Heedless Progressivism

On January 11, 2023, notable Conservative commentators David Brooks and Bret Stephens published a discussion in the New York Times titled The Party’s Over for Us. Where Do We Go Now?, where they lament that Nixon’s and Reagan’s Southern Strategy worked so well. And they wonder how Conservatives – who have been eagerly and openly feasting on infected monkey brains over the past five decades – recently became the party that eagerly and openly feasts on infected monkey brains. Of course, they simply cannot understand how this all happened. Suddenly. Now. In 2023. How did these fellows find themselves in this place where they recently and unexpectedly lost their beloved GOP to the homophobic bigoted misogynist racist conspiracy theorist Trump-worshipers? HOW???

David Brooks and/ or Bret Stephens, seen here intellectualizing about the state of the Republican Party in 2023.

While in-depth essays could be written analyzing the willful ignorance and collective amnesia found in every other statement of that discussion from those top Conservative intellectuals Brooks and Bret, this special thought from Stephens particularly stood out:

“I’m loath to give up completely on Republicans only because I believe a successful democracy needs a morally healthy conservative party — one that channels conservative psychological tendencies into policies to check heedless progressivism while engaging productively with an evolving world. I see no other plausible vehicle to advance those policies. (emphasis added)

This beautiful nugget has inspired me to to keep track of the “heedless progressivism” of the Democratic Party, and of the policies offered by Conservatives to keep that progressivism in check.

Before we get into that, you may be wondering, “Who are these Brooks and Bret fellows? And, if they are so smart, why do they spout so many false equivalences in just one sitting?” You may recall how, in 2002, progressive commentator Michael Moore pointed out, within minutes, that George W. Bush was lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It only took top Conservative analyst David Brooks THIRTEEN MORE YEARS to suddenly come to this revelation. Bret Stephens is the young Conservative thinker who vehemently denied the existence of climate change until a literal climate scientist took him to literal Greenland to show his literal eyes that climate change is literally visible. (In defense of his Conservative cred, Bret continues to express the attitude: Sure, but it’s not a big deal. And anyway, whatta ya gonna do?)

Brooks and Bret, seen here living the dream after the release of their hit single, “Bush Fibbin’ Boogie.”

And now, I present the heedless progressivism of 2023, and the Republican response:

Jan 11, 2023 – When the use of gas stoves is determined to be dangerous to respiratory and cognitive health, particularly for vulnerable children, Republicans introduce legislation (the STOVE Act) to stop the heedless progressivism of protecting children’s health through simple alternatives, such as recommending electric and induction stoves. This, of course, follows a long tradition of GOP Outrage about real or imagined threats to hamburgers, toilets, incandescent light bulbs, Dr. Seuss, and gas-powered cars.

Republican Outrage™ of the day for Jan 10, 2023, wherein a tweet about gas stoves results in 3rd degree burns for Ronny Jackson.

Jan 13, 2023 – Republicans in Missouri succeed in preventing the heedless progressivism of women State legislators who wish to bare their arms. Cardigans, however, are welcome because… buttons? Apparently the Missouri GOP hasn’t gone full-Amish. Yet.

Yes, but where do they stand on the stylish 3/4 sleeve and boat neck combination?

Jan 13, 2023Tucker Carlson attempts to foment right-wing outrage against the heedless progressivism of a special M&M’s package celebrating and supporting women. The package shows only female M&M’s, which is apparently the apogee of “woke” to the Republican brain. (Not to mention, Tucker continues his rant by trying to fat-shame the purple Peanut M&M, as he is evidently oblivious, even after living for 53 years on this planet, to the existence of larger Peanut M&M’s. He also goes on to lament that female M&M’s aren’t portrayed as “sexy” as they used to be.) This, of course, follows a long tradition of GOP Outrage, by grown adults, about the “wokeness” of fictional children’s characters and cartoon entities including various Muppets, Hobbits, The Little Mermaid, some breakfast table companions, and the Potato Head family.

Peanut M&M’s were introduced in 1954. Tucker Carlson was introduced in 1969. Peanut M&M’s, such as the purple one seen here, are larger than regular M&M’s because they include a chocolate covered peanut inside the colorful candy shell.

Jan. 16, 2023 – While the rest of the United States celebrates and honors civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., Republican State legislators in Mississippi and Alabama have created a State holiday celebrating defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee. This official King-Lee State holiday was created in response to the heedless progressivism of Southern-American States being informed that, 158 years previous, they lost a Civil War where they attempted to overthrow the United States Government.

General Robert E. Lee, seen here being entered unconventionally by handsome men. In all fairness, it was a highly coveted lunchbox in the American middle-class White suburban elementary school cafeterias of 1980.

Jan 17, 2023 – Republican legislators in the Wyoming State Senate introduce legislation to ban the sale of electric vehicles by 2035, while also asking Wyoming’s industries and citizens to do their civic duty in resisting the EV. This legislation is designed to stand up against the heedless progressivism of consumer choice in the American free market. As a special bonus, this legislation also stands up against the heedless progressivism of preserving the habitability of the planet Wyomingites call home.

Unlike the national GOP party, GOP legislators in Wyoming are only allowed to pick 2 out of 3. They have made their choice, and they feel good about it.

Jan. 17, 2023 – Since 1991, Arizona has offered a popular no-excuse mail-in voting option. In June 2022, the Arizona Republican Party filed a lawsuit to end this voting system, in order to bring a halt to the heedless progressivism of making it easy for citizens in a Democracy to actually vote. An Arizona trial court rejected the lawsuit, but because Republicans continue to feel most strongly against voter participation, they appealled the decision. On Jan. 17, 2023, the Arizona Court of Appeals again dismissed the lawsuit.

I believe it’s pronounced “letter-carrier.”
Mike Luckovich | Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate

Jan. 18, 2023 – Republican Representative who-currently-calls-himself “George Santos,” and who may or may not make it through the month without being escorted out of the building, is tapped for assignment to two Committees, the House Small Business Committee and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, despite multiple confirmations that he lies and commits fraud at a level that most other Republicans can only envy. These committee assignments are intended to counter the heedless progressivism of relatively honest, decent, law abiding legislators being chosen for important House committee positions.

It is reported that the 23rd and 24th pages of George Santos’ resume have recently been revealed, and are currently being authenticated by the Great Neck Weekly Shopper™.

Jan. 18, 2023 – Meanwhile in Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing to expand, and make permanent, measures that prevent businesses from enacting policies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as fine businesses for protecting their workers through vaccine requirements. This is designed to combat the heedless progressivism of protecting the health and safety of Florida workers and residents, while also battling the heedless progressivism of allowing businesses to make their own decisions that are best for themselves and their workers. (You may be noticing some health, safety, and free-market GOP themes developing already over the course of one week.) Of course we don’t know exactly how many Florida residents have been infected with or died from COVID-19, as Gov. DeSantis has actively hidden and falsified those statistics, and even took legal action against those trying to share actual, unmanipulated figures. This attack on a scientist was an important action to stop the heedless progressivism of using data and science in the service of public health. Current COVID-19 estimates in Florida are a total of 7,350,000 cases and 84,176 deaths, including the deaths of 58,000 residents over 65.

“As a Republican, I strongly profess belief in letting the actions and decisions of Florida businesses be dictated by The Invisible Hand of The Free Market™. Now, on an unrelated note, I need to get back to personally taking actions against and making decisions for Florida businesses that offend me.”

(and let us not forget the growing conservative campaign to halt the heedless progressivism of allowing libraries to offer books that acknowledge the existence, lives, struggles, and history of LGBTQ people and people of color.)