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Do you believe in free speech? Do you believe that people should be judged by their character, not their skin color? Do you believe in freedom of religion?

If you believe these things, you're probably not a progressive. You might think you're a progressive. I used to think I was. My show, The Rubin Report, was originally part of the progressive Young Turks network. Progressives struck me as liberals, but louder. Progressives were the nice guys; they looked out for the little guy; they cared about women and minorities; they embraced change.

In short, who wouldn't want to be a progressive?

But over the last couple years, the meaning of the word progressive has changed.

Progressives used to say, I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it. Not anymore.

Banning speakers whose opinions you don't agree with from college campuses, that's not progressive. Prohibiting any words not approved of as politically correct, that's not progressive. Putting Trigger Warnings on books, movies, music, anything that might offend people, that's not progressive either.

All of this has led me to be believe that much of the left is no longer progressive, but regressive. This is one of the reasons I've spent so much time on my show talking about The Regressive Left.

This regressive ideology doesn't judge people as individuals, but as a collective.

If you're black, or female, or Muslim, or Hispanic, or a member of any other minority group, you're judged differently than the most evil of all things: a white, Christian male. The Regressive Left ranks minority groups in a pecking order to compete in a kind of Oppression Olympics. Gold medal goes to the most offended.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream that his children would be judged by their character and not their skin color was a liberal idea, but these days, it's not a progressive ideal.

And what about religious freedom, the idea that no one else can tell you what you have to believe? Surely progressives still support that basic right. Well, not so much.

I'm a married gay man, so you might think that I appreciate the government forcing a Christian baker or photographer or florist to act against their religion in order to cater, photograph or decorate my wedding. But you'd be wrong. A government that can force Christians to violate their conscience can force me to violate mine. If a baker won't bake you a cake, find another baker; don't demand that the state tell him what to do with his private business.

I'm pro-choice. But a government that can force a group of Catholic nuns, literally called the Little Sisters of the Poor, to violate their faith and pay for abortion-inducing birth control can force anyone to do anything.

That's not progressive; that's regressive!

Today's progressivism has become a faux-moral movement hurling charges of racism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and a slew of other meaningless buzzwords at anyone they disagree with.

The battle of ideas has been replaced by a battle of feelings, and outrage has replaced honesty. Diversity reigns supreme, as long as it's not that pesky diversity of thought.

This isn't the recipe for a free society, it's a recipe for authoritarianism.

For these reasons, I can no longer call myself a progressive. I don't really call myself a Democrat either. I'm a classical liberal, a free thinker, and as much as I don't like to admit it, defending my liberal values has suddenly become a conservative position.

So, if you think people should be able to say what they think without being punished for it; that people should be judged by their behavior, not their skin color; and that people should be able to live the way that they want to live, without government interference, then there's not much left on the left for you.

I'll keep trying to explain that to progressives until I'm totally left out.
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  |  9054 learners#Politic #Speeches

Why are you Right? Yes, you, conservative person. Can you answer that question?

I think it's so important that I wrote a book about it. How to be Right? The Art of Being Persuasively Correct. Because if you can't be persuasive about why you are right, then we, the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands, are lost. So, here is the simple answer to why you are Right: It is a more practical, generous, and compassionate way to live. Let me explain:

There have been a bunch of academic studies on how those on the Left and Right approach problems. They pretty much all come to the same conclusion. The Right tends to be risk averse, more concerned about external threats like tyranny and terror. Conservatives, get this, tend to be conservative. They are less likely to play with fire, in just about every sense: financially, artistically, sexually. They are cautious about changing traditions, sometimes to a fault, which is why they cling to that crazy Constitution they like so much and to their guns and their religion.

We conservatives also focus on what we can fix, and accept what we cannot which is one of the many reasons we're not obsessed over global warming. With Radical Islam we know what the threat is, and that it's a lot worse than a few missing polar bears. I know that makes me sound mean, sorry polar bears.

Liberals, the research tells us, are generally more outgoing, more likely to try new stuff. They are open to new ideas though not school choice, or flat taxes, or a market based health care reform, and are less likely to feel threatened by unfamiliar things. This is why, in general, they seem to have more fun. They are more likely to try drugs, for example which is fine, as long as they don't end up throwing up in my toaster. In short, liberals are pretty liberal. They feel free to take risks that the risk-averse usually end up paying for, over and over. Which explains the necessity for conservatism. We are the clean-up crew.

