Progressivism is not a Political Philosophy, It’s a Pro-Government Cult

Judging from the words and actions of liberals, progressivism can’t be considered a political philosophy since so many progressive principles are neither rational nor reasonable. Philosophies are based on logic, reason, historical data, and facts. Religions and cults must rely on faith. Christians, for instance, accept on faith that Jesus was the son of God and died for our sins. Muslims on the other hand just as fervently believe Allah spoke directly to Mohammed. Progressives are just as zealous as any true believer about their beliefs; the basic tenet of which is that government is best able to provide us with all we need. That is a conviction that is clearly based on faith alone, contrary to any and all evidence to the contrary.

Certainly there are some areas of disagreement between traditional and progressive values that are open to debate. Likewise few would disagree that the ultimate goals ballyhooed so zealously by progressives are laudable. We would all love to live in a utopia. The problem is that along the way progressives here and in Western Europe have substituted their methods of achieving these goals with the goals themselves. They believe that government control of our lives is the best possible way to lead us to a perfect world. A great example of this is the progressive goal of wiping out poverty. No one would argue that is not a worthy objective, right? And so progressives turned to government to solve the problem.

In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson called for the so called “War on Poverty.” It included legislation similar to the New Deal and Four Freedoms Acts of FDR which had already failed. Some of the major initiatives the legislation gave us food stamps, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Today, over fifty years and trillions of dollars later the poverty rate hasn’t changed. Medicare and Medicaid (Along with an earlier progressive program, Social Security.) appear to be unsustainable in the current forms. And, the unintended consequences of these progressive policies have created some serious side-effects. Out of wedlock births have increased dramatically and a culture of government dependency has developed in some areas of our society.  

Logical, rational progressives should acknowledge this and reconsider how to best reach their goals. Instead, cult-like, they insist that their policies are actually working or at least will work if only we spend a little more and give government more control of our lives. They have accepted as an article of faith that government intervention is the best, if not the only way to solve any and all problems. They belief that government not just can, but should provide cradle to grave benefits to all. Trying to persuade a card carrying liberal that this may not work has about as much chance of success as attempting to convince a jihadi that Allah was not talking directly to Mohammed. More worrisome, the radical progressives of today react almost as violently as a Muslim extremist when challenged.

Modern day progressives in defense of their pro-government cult continuously seek to silence any debate or disagreement with their policies. On college and university campuses not only do the progressive teachers and speakers way outnumber traditional ones, but even those few non-liberals asked to speak are often protested against to the extent that their views aren’t allowed to be expressed.

Nearly a decade ago Jonah Goldberg wrote a New York Times best seller entitled, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change. In it he compared progressive tactics to those of Mussolini and Hitler. As he put it, “Fascism is a religion of the state… It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the “problem” and therefore defined as the enemy.” That pretty much describes the radical left today.  True ten years ago his words are even more chillingly obvious today.

Progressives may not be the government yet, but they want to be and believe they should be. They came close under the Obama Administration and can’t wait to win back power. Since their idol, government, is always right and knows what’s best for us any position they take in their minds must be right since they believe they should be the government. Anyone who disagrees with them, whether about man-caused global warming or late term abortion is not only wrong, but should be suppressed. For the best of intentions they feel they can tell us how big a soft drink to order, what kinds of lunches you can pack for your child at school, and what words you are permitted to use. To the progressive cult, disagreement with them is heresy. Americans who value their freedom must wake up to the real agenda of the radical left before it is too late.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Nicholas Wishek

Nicholas Wishek. Retired teacher. 40 years classroom experience. Served in California National Guard 6 years. BA in history, MA in education. Married 35 years. Two sons. Many columns published in OC Register 2009-2014.

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