‘Progressive’ And ‘Petty’ Both Start With ‘P’ – And That’s Not All They Have In Common

Written by Steve Pauwels on February 10, 2021

What is it about people tilting Leftward that also inclines them toward pettiness?

At this point, there’s little need to elaborate on the blizzard of jobs lost, opportunities revoked, even friendships cancelled at the hands of “broad-minded” progressives who’ll no longer abide anyone who checked the box marked “Trump” last November. Vindictive schemes hatched to punish Trump-allies are already old news: demands for McCarthy-era type lists of his associates so they can be hounded, disgraced and denied any kind of employment in their post-White House existence.

Meantime, Democrats are proving they’re determined to subject the nation to that exercise in gratuitousness you could call Trump Impeachment 2.0. Recall, they flagrantly failed to unhorse the then-actual President in their years-long first effort. Though plotting for that project literally began before the New York billionaire’s inauguration, it not only collapsed ingloriously but, in the end, exposed the Donkey Party’s own small-souled perfidy and dishonesty.

So, of course, they’ve now set in motion a process to impeach/convict the same fellow; except this time around Trump’s officially no longer resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The charge? That Donald Trump’s typically intemperate rhetoric at January 6th’s D.C. rally was the cause of an egregious riot in which thousands of hot-heads stormed the U.S. Capitol, assaulted police officers, broke a window or three and made a general mess of things for a few hours. The lightning-rod legal term of art is “incitement”.

Never mind that the then-lame duck Chief Exec didn’t come close to counselling violence or mayhem. Point of fact he specifically mentioned — admittedly, with not a lot of energy — the protestors needed to behave “peacefully”. Never mind that evidence suggests the uprising’s instigators had already planned it well before Trump’s appearance that afternoon. An unacceptable outbreak occurred on Federal property, some Trump devotees were obviously implicated and, most weightily, Lefty’s despise the man, so … a fresh initiative to disgrace the forty-fifth POTUS is afoot.

No doubt, some of this performative indignation is motivated by a desire to kneecap any of Trump’s brewing 2024 political ambitions. But who can deny Pelosi, Schumer and Co. are inspired — no, driven — by a primitive and maniacal desire for revenge? DT survived his first term. Beyond that, he got an awful lot done, especially considering the crusade his enemies mounted against him as soon as he won the race over four years ago. He gave back to the Trump-haters as good (or bad) as he took it from them. It’s a squalid recipe for the current situation: few Democrats worthy of the name can resist any shot at stomping DT into a puddle of Republican mush.

“The Democrats are wanting to impeach the president, because they’re deranged with hatred and bitterness,” as Sen. Rand Paul cogently put it.

This is a mean-spirited bunch.

Heaven knows, regular Trumpian bouts of crassness, immaturity — yes, unpresidential behavior — merited their share of justified criticism. He routinely comported himself, in short, like many a Leftist. The word “flawed” became an overworked cliché – also an understatement — from even Trump enthusiasts when explaining their guy.

Frankly, it was never much of a challenge finding qualities to deplore about Donald Trump

That said, his sworn antagonists couldn’t satisfy themselves with legitimate knocks against him; they had to make up stuff, concoct fabulist accusations or take pettifogging molehills and inflate them into towering, anti-Trump Everests. Russian collusion? Treason? Warmongering? Prohibited emoluments? Conflicts of interest? Mental instability? Too much ice cream? The hyperventilating continued unrelentingly for over forty-eight wearisome, frequently risible, months — and still is.

It all got so preposterous I took to the subconscious habit of reflexively discounting nearly every lurid, Trump-bashing headline that showed up on my newsfeed. Oh, please! That’s gotta be fake news!  And my skepticisms were usually borne out.

Then, there’s China. News broke recently that the Chi-Com’s announced, right around Inaugural Day,  they were imposing sanctions on more than two-dozen soon-to-be-former members of the Trump administration.  “It was an odd move,” reflects Gary Bauer, “given that all these officials were leaving their government positions in a matter of hours.”

How do you say “Take that!”, in Mandarin?

Some assume this maneuver is meant as a shot across the bow of the newly minted Biden bunch — and that’s plausible. Still, there’s a definite whiff of grade-school snottiness about it: Like not inviting the blackballed classmate to your birthday party. Choosing him last for the playground pick-up game. Telling him he’s no longer welcome at the “cool kids” lunch table.

Or taking a quizzically timed swipe at exiting U.S. government functionaries.

Hey, departing Trumpsters: You’ll need to cancel that long-planned vacation in Beijing …

Leftism — whether of the trendy Western or despotic Sino variety – nurtures a minimalist evaluation of humanity: Pregnancy an inconvenience? Erase it. Students floundering at school? Heave more money at them. Teens’ hormones raging? Break out the taxpayer-subsidized condoms. Pandemic-inspired lockdowns flat-lining businesses? Send everyone a check.

The collectivist/secularist viewpoint, additionally, seems to hold a particular allure for the emotionally stunted; the childish among us. Mind you, any ideology attracts its share of cognitively and temperamentally puerile devotees (conservatives, are you listening?); but there’s something about progressivism that draws an outsized slice of them.

Today’s typical Leftist resides in a fantasy zone: A baby growing inside its mother’s womb isn’t a person but a “choice”.  Everyone has a duty to play along when a human being with a penis and XY chromosomes insists on calling himself “she”. Those who hurt my feelings by disagreeing with me are intolerant, and/or racists and/or sexists and/or homophobes and/or haters; to be silenced — forcibly if need be. On and on the pre-adolescent-level “reasoning” goes, ripe for manipulation and especially thriving in modern “blue” precincts.

Those who hold sway over this cohort — be they government leaders or those categorized as Big Lib “influencers” — recognize when one is dealing with a movement stocked with psychological children, one must respond accordingly: Bread and circuses! Outlandish and short-sighted promises are chillingly effective. Pandering to their delusions are priority. Keeping stoked their foot-stomping rage and infantile craving for retribution is front-and-center. They’re cattle who need to be monitored, controlled, taken care of; and practically demand as much!

That’s a decidedly hefty order to fill. If Leftist luminaries have to put up with – or indulge in – some piddling nastiness along the way? They ain’t sweatin’ it …

Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.