It’s funny how some fleeting thing is rolling around in your brain, not quite taking form, for days and then out of nowhere, it coalesces into an actual thought. Kind of a two plus two moment. Yesterday, when I saw Zach’s post about the piss poor Abele campaign mailing, painting Chris Larson as no Bernie Sanders, I had one of those moments…about Progressives and what it means to truly be one. Progressive is a term that is bandied about by many, many politicians….everyone from the Presidential candidates on down to your local government. It’s used so often that it has seemingly lost all meaning…what does being Progressive really mean? Most folks would tell you that it is a capital L liberal. Others might be more literal and say that it means those who belonged to the Progressive Party, like Teddy Roosevelt and Fighting Bob LaFollette. In my quest to define the concept of being Progressive, I turned to the dictionary (the Free Dictionary online, to be precise) and found this:

pro·gres·sive

adj.

1. Moving forward; advancing.

2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.

3. Open to or favoring new ideas, policies, or methods: a progressive politician; progressive business leadership.

4. Progressive Of or relating to a Progressive Party: the Progressive platform of 1924.

5. Of or relating to progressive education: a progressive school.

6. Increasing in rate as the taxable amount increases: a progressive income tax.

7. Tending to become more severe or wider in scope: progressive paralysis.

8. Grammar Designating a verb form that expresses an action or condition in progress.

9. Music Of or being a style that emphasizes virtuoso technique, rhythmic and melodic complexity, and unconventional forms and imstrumentation: progressive rock; progressive jazz.

n.

1. A person who is open to or favors new ideas, policies, or methods, especially in politics.

2. Progressive A member or supporter of a Progressive Party.

3. Grammar A progressive verb form.

To be truly Progressive, you must be for “new ideas, policies, or methods.” Unfortunately, in 2016 Progressives are still fighting for pretty much the same things as they did in the 1920’s—social safety nets, universal healthcare, minimum wage, removal of money from politics, and so forth. By that measure, true Progressives are few and far between. On a national level, Bernie Sanders is pretty much it. Maybe Russ Feingold. Maybe. It is time that all the others, especially on the local level, stop claiming that they are Progressive. They are not. If all you are doing is putting one foot in front of the other and propelling yourself forward, you are not Progressive. If you are taking money from Wall Street and Corporations, you are not Progressive. If you are backing the status quo against the People, you are not Progressive. The popularity of Bernie Sanders proves that America is receptive to the Progressive message. We need true Progressives and we need them now. The time has come.

 

4 Responses to One woman’s search for meaning…

  1. Cat Kin says:

    One of the deffinitions you sight, Nancy, appeals to me…and that is proceeding forward in increments. That is not revolution. Too many Democrats have become impatent with building a better government in increments. They want the excitement of a revolution where opponents are defeated without quarter, and new ideas are forced into place: revolution. Those are many of the appeals which Senator Sanders proposes. Appeals which invite opposition without quarter and, even if attained, will provoke a counter-revolution…also without quarter. And with that counter-revolution we lose the great acheivements of President Obama.

    Mrs Clinton understands what has been accomplished and what may be built upon so that we can really progress. Not all or nothing ideas that lead to constant fights and bickering, no matter what, so that nothing ever progresses.

    There are unshakable rules in politics as in any other endeavor. You don’t draw to an inside straight; you don’t bet your life savings on a 40 to 1 pony; and you don’t speak French to a New Jersey audience. Mrs. Clinton has been there, foreign and domestic. She knows the odds and she has kept her word, no matter the opposition, no matter how often she has been scandelized. I going to trust her much more than a person–seldom challenged–who peddles pie-in-the-socialist sky ideas that sound good to neophytes, no matter how unattainable.

    I’m a progressive who wants to build on the out standing foreign and domestic acheivments of a great president and be a true progressive, albiet an integral one. One step at a time, Nancy, one step at a time.

    • Duane12 says:

      Yes, Cat Kin, I agree the best way forward is in increments.

      There are a variety of reasons that Bernie is the only Progressive in Congress. He is a purist in the best sense of the word. There is not one of his views or proposals that I disagree with. And I would not be disappointed if Bernie won.

      But we are a nation of diversity with differing cultures, religions or beliefs, ethnicity, education, color, and most importantly, politics, And so, we can expect to have differences based upon the the various members of Congress to representing their segment of our society.

      The problem is not if Bernie or Hillary can best represent us but that there has been a major increase and widespread corruption of Congress serving first or only the money interests. That is what we should be focused on.

      • onevote says:

        It’s hard to read just what Nancy Northshore is saying here, maybe it should be filed under “sarcasm.”

        When “It is time that all the others, especially on the local level, stop claiming that they are Progressive. They are not” is put forth, I wonder where Nancy truly stands on candidates like Chris Abele, as well as Ron Kind. Given her obvious disinterest in Bernie Sanders, maybe Nancy is admitting that “progressive” is not the term that Hillary Clinton seems to follow (see http://prospect.org/article/how-dlc-does-it).

        As far as “electability” is concerned, “New Democrat” just doesn’t seem to help get big voter turnouts that get Democratic Party legislators elected (see http://www.salon.com/2015/03/14/americas_anti_liberal_myth_why_dems_learned_the_wrong_lesson_from_1984/).
        This is why we have David Clarke somehow being considered a Democrat.

  2. Edward Susterich says:

    Cat Kin– how about rewriting your blurb– but instead of vague generalities– give very specific examples of the proposals offered by Hillary to address the following issues:

    INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY
    COLLEGE TUITION AND DEBT FREE EDUCATION
    GETTING BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS AND RESTORING DEMOCRACY
    CREATING DECENT PAYING JOBS
    A LIVING WAGE
    COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE TO SAVE THE PLANET
    A FAIR AND HUMANE IMMIGRATION POLICY
    RACIAL JUSTICE
    FIGHTING FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS
    WORKING TO CREATE AN AIDS AND HIV-FREE GENERATION
    FIGHTING FOR LGBT EQUALITY
    EMPOWERING TRIBAL NATIONS
    CARING FOR OUR VETERANS
    MEDICARE FOR ALL
    STRENGTHEN AND EXPAND SOCIAL SECURITY
    FIGHTING TO LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES
    FIGHTING FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS
    PLAN FOR PUERTO RICO
    SUPPORTING HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
    IMPROVING THE RURAL ECONOMY
    REFORMING WALL STREET
    REAL FAMILY VALUES
    WAR SHOULD BE THE LAST OPTION
    MAKING THE WEALTHY, WALL STREET, AND LARGE CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE
    WORLD TRADE AND ECONOMIC RAMIFICATIONS……………and more…….

    Bernie Sanders offers detailed proposals.

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