Progressives Hate the “C” Word

Most of you are thinking, “The C-word? Don’t you mean the N-word?”

No, the “C”-word. The C-word dominates everything that the Progressives think about and abhor about America. The “C”-word, you see, is COMPETITION.

Progressives have been trying to eliminate any form of competition for over a century. No winners, no losers, no striving, no achievement, no innovation, no displays of excellence, no unfairness anywhere.

This Progressive philosophy starts impacting us as school children. Grades are inflated so that a bright child who applies himself or herself doesn’t receive a better grade than an intellectually average child who goofs off, won’t do their homework, has parents that are utterly uninterested in the grades the child gets, and if they are interested, simply demand that the teacher raise the grade of their darling since his or her failure is obviously the teacher’s fault. A failing grade, or even in many cases a mediocre grade is followed by threats from the parents to the teacher.

In the past, if a student got a low grade, even if they passed, parents would demand more study and less play from their progeny, until such time as the child’s grades were up to the level of their classmate’s grades. It was a competition for excellence.

Now, not so much.

The childhood essence of competition, Little League baseball itself, is being infected with this philosophy. Instead of keeping score, it’s so much easier on the egos and self-esteem of these miniature Progressives to not keep score at all. That way no one is a loser. Of course, losing is a way to encourage teamwork, cooperative effort to achieve a common goal, and a feeling of accomplishment. You might think that Progressives would be all over that “feeling of accomplishment” thing, but they are apparently unable to think that far ahead.

In other childhood sports the same mentality holds sway. When my son played soccer, at the end of the season they had an awards ceremony, and provided each player of the championship team a small trophy. So far this was familiar territory. But then my son’s coach pulled a large carton out of the back of his van, and asked me to help him give slightly larger trophy’s to each member of my son’s team. It was not because the team came in second. Or third. It was simply because the coach didn’t want anyone to feel diminished by not winning.

That’s a great way to encourage the kids to strive harder, and practice more, so that they are successful when they have to compete, isn’t it?

Going back to the field of academics, a question arises, that some of you might be able to answer. When was the last time you ever heard of a kid being “left back”? Welcome to the world of social promotions. It doesn’t seem to make any difference that a young man or young woman can’t actually demonstrate that they’ve learned anything, but it would be “unfair” to hold them back, and would forever damage their self-esteem. So it’s “Congratulations! Here’s your high school diploma that proves, beyond a doubt, that you actually sat in a seat in this paragon of secondary education for all four years. Good job, and good luck!”

Once out of high school (no matter how that exit was accomplished), if the young person chooses not to attend college, he or she goes seeking a job. To make sure that the “attendance diploma” doesn’t reflect badly on an aspiring job applicant, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has decreed that unless there is a direct and demonstrable connection with the entry level position that the recent HS grad is seeking, testing candidates is not permitted. If one recent grad can perform advanced tasks, say like read and write, it gives them an unfair advantage over another recent grad, with the same diploma from the same high school, who is functionally illiterate. Otherwise people would have to compete for jobs.

Those recent grads who choose to go to college are also beneficiaries of Washington’s imposition of their vision of fairness and eliminating competition. The government identifies young adults and if they are unprepared for the competition for admission at the university level, they put a heavy thumb on the scale, offering a reduction of entrance requirements for some students that are in one, or more, minority groups. After all, they might have come from a sub-standard school, or had parents that weren’t very encouraging about education, or any one of dozens of definitions of students that have insufficient preparation.

Out in the world of commerce, the same Progressive philosophy holds sway at every level. Unions present the most visible and obvious examples of this. Pay for each union member is usually dependent on two factors, the first being the class or category of job being done and the second, of even more importance, the seniority of the employee. If a promotion becomes available, it is common for management to be contractually obligated to offer that promotion to the most senior person available who wants it. Skill is ignored, preparation and training for the new position is irrelevant, only seniority is important. Otherwise union members would have to compete for that new job, that promotion.

This reluctance to compete is not limited to unions. The Progressive attitude seeps up through an organization all the way to the board room. There was a time when Horatio Alger was an admired character. There was a time when “Build a better mousetrap” was the mantra of every businessman in the nation, if not the world.

Today, financial success in business is not predicated on competing with other businesses using better ideas (e.g., Apple), more innovative products (e.g., FedEx), more efficient processes (e.g., McDonald’s), or more aggressive marketing (just about any auto insurance company).

Financial success today is much more dependent on knowing the right politician, donating to the right Progressive organizations, and making sure that you are never personally liable for repayment of any monies forthcoming from the government. Solyndra is the perfect example. This method avoids all the risks associated with having the distasteful need to compete.

Even in the political realm itself, competing for votes is repulsive to Progressives. Since there could not possibly be anything like a “fixed” election in our nation, this is obviously a hypothetical observation, but suppose, just suppose, that a Progressive candidate could expose the divorce records of a primary opponent? Just suppose you had a political environment that was led by the mayor of the city in which you operated, and his personal mantra was “Vote early, vote often.” Wouldn’t that go a long way toward eliminating the need to actually compete for votes? Wouldn’t it avoid having to enter a competition of actual ideas that could be judged against the competing ideas of your opponent?

That’s why Progressives seem to hate the “C-word”. When you have to compete, only one person will win. Progressives always want to win, by any means needed. Why is this so? It might be because Progressives hate the “L-word” even more than the “C-word”.

Oh, what’s the “L-word”? It’s the word that describes those, like Progressives, who really hate competition because they aren’t able to compete based on their ideas. That being the case, the L-word should be obvious: LOSER!


About Jim Yardley

Retired after 30 years as a financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, and independent voter.
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2 Responses to Progressives Hate the “C” Word

  1. Pete Morin says:

    Progressives are nothing but con artists interested in protecting their own exalted positions, spouting their non-sensical collectivist claptrap and holding on to their power regardless of the damage inflicted on society. Such has been the case of our progressive leadership from the days of Woodrow Wilson, to the inanity of our current stumble bum.

    Nothing will improve in our national character, or in our nature to compete, until this ideology is thoroughly discredited and buried in the ash heap of history. Conservatives should come out of the closet and attack this contagion with full force defining its actual name; Marxism. This is a life or death struggle for the soul of our Nation. The sooner we take off the mittens and put on the gloves, the better!

  2. It might be an interesting (and most revealing) exercise in amateur psychology (perfectly allowable) to ask why the word “behavior” causes so many liberals to recoil.

    Follow its path back, along with that of its cousins—“fairness”, “competition”, and (worst of all) “punishment”.

    And why do they love the word “justice”?

    A picture painted?

    ———–James Christopher Hall

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