"why do progressives hate progress?"
I’ve been directed to this “Progressive Girl Guide” to Chicago’s recent election and now one for our run-off election. I have to say, I’m disturbed by the dictatorial way the information is presented. Language like “Candidates whose names are highlighted in red are candidates that you should not vote for under any circumstance…” and “VOTE FOR ONE OF THESE” and “DO NOT VOTE FOR THESE” and “BXTCH THEY ARE NOT.” is, to me, incredibly dictatorial (one element of fascism). To use some “progressive” rhetoric, calling someone a “BXTCH” in all caps is violent language. And violence of any sort is something I will never, ever tolerate.
“Why do progressives hate progress?” is the title of a lecture by author, philosopher, and linguist Steven Pinker, one of my favorite true radical independent thinkers. He wrote a book titled Enlightenment Now which is next on my list as soon as I get through my Jonathan Haidt books… I find that this “progressive” guide highlights many of the tenets presented by Pinker in his lecture. Namely, that “bad is stronger than good.” He suggests that “The Availability Heuristic” causes people to more easily recall and thus emphasize the bad based on what is presented to us by the media: “News is about stuff that happens, not stuff that doesn’t happen.” Take for example this article that quietly made its way to CBS news. To summarize, all 15 officers who came before the Chicago Police Board in 2016 - under Lori Lightfoot’s direction - were found guilty of misconduct. By contrast, “in 2015, seven officers were found not guilty, and six were found not guilty in 2014.” The article further stipulates that perhaps this is a consequence of the McDonald murder. Whether or not that is true has no bearing, though, on the fact that more officers were found guilty. What does it matter what the “agenda” of the board is when the consequences are a positive step towards police accountability? (Emphasizing the bad, neglecting the good.)
This guide also claims that prosecutors are cops which simply isn’t true to any degree and is actually a little silly. To quote the “guide,” ‘“WAIT but maybe prosecutors are good!” BXTCH THEY ARE NOT. ‘ Well, what about the prosecutors who brought justice for Laquan McDonald and his family? And the other officers across the nation who have been convicted? (Remember Daniel Holtzclaw?) Further, I can’t understand how a document can use the hashtag “#NotAllDSAmembers!” while chastising all police officers. Do you know what judging a group of people based solely on a part of their identity is? Part of the definition of fascism and a major contradiction for so-called progressives who fight for identity equality.
I am the daughter of a retired police officer, so maybe I’m biased. As much as my father and I disagree on certain political points, he is one of the kindest, gentlest, empathetic beings I have ever met in my life. (A side note: I was arrested in 2011 and I pointedly never told the arresting officers that my father was a police officer. I felt that I should get the same treatment as any other citizen.) I would never, ever chastise someone’s decision to become a police officer. There are family traditions that some people follow. There are people with true intentions of helping others, serving their community. So who cares if Lightfoot defends an officer in court? Are they not people? Do they not deserve the same access to justice as everyone else?
Another thing I will never understand on the part of “progressives” and “liberals” is the name calling, the finger pointing, the bullying, the "calling out.” It makes me agitated to hear it from a conservative-minded person - think about how aggravating it is to be called a “feminazi” or a “libtard” - and as a truly empathetic being, I wouldn’t want to throw that feeling onto someone else. Haidt is big on this and in reading The Righteous Mind , I feel like my own righteous mind was pulled out of my head, rinsed, and put right back in, fresh as a daisy and spread wide open.
The guide also claims that “While [Lori Lightfoot] was leading the Police Board, it delayed a decision for over a year, about whether to discipline Dante Servin for the murder of Rekia Boyd.” This is patently FALSE. Servin resigned (two days, by some accounts, one day by others) BEFORE the case came before the board. It never came across Lightfoot’s desk. Of the case Lightfoot proclaimed, "I want to assure the public that the process by which the Police Board reaches its ultimate decision with respect to the charges against Dante Servin, like in any case, will be transparent and will be public.”
As far as I can see, the two women who wrote this “guide” (more like directions…) highlight one - ONE! - mark on Lightfoot’s record - of her having mislead the court - NOT “lied” and certainly not “literally lied” (ask Pinker about this one…) like the guide claims. Further, “Posner (the judge ruling over Lightfoot's disciplinary case) also found Lightfoot had filed her motion quickly and gotten bad advice. He noted “glowing testimonials” about her character and competence, and concluded with only a reprimand.” (source. And here is a less biased account of what happened). Yet they point to numerous marks on that of Preckwinkle’s. Frankly, I find a lot of “progressives” to be filled with self-contradictions. How can one endorse a career politician (Preckwinkle was running for TWO OFFICES consecutively!) who is rife with corruption? Her ties to Ed Burke are beyond “troubling” and I have no doubt in my mind that if elected her shady practices would continue. Oh, and lets not forget about Preckwinkle’s stance on aldermanic term limits. She was THE ONLY candidate who did not support term limits! Whose bread is she trying to butter??? (source - and excellent NON-BIASED guide.)
