By Corey R. LeBlanc
Following my debut article for Foreword, which now reads more like a message in a bottle from the future rather than a timely political opinion piece, I have decided to go back-to-back like the New England Patriots in the mid 2000’s (or that Drake song that no one talks about anymore), and write another. It has been a tough 2016 (former current year) for progressives – especially considering the success they enjoyed in 2015 (the original current year). First, of course, was the decision by British voters to Brexit – and therefore validate a campaign led by the Trump-esque Nigel Farage to have the United Kingdom leave the European Union and Make Britain Great Again. Then came the seismic shock that was the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States – which sent progressives everywhere into full meltdown mode. Somewhere mixed into all of this was the utter collapse of the Left in France, and across much of the West. So yeah, it has been a tough year for progressives. But do not fret – I am here to Make Progressivism Great Again! Since progressives seem enamored with the idea of the current year, I thought we could start with a few salient tips for our most recent edition of it. So lo and behold, my five friendly tips for progressives in 2017 (the new current year) if they wish to remain a relevant political force:
#5. Stop Talking About ‘Fake News’ If You Read Anything from Huffington Post or the Washington Post
According to progressives, Donald J. Trump won the US election on November 9th not due to America’s distaste for Hillary Clinton’s corporate politics, or the American people’s worsening economic conditions under President Barack Obama, or their searing dislike of political correctness, but because – I kid you not – the Russian government ‘hacked’ the US election with ‘fake news’. This, of course, is patently absurd. So absurd in fact, that the source I used to cite the claim, the left-wing Washington Post, was recently caught publishing ‘fake news’ about Russian hacking. This has so embarrassed the dunces at the Washington Post, that they are now begging everyone to stop using the term ‘fake news’ altogether, and to just forget the whole thing ever happened. Yeah, not going to happen WaPo. Also, while we are on the topic – isn’t the Huffington Post’s claim that Donald Trump had a 1.8% chance of winning the election the biggest piece of ‘fake news’ of the entire election cycle? You can do better than this progressives.
#4. Stop Accusing People You Disagree with of Being Fascists
This tip is pretty straight forward. Believing in border security does not mean someone is a fascist, it means they believe that national borders mean something. Believing that freedom of speech is an integral part of Western democracy does not mean someone is a fascist, it means that they believe that freedom of speech is an integral part of Western democracy. Believing that resource development is a necessary evil for the good of the world economy does not mean someone is a fascist, it means that they believe that resource development is a necessary evil for the good of the world economy. Believing that straight, white men have as much right to voice their political opinions as anyone else does not mean someone is a fascist, it means that they believe straight, white men have as much right to voice their political opinions as anyone else. Believing that Israel has a right to defend itself does not mean someone is a fascist, it means that they believe that Israel has a right to defe…. (you get the point.)
#3. Stop Accusing People You Disagree with of Being Fascists, While Acting Like Fascists
As an extension of the last tip, when accusing people of acting like fascists, it would probably help your case if you weren’t acting like, well, fascists. Constantly attempting to shut down freedom of speech, like progressives apparently love to do on university campuses, likely isn’t helping your case. Also, attempting to ban books sounds eerily familiar to something that, say, a fascist might do.
#2. Stop Blaming Everyone but Radical Islamic Terrorists for Radical Islamic Terrorism
Radical. Islamic. Terrorism. It is definitely radical. It is certainly Islamic. And it is undoubtedly terrorism. However, what it is not, is a backlash caused by economic conditions. It is also not the fault of the Republican Party, as progressives claimed following the Orlando massacre – which notably targeted members of the LGBTQ community (a fairly progressive group of people nonetheless). Further, it is not in any way comparable to any other form of mass violence. This, of course, is not to say that Muslims are to blame for terrorism – they are not – but it is to say that it is ridiculous to suggest that terrorists haven’t taken certain parts of the Islamic faith and used it to justify mass murder. If we want to prevent more Orlando’s from happening, it is likely best for all of us to get to the root of the problem – which is evil people weaponizing an otherwise moderate religion. So please, stop claiming that we don’t have a problem with jihadist terrorism – because no one believes you.
#1. Stop Talking About Economics If You Don’t Understand Economics
My number one tip for progressives in the new current year, is to stop trying to talk economics if you don’t understand basic economics. I can’t count the number of articles written before the US election that claimed that Donald Trump had no chance of bringing manufacturing jobs back to America from Mexico. Of course, as we now know, that claim has completely collapsed when faced with reality. It now seems to be an almost daily occurrence that some company is announcing a new factory being built in the United States due to Trump’s economic policy. In fact, things have gotten so bad – for Mexico – that there has been rioting throughout the country due to the losses, and progressives have begun penning sob stories about all the Mexican workers now losing their jobs due to Trump’s resurgent America. Apparently Mexico can’t handle all of this winning.