I was reading some stuff over at Ace’s place, and while he was riffing on what an idiot Howard Kurtz is, I caught this little snippet from a Democratic strategist:
For Jano Cabrera, a Democratic strategist, the subject strikes a nerve. “My wife and I were having this very conversation,” he says. “When we were trying to seize power, we had justified anger, and now we talk about uninformed voters.” Obama inherited unprecedented challenges, Cabrera says, but in politics “you can’t go back and say it’s the other guy’s fault.”
“When we were trying to seize power…”
This was the line that struck me.
Not “earn votes.” “Not persuade the electorate.” Not “lead our constituents.”
I think that is a fundamental difference between conservatives and progressives. At its most fundamental level, the philosophical difference between progressivism and conservativism is centered on the role of the state. Progressives have an expansionist view of the role of the state, and see it as a valuable tool for improving the lot of the people. Conservatives have a minimalist view of the role of the state, and, based on the experiences of every other civilization, realize that using the state to attempt to improve the lot of all citizens is doomed to failure.
If progressivism is so legitimate, why must they seize power? If it works so well, power would be granted to them.