National Review magazine had Carly Fiorina on its cover recently, with the headline "Carly the Communicator." The lead story featured example after example of Fiorina's clear and articulate explanations of conservative positions winning over audiences – including those, such as the hosts of "The View," known to be fiercely left-leaning. And this was even before Fiorina's strong performance at the Republican "pre-debate" on Aug. 6, which left many observers with the distinct impression that she had won and propelled her toward the top of the polls (such as they are at the moment).
Fiorina is by no means the only Republican who is changing minds about conservatism. Last year, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul shocked the media and political establishment with a speech on government surveillance and privacy at University of California, Berkeley – ground zero for American liberalism – that drew a standing ovation. African-American neurosurgeon and best-selling author Ben Carson is attracting followers with his inspiring back-story, triumph over poverty and common-sense approach to politics. (A recent poll showed that fully two-thirds of likely primary Republican voters would back Carson – more than any other candidate, including Donald Trump.) And it is worth noting that Carson is one of a growing and visible number of black and other minority conservatives who are garnering national attention. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are not only Hispanic, but children of (Cuban) immigrants.
In fact, the entire slate of GOP presidential candidates is a diversity advocate's dream. The faces of conservatism are changing. The message is reaching new audiences. The public is listening. And the "talking heads," dominated as they are by self-styled "progressives," are being dragged, kicking and screaming, into a new political era in which the old rules and alliances don't apply.
Advertisement - story continues below
That is, some of them don't. Progressivism, regrettably, is as outwardly oppressive and internally inconsistent as it has always been, as other recent events demonstrate with painful clarity.
The Center for Medical Progress released another damning video (the eighth) that exposes the rot at the core of Planned Parenthood – the holy grail of American progressivism. The most recent video shows Stem Express CEO Cate Dyer laughing as she describes the challenges of buying and shipping severed baby heads obtained from Planned Parenthood to laboratories so that the "insanely fragile" brain material can be successfully extracted. According to Dyer, the recipients of these grisly shipments are often horrified. She, however, displays no such squeamishness.
Planned Parenthood is the brainchild of progressivism's patron saint, Margaret Sanger, whose stated purpose in forming the organization was to "(facilitate) the process of weeding out the unfit." Sanger allied her cause with that of eugenicists.
This is no aberration; this is the history and reality of progressivism, which talks a good game about being concerned about the "little guy," but then grinds millions of "little guys" up like hamburger in pursuit of some lofty, larger goal. Many of history's most repressive regimes, such as China, the former Soviet Union, Cambodia, Vietnam and Cuba, have imprisoned, tortured and slaughtered millions of their own citizens in pursuit of progressivism's "egalitarian" aims. Venezuela's 21st-century progressivism has produced shortages, hunger, breadlines and riots in the streets.
Advertisement - story continues below
In other words, every generation of progressives has its holocaust. With abortion, American progressives now have theirs.
The inherent paradoxes do not seem to faze progressives at all. In the U.S., they use the hashtag "BlackLivesMatter" and hold up signs that read "I stand with Planned Parenthood" as Planned Parenthood kills black babies. They denounce the "War on Women" but say nothing when butchers such as abortionist Kermit Gosnell are responsible for the deaths of female patients – not to mention ignoring the millions of female children lost to abortions. They scream hyperbolically that business policies and corporate profits are responsible for the deaths of human beings, but look away when corporations are actually engaged in the business of buying and selling the parts of dead human beings.
Progressives love to chastise conservatives for exalting the individual. But in truth, the worth of the individual is at the heart of conservatism. The idea of inherent rights in every individual human being was – and is – set forth in the foundational documents of the United States, and rooted in natural law principles about the dignity and inherent worth of every human being. Progressives pooh-pooh this idea, as they do the concept of a government with limited powers. That is a dangerous combination, and so it should not be a surprise that whenever the Constitution is interpreted such that an entire class of people are considered not to have rights (Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade), people die – in large numbers.
Planned Parenthood is no aberration. It is a textbook case of what happens when "progressive" ideology carries the day.
If you have always considered yourself a "progressive" but are distressed by the disrespect for human life; if you wonder about the economic failures of so-called "progressive" systems; if you have thought that the principles of conservatism had no room for people like you, perhaps it's time to reconsider. The face of conservatism has changed. The results of progressivism have not.