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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 02:22 AM
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Progressives Fail because Progressivism is not Understood
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By Steven Leser

Gallup has provided me a treasure of useful information this week. First was the empirical evidence that the Tea Parties and Republicans were one and the same. Most people had figured that out a long time ago, but it was nice to have it laid out empirically. Now, Gallup explains, unintentionally, why Progressives have a hard time getting Progressive values incorporated into legislation. Like with the Tea Party study, it validates something that to me was obvious. People do not understand what Progressivism is.

Gallup's study shows that 54% of Americans do not know whether the term "Progressive" describes their own views. If they cannot determine that, it means to me that they do not know what Progressivism is.

Even more curious is that 22% of the 12% of the population who self-identified as "Progressive" also self-identified as politically "Conservative". Something tells me that those people do not understand what the term "Progressive" means either so we can up the 54% to at least 66%. Two thirds of the American population do not know what "Progressive" means.

Many Progressives point to conspiracies or the elites or the powers that be or some combination when giving an explanation for why Progressives cannot get their agenda passed or even supported. This study better explains it. I have been saying for a long time that before Progressives attempt to get their ideas made into law, they have to first explain their ideas to the public and second, convince people that Progressive ideas are the right ones for the country. It makes sense, right? People are not going to support an agenda that they do not understand and has not been explained to them.

This opinion that I have had for a while is why I have placed myself in the "Pragmatic Progressive" category. Those of us in that category accept an incremental approach to Liberal and Progressive achievements in legislation because we know that there is not enough support for more comprehensive movement in that regard. We often clash with those who call themselves "Principled Progressives" who believe that we should go for broke on every piece of legislation and that failure on a go for broke approach is better than creeping incremental-ism.

Gallup's study, in my opinion, is game, set, match for Pragmatism, at least in the short term. It also means that Progressives have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a way to teach the country about Progressivism. I'm interested in hearing from fellow Progressives whether they agree or disagree with my assessment. I'm also curious as to whether the Principled Progressives believe that there is a way forward with go for broke legislation with only one in three Americans having any real understanding of Progressive values or their merits.

Link to the Gallup Study:

