Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

"I Am A Progressive"

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
owillis Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:03 AM
Original message
"I Am A Progressive"
(something of a rant/manifesto/what have you that I posted on my website)

http://www.oliverwillis.com/2006/03/10/progress /

I Am A Progressive
by Oliver Willis

I am a progressive. Not a liberal, but a progressive. I think the definition of that word is murky at best. Heres how I see it, why I believe that embracing progressive principles is the best path for America, and why progress needs to become the mantra of the Democratic party.

1. There Are Only Two Choices
You can go forward or you can go backward. Those are the only two choices available. The safety in keeping things as is or looking back at the good old days only inhibits the ability to move forward and improve. A few examples: a monarchy running America vs. a constitutional democracy; teletype vs. telephone; Jim Crow vs. Civil Rights. Its easy to say stop and accept things as they are, but its objectively better to work towards doing better.

2. America Is Progressive
Weve never stood still for any length of time. We told King George to stuff it. Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus. We went to the moon. We made the personal computer a household appliance. Why in Gods name would we stop now? We can do so much more than the great things weve done so far but we have to kick those who would retard our forward momentum aside and resign them to the dustbin of history. It would be un-American not to.

3. Wealth Through Progress
Who do you want to be Mr. Potter or George Bailey? We can keep wealth with the miserly few, to be counted again and again by an old cranky crone with a dark heart. Or we can be George Bailey the lovable, affable center of the town who never saw a fellow citizen too far down on his luck. The George Baileys invest in our national town because down the line well all be hard workers with the kind of money Old Man Potters got without giving up our souls.

4. Peace & Security, Progress Style
It isnt Vietnam, so quit acting like it. The signs and the vigils were a spectacle in 1960-something, but theyre just noise now. Its time to persuade folks, not shout them down for not seeing things exactly your way. But Vietnam did happen, and if we want to move past it we need to collectively remember its lessons and move forward with new tactics that build on past mistakes. Pretending it away keeps us in the same old rut.

5. Equality Is Progress
When the Declaration of Independence said all men are created equal it wasnt true. America didnt say oh well, thats just how it is. It took us time but we started fixing it. Soon, it wasnt just the men who we considered equal. We moved forward, past the existing situation until we created a better one. Why would we stop now? Or even worse, roll back the clock and take away progress? Its not just crazy its stupid.

6. Regressives Need Not Apply
We are part of the world now, and we are just one node in the global village. Our past success means zip if we just sit on our laurels. Kids in Okoboji, Iowa have competition in Asansol, India. They need massive investment in order to develop their skills so they not dont just get by, but kick ass. Preaching flat earth science to them deals them a losing hand right from the start. To dominate we must embrace progress.

7. The Keys To Progress
How do we get to the next level? Protect. Improve. Unite. American Progressives believe that the path to success for our country is in protecting our citizens (defending the homeland and building on past success and failure for our international dealings), improving our country (investing in education; supporting advances in science, medicine, business, the arts and beyond; not destroying the planet while were here), and uniting our people (working together for a greater purpose beat the Nazis, sent us to the moon and helped build the Internet).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pretty damn good...
But you can't pursuade those who don't want to listen, particularly not with a complacent press that refuses to air any real debate. Not that the huge protests are doing any good either, but people have to do SOMETHING.

I like the "It's A Wonderful Life" reference.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
owillis Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Do Something... That Works
Thanks for the compliment, but I would argue that protesting for the sake of just doing something accomplishes nothing. I'm 28, and the first time I've ever protested was against the Iraq war. I want those hours back. I'm well aware of the problems with the media (I work at Media Matters for America) but its been shown that when you present a clear message to people it can work, no matter what the filter is. I would argue that Rep. Murtha's clear, precise argument against the war has done more to sway people than a hundred anti-war protests have been. We need to encourage more Murthas, both in the government and in our neighborhoods.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. It's one of the reasons I write positive messages
rather than diatribes and rants. I don't believe in simply attacking--you need to explain why your way is better.

Of course I get the obligatory "freepers don't listen to reason" responses, but, if that's true, why in the hell would they listen to rants?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kaygore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thank you for sharing
well said!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm a proud liberal, thanks very much
It describes my beliefs just fine, and I'd rather not jump on the catchphrase-du-jour bandwagon.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dream of the Flood Donating Member (63 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I see your point
But one could be both. I like the term, not as something to hide behind because "Liberal" is perceived to be a four-letter-word, but because it is a term that denotes positivity and gives a sense of moving forward. I'm a proud liberal as well, but I also use the term progressive interchangeably. Once again not as some kind of euphemism, but rather as an additional modifier. That's just me though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
owillis Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. My Line Of Thinking
I too disagree with simply using progressive as a euphemism for liberal. I think liberalism is equal to freedom, and the definition I'm pushing here is something like the application of liberal freedom towards a specific goal (progress).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. See, now that's perfectly reasonable
As is the OP's response to you.

What I hate is when people DO hide behind the word "progressive" in lieu of "liberal" either because a) conservatives have demonized the word "liberal" or b) they want to pretend that "progressive" describes something more "left-wing" than "liberal." Either reason is stupid, IMO. But there's nothing wrong with using liberal and progressive as interchangable synonyms.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
left is right Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Me, too
Besides, in our Orwellian world, it's just a matter of time before the wingnuts start to discredit the term "Progressive" just as they did Liberal. When it does begin, most will blush and stammer and say: "I'm not progressive, I am just 'forward thinking'." And another good word will bite the dust.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
owillis Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. The Line
In a way, I'm attempting to draw a line in the sand here. Our side wilted against the assault vs. liberal for some reason (that was before my time). Let's not allow progress to be attacked this time around.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mikeanike Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. It's true you are what you eat
At the moment I'm a carrot. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. Progressive is used in many different ways
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:10 PM by Armstead
It can be a conservative catchword, a centrist one or a liberal one or a beyond-liberal one. So it all depends of what flavor of progressive you're talking about.

Me, I'm a Bernie Sanders-Paul Wellstone-Dennis Kucinich - Pete DeFazio - Jan Schakowsky -- Barbara Lee variety of Progressive mixed in with a Teddy Kennedy Liberal.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Oct 21st 2014, 05:55 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC