An awakening: Conservatives vs. progressives
George C. Leef has written a wonderful, definitive book that lays out the difference between self-identified progressives and conservatives. The Awakening of Jennifer Van Arsdale: A Political Fable for Our Time is a fictionalized narrative about a Washington Post journalist — a progressive leftist, of course — who is chosen to write an official biography of the first female president, Patricia Farnsworth. The facts of this woman's eight years in office are essentially the Obama/Biden two terms in all but name. Their destructive policies, briefly interrupted by the successful presidency of Donald Trump, are all in play again. The Supreme Court has been packed. Offending statues have been duly destroyed. Riots and protests are endemic, often staged for political purposes. Opponents of the left have been virtually silenced. The book feels as though it was written in just the past few weeks, so accurate are the devastating consequences of progressive policies Americans are enduring under Biden.
Van Arsdale is at first thrilled at the opportunity to write about the woman she has long considered heroic. She has written numerous columns celebrating Farnsworth's policies, implemented to transform America without regard for the Constitution. Both women pride themselves on their successful gambits that have destroyed opponents and won elections. Farnsworth even brags about having ballots ready to submit if needed. Arsdale is selected because she is particularly skilled at constructing progressive narratives to go with any event, policy, or disaster without letting facts get in her way. She has fully embraced the dictates of gender and identity politics. She knows how to slant any story, how to obscure inconvenient facts in order to make any column suitably progressive. As a lover of classical music, she attends concerts in disguise because, among her friends and colleagues, classical music is "problematic" since most composers were white. She would have heartily supported the We See You White American Theater manifesto. Shakespeare is also "problematic."
While in Southern California to interview the former president, Van Arsdale meets some people who have very different opinions of the nation's first female president and her agenda. She gets a badly needed education about the fallout of Farnsworth's transformation of the country. The people Van Arsdale comes to know in California are a diverse group — black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. All of them have a tale to tell about what Farnsworth's policies have done to them personally, to their city, their state, and the nation. Their businesses have been shuttered for various violations of the multitude of regulations imposed by Farnsworth for "fairness" and "equity" but are anything but fair and equal. Health care was derailed by COVID restrictions, and one man's wife's brain tumor went undiagnosed, and her family was prevented from having a funeral after she died. Minimum wage hikes have made their businesses too costly to run. Assets have been seized without explanation, private property taken for eminent domain that then becomes a homeless encampment. Energy costs are prohibitive. The Second Amendment has been abrogated. Their city and state are in obvious decline.
Van Arsdale at first cannot believe what she is hearing. She has never questioned the moral high ground of her own and her newspaper's woke ideology. She is legitimately concerned about "ordinary people" and the plight of minorities, but she had never questioned actual outcomes of progressive policies she has always supported once enforced.
Van Arsdale subsequently speaks with a couple of people who knew Pat Farnsworth in college, and a very unpleasant picture emerges. Jennifer Van Arsdale discovers that her own set-in-stone progressive beliefs are not of the high moral standards she has always unquestionably known them to be. Quite the opposite: Farnsworth is actually a vindictive tyrant who shares many personality traits with Hillary Clinton.
Now Van Arsdale has come to see that the world is divided not by race, class, or sex, but by makers and takers — those who work, produce, and thrive versus those who expect a statist government to provide for them. Statist governments want their populations to be dependent on them; it makes controlling them so much easier.
Now thoroughly conflicted, how should Van Arsdale move forward? She has committed to the biography and has been paid. She develops a plan that satisfies her newfound grasp of reality. It will impact her life as one might expect in the current climate and the Biden regime's obsession not only with banning speech it doesn't like but criminalizing it. Read the book, and if you have young adult children, have them read it as well.
Image: Bombardier Books.