Progressives love to talk about their plans to “transform” America. President Barack Obama used the term often. Joe Biden has adopted it in his own campaign. But what does it really mean?
A quick look at progressive proposals currently on the table provides a chilling answer: What they’re after is nothing short of regime change.
How radical is that goal? Regime change whenever a new party wins an election—that’s merely a change of administration. True regime change occurs only when a country experiences a fundamental reconfiguration of its government structure. In other words, it’s pretty radical.
The last time we had a regime change in the United States was 1789, when we jettisoned the Articles of Confederation in favor of the Constitution. That robust regime has experienced many different administrations over the past 230 years. Through nearly all of that history, a broad national consensus revered the Founding Fathers and the constitutional republic they bequeathed us.
Progressives have been quite candid: They’re not part of that consensus. To progressives, America’s founding was mired in racism. The Constitution was a pact between actual slaveowners such as Washington and Jefferson, and those such as Adams and Hamilton willing to legalize that slavery.
Even the heroes of later anti-slavery generations—including Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Teddy Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr.—run afoul of contemporary progressive sensibilities. Their patriotic fervor, belief in the American dream, and focus on integration rather than compensation marks them as morally deficient.
Progressives have little use for the governmental structures that helped secure more than two centuries of “systemic racism.” They’re certainly not opposed to using that structure when it serves their goals, but they view intentional delay mechanisms such as the separation of powers, limited government, and the protection of minority viewpoints as unnecessary impediments in the march toward justice.
Transformative AgendaThe centerpiece of last year’s impeachment case, “obstruction of Congress,” is a new charge that would shatter the president’s ability to preserve the confidentiality of any advice he might seek or receive. If Congress can investigate and review everything the president does, the president effectively serves at the whim of Congress.
Nationwide injunctions, which have flowered in opposition to President Donald Trump as never before, elevate the policy judgments of individual district court judges over the president.
Court-packing—which leading Democrats now advocate and neither Biden nor his running mate Kamala Harris is willing to repudiate—will alter both the nature of the Supreme Court and the relationship among the courts, Congress, and the presidency.
Eliminating the filibuster over legislation will effectively shatter the rights of minority views within the Senate. It will also ease the creation of new states selected to preserve progressive power.
Eliminating the Electoral College will fundamentally alter the nature of federal elections—increasing the power of urban areas that progressives dominate at the expense of rural areas, where they are weak.
Open borders and amnesty will alter the makeup of the American people, and further reduce the common knowledge and sense of civic responsibility already in short supply—facilitating teaching the entirely negative progressive view of American history.
Ballot harvesting and other schemes claiming to promote ballot access necessarily reduce the security and integrity of our elections—paving the way for government and party officials to protect their positions via fraud.
Sanctuary cities and decriminalized drugs suggest that individual states can opt out of the parts of federal law that run counter to progressivism. Progressive gubernatorial and mayoral decrees establishing “emergency” rules permitting activities deemed essential while prohibiting all others rewrite the relationship between government and the citizenry.
Progressive attempts to censor “hate speech” begin with progressives getting to define hate speech—thereby criminalizing free speech. In a further blow against the First Amendment, progressives widely deride as a bigot anyone claiming that religious freedom allows them to opt-out of progressive ideology. The Second Amendment hardly fares better; progressives would effectively end private gun ownership in the United States.
Taken together, progressives want to change the way we understand our own history, the protections of minority views, the nature of American citizenship, the character of national elections, the separation of powers, the role of the Supreme Court, the relationship between states and the federal government, the fundamental rights of citizens, limitations on the role of government, and at least the First and Second Amendments.
That’s the transformation progressives seek. That’s what regime change looks like. If they succeed, there will still be an America. It just won’t be the America that past generations have loved and defended.