Post-1960s progressivism: a lecture from Hillsdale College

Tom sent me this excellent bird’s eye view of the progressive agenda. It’s very direct, and it does NOT shy away from moral standards and social issues. It squarely hits on feminism and gay rights as it relates to marriage and family. (H/T Tom)

The lecture: (37 minutes)

Here’s a snippet from a summary of the lecture from the Hawaiian Reporter:

The natural man-woman-children family was considered the only way to structure healthy family life by both the Founders and Old Progressives.  The Founders believed strong families arose from the natural law and were an essential building block to a virtuous and productive society.  They expected states to pass laws to support the family structure.  The Old Progressives believed similarly that social science required government support of the natural family.  Part of this “support” included the need for trained experts in “home economics” to assist families in the scientific practice of family life.  From both traditions we had laws that made divorce difficult, usually requiring serious grounds like adultery, and placing children in the custody of the father to further discourage frivolous divorce.  Both traditions stressed sexual activity within the family structure.  Both traditions understood the centrality of the natural family to the strength of the society.  Churches and schools supported this traditional morality.

New Progressives adopted sexual liberation as a main value.  They have been indifferent to the natural family as merely one option of how to live, and, in many cases, with a sneering belief that it is not all that good an option.  Sexual liberation contradicts both the natural law of the Founders and the scientific ethical ideal of the Progressives.  Rather than supporting the natural family, the government of the New Progressive does its best to undermine it.  Welfare goes to unmarried women, reducing motivation to marry, replacing fathers with government.  No fault divorce has exploded the divorce rate, with actions brought overwhelmingly by women who are more likely to benefit from it.  “Self expression” of the New Progressives trumps “self control” of natural law.  57% of college students are now women, and Title 9 (that wrought so much damage to men’s smaller sports in college) is now beginning to be applied to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) studies in academia.  Hiring preferences for women exist throughout government.  There has been no similar concerns about the status of men.  Exploding out of wedlock births (over 40% of all births now) demonstrate the destruction of the natural family.  Now gay marriage is the new cause, an attempt to place such relationships on the same plane as the natural family.  Social health requires children, and children require a father and mother in the same household.  Gay marriage can lead to no procreation, and anti-family policy ensures an underclass of angry, neglected children.

Justice Douglas had embraced sexual liberation as a form of self-expression that frees us from rigid traditional morality of self-control.  Hence first amendment protection of nude dancing.  In Lawrence v Texas, the 2003 Court decision that found state sodomy laws unconstitutional, Justice Kennedy had this to say:  “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” A libertarian might well find criminalizing such conduct as unwise and unjust, but unconstitutional in a document that celebrates natural law?  And we have gone far beyond decriminalization to government celebration of gay alternative life styles.

Even in our foreign policy.  Secretary Clinton considers gay marriage and other aspects of sexual liberation a priority in our foreign policy:  “The Obama Administration defends the human rights of LGBT people as part of our comprehensive human rights policy….The President has directed all U.S. Government agencies engaged overseas to combat the criminalization of LGBT status and conduct.”  The Founders believed that American foreign policy should be about the protection of unalienable rights of Americans.  The Old Progressives that it should be about spreading Progressive ideas of freedom and the uplift of less advanced peoples.  The New Progressives that its should be about spreading sexual liberation throughout the world.

It does discuss fiscal issues, but it does not ignore moral and social ones, since sexual liberation and the breakdown of the family is what drives a lot of the fiscal issues anyway.

The full index to the “Constitution 201” series is on Youtube in this channel.

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