Folkertsma ‘obfuscates,’ fails to make case against progressives


The title was “Progressives Destroy Constitution” and the author, a Dr. Marvin Folkertsma from some place called “The Center for Vision and Values” where Cal now apparently turns when he’s looking for an answer but not a reason.

Most noticeable in Dr. Folkertsma’s endless chain of quotations was the absence of any quotation from even one of the 55 men who attended the Constitutional Convention. Also noticeably missing was any evidence to support the title which in his defense, may or may not have been the author’s.

Dr. Folkertsma’s theme is that human rights are immutable and entitlements are not and he might have had a case if he’d just stuck to the theme. He lost me, and control of his argument when he asserted the connection between the two in the minds of “progressives.”

First of all there exists no monolithic progressive ideology except perhaps the unspoken recognition that governance cannot be separated from the human condition. Secondly I do not believe the concept of healthcare as a human right was central to the Democrats’ passing the healthcare bill.

He does state: “The foundation of the republic so revered by most citizens is considered by modern progressives as an outmoded formulation created by individuals whose views are only of antiquarian interest today.”

And he follows this nefarious accusation with a sweeping series of disparate and disconnected would-be aphorisms with famous names (who were not founders) thrown in for good measure.

Dr. Folkertsma provides no evidence that modern progressives take this view of the Constitution, preferring instead to launch his series of unproven assertions, figuratively throwing mud at the wall and knowing much will stick.

Here is the real problem with the discussion today, and I believe this article illustrative. The American right wing is out of power and they really don’t like it. Their purpose foremost is to regain that power by any measure they can.

They do not seem to care about making governance better. They do not seem to care about the truth. They don’t even seem to care about their own philosophies in formulating a plan for the future.

Their arguments are not intellectual analyses in pursuit of a better country and their actions seem to constitute political delay.

They are held captive by draft-dodging drug addicts like Rush Limbaugh and petty pansies like Glen Beck. Most annoying, they held the presidency and the Congress from 2002 through 2006. During that time they started a needless war in Iraq and drove the deficit to the moon, never once seriously suggesting reductions in the two large entitlement programs (Social Security and Medicaid) which will need to be addressed if we are to move forward on the budget.

So Dr. Folkertsma’s article, like most of the detritus which emerges from the would-be conservative brains at The Center for Vision and Values, is a piece of convoluted rubbish which aims to confuse rather than illuminate.

The word that comes to mind is “obfuscate,” which seems the intent all along. The method is to take a populist idea, wrap it in disjointed historical quotes, make outrageous assertions to a sympathetic somnambulant conservative audience, and hope nobody notices its complete intellectual (and factual) vacuity.

Apparently at the Center for Vision and Values they value heaps of conservative sycophantic argument and see what they want to see. You would do better, Cal, to run old “Nancy” comic strips, which have about the same entertainment value but don’t pretend to any ordered thought process.

Here is a quote from a man who attended the Constitutional Convention: “It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than promoted, by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it.”

So wrote James Madison in Federalist 37. He would be considered today one of the intellectual elite and therefore worthy only of daily lambast by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and Neil Boortz.

Think about it. You want lower taxes and less government, stick to the subject and stop making people enemies who are your countrymen.

Timothy J. Parker

Peachtree City, Ga.