One of the biggest problems facing our country is the increasing divide between the left and right. This divide makes solving all the other problems facing our nation more difficult, if not impossible. Instead of rational reasoning and civil discussion we have too many on both sides resort to name calling and taking bias laden positions. But, while both sides are guilty of this to some extent, it is the progressives of this country that are the most to blame. When was the last time Tea Party members disrupted a “Bernie” [score]Bernard Sanders[/score] or Hillary Clinton rally? The left has little if any objectivity, which is clearly demonstrated by their hypocrisy on issue after issue. This is shown clearly by their interpretation of American history. Perhaps their general ignorance of history is partially to blame, but the ideological blinders they wear in regards to both to current and historical facts reflect how they approach any policy discussion.
Take for an example a post by progressive writer Rachel McCarthy James from a few years ago. Her post closely reflects the beliefs of the left. She titled her post Thomas Jefferson: The Face of a Rapist. In it she makes the case that Thomas Jefferson was not only a rapist, but a racist who raped his underage slave girl, Sally Hemings, since Hemings was only 15 or 16 at the time they met. Furthermore, in true progressive fashion, she declares that anyone who disagrees with this interpretation is a racist as well. She wrote, “There are those that to this day vehemently deny that Jefferson fathered Sally’s six children despite the DNA evidence. It is my belief that such denial is not based in the simple fact that it would prove that he was a lecher but that he chose a woman of color.” Notice not only the name calling (‘rapist’ and ‘lecher’), but the biased slant she resorts to in order to make her point. Remarking on Sally Hemings as only 15 or 16 ignores the fact that many colonial girls married as young as 13 or 14. For that matter, in modern 21st century United States over half the states will allow minors to get married with parental consent or parental consent plus a court order. Vermont, even today under those circumstances, allows girls to marry by age 13.
Certainly Ms. James was correct in that Jefferson, as a slave owner, controlled Sally Hemings. She was his property and he could have either forcibly raped the young woman, or because of his position of authority, Miss Hemings might have felt she had no choice but to submit to his sexual advances. That such things could and did happen in the Antebellum South was a terrible thing. That would be a fair argument, but progressives aren’t interested in fair.
Progressive ideology dwells on all the bad things America is guilty of, but glosses over the good things our country has done. Ms. James does this with Jefferson. Perhaps she would also consider President Clinton a lecher when had oral sex with an aide less than half his age, or according to Paula Jones, tried to use his position of authority as Governor over a government employee to encourage her to have sexual relations with him? If she does, good for her, but that is not the mainstream progressive position on President Clinton.
And this is the problem with progressives and trying to have a rational discussion of differences. Our President, for instance, said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Now if you want to bring up rape, Mohammed could be your poster boy. He was also a pedophile by modern standards consummating his marriage to Aisha when she was around nine or ten. Add to that is the fact that he was a warlord who murdered thousands to advance his power. What exactly is there left to slander? Instead we are told not to judge him by modern standards. Contrast this to what Rachel McCarthy James wrote about Jefferson, “Some may look back at Jefferson and simply claim that he was a man of his time and that he should not be judged outside of historical context, however; in my mind a rapist is a rapist.”
That pretty much sums up progressive hypocrisy and highlights the problem with having a rational discussion with progressives. As another example, we have a colossal debt problem, yet progressives tout the fact that under Obama the deficit has shrunk by $1 trillion dollars. While that’s all well and good, it ignores the fact that the debt ballooned to $1.4 trillion under Obama in 2009, so cutting it down to only $400 billion just means we’re increasing the debt at a slower pace. Progressive talking points don’t solve the problem. This is the same thing that goes on with the unemployment rate. Democrats claim that under President Obama they have cut the unemployment rate from 10% to only 5%, but that rate doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work. Progressives don’t talk about the current labor force participation rate of 62.6%, which is the lowest since October 1977 under President Carter.
If you want to fix problems you have to be fair and honest. You can’t ignore facts that don’t fit your agenda. Both the left and the right are guilty of spinning things to their benefit, but to disregard reality in favor of your agenda, as the progressive routinely do, won’t solve problems. Obviously more equity and honesty on both sides will be needed if we hope to improve things in America.