Old Gadfly: Gentlemen, this past Sunday, while watching Meet the Press, there were two segments that caught my attention. First, I thought I heard Chuck Todd make a “Freudian slip.” Then, I checked the transcript, and sure enough, while interviewing Senator Angus King (following the segment with Senator James Lankford), Todd said: “Very quickly on this, Senator Lankford, he's leading to try to fix this Flores Amendment.” I see a lot of implications in this statement. The second segment was the manner in which Todd paid tribute to the late Charles Krauthammer. Your thoughts?
IM: I watched the same program. Let me take on the Flores Amendment. First, progressives actually treat the “Flores” settlement as a Constitutional Amendment. This was a Ninth District Court ruling based on a class action law suit filed on behalf of illegal aliens: see Flores et al. v. Meese, also see this summary. Yet, the very progressive California Court gave the plaintiffs (illegal aliens) legal standing in the court ruling. In essence, the Court overruled a federal agency’s policy that was derived from Congressional legislation. The fact that Congress fails to challenge these actions indicates to what extent Congress has abdicated its Constitutional authority under Article I, essentially deferring to the Courts as the ultimate legislators.
AM: Republicans have pushed proposals to solve the immigration issue. Frankly, Democrats are obstructing these proposals because a solution provides zero political capital during a midterm election. They present themselves as the moral arbiter in liberating the oppressed, which is very Marxian. In a concerted effort by various elements of the progressive left (politicians, academics, the media, and Hollywood), the public narrative has been intentionally distorted to obfuscate reality. They say President Trump created this crisis with his “zero tolerance” policy, then reversed course with an Executive Order. The reality is that President Trump was responding to illegal entry into the United States by more firmly enforcing existing policy created by previous Administrations. The President is charged under Article II of the Constitution with faithfully executing the laws of our Nation. The complicit, yet very progressive “fake news” uses optics to exacerbate the “apparent crisis,” with the majority of images taken during previous Administrations. The progressive left, which was hypocritically and deliberately silent during the Obama regime, has manipulated this issue in such a way as to generate political capital for election purposes. So, who is being used as an instrument to secure political power? Children. The irony is that this is consistent with their complete disregard for the sanctity of life in collaborating with the eugenicists from Planned Parenthood—again, for political power.
Old Gadfly: This must be part of a more sinister vision.
IM: Absolutely. President Trump symbolizes the traditional idea of America—a Constitutional Republic. Enough Americans who also believe in this vision elected Donald Trump into office. Yet, as we witnessed, it was the Electoral College, a mechanism that was truly understood by our Framers that made this happen. Trump’s opponent supposedly won the majority vote. I say supposedly because the jury is still out on the extent of fraudulent voting. Progressives believe in a democracy as opposed to a republic. A republic is based on a self-governing society and the rule of law where the law governs. The American republic is further grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition and the pursuit of cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. A democracy, on the other hand, is based on the rule of government where the government governs. If you really think about it, we are witnessing a race toward a direct democracy with two classes: the governed masses and the ruling elite. Illegal immigration can accelerate this process.
AM: I find it interesting, IM, that you mention the cardinal virtues. Prudence involves reason and a pursuit of truth, something to be discovered. Progressives promote visceral emotions for persuasion and create the truth in the process. Justice demands each individual be treated equally—each receiving what (reward or punishment) is due to him or her based on their own actions. Progressives do not believe in justice because their Marxist ideology says that the oppressed (real or imagined) must be liberated through social justice. This is why the border scenario is such a powerful propaganda tool for appealing to visceral emotion. Progressives pervert the truth to justify their tactics. Think about it. When a black person makes it known that he or she is a conservative, they are pejoratively called by the progressive left an Uncle Tom. Anyone who has actually read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s wonderful novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, will tell you that Uncle Tom (and the three brave black women he protected) was a heroic figure—one who demonstrated the third cardinal virtue of fortitude. The fact that Uncle Tom has become an epithet contrary to its original meaning represents the same unvirtuous and contemptuous behavior of those who use slurs such as racist, homophobe, misogynist, xenophobe, Islamaphobe, and so forth against those who hold different views on these topics. Even the great Frederick Douglass spoke of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance in his epoch speech, Self-Made Men. Temperance involves self-discipline and command of one’s passions. This is contrary to the progressive’s victim and entitlement mentality.
IM: To really understand the modern, progressive Democrat is to understand the progressive vision of Herbert D. Croly. Here is an assessment (a white paper under the Research & Analysis Tab, pp. 3-4) by the American Constitution Foundation:
Reflecting the progressive vision of Herbert Croly, judicial activists believe it is far more expedient and efficient for highly educated elite to softly amend the Constitution through judicial rulings. The major manifestation of the progressive vision in modern America is a living constitution that reflects tradition and legal precedent (similar to Great Britain’s approach, which has no written constitution). The “progressive” tradition is a created tradition based on ideas of a more perfect union, not the inherited “traditional” tradition that is based on tried and tested wisdom. This shift in thinking has now been institutionalized in “the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated), which contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law.”
