I got an e-mail from Democratic lobbyist John Podesta last week that began “Dear Friend,” so I knew it had arrived at my inbox by accident.
Podesta was the last chief of staff during the Bill Clinton presidency, and is currently the chair of the Center for American Progress, which as you can tell by the name is one of those groups trying to undermine our nation’s values and traditions under the guise of marching us into the 21st century’s version of “1984.” (Are we there yet?)
Personally, I would rather march into the gulag and rot in chains for the rest of my life while thanking God for the liberty our Founding Fathers had bequested us than to spend even one minute in the mental prison known as progressivism.
But that’s just me.
My “dear friend” John Podesta has a different idea. He and his comrades think we are making progress the more we chip away at the bedrock of the Constitution, so that our liberties are replaced with guarantees. Under the progressive framework, instead of being free to fail, we are guaranteed to succeed. Whereas the original Constitution was supposed to protect us as individuals against an over-reaching government, the reshaped progressive Constitution is supposed to empower government to reach into every aspect of our lives — religion, health care, personal beliefs — and reshape them according to the world view of those who “know better” than us. I can’t remember if it was Nietzsche who called such people our “overlords” or not, but if he didn’t he should have.
One of the best levers the progressives have found to muscle us toward more and bigger government is the issue of climate change, formerly known as global warming. After all, as individuals we are powerless to change the weather, but progressives have convinced us that if we all pull together (and stop barbecuing ribs!) we will be able to harness Mother Nature. Such true believers are just as deluded as the advisers of King Canute who thought he could stop the tide just by commanding it to do so.
Fortunately for King Canute, he could prove the futility of this delusion simply by putting his chair at the edge of the sea, uttering his command to the waters to halt, and then waiting until his feet got wet. For the modern world, however, we would have to spend trillions of dollars in equipment modifications, new technology and “carbon trading” before we finally had to admit that we were just as warm as when we started.
In the meantime, the progressive “overlords” know darn well that climate change cannot be “regulated” like health care, but they see it as a gigantic cudgel to force society to change its behavior in ways big and small to better suit the progressive agenda.
Maybe the enormity of the challenge of any kind of global change has finally started to sink in though, because recent trends in both science and popular opinion have tended to minimize the alarmism about global warming (oops! I mean climate change!).
So much so that apparently both the New York Times and Washington Post have, in the words of Mr. Podesta, “gutted their coverage of climate change.” He calls these independent shifts in reporting priorities “some of the most block-headed decisions of all time.”
I call them a welcome change, but I am pretty confident that Podesta and the Center for American Progress would call me much worse than a block-head if they knew I still supported the Constitution, liberty and common sense. Heck, I even support global warming, since I prefer it to the alternative — thousand-foot-deep glaciers covering my home in Northwest Montana the way they did at the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago.
But I have a feeling John and I will not be talking anytime soon. If he is mad at the New York Times just for shutting down its Green Blog and closing its environmental desk, then he is going to be absolutely furious with me for exposing the progressive agenda for using climate change as a steppingstone to complete social transformation.
Indeed, when John hears about this column, I suppose it will be the end of a beautiful friendship.