What is a "Progressive"? Can a person be opposed to, say, gay marriage and still be "Progressive"?
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 11:53 AM by RBInMaine
Can a person be for gun rights, but ok with gay marriage, and still be progressive? Can a person be for gay marriage but opposed to gun rights and still be "progressive"? Can a person be for personal responsibility and still be "progressive"? Can a person be for gay marriage, against gun rights, against abortion, and for unionization and be "progressive"? Can a person be for strong national security, for the Afganistan war, against the Iraq war, and for tax fairness and a living wage and still be "progressive"? How about for green energy development, against gay marriage but for civil unions, for fair taxation and a living wage, for unions, but against single payer healthcare and still be "progressive"? Please, someone, show me two people are not in lockstep on each and every issue and yet both can be "progressive."
Considering myself, I think of myself as "progressive" since I believe in PROGRESS. I am for tax fairness, government investment in infrastructure and education, clean energy, corporate responsiblity, gay marriage (that's their choice, why should anyone else care?), reproductive choice, and unionization. I am opposed to the Iraq war, but I do think, due to Iraq, we have to give the other one more time, but LIMITED time. I also believe in flying the flag and a whole lot of personal responsibility attached to opporunity (i.e. welfare to work programs, minimal grade requirements for publicly-subsidized loans and schools, paying for your own abortion if that is your choice (rape, incest, and medical emergency excepted) etc.). I am for progress, even if it has to involve some compromise so at least small steps can be made. (Rarely does the whole world change overnight.) I would prefer single payer healthcare, but I know we can't get that now and would even welcome insurance reform as a first step. How about it? Do I qualify as "progressive"? Oh yes, I also vote virtually straight Dem. Even if the Dem is not as "progressive" as I might like I still vote for that candidate since the RePUKE is always 10 times worse.
The point of all this?: It seems some are too quick to label themselves but not others as "progressive," even in a society where two people very rarely agree on all issues. Everyone who disagrees with a "progressive" on some issue is NOT necessarily a "DLCer" (though probably most of us are moderate on a number of issues - and those DLC folk are no where near as bad as McConnell, Inhofe, DeMint, etc.) These labels really are pretty mushy. And some "progressives" need to be very careful about ideological/issue purity. It is a sure loser nationally, as evidenced by the perennial Nader/Kucinich campaigns.
1. "Progressive" simply put means tending toward progress for the human condition.
It is pro-modernity, science, health, equality, egalitarian, standardization and democracy in the sense of popular accountability. It is against superstition, elitism, ideology, privilege, absolute property rules, oppressive traditions and democracy in the sense people are self-regulating rather than standardized. What I mean by this is that before say 1880, literally anyone could call himself a doctor. There was no standard training and very little hands-on experience. It was democratic in the sense that anyone could do it. The same way with patent medicine, a lack of education standards, a lack of environmental standards, etc. The Progressive point of view is that health care, safety, environmental, educational and just about anything that effects the community as a whole should be standardized based on scientific principles.
To answer the question in your subject line, without any real public policy reason to oppose same-sex marriage, I don't see how someone can be progressive who does oppose it. The objection is purely traditional and religious and has no basis in rationality.
2. I resent being called a Progressive. I am an American. This means
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 12:35 PM by peacetalksforall
when I look backwards I dont't want to lose the progress we've made and when I look backwards it educates me to list the progress that is still needed. Looking forward I want a better America which is the fulfillment of the promises made to me when I was a child - freedom of speech, right to trial, a vote that counts, equal rights.
For me, for my age, and because of the area I grew up in - I believed all I was taught about brotherhood, separation of church and state, melting pot, respect for unique cultural and religious beliefs different from mine.
I never bought into the concept that we were superior to other people on the planet with two exceptions ... technology .... which our leaders have managed be traded, moved, stolen, and sold. We were probably superior in our work ethic that the immigrants brought with them from everywhere. We became great because of the melting pot, but we failed in two major ways - the indigenous people who we pushed out through ignorance and arrogance and those we stole from another continent for their poverty and to control them.
So I say I am an American from that part of America that was working out some of these cruel and shameful realities. I relate to those who cleaned up and are cleaning up. Progress past can be progress forward. However,.....
... those who are now generating hate and setting up road-blocks and relentlessly determined to impose their religion on all of us and all we are - are not the Americans. They stand for everything I don't. Their 'country agenda' has a goal of one religion totally infiltrated and led by self-proclaimed religious men who got rich proseletyzing their own versions of salvation. Then there are others who infiltrate government to promote other countries. And those who infiltrate to promote wealth for a few and poverty and control over others.
They are Progressives. That is why I hate the label.
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