Progressives and progressivism

Does Woke Advertising Work?

Featured image Corporate America has largely aligned itself with the Left, a choice that is often reflected in advertising. “Get woke, go broke” is a nice sentiment, but unfortunately it isn’t always–or, perhaps, usually–true. Nike, to name just one example, has profited greatly by being anti-American. Some of this probably has to do with catering to a non-American customer base, but sadly there is also no shortage of Americans who respond to »

Wheels Coming Off the Progressive Bus

Featured image It’s only Wednesday, but this is shaping up as the week when the Progressive agenda hit the wall. First, there is Eric Adams’s showing in the New York City mayor’s race. And as Scott noted earlier in the week, the University of Minnesota did a complete about-face on utilizing the Minneapolis police to keep the campus safe. Then there’s this in today’s Wall Street Journal: Biden to Say Cities Can »

Regarding JFK

Featured image Yesterday, Steve wrote about how the left has turned on John Kennedy. To me, the wonder is that it didn’t turn on him years ago. Kennedy’s presidency might have been liberal as that term was understood at the time, but it wasn’t “progressive.” In fact, today it might reasonably be considered conservative. Kennedy gave Americans a big tax cut on the theory that this would stimulate the economy. It did. »

JFK on the Rocks

Featured image One trait of the progressive left is that its contempt for the past leads it sooner or later to turn on their own previous heroes. The environmental left has long detested Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal for things like the massive dams on the Columbia River and elsewhere, along with other big infrastructure projects. The so-called “anti-racist” left attacks FDR for perpetuating segregation in housing (with some justice in this case). »

Is Wokery Starting to Wane?

Featured image More and more the woke pandemic afflicting our elites and causing them to mask their racism is reminding me of forced busing back in the late 1960s and early 1970s—a project to which liberals (and compliant federal judges) were fiercely dedicated (even as rich liberals sent their own kids to private schools), and which was hugely unpopular. Then, as now, many Republicans spoke in subdued tones about their opposition to »

Immigration and the Essential Cravenness of Joe Biden

Featured image Nothing so surely signals the essential emptiness of Joe Biden than his rapid flip-flop Friday on raising the cap on the number of asylum seekers the United States will accept. At first the Biden Administration announced that they would not lift the relatively low cap that Trump had adopted, but following “outcry” from “Progressives,” Biden did a pirouette worthy of Bolshie ballerina and said he’d now lift the cap. One reason »

Is the Left in Trouble?

Featured image There are some interesting signs that the Biden victory and the Democratic Party’s current lunge to the far left may be an outlier among Western democracies, where leftist parties continue to lose ground. Progressive writers Ruy Teixeira and Brian Kaltis (both with the lefty Center for American Progress) note the unhappy (for them) results of elections earlier this week in the Netherlands: Look at the results from yesterday’s national elections in »

The original progressive dream has become a modern nightmare

Featured image George Will has an excellent column in which he presents the arguments of Philip Howard, as set forth in an article called “From Progressivism to Paralysis.” Howard contends that modern government “is structured to preempt the active intelligence of people on the ground.” Moreover: »

The Power Line Show, Ep 195: Toppling Teddy Roosevelt the Right Way, with Jean Yarbrough

Featured image When I heard the news that the nihilist mob plans to take down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt astride his horse in front the Natural History Museum in New York City, I knew I had to ring up Jean Yarbrough, the Gary Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin College, and author of the best book on TR’s political thought and legacy, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. »

Experts, Pseudo-Experts, and Other Progressive Conceits

Featured image The downloads folder on my computer is jammed full right now with endless charts depicting data and analysis of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shocks rolling across the world, and naturally they can tell a widely varying story depending on the data quality and, most crucial of all, the assumptions that go into any model that generates projections about the future—even the near future. Experts and models disagree! »

Charles speaks again

Featured image Last year we celebrated the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Clarmeont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, long-time friend and tutor — for his receipt of one of 2018’s Bradley Prize awards along with Allen Guelzo and Jason Riley. Video of the event is posted here on Vimeo. Charles is a gentleman, scholar, author, teacher, editor, advocate of America and »

Scenes from the Progressive Freakout (1)

Featured image It’s a really tough time to be a liberal Progressive. One bit of evidence appears right now in The New Yorker, where Harvard Law professor Jeannie Suk Gersen worries that the Supreme Court might actually rein in the administrative state. This, she assures us, would produce a “parade of horrors” (actual quote). Let’s start with this passage: For the better part of a century, the Court has permitted Congress to delegate »

Who Is a Liberal? What Is Liberalism Today?

Featured image I often like to annoy liberals with Harvey Mansfield’s remark that it is the job of modern conservatism to save liberalism from liberals. Heh. After all, “liberty,” a pre-eminent principle for conservatives, is obviously a cognate of “liberal,” and liberalism for most of its history has been a creed of limited government and individual rights against the State. But just as often here on Power Line commenters will remark, quite »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 118: How “Progressive” Is Progressivism?

Featured image How “Progressive” is Progressivism? Is there actually a “side of history,” or is that just the lazy formula of presumptive socialists who think they have a monopoly on the truth and don’t need to argue with or persuade anyone? In another of my lecture series for the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale, I walk through more of the details of Progressivism then and now, showing continuities—and also some »

Our cold civil war

Featured image Our friend Charles Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize. I wrote briefly about Charles and posted the text of his Bradley speech along with the video here on Power Line. Imprimis has now adapted Charles’s lecture at Hillsdale this past September 27 into the essay “Our cold civil war.” »

“Ban the Box” Gets Boxed in Again

Featured image We reported here last year about research showing that a favorite Obama policy initiative known as “Ban the Box” (that is, prohibit employers from inquiring about a person’s criminal history on employment applications) was having the opposite effect, and was increasing discrimination against blacks. Two women economists writing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics concluded: Our results support the concern that BTB policies encourage racial discrimination: the black-white gap in »

California’s Suicide Attempt, Part 7: Bag It!

Featured image Ho do you wreck one of the most beautiful cities in the world? Simple: turn it over to “progressive” government. The latest out of San Francisco is this cheery story (avert your gaze now if you’re squeamish about raw sewage): ’20 pounds of human waste’ dropped on San Francisco street corner A foul odor permeated from a massive bag of human excrement sludge left on a street corner in San »