9th Anniversary of “The Progressive Professor”, And 5,700 Entries!

It has been nine years since my son David, knowing how I have always had a strong desire to express myself in writing about my views of history, politics, government, and public affairs, suggested I start a blog.

And now, on this 9th anniversary, I am proud to report that there have been exactly, with this article I am now writing, 5,700 entries over the past 3,287 days, which means an average of 1.734 entries per day.

In reality, in the beginning, I did not contribute entries on a regular, every day, basis, but in recent years, there have been very few days when I did not contribute at least one entry, and many days I contributed multiple entries, so have arrived today at 5,700 articles, an average of 633 entries per year.

Along the way, I have been blessed with many readers who have contributed their comments and their articles from various sources to this blog, and I have been fully appreciative of their loyalty and passion to the progressive causes I have long committed myself to over my career and life.

And I have been fortunate, being semi-retired from college teaching for six years, but still teaching part time, to have had the extra “free time”, to have had the opportunity to write my Presidential Assassinations book, now out in paperback, which came along as a query from Rowman Littlefield, a sudden blessing four years ago this month.

And the book has led to increased lectures locally in South Florida; the opportunity for interviews on the book and on American politics for numerous radio stations and C Span; and the fantastic opportunity to write at this timing 68 articles on History News, with four of them being picked up by Time Magazine and three by Newsweek Magazine for republication, with all of my contributions listed on the right side of the blog.

And also, I have listed many different sources that any reader can click on and go to important websites in history, politics, government, and public affairs, which I gather have been useful to many readers.

So on this 9th anniversary, I pledge myself to a continuation of my commitment to work on this as long as I am able to do so, and welcome all my readers along for the ride!

Focus Groups Demonstrate Lack Of Understanding Of Government: A Danger To America’s Future

Various cable news channels have been organizing focus groups, usually consisting of 12-15 people in places such as Iowa and New Hampshire, the locales of the first caucus and primary in February 2016.

There is no claim that these focus groups are truly representative of how the mass citizenry feels, anymore than all of the many public opinion polls.

What does come out of these focus groups, however, is a general feeling of disgust with government; failure to understand how government works; and a desire to “throw the rascals out”, and replace them with people who have zero experience in running a government that is responsible to its citizenry.

In no other profession or field of work do we have people wanting totally inexperienced individuals to take over as total “rookies”, and gamble that they will know what they are doing, and adapt to the realities of domestic and foreign affairs.

This is an indication of the total lack of knowledge, experience, and reality of what it is to run a government that serves 320 million people, which is a very complex undertaking.

There is the myth, widespread and dangerous, that government can be run as a business; that one can be ignorant of the facts and the history of our country and other nations; and somehow those who come in to power without background can “wing” it through every issue and crisis that arises.

This is very dangerous, and the ignorance and over simplification of government and its responsibilities by a large number of the population is alarming.

We may not like to understand the truth that government must tax; that there is no “free ride”; that when one earns more income, he or she has a responsibility to pay more taxes; that government cannot always do what the people want, as often, they have no clue as to the complexities of domestic and foreign policy; that tough decisions must be made; and that experience and knowledge really do matter.

Instead, we have those who could be called demagogues, who appeal to the fears and insecurities of a population which too often thinks that these people with no experience and no understanding can create magic and solve all issues, but life is not that easy and simplified.

To believe that Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Dr. Benjamin Carson are qualified to lead our country means that those who promote this are totally deluded and living in a parallel universe.

America’s Crisis With Institutions And Centers Of Authority: The Reality Of Class Conflict!

It is becoming increasingly evident that America is facing a crisis over institutions and authority!

The average American is disillusioned and angry with all major institutions and centers of authority, the feeling that the interests and viewpoints of the average American are being ignored, and that they are victims of the corruption and malfeasance that exists in all of these institutions and centers of authority!

The institutions are big business corporations, banking and finance, auto companies, insurance companies, but also organized religion, the news media, labor unions, major league sports, the most prestigious universities, and most disconcerting of all–our own local, state and national governments! 🙁

All of these institutions and centers of authority have witnessed corruption and scandals, and many have them have shocked average Americans who feel a need to believe that our major institutions work! But, along with corruption and scandals, we have also witnessed incompetence and a level of arrogance that has totally alienated millions of Americans, who feel as if they have no anchor to latch onto, no institution that can assure them of stability and reliability! 🙁

A lot of this feeling is due to the horrific economic situation that millions of Americans have suffered through in the past two and a half years as the economy has gone through the biggest meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s!

But the difference is that the average American has been accustomed to more materialism and prosperity prior to the Great Recession, than was true before the Great Depression!

Having become accustomed to more, the loss of economic status now is far worse psychologically and in real life situations than it was in the 1930s! This is a loss of economic status that affects not just those who are racial minorities (although they are comparatively suffering to a greater extent based on statistics), but also the white majority which also sees minority advancement and immigration as major threats to their own status, which has been rapidly declining as well! 🙁

So while there are racial tensions, and accusations back and forth this week between the Tea Party Movement and the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People, the real crisis is not race itself, but rather CLASS! The middle class is being rapidly destroyed, the poor are worse off than ever, and the upper class is becoming more stratified and narrowly based!

The dangers of violence and radical action, while certainly always possible between racial, ethnic and nationality groups, is much greater on the issue of class! Basically, the “American Dream” concept is being destroyed, although many would say it has always been a myth, that anyone can go from “rags to riches”!

This disillusionment and tension in America explains why millions have no faith in their national government under President Barack Obama, or even in the state and local governments!

This complicates the issue of how to deal with the economic crisis we face, if citizens complain about the power of corrupt economic interests, but also remain angry at government attempting to resolve the issue!

The danger is that the lack of faith in government could lead to anarchy in America, which is NOT acceptable as a solution! So the crisis of confidence in America’s future, and how to deal with it and resolve it, is the major crisis the country faces as we move into the campaign season for the midterm elections of 2010! 🙁

BP And Government: The Gulf Crisis Reveals The Need For True Progressivism!

The continuing crisis over the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is making it very obvious what must be done, not just involving BP, but really all corporations, whether in energy, banking, automobiles, insurance, as well as all other industries and areas of the economy!

The answer is that the “sweetheart” deal between politicians and the capitalist business world MUST stop! If this is not a clear indication that we have allowed the aura of “capitalism” to dominate our political system, and allowed the glorification of unregulated business and industry to destroy our country, then what will finally convince us that the answer is NOT the Tea Party Movement that is anti government, but rather a “Government of the People, By the People, and For the People”!

We need a “progressive” government that will never again allow the kinds of abuses in all fields of capitalistic business and industry that led to the Great Depression of 1929-39, and again has led to the Great Recession of 2007 to who knows what year we will finally recover!

Tens of millions of Americans have become victims of unbridled capitalism and poor regulation! There is a place for private capitalism, but under strict regulation and oversight, with no corruption by government bureaucrats!

This is not calling for socialism or loss of economic freedom, but instead for economic and social responsibility of all fields of business and industry to the American people! We need to demand a responsive government, as well as a responsible capitalistic system that pursues the profit motive, but with a sense of ethics and morality, and the effects of what they do upon average Americans, who just want a fair shake and a chance to be part of the American dream!

Right now, in 2010, millions of Americans are being cheated, and being denied that opportunity, and that is a crime of massive proportions!

As the Progressives of the early 20th century advocated and pursued, we want a country with economic opportunity, social justice, and political democracy!