing the Constitution as a Newtonian design, structured like a machine. They saw the Constitution as more of a Darwinian design where it “evolved” as they felt necessary.

Nothing New Under the Sun

King Solomon wrote: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.”—Ecclesiastes 1:9

Woodrow Wilson and the progressives persuaded the people that change would be in their best interest. This change began with two new amendments to the Constitution made in 1913: the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which took money from the American people by giving Congress unrestricted power to tax income. The 17th Amendment changed how the Senators are elected, took control away from the states, and sent it to Washington.

Wilson then established the administrative state, i.e., EPA, NEA, FDA, etc. The Administrative state would employ progressive “experts” and assume the role of lawmaker, executive, and jury, usurping Congress’s power.

After receiving some push back on whether the Administrative state was constitutional in writing laws, The Supreme Court, in 1928, ruled:

“So long as Congress shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to exercise the delegated authority is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power.”—Justice William Howard Taft

The Constitution clearly states that Congress is the only branch that can make laws. Yet, the courts in 1928 ruled that these bureaucratic agencies may make laws on a limited basis. But as the Founders forecasted, you can’t give power and money to people without them wanting more. In 1989, the Supreme Court declared:

“In our increasingly complex society replete with ever-changing and more technical problems. Congress simply cannot do its job absent the ability to delegate power under broad general directives.”

Sixty-one years after the Supreme Court circumvented the Constitution by granting the bureaucrats limited ability to write laws, they increased it to a broad capacity to restrict our liberties—validating the Founders’ position in keeping a “straight-jacket” on government. Man has not evolved, and there’s “nothing new under the sun.”

Final Thoughts

Since 1965, the progressive elites have aggressively pushed the envelope of fascism. We can look back today and see how the movement has swept away the tenants of our Constitution through a slow and convincing manner that most Americans didn’t recognize. The further we move from the principles of the Declaration of Independence, where God is at the center of our government, the more corruption prevails.

Woodrow Wilson was highly educated and may have desired to lead with good intentions. However, people have not evolved and are still, by nature, the same as thousands of years earlier. To think the limitations on government could be lifted and not abused proves the Founders understood both government and people. Leaders with or without evil intentions can elegantly convey words to mislead the listener convincingly.

Principles, like gravity, do not change and work every time they’re utilized. Since the human condition never changes, the principles will always be effective. It’s when we deviate from the truth that we can justify any other possibility.
Warren Harding succeeded Woodrow Wilson as President. Due to Harding’s death, two years later, Calvin Coolidge took office. Not influenced by progressive thought, President Coolidge gave a speech praising the Declaration of Independence on its 150th anniversary. Coolidge answered Wilson’s misguided views with this:

About the Declaration, there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wished to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern but more ancient than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Progressivism is nothing more than an American form of communism and must be defeated. It only leads to tyranny and loss of freedom. To defeat progressivism, we must pray, shine a light on the progressive lies, study and understand the Constitution and call for an Article V Convention of States to rein in our tyrannical government.

Calvin Coolidge ended his Declaration speech with a great call to action. America must rally again to the same mission to preserve, protect and pass along the original ideals that birthed the One Nation under God.

No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshipped.


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