AM: This evolution in American political thinking reflects the fruit of a progressive educational system. Unfortunately, for the past century, progressives have dominated public education from K-12 through the university system. Today’s “educated” person arguably reflects a programmed class of “instruments for social and political change,” similar to the animated comedy, Antz. This is why many ”progressives” spontaneously and emotionally react to skeptics of ideological dogma such as global warming, life-style rights, a woman’s reproductive rights, and so forth.
Old Gadfly: Are you exaggerating reality, AM?
AM: No. Contrary to mainstream media propaganda, there is compelling scholarship to support what I said. See, for example, Henry T. Edmondson III’s book, John Dewey & the Decline of American Education: How the Patron Saint of Schools Has Corrupted Teaching and Learning. Edmondson aggressively evaluated and synthesized the literature on education within the context of Dewey’s educational philosophy and its manifestation for the past century. For example, here is an illuminating synthesis:
G. K. Chesterton notes, “It ought to be the oldest things that are taught to the youngest people.” Yet schools are failing to transmit the American intellectual tradition and so are increasingly unable to cope with the present or to anticipate wisely the future. Walter Lippman once observed that “what enables men to know more than their ancestors is that they start with knowledge of what their ancestors have already learned.” “A society,” he added, “can be progressive only if it conserves its tradition.” Chesterton explains that a society carries “the responsibility of affirming the truth of our human tradition and handing it on with a voice of authority, an unshakable voice.” Yet he also notes, “From this high audacious duty the moderns are fleeing on every side; and the only excuse for them is (of course) that their modern philosophies are so half-baked and hypocritical that they cannot convince themselves enough to convince even a new born babe.” John Stuart Mill defines education as “the culture which each generation purposely gives to those who are to be its successors, in order to qualify them for at least keeping up, and if possible for raising, the level of improvement which has been attained” (pp. 111-112).
Edmundson then follows with this conclusion:
Progressive education appears in many guises. Its animating principle is a rejection of tradition; so that, ironically, progressive education is anything but progressive. Despite the rhetoric by which it is promoted, Deweyan-inspired education is not progress toward something, it is movement away from the best ideas that the Western tradition and human experience have to offer (p. 112).
Old Gadfly: Education is critical in shaping our culture. Have you noticed the spike in suicide rates among our younger Americans? If progressive education was so superior to traditional education, then why do we see so much despair and anger?
IM: In the late 50s, nearly 100% of the American population was affiliated with a Christian or Jewish religion. Today that number is around 72%, according to the Gallup Poll. Traditional Judeo-Christian values are being replaced by secular human values and a progressive patriotism to a Utopian future created by progressive ruling elite that imprudently rejects the wisdom accumulated through our inherited tradition. Meanwhile, our younger generations will suffer from the lack of a virtuous foundation to appreciate reality and to endure the inevitable adversity of reality.
Old Gadfly: So, we’re talking about meaning and a sense of moral purpose during our mortal lives. This brings us to the second segment on Meet the Press that paid tribute to Charles Krauthammer.
AM: You are right that it was disingenuous. Todd failed to provide context—that Krauthammer was a modern liberal, writing for the progressive magazine, The New Republic (created by Herbert Croly), before he covered a story about President Reagan. In the process, he (a) learned things about Reagan that were inconsistent with the progressive left’s portrayal of him and (b) articulated the Reagan Doctrine. Krauthammer’s courage and discernment to discover the truth that led to his conversion from an idealistic world of “created truth and tradition” to a more conservative view of a world filled with discovered truth, justice, beauty, and goodness. Krauthammer was a brilliant, athletic, and handsome young man, whose life was irreversibly altered at the age of 22 from an accident that left him a quadriplegic. He never gave in to the temptation of despair. Todd only feigned a tribute to finish the segment with a prediction Krauthammer made about a President Trump on November 8, 2016. In other words, Todd teed up Krauthammer’s passing for a political jab at the current President. Progressives have an incurable disease of using people (children, babies, immigrants, and a large set of various indentured “identities”) for political gain. A genuine tribute would have quoted Krauthammer’s last words: “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
Old Gadfly: Such empowering words. Krauthammer’s writing always seemed to be grounded in a context of virtue. Our Founders/Framers believed in the great American experiment of a Constitutional Republic, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition and the four cardinal virtues it represents. Dealing with the current and pressing “immigration issue” is needed and important. Hopefully, reasoned minds can approach the issue within an undistorted context of virtue.
 For an excellent analysis of Herbert Croly’s vision, advanced through his book, The Promise of American Life, see Pearson, Sidney, (2013, March 14), Herbert D. Croly: Apostle of progressivism, Political Process Report, The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved on May 20, 2018 from https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/herbert-d-croly-apostle-progressivism
 See, for example, Strauss, David A., (2010), The living constitution, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).
 Here are the original sources for the cited material: American Council of Trustees and Alumni, To Reclaim a Legacy: A Report on the Humanities in Higher Education, located at www.higher-ed.org/resources/legacy.htm; William Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong: And What We Can Do About It, (New York, NY: Touchstone, 1992), p. 78; G. K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World, vol. 4 in Collected Works (Ft Collins, CO: Ignatius Press, 1986), p. 167; and John Stuart Mill, “Inaugural Address,” in Essays on Equality, Law, and Education, ed. John M. Robson and Stefan Collini, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984), p. 217.