To me, this guide very clearly proves Steven Pinker’s suggestion: Progressives hate progress. What do you think?
PS Y’all don’t have to PayPal or Venmo me any money for this. I have to admit, my eyes could not roll harder at that caveat in the guide. Why on earth would I PAY anyone to DICTATE to me who to vote for? In what alternate dimension does that connote liberty or democracy???
PPS I'd also like to point out that Pinker says that one of the reasons we spar so much about identity politics here in the west is because the gap of inequality is closing. We are on the verge of electing our first female mayor - our first black female mayor and perhaps even our first openly lesbian black female mayor. Think about it…
I had messaged the women who wrote the dictation telling people who to vote for. They didn’t respond to me, either time, but they did update their stance on Lightfoot. Whether or not this reflects that they had read my thoughts on the situation remains to be seen. They claim that “a video documents Lightfoot siccing police on young Black protestors, and adjourning a meeting rather than hearing their demands, or interacting with members of the community.” Can someone show me where she “sics” police on the protestors? I watched the video, twice, and I really didn’t see anything like that. All I see is chaos. I don’t know what the aim of the protest was, was it to engage with the board? Screaming and yelling is not engaging, let’s call it like it is: its screaming and yelling. Was it to get their voice heard? Because it does seem like she heard them, physically and metaphorically, and it seems like she made a decision to end the meeting and reconvene at a later date since nothing was being accomplished. I would also suggest that perhaps the protestors’ interruption of the meeting could be what caused further delays, giving Servin further time to put in a resignation instead of having a hearing - which he is entitled to.
I would also like to talk about this statement:
“She also suggested during a televised debate that a solution for the City’s rising costs on the settlements of police brutality lawsuits would be to defend some of those suits, which is beyond disturbing. A position like that implies that Lightfoot thinks that residents occasionally sue the city for police brutality just for the money, and that’s an abhorrent take for a potential Mayor to have.”
Again, this is ill-informed. Lightfoot’s suggestion is a proven way to relieve taxpayers of the burden of paying high costs for settlements and in no way does this imply that she believes our residents are out for money. (Unless you have fallen victim to your own confirmation bias.) Read this:
“City officials also say many complaints are less serious — an improperly issued ticket, for instance — or can't be pursued because the accuser will not sign a sworn affidavit detailing the accusation. The Chicago police, in a statement to The Associated Press, said there were 45 firings and 28 suspensions from 2011 through 2015 in a department of about 12,000. Some cases remain open.
During that time, the city doled out tens of millions of dollars on misconduct claims, some dating back many years. The city's top lawyer, Stephen Patton, says his office has reduced costs with new strategies: It has cut the number of outside lawyers by more than 80 percent, taken more cases to trial (the corporation counsel's office won 21 of 28 last year), whittled down a backlog and spread the word it will no longer settle small cases routinely.
Since 2011, he says, his office has saved taxpayers at least $90 million by evaluating suits promptly and settling them, if appropriate, rather than racking up large legal fees. The McDonald case was settled without a lawsuit.” (source)
Some more good news, when asked about a lack of an official database tracking lawsuits and settlements about police misconduct (which The Chicago Reporter took upon themselves to create):
“Lightfoot became animated when asked why she thinks the city hasn’t done anything to address the issue despite concerns raised by her task force, the inspector general, and the Department of Justice.
‘It’s of great concern to me and it should be of great concern to every single citizen and taxpayer in the city,’ she said. ‘This is not an acceptable way to manage risk.’” (source)
And for all you artists and musicians out there: Lightfoot proposes small hotel tax hike to boost grants for Chicago artists
And one last thing, which is a point made by my therapist: Please don’t “not vote” for Lightfoot because you erroniously suspect she is bad. I remind you that millions of Americans “not voted” for Hillary Clinton for that reason and we're really in a mess now. Again, why, I really can’t understand, why people who call themselves “progressive” are so opposed to progress? I truly feel in my heart that this dictation that’s floating around is doing more harm than good. It is nothing but a polemical diatribe, and one filled with misconceptions. What’s up with all the finger pointing? What’s up with all the combativeness? Primordial societies didn’t endure by competing against one another, they endured because they helped one another. I was nervous about speaking my piece on this matter but in the end, it means so much to me to have my ideas heard because I truly believe in them. But I am expecting some vitrial (that will never be directed straight to me). I blame social media. Social media is tearing us all apart. I hope one day more people will be able to see this. It occured to me that had I posted this on Facebook, more people would attempt to engage with me on the matter and why? Because it would be more public and because they could get more people to surround them and validate their opinions. The only people who have messaged me about it are those who are in agreement with me. It makes me sad and frustrated. Because there is real progress to be made, but everyone seems to be so hell bent on splitting hairs, punishing others, and chastising them for things outside of their control (Lightfoot spent six months searching for a new chief of police only to have Rahm overstep her decision and hire a veteran officer who hadn’t even applied for the position.) I implore you to think, really THINK about this matter.