Dear Dr. Progressive

web posted February 26, 2001

(Important Note: Dr. Progressive suffered a major nervous breakdown three weeks ago. He remains institutionalized in a hospital and is heavily medicated. His overall condition appears to be deteriorating. Several witnesses at the hospital, who choose to remain anonymous, have stated that they overheard Dr. Progressive making disparaging remarks about the progressive cause. A nurse and a psychiatrist have both attested that Dr. Progressive has Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, Paul Hollander's Political Pilgrims, and David Horowitz's Radical Son on the nightstand by his bed. He still has a lap-top with him and remains accessible for questions, but his Leftist friends who have visited him insist that he is not the same person. His mood has become erratic. It is therefore recommended that letter-writers keep questions short, to the point, and respectful.) Send your letters to

Dear Dr. Progressive,

I have a small problem that maybe you can help me with. I have a friend who is very confused. He claims to be a conservative. But his beliefs are a little strange for a conservative. He starts sentences with, "Now I'm a conservative, but..." Then he espouses the most socialist of ideas and causes. For example, he believes that no one should be allowed to drive an SUV. They put him in danger while he is driving his Saturn. (He believes that accident deaths are a zero sum game, and never mind that he also owns two high performance sports cars and a four wheel drive pickup truck.) He believes that it is immoral to use "excessive gas" in an SUV. He believes that SUVs are somehow cost subsidized by others. He said to me that SUV owners, like myself, should be "paying our fair share". I could go on and on, global warming, environmental destruction, evil capitalists, etc. He even said that "urban sprawl" is very bad and as a result all people should be forced to live in cities, and not even be allowed to own cars! All people, of course, means other people. He being one of the elite should remain on his palatial estate in the country surrounded by trees. However, I should be forced to move, because I don't share his innate knowledge of what's right and what's wrong. As you can see, my friend is confused. Frankly, I believe he is going to give conservatives a bad name, if he keeps on claiming to be one. How can I help him see his true political calling?

Thank you.


Dear Timothy,

This guy sounds like me when I was younger. Does he have a drinking problem? He would be excellent material for me to mould and guide. He has the perfect prerequisites to become a radical progressive. My favorite is how he sees himself as representing, but at the same time being better than, "the people." This disposition instantly wins him membership among any Leftist group. He also sounds extremely unlikable, and very irritating to be around -- like a typical Leftist. No wonder I haven't had any friends since I was 22 - except the people I worked to build socialism with. Now that I come to think about it, I never really knew who these individuals were - as people. In any case, so he says he is a Conservative? That 's ok. The key to being a good Leftist is to disguise who you really are. But he should call himself a Liberal, not a Conservative. My advice to you is to stop hanging around with him -- unless he is you. Then you know you have very serious problems. I have a hunch you have created this individual and that you are actually talking about yourself. You are pathetic.

Dear Dr. Progressive,

Can I come visit you at the hospital? While you lay and rest I would like to read aloud to you, perhaps soothing words from Marx's The Communist Manifesto or maybe a few pleasant readings by Herbert Marcuse or Angela Davis.

Michael DeWolfe


If you show up at the hospital I am staying at, I will not hesitate to call security and have you charged with harassment. Stay out of my face.

Dear Dr. Progressive,

Do you think Stalinism was an aberration or a logical continuation of Marxism? Does Marxism have to be totalitarian?

Stanley Kurtis

Dear Stanley,

As leftists we have to believe that Stalinism was an aberration. If we accept that Stalinism was the inevitable result of the socialist impulse, then our whole purpose will be discredited. So no, Marxism does not have to be totalitarian. Every experiment, of course, has been totalitarian, but we have to believe that Marxism just needs one more chance. It is also very important for us to play with semantics. For instance, Marxism necessitates one-party rule and the subjugation of the individual. It also mandates the elimination of private property. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out where this road leads. But the key for us is to ask questions like: "But what does freedom really mean?"

Dear Dr. Progressive,

What is worse, to be a member of the Communist Party or to be expelled from the Communist Party?

Sandy Hale
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sandy,

I have thought about your question for two nights. I have been unable to sleep because of it. I cannot, at this point, answer your question. At one point I came up with an answer, but then, upon rethinking it, I realized it was laden with flaws. I am stuck on this one. I have had to increase my medication just to be able to sleep tonight. I would like to ask the readers of this column to help me with the answer. I simply do not know.

Dear Dr. Progressive,

Where is the socialist paradise?

Kenneth Jenkins

Dear Kenneth,

Drink a bottle of olive oil. After about 7-12 minutes you will end up in a certain place performing a certain function. The answer will come to you at this time.

Jamie Glazov holds a Ph.D. in History and is the author of 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist.

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