Liberals may seem to have more fun and many do, but according to polls they aren't as happy as conservatives. And with all the fun they're having, I've never quite figured out why the angriest people I've encountered in my life have been liberals. Maybe it's because short-term fun doesn't translate into long-term happiness. Marriage, families and religion do that and those are the things conservatives most value. Liberals tend to live for now. Conservatives for later.

A risk-averse conservative is more likely to save money. He is more likely to protect his investments. He is more likely to protect property, and advocate for rule of law and preservation of individual protections. And he offers no excuses for looting. Instead, he empathizes with the Asian, Arab and black small businessman whose convenience store, laundry or restaurant goes up into flames during the riot that liberals reflexively endorse as an understandable response to injustice.

Of course, conservatives aren't risk-averse in everything. But they take risks with their own lives, not with the society. Conservatives risk all to build businesses. That risk, however, is rooted in a fact-based belief not faith in the free market. If people want the product or service you're supplying at the price you're asking, you will succeed and the risk will pay off.

Over time, it's conservative risk-taking that creates a civilization, by building families, businesses, and nations. All of which creates more wealth, wealth that can then be used to help those in need. You need money to make money, but you also need money to give money. Conservatism makes what liberalism takes.

So, for example, for liberals to get their minimum-wage hike, first we need conservatives to build businesses, to think like businessmen, to sacrifice their own salaries in order to pay others; to sleep on floors if necessary in order to break even. Then when they make a profit, and things are going great when the calm sets in, liberalism can appear and say, How dare you not pay these people a living wage? Once the tables are full of diners, and bills are being paid, and you're thinking about opening a second joint, liberalism arrives to demand its cut. Think of it as a protection racket. Sort of like the Gambino family, but without loyalty, job prospects, and track suits.

In short, conservatism doesn't compete with liberalism, it sustains it. And so when a liberal asks you, why are you a conservative? Simply say, so that you can be a liberal.
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  |  9137 learners#Politic #Speeches

I have to get my tonsils out. I'm not really happy about it, but I'm tired of being sick and having sore throats. I have to go to the hospital two hours before my surgery. My mother will go with me. The nurses will take my temperature and check my blood pressure. They will make sure that I am ready for my operation. I will be dressed in a white gown, and I will be wheeled down the hall to the operating room. I can't have anything to eat or drink for a long time before my surgery. My mother will walk down the hall with me, then she will wave goodbye as they wheel me into the operating room.

The doctor and the nurses will be busy in the operating room. They will be getting ready to perform my surgery. The doctor will say hello to me and tell me that he is going to put me to sleep. He will put something into my arm. He will tell me to count backwards from ten. I think that I will only say ten, nine and then I will be fast asleep I won't be awake for the surgery.

When I wake up, I will be surprised that the surgery is over. My throat will hurt, and I probably won't feel very good. My mother will be there with me. The nurses will give me a drink and try to make me comfortable. I won't be in the hospital overnight. I will go home later in the day. My parents will have to make sure that I have a lot to drink. I can't eat any hard foods or they will hurt my throat. I will sleep a lot, because I will not feel very well for a couple of days. It won't take long before I recover from my surgery. Sometimes, we need surgery to make us feel better. Hospitals can be a bit frightening, but the doctors and nurses are very nice, and their job is to make you better.
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  |  9717 learners#Social #Stories

A funny thing happened on the way to school.

Last friday it was very windy. I was walking down the street with my friend john. We were having a difficult time walking against the wind. The wind was pushing against us, and we felt the force of it pressing against us. We even had a hard time breathing. We were walking slowly. We watched the leaves as they danced and twirled in the wind. We watched a plastic bag as it flew by us. We saw a little boy whose baseball cap flew right off his head. His cap flew along the sidewalk, and he had to chase it. He finally caught it, and he held it in his hands tightly after he got it back. The trees were swaying frantically. Their branches swished and waved in the wild wind. John and I were hit by flying bits of paper and leaves. We laughed when a garbage can lid rolled along and hit john in the leg. We saw another garbage can rolling along the road as if it was alive.

