Explaining what Janet Napolitano means by ‘the Arc of History’

Recently, during an interview on “Meet the Press,” Janet Napolitano explained her recent change in position on gay marriage by saying ‘the arc of history has clearly arrived:’

Janet Napolitano: ‘The Arc of History Has Clearly Arrived’ for Gay Marriage

Now, to those who do not know and understand the Progressive lexicon, the term ‘arc of history’ might not make much sense.  But to those who do know and understand their language, what she said makes perfect sense.  Luckily, we can discover what this phrase means, but to do so, we have to go back to the words of the founding fathers of the Progressive movement.

Woodrow Wilson wrote:

“The philosophy of any time is, as Hegel says, ‘nothing but the spirit of that time expressed in abstract thought.’”

John Dewey said that the history of:

“liberalism [Progressivism] is a history of phases,” and the “conception of liberty is always relative to forces that at a given time and place are increasingly felt to be oppressive.”

And Frank Goodnow said the principles and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence were the result of the social and economic influences of the time, with the intended implication being that they were not universal and eternal as expressed by the men who wrote and ratified it.

What these men were all saying is that the things that are thought to be right or proper for a given society at a given time in history depends on what the people want in that society at that time.  As history progresses, what the people want changes – mostly due to the economic pressures of their time.  For the Progressive, this march through history – the ‘arc’ of history – must be understood in this manner.  For the Progressive, these changes of what people want as history progresses prove that the will or desire of the times is what defines the reality of that time.  Thus, for the Progressive, there are not absolutes.  Nothing remains fixed.  In fact, the Progressive goes so far as to assert that the past can be changed according to the sentiments of the current time.  Thus, we can force the will of today onto the events of the past.


So, when Janet Napolitano says the ‘arc’ of history has arrived, what she is saying is the will of the people has changed and homosexual marriage is now moral and those who object to it are now bigots, haters and – thus – they are the ones who are immoral.

But there is a problem with this line of reasoning: they are making a universal and eternal assertion that is – by their own argument – transient.  In other words, they are saying that things change with time, but if things change with time, then it is possible there will come a time when things no longer change.  Eternal stability could be such a change.  This makes their arguments self-contradictory, and that means they are asserting an irrational idea.  In fact, this means the very foundation of the Progressive philosophy is irrational, and that is why Progressive ideas never work: the violate Natural Law.

[NOTE: all three of these Progressive founding fathers were involved in education.  Wilson was a life-long ‘academic,’ Dewey is known as the father of the modern American education system and Goodnow was a professor at Columbia and helped to found the American Political Science Association.  Now ask yourself, what good is a college education if the very people ‘teaching’ you are telling you – and believe themselves – that everything they teach you is subject to change tomorrow?  All it takes is an economic change that changes what the people want and everything you just ‘learned’ can be erased – even the very language you used to learn what was just erased.  Yes, the people who teach these postmodernist, relativist, secular human views of the world actually mean that anything and everything is subject to change with the will of the time.  However, in spite of everything they assert, human nature has not changed, and neither have the laws which govern economic activity.  This suggests that the will of the people doesn’t change everything, and this means that there are some things that are set and eternal, which then begs the question: why are we listening to these people?]



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