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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 10:47 AM
Original message
What does it mean to be ... "Progressive?"
Edited on Tue Aug-19-03 10:50 AM by gully
According to it means;

1. Moving forward; advancing.

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

3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods: a progressive politician; progressive business leadership.

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


1. A person who actively favors or strives for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government.

I actually found a 'progressive party' in Vermont. Call me naive, but I didn't know they existed? /

Interesting reference site here...

We use the term progressive here a lot, but after reading the definition, I'd have to say I feel any Democrat could safely be called 'progressive' ... I feel Republican are by and large repressive.

What does progressive mean to YOU?

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. Progressive
In politics it means that the Human condition improves becuse of the actions taken in the political arena. "Everybody does better when everybody does better", is one way I've heard it expressed.
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Jeff in Cincinnati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. My definition...
A Progressive is a Liberal who puts beliefs into action.

I used to believe a lot of things with regard to politics, but didn't actually do much of anything other than vote. Now I'm a Precinct Executive in the Hamilton County Democratic Party, run the website, and I'm the Democratic candidate for Township Clerk where I live in suburban Cincinnati.

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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. To say "any Democrat could safely be called 'progressive'"

makes the term meaningless and shallow. Republicans will tell you that they actively "strive for progress toward better conditions," too, and most of them will believe it when they say it.
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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. I haven't adopted that term
I still call myself a liberal. I don't care what people think of the term, if they have been taught by Fox it is a dirty word that doesn't matter to me.
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Racenut20 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. Progressive
Since the Truman era, being labeled a Progressive in the political fra would have a communist taint about it. Democrats and DUers should avoid it. It would be a disaster in the South.
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JasonBerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. NO way
The term, as used in the political sense, has been used to signify those that support a more "populist" agenda than that of the typical liberal. Examples: Paul Wellstone, Charles Rangel, Dennis Kucinich, etc. It is a PROUD tradition. The "communist" taint comes ONLY because of Henry Wallace's campaign for president under the banner of the "Progressive Party."

a PROUD progressive populist,
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
6. "The Progressive" is a magazine that has been speaking for
political progressives since 1909. "The Progressive" now posts many articles online but you can subscribe online to receive the magazine for only $12 a year ($12 for 12 issues.)

Here's their mission statement (a good description of progressive political principles):

"The mission of The Progressive is to be a journalistic voice for peace and social justice at home and abroad. The magazine, its affiliates, and its staff steadfastly oppose militarism, the concentration of power in corporate hands, the disenfranchisement of the citizenry, poverty, and prejudice in all its guises. We champion peace, social and economic justice, civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, a preserved environment, and a reinvigorated democracy."

Their history gives many practical examples of progressive political principles applied to specific issues:

"On January 9, 1909, Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette founded La Follettes Weekly to be "a magazine of progress, social, intellectual, institutional."

In 1929, La Follettes Weekly changed its name to The Progressive, and the views of the magazine have remained remarkably consistent over the years.

For nine decades, The Progressive has been a courageous voice for democracy, peace, social justice, civil rights, civil liberties, and environmental awareness.

For nine decades, The Progressive has denounced corporate power and decried U.S. support for brutal regimes abroad.

The Progressive was in the forefront of the battle for womens suffrage and for the abolition of child labor.

The Progressive led the fight to stay out of World War I.

The Progressive railed against the Palmer Raids in the early 1920s.

The Progressive championed the unemployed during the Depression.

The Progressive has opposed nuclear weapons from August 1945 to the present.

The Progressive, more than any other publication, helped to expose McCarthyism in the 50s.

Early on, The Progressive warned against U.S. involvement in Indochina.

The Progressive was a leading voice in the civil rights era, publishing the words of Martin Luther King Jr. five times in the 1960s.

In the 70s, The Progressive devoted attention to the environmental movement, kicking it off with a special Earth Day issue in 1970 entitled "The Crisis of Survival."

Then, in 1979, The Progressive won national attention for its article "The H-Bomb Secret: How we got it and why were telling it," which the U.S. government suppressed for six months. But The Progressive prevailed on this landmark First Amendment case.

In the 1980s, The Progressive published pathbreaking stories about U.S. support for death squads in Central America.

In the 1990s, The Progressive stood up for the rights of immigrants, women on welfare, gays and lesbians, prisoners, and other scapegoats.

The Progressive has also campaigned tirelessly to end the economic sanctions on Iraq, prevent U.S. involvement in the Colombian civil war, adopt a sane policy toward drugs, and institute public funding of political campaigns.

Throughout the years, The Progressive has published leading social critics such as Jane Addams, Helen Keller, Jack London, Clarence Darrow, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, Carl Sandburg, George Orwell, A.J. Muste, James Baldwin, I.F. Stone, June Jordan, Noam Chomsky, and Edward W. Said.

And The Progressive has opened its pages to liberal politicians such as Adlai Stevenson, J.W. Fulbright, George McGovern, Russ Feingold, Tammy Baldwin, Paul Wellstone, Dennis Kucinich, and Bernie Sanders.

These days our contributors include David Barsamian, Kate Clinton, Susan Douglas, Will Durst, Barbara Ehrenreich, Molly Ivins, Fred McKissack, John Nichols, Adolph L. Reed, Jr., and Howard Zinn.

The Progressive is also known for its investigative reporting. Managing Editor Anne-Marie Cusac has won several national awards for her exposs of brutality behind bars, including the prestigious George Polk Award.

Since 1993, The Progressive, Inc., has been directing the Progressive Media Project, which distributes commentaries to newspapers around the country in an effort to diversify and democratize the debate.

In all of its activities, The Progressive, as it has since 1909, strives to put forward ideas that will help bring about a more just society and a more peaceful, humane world."

Here's a link to the August issue:

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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wow, excellent food for thought guys, thanks!
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jos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. In the U.S.
Edited on Tue Aug-19-03 12:16 PM by jos
the term "progressive" has historical definition. The Progressive movement began around the turn of the 19th century and was spearheaded by people like Robert LaFallotte of Wisconsin. It tended to be an urban movement and Republican, while the populist movement, typified by the campaigns of William Jennings Bryan, was more rural and Democratic. Both Teddy Roosevelt and LaFallotte ran for president as candidates of the Progressive Party.

Both the progressives and the populists came together in the Democratic Party in support of the New Deal.
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. I define progressivism... a means rather than an end. In a nutshell, the progressive means is divided into three: intellectual progressivism, i.e. gaining more and more knowledge; social progressivism, i.e. changing society and culture for the better; and personal progressivism, i.e. giving people more civil liberties over time.

Progressivism is pretty pointless without a cause. Such a cause might be secular humanism, which then forms the philosophy of liberalism, or it might be raw power, in which case it forms some brands of right-wing libertarianism and neo-conservatism.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
11. synonymous to
political left
traditional Democrats (not DLC)
labour movement (the ones to whom we owe amongst others, minimal wage, 40h work week, standards for labour conditions; all those things which cheap-labour conservativs don't like)
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Northwind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-03 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. In politics today
"Progressive" is a term for a person who has capitulated to the demonization of the term "liberal."
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