People want things–lots of things–but what do we want most? What’s on top? It seems to me the failure to answer that question is at the heart of progressives’ proclivity for self-defeat.
The typical pitfall of progressives is to load each decision with so many and varied significances that it becomes impossible to choose for results. People wind up opting for an ineffectual but politically correct action over a strongly goal-directed one that might not seem so pure. They feel righteous, but have almost no impact on the course of events.
“I could never vote for someone as elitist as John Kerry,” a young man said the other day. This mode of thinking equalizes several aims: getting rid of the present administration sits side-by-side with a critique of class interests and a conviction that one?s vote always ought to awarded in an affirmative spirit. In principle, I’m with him on all three. But this time around, the vote has got to be a defensive weapon. If the young man eschews Kerry, he will by omission cast his vote for someone even richer and more inclined to use his privileged status to bully others: George Bush. Getting rid of Bush is on top for November 2nd. May we have all the other days of our lives to pursue our other worthy aims, always being clear about what’s on top \right now\.