But this is anathema to progressives. Instead, progressivism must create enemies, opponents to the beautiful change in human nature that must result if we can only excise the evil in our midst. And so progressivism casts certain Americans as the others, who if curbed or eliminated, can be converted into wonderful human beings -- as defined by the left.
Barack Obama is the best messenger of this ideology. His philosophy on the fiscal cliff has been simple: condemn the rich for their greed, cast them out as lepers. Will falling off the fiscal cliff make us more prosperous? Of course not. Even Obama acknowledges that. But he insists that the rich must be taxed, for they are greedy. After all, he is only "asking them" (read: compelling them) to "pay their fair share" (read: foot all the bills associated with reshaping human nature). Republicans believe that prosperity cannot be accomplished by the IRS. But Obama instead casts them as representatives of those greedy rich, and thus fit for excision from the public debate, too.
On the gun control debate, Obama and his allies set up the same dichotomy between good and evil. Those who want more laws confiscating guns -- laws unsupported and unsupportable by evidence in decreasing violence and murder -- are good people. Those who don't are unconcerned about the slaughter of innocents in Sandy Hook. On religion, too, Obama promotes that dichotomy: the religious hate women, and therefore don't provide birth control to their employees. The irreligious love women and want them to have everything they need.
The left's thug ideology finds its ultimate spokesperson in President Obama. True material progress pays the price for implementing his vision of the universe. So does the Constitutional order, which is based on checks and balances designed to preserve rights in the face of non-altruistic human nature. The Constitutional order is an obstacle to progressives like Obama, who believe that government can change human nature if left unchecked.
But if left unchecked, it is the audacious self-righteousness of those like Barack Obama that will destroy the possibility of a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren.