After some careful thought, I have come to the conclusion that progressives suffer from a legitimate form of mental illness. While it is tempting to simply write them off as loons, crazies, and nutcases, I think it is worthwhile to probe a little deeper into the progressive mind and attempt to isolate the source of progressive thinking. Finding the basic cognitive flaw that gives rise to the myriad forms of progressive nonsensical babble and astonishingly ridiculous policy decisions will, in time, allow us to develop effective therapies to enable even the most severely afflicted progressives to hold jobs outside of politics and academia. After a long, arduous period of research, which probably qualifies me for hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants, I have come up with a single, unified theory that explains the underlying cause of all progressive thought. Progressive Cognitive Disorder, or PCD, is caused by the mind's attempt to believe two mutually exclusive concepts simultaneously. The resulting pressure causes the mind to split, which gives rise to the strange, elaborate fantasies that eventually emerge as progressive legislation.
Think of the world as a pack of ordinary playing cards, and each card represents some conclusion about an external event. Progressive thought starts when one deals a single card, let's say for example a Queen of Hearts, and sees that card as both a Queen of Hearts and a Queen of Clubs. Normally, a person would see only the Queen of Hearts, and proceed on the basis of that knowledge. However, the sufferer of PCD sees both, and is therefore unable to make a rational decision. In order to make sense of two simultaneous realities, the PCD sufferer must create an elaborate false reality so that the Queen of Clubs and the Queen of Hearts can occupy the same card. This false reality can take many forms, the most common of which is the concoction of some magical transformative power which allows the Queen of Hearts to become a Queen of Clubs if placed in the right situation.
A good place to look for PCD is anything involving children. Just about every piece of progressive legislation, no matter how heavy-handed, obtuse, or unreasonable, is somehow attached to the welfare of children. Perhaps children are such an important part of progressive thinking is that the competing realities concerning children color every aspect of the PCD sufferer's worldview. Those realities are:
1) Children are beautiful, innocent beings with limitless potential, and therefore have the right to protection, nurturing, proper nutrition, and comprehensive education.
2) A child is nothing but a slowly growing pustule of need consisting of a lump of multiplying cells. This thing cannot properly be called a human being, and its very existence is wholly dependent on the whim of the mother.
Any rational person can easily see how these two statements cannot be simultaneously true. The only way to reconcile the two statements is to either separate the mind into multiple identities, or create a magical conversion process that allows the "pustule of need" mentioned in the second reality to become the "beautiful innocent being" mentioned in the first. Thus the PCD sufferer seizes on the moment of birth as the point at which the pustule of need suddenly becomes the beautiful, innocent being. However, in order to believe that, the PCD sufferer must ignore the continued development of the child outside the womb, as well as the physiological processes taking place within the child while it is still inside the womb. This underlying cognitive break is the source of a large swath of bad progressive policies. This is why we have both abortion on demand, and State-mandated education in schools run almost exclusively by the State. It is why anyone of any age can purchase abortifacient drugs, but that same person would have to show ID in order to purchase certain kinds of cold medicine.
By itself, the above example of PCD is serious enough. Unfortunately, there are others, and while they are possibly less unsettling than PCD's dual realities concerning children, they are still exceedingly dangerous. Consider the PCD sufferer's dual realities concerning the finances of private citizens:
1) People are morons, incapable of managing their own finances. It is the duty of the state to commandeer a certain portion of a person's income and keep it for them, so that they will have something to live on when they are unemployed or too old and feeble to provide for themselves. For those who are too stupid to know when enough is enough, the state is also obligated use its taxation power to limit the amount of money a person puts away in private accounts for his own use.
2) People are financial geniuses, capable of serving a steadily growing number of recipients with money derived from a steadily shrinking number of contributors.
Since people cannot be financial geniuses and financial simpletons at the same time, there must be a magical conversion process which allows a financial simpleton to suddenly become a financial genius. In order to retain enough sanity to function, the PCD sufferer simply assumes that anyone working for the government must have had financial genius bestowed upon him, even if that person has had no training in basic mathematics. When viewed through the lens of the PCD model, it's easy to see how progressive financial policy gets its start. It explains why the United States is almost seventeen trillion dollars in debt, while half the population pays no income tax. It explains why the government funds studies on duck genitals and sends millions to enemy regimes, while also cancelling public tours of the White House. Finance is a field that demands logic and reason, which is why PCD is such a virulent problem in government.
Competing realities concerning human nature give rise to a large portion of PCD - inspired progressive thinking. Consider the topic of self-defense, which has dominated the national conversation for the last few months. As in all other cases, progressive thinking on self-defense stems from two mutually exclusive concepts:
1) People are either too cowardly and weak, or too brutal, lawless, and sadistic to be allowed access to tools with which they can defend themselves and their families.
2) People are stalwart protectors of the weak and helpless, whose accurate aim and immense self-control are enough to thwart any crime without offending anyone, including the alleged criminal.
For both of these things to be true, there must be a magical conversion process that changes the nitwit in reality number one into the modern-day Gawain in reality number two. PCD sufferers place that conversion into the hands of Law Enforcement academies across the country. Unfortunately, no matter how hard those academies work, and how many Gawains they churn out, there will always be places they can't reach in time. Thankfully, PCD thought in this case is much more narrowly defined, and is therefore much easier to counteract. Today's Senate vote is a clear indication that firearms PCD is much milder form, and much more easily treatable.
A final example should be enough to convince even the most skeptical reader that PCD is a legitimate mental disorder. A good many sufferers of PSD must contend with the following two versions of reality:
1) Man is nothing more than a mutated ape. He, like the solar system he resides in, arose from the primordial soup spontaneously. His actions are dictated by genetics, and he has little actual control over what he does. Choice is really just an illusion.
2) Man is possessed of a divine spirit, and with this goodness is capable of slowing the rise of the oceans, healing the earth, and bringing justice and equality to all of God’s children.
Thus, in the mind of the PCD sufferer, responsibility for poor choices is unnecessary, and whatever proclivities one might have ought to be honored and encouraged. Everything a person is has been hardwired into their very cells since he or she was a little pustule of need. However, it would be downright dangerous to hand over the reins of power to a bunch of mutated apes outside of a Charleton Heston picture. What is needed is a magical conversion process powerful enough to change the mutated apes of reality number one into the Man-God Philosopher Kings of reality number two. Somehow, there must be a mechanism that allows the meat-computer powered automaton to become a magnificent, transformative superman. Obviously, no such process exists, which is why our country operates with the current crop of failed Philosopher-Kings in positions of power, many of whom suffer from the same PCD that runs rampant in American cities. Unfortunately, this particular form of PCD is extremely pervasive, and it is historians, not psychologists, who will understand the full extent of the damage it has caused.
Only by understanding the root of Progressive Cognitive Disorder can we hope to formulate effective treatment. Since PCD theory was only invented a couple of hours ago, we are still a long way from a cure. But if we work together, and swindle enough public money out of the financial geniuses writing the checks, I firmly believe that PCD could become as easily treatable as gingivitis or planar warts. Only by treating it at the source do we have a chance to eradicate this terrible, costly disease and realize the full potential of freedom and liberty.