Eleven Commandments and the Color 9

A few days ago a meme that made me chuckle scrolled down my Facebook screen. The text read, “Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying smell the color 9.” No kidding! Like an elusive optical illusion, I just think I have a handle on an answer and suddenly the picture shifts with holographic precision and I find myself looking at a vase instead of a pair of silhouettes.

Trying to talk to some people and get a solid grasp of their thinking is even harder; so much shape-shifting is going on in the public arena that I often catch myself mid-stagger as if I’d just stepped off a roller coaster. Such was my reaction after reading National Journal’s article (July 18, 2014) titled “Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments of Progressivism.” Maybe this would tie it all up for me.

Well, I wasn’t really that naïve, but I was that curious – curious about what Progressives are selling this season, curious about whether or not they can even conceive of “commandments” and curious as to whether or not Warren can make it all sensible.

In the first place, the headline was as deceptive as I suspected; her “commandments” weren’t really commandments, because none of them forbade progressives from doing anything, rather they demanded the cooperation of everyone else. After all, the progressive dream cannot be realized unless absolutely everyone toes the line, willingly or otherwise. Shangri-La cannot be perfect if anyone is allowed to leave.

Each of her statements started with the phrase “we believe” as if it were a statement of faith like you’d find on a church web site, and ended with either some activity she wants other people to stop doing, or with demands for benefits she thinks people either “deserve” or are “entitled to,” terms she used almost as often as the word “equal.”

In reality, she only had a few planks in her wobbly platform:

She wants regulatory control over Wall Street, Christian companies, and the Internet. After all, none of these need progressivism to succeed; they do fine on their own, and these are the entities that are hardest to control and are also the ones who most need controlling in order for her schemes to unfold.

And she thinks the Earth is under some kind of attack and needs to be rescued, presumably from Wall Street, those pesky Christian corporations and most likely, the oil industry, though she was careful not to say that. She does unequivocally declare her belief in science, though I assume that is limited to the science that supports her fearful predictions.

2. She thinks that everyone is entitled to:

  • a living wage, evidently without regard to skill levels, education, and work ethic (unions)
  • a protected pension (unions), evidently this applies whether or not the company in question is still functioning
  • a free post-secondary education, which will be important if we are to keep the populace properly indoctrinated; we can’t have young people go out into the workforce too early – they might get a taste of reality
  • free abortion and birth control, and -- drum roll here…..
  • pure equality in everything    

3. She “believes” that everyone deserves to be allowed

  • to marry whoever, no holds barred
  • and to come to this country illegally.

Okay – obviously there’s some editorializing here, but read her “commandments” for yourself.  Like smelling the color 9, huh?

She didn’t say why people deserve or are entitled to anything she demands. I always thought that deserving meant deserving -- that you’d done something worthy of recompense. “Entitled” used to be connected to the concept of nobility -- you or your ancestors received a title that was earned, usually on the battlefield, and that title -- count or duke or baron -- brought with it certain privileges. These men and their families were “entitled.” But in her world the words seem only to mean that your body temperature is more or less normal.

So, because we breathe we should have “a living wage,” whatever that means, and a college education, and free sex, and a guaranteed pension. She didn’t, however, seem to have any “beliefs” about how those things should be paid for.

Oddly enough she didn’t rail against the rich and demand the wealthy cough up their fair share. Since now most of the rich swirl around in government circles, progressives have had to pull in their teeth a little. Perhaps she didn’t want to stumble into a discussion of who’s rich and who’s poor after Hillary swallowed her whole foot on that issue and Warren (poor little Cherokee that she claims to be) is rolling in it.

She also seems to have no beliefs about health care -– other than women’s birth control issues. In the light of the crumbling of ObamaCare, that must be an overheated potato. I can’t believe that she doesn’t believe that we all deserve and are entitled to free appendectomies and facelifts.

What I’m really confused about is, why so few demands? I mean, why not go for broke and demand free cars and I-pads and housing? Don’t we all deserve a 20-room mansion with tennis courts and swimming pools? Aren’t we all entitled to European vacations?

Her speech was chillingly vague about our country’s borders and thoroughly ominous in regard to religious freedom -– freedom of any kind, actually.

She also said nothing of foreign policy. Has she no beliefs about how we should relate to the other nations of the world? No proposed policy about the Middle East, or about Ukraine? Does she think we are already so insignificant that we don’t need one?

Perhaps my confusion is all just a lack of imagination on my part. It’s apparent that both domestic and foreign policies are all just whatever we’d like them to be. Who says there can’t be a color 9 and that it can’t smell like lilacs? If we want to live in a pain-free, consequence-free world, can’t we just pretend and it will come true? Why can’t we all just get along? That’ll do it.

And yet, her speech won her wild applause and approval.

So now I’m left wondering what the key of purple tastes like.

Deana Chadwell blogs at www.asinglewindow.com

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