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  -Progressives Fail because Progressivism is not Understood stevenleser  Jul-19-10 02:22 AM   #0 
  - Change Minds, Change Votes  sandnsea   Jul-19-10 02:34 AM   #1 
  - We could start by ceasing to use the word "progressive."  Unvanguard   Jul-19-10 02:37 AM   #2 
  - I have no problem with Liberal, but some are afraid to call themselves that  stevenleser   Jul-19-10 03:05 AM   #4 
  - I like and often use "leftist."  Unvanguard   Jul-19-10 04:44 AM   #7 
  - Why not? Leftist has a long and storied history  socialist_n_TN   Jul-19-10 10:00 AM   #29 
  - Liberal, from the Sumerian "libis" meaning heart, core, anger, courage, family.  aquart   Jul-19-10 04:22 AM   #6 
  - "Progressive" the way it's tossed around sounds very uppity...  Kahuna   Jul-19-10 05:13 AM   #9 
  - Deleted sub-thread  Name removed   Jul-19-10 02:42 AM   #3 
  - I've been asking for a definition for years. Never get one.  aquart   Jul-19-10 04:20 AM   #5 
  - Nobody knows what it means. It's just a lofty word people like to use. nt  Kahuna   Jul-19-10 05:18 AM   #10 
  - AS someone who calls herself a progressive, I know what it means.  CTyankee   Jul-19-10 08:38 AM   #26 
     - Sounds socialist to me.........  socialist_n_TN   Jul-19-10 10:03 AM   #31 
     - So what? You can make a great case for democratic socialism a la  CTyankee   Jul-19-10 10:24 AM   #33 
        - "So what?" My point exactly.............  socialist_n_TN   Jul-19-10 10:30 AM   #34 
           - No, I cannot agree with you on this. Among fellow progressives, it's just  CTyankee   Jul-19-10 10:41 AM   #37 
           - I don't know if we disagree all that much...........  socialist_n_TN   Jul-19-10 10:52 AM   #39 
              - Your argument is very good by staying with the "average American" theme.  CTyankee   Jul-19-10 11:06 AM   #41 
           - I'm glad im not the only one.  white_wolf   Jul-19-10 04:55 PM   #49 
     - That's what it means to you. Too bad many other so-called progressives..  Kahuna   Jul-19-10 01:21 PM   #44 
  - It's the same thing as Liberal, but with out the media hysteria. nt  Javaman   Jul-19-10 10:58 AM   #40 
  - Progressives fail because they do not have a loud voice ...  Trajan   Jul-19-10 04:49 AM   #8 
  - It doesn't help that  Enthusiast   Jul-19-10 08:11 AM   #22 
  - Heck, "progressive" means building more Walmarts to some people..  DCBob   Jul-19-10 05:29 AM   #11 
  - K&R  Enthusiast   Jul-19-10 05:46 AM   #12 
  - Someone canceled out my Rec too  NNN0LHI   Jul-19-10 07:19 AM   #16 
     - Mine too. Immediately as I hit recommend, it showed my vote to me,  mmonk   Jul-19-10 07:30 AM   #19 
        - Apparently someone out  Enthusiast   Jul-19-10 08:02 AM   #20 
  - I don't see it as defining the label-- it's defining who we are...  TreasonousBastard   Jul-19-10 06:09 AM   #13 
  - "pragmatic"  zipplewrath   Jul-19-10 07:13 AM   #14 
  - Something tells me that those people do not understand what the term "Progressive" means  NNN0LHI   Jul-19-10 07:16 AM   #15 
  - It is not necessary to label a bill "Progressive" in order to propose it in Congress  kenny blankenship   Jul-19-10 07:24 AM   #17 
  - It has been redefined by those that aren't.  mmonk   Jul-19-10 07:26 AM   #18 
  - Not around here  zipplewrath   Jul-19-10 09:38 AM   #27 
     - It mainly comes from those that know that many who use the label  mmonk   Jul-19-10 09:57 AM   #28 
  - Why would anyone unrecommend this thread?  Enthusiast   Jul-19-10 08:05 AM   #21 
  - I'm not sure that there is a good definition for "Progressive."  MineralMan   Jul-19-10 08:15 AM   #23 
  - Nice job, Steve. Rec'd. nt  babylonsister   Jul-19-10 08:15 AM   #24 
  - Well loosely,  ismnotwasm   Jul-19-10 08:28 AM   #25 
  - People can be at different places on the liberal to conservative  ThomThom   Jul-19-10 10:02 AM   #30 
  - I don't have too much of an argument with the  socialist_n_TN   Jul-19-10 10:17 AM   #32 
  - "Progressive" is a phoney-baloney, triangulated word.  Romulox   Jul-19-10 10:36 AM   #35 
  - No it's not. It's a perfectly good word.  reformist2   Jul-19-10 10:40 AM   #36 
     - Right, and "liberal" means something like "libertarian" in historical context.  Romulox   Jul-19-10 10:44 AM   #38 
  - Short and long answer of how I define Progressivism  stevenleser   Jul-19-10 11:40 AM   #42 
  - I think that nails the traditional & historic definition-- the one they taught us in school  Gidney N Cloyd   Jul-19-10 02:52 PM   #47 
  - K&R  SunsetDreams   Jul-19-10 11:54 AM   #43 
  - I like your Pragmatic Progressive category.  bobburgster   Jul-19-10 02:28 PM   #45 
  - I'm not a progressive, because that term is ambiguous.  LWolf   Jul-19-10 02:38 PM   #46 
  - I get Pragmatic Progressive but it mirrors "Compassionate Conservative" too closely for comfort.  quiet.american   Jul-19-10 03:00 PM   #48 

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