Everything was moving because of the wind. Then, the funniest thing happened. I wasn't paying any attention, and a paper bag came flying up the street toward us. It hit me right in the face and covered my whole face. At first, i didn't know what had happened. I was blinded. I couldn't see where i was going. I stopped and held out my hands. When i stopped, the bag fell off my face. I looked at john. He was laughing very hard. He was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down his cheeks. He said that i looked very funny with the brown paper bag stuck to my face. I started to laugh too. We laughed about it all the way to school. John said that he wished he had a camera. He would have taken a picture of me with the bag on my face.
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  |  9210 learners#Uncategorized #Unclassified

I sometimes imagine what it would be like if I could fly like a bird. Just imagine what it would be like to soar into the sky, flying high above the trees. You could stand on high rooftops and never be afraid of falling. You would see so many things as you flew over rooftops and forests. You would feel incredibly free as you traveled from place to place. Not bothered by road signs or traffic jams. If I could fly like a bird. I would start from my back yard and travel through town. I would look down on the houses and factories. When I got tired, I would land in a field and take a nap. I would travel above rivers and follow them as they wound along and emptied into lakes and oceans. I would fly above parks and I would call out to the children as I flew high above them. I would dip and dive as I flew. I would soar up high and dive down low. So that I could almost touch the treetops. Have you ever flown? I know that you can't fly like a bird, but you might have taken an airplane ride When you're in an airplane, you pass through clouds. It is exciting to take an airplane ride. I love taking airplane flights. I like to look down at the earth. When you are up that high, everything below you looks tiny. That's the closest I'll get to flying like a bird. But I can still use my imagination and spread my wings and soar high above the world. Just like a bird.
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  |  9138 learners#General #Speeches

It is going to be my father's birthday. What can I give him? I don't have much money. I have looked all through the stores, and I have not found anything that I think he would like, or that I can afford. I have thought very hard about what to buy for him. I thought that he might like some candy, but my father really doesn't eat many sweets. I thought that he might like a new shirt, but he has lots of clothes. I can't afford a new car or computer for him. I was watching him on the weekend. He cut the grass, washed the car, took out the garbage, weeded the garden and watered the plants. I got an idea. I went to my room and took out some paper. I cut out pieces of paper, and I wrote on them. I wrote on one piece of paper that I would wash the car every weekend for the summer. I wrote on another piece that I would take out the garbage every week for the summer. I also wrote that I would cut the grass, weed the garden and water the plants every week for the summer. I made a birthday card for my dad, and I put the pieces of paper inside it. I went downstairs and gave my gift to my dad. My dad thought that the gift was very thoughtful. He said that it was a gift from the heart. I did all those things for my dad all summer. He said that he had a lot of free time because I helped him so much. My dad and I are good friends. I don't mind doing things for him because I know that he is always there to help me out. A good gift doesn't have to be something that costs a lot. My dad says that the best gifts are the ones that show how much you care for the other person. I'm glad my dad liked his gift.
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  |  9084 learners#General #Statements

Many of my friends have dyed their hair different colors. I don't mean normal hair colors like brown or black. My friends have dyed their hair orange, purple and blue. I told my mother that I would like to dye my hair green. I explained to my mother that I would only use food coloring. The green would not last forever. My mother said that dyeing your hair was a silly fad. She said that I would not look good with green hair. I said that if I couldn't dye my hair green maybe I could get a nose ring. My mother said no. I said that maybe a tattoo on my arm would be nice. My mother said no way. My mother said that she did some crazy things when she was a young girl. She said that she used to iron her hair to make it straight. That sounds quite boring to me. My friend Joan came over. Her hair is dyed bright pink. My father said nice hair Joan. I don't think that he really meant it. My mother says that when I am an adult I can dye my hair whatever crazy color I like but for now she would like me to leave my hair its natural color. I tried to tell her that all my friends were doing it. if all your friends were jumping off a cliff would you do it too. I said no. I think I'll have to wait to have green hair, but maybe by the time I'm old enough to dye my hair green. I won't want it that color. My mother says that fads change all the time. One day something might be popular. One day something might be popular, and the next day it's not in style at all. I'll just have to live without green hair for now. I wonder what the fad will be next month.
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  |  9059 learners#General #Statements
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