IWUZ thinking about the problem with words in the English language; and lo, (behold) (see) (like), there are many. (That’s a progression from old English to new- like, English y’know). But cows also low. And we sometimes feel low. To someone whose native tongue is something simple like Chinese or Nguni, English must be terribly confusing.
After the American Revolution, Noah Webster of dictionary fame, Jefferson, Franklin, and others tried to simplify English, including making the spelling of words more phonetic. Wimmin for women didn’t make it. (Rabid feminists want still want that one because it eliminates the men. Seriously. Colour did become color in the US but it is still colour in England and either one in Canada. But those are minor aberrations.
Here’s what progress used to mean; “the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than, and superior to, the previous level”; or, “movement toward a more desirable position from a less desirable position”. That’s a good thing. Of course the opposite is regress. The implication is backward movement, or “to revert to an earlier or less advanced state or form”. That’s a bad thing.
In an election year “progressive” is a big word. “She is a progressive”. “This is a progressive piece of legislation”. Nanny statists have co-opted the word, and it is now attached to anything that will allow the government to take more of your money, and then send a portion back to you with instructions on how to use it.
Of course if you’re not a Progressive, then you must a Regressive. And who would vote for a Regressive, or support a regressive piece of legislation?
The person most credited with changing Canadian political thinking from “we can afford the deficits and debt”, to; “deficits and debt are ruining us”, and even worse for a politician; “running a deficit might get you kicked out of office”; was a politician named Preston Manning. Manning was a preacher’s son, wore glasses, and wasn’t a spellbinding orator. He was caricatured as Mr. Regressive.
But beginning in the 1980’s, Mr. Manning began to warn of the ruination facing Canada if it didn’t get its fiscal house in order. His message was;”We are digging ourselves into a debt hole; we have to stop digging”. He was jeered at and nicknamed Parson Manning; his hairstyle was mocked, his voice was mocked, his message was mocked; but, in the early 1990s Canada’s debt rating was lowered, (sound familiar), and the Wall Street Journal called Canada an honorary member of the Third World. At the time, Canada’s deficit to Gross Domestic Product Level was 6%. The US deficit to GDP is now at 10%.
So; ARE WE THERE YET? Or is it time for; “movement toward a more desirable position from a less desirable position”; in other words, progress instead of progressivism?
(continued next week)
Going back for our future. Dave