Thanks everyone for contributing to the comments! Lots of great thoughts and opinions.
One theme I’m seeing carried through several is that all this stuff is gray and messy. Very little black and white. Which is really the core of what I’m trying to get across. The more we can get out of our ideological camps (PE vs. PWAs), the more we can recognize how much we agree and move forward.
From a practical point of view, JS is a third of the web stack (some would argue it’s often 1/2 of the stack these days). Yes things change all the time, but this is the mercurial web here. One must adapt with it or find another line of work.
I also think the comment about waiting 10 years for JS to go the way of Flash suggests a bit of a misunderstanding of that relationship.
Flash was a way to get what we needed at the time (by both hook and crook). Once comparable features entered the native web via JS/HTML5/CSS3, we could ditch Flash for good.
The goal of the extensible web isn’t to build everything in JS all the time. It’s to have the ability to prototype what we need in JS. Polyfills and prollyfills. And let the best stuff rise to the top rather than being handed to us from on high by a standards body whether we like it or not.
And, not insignificantly, some of the greatest advocates for this idea are the people involved with standards and browser vendors. They want authors creating the features they need, instead of just second guessing us.
It’s a more democratizing approach to web standards, ultimately. And if we want our voices to be heard, we need to start building the future we want.