What is a Progressive?


pro·gres·sive

prəˈɡresiv/
 noun
     1.  a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.
Used in a sentence:
   I am a Progressive, and I am awesome!
Honestly, I am not here to define Progressives. Like many other belief systems, Progressives come in many shapes and sizes. If you were to put together a roomful of Conservatives, you would expect to see a somewhat wide variety of opinions and beliefs. The same goes if you were to put together a roomful of Liberals, or Protestants, or Libertarians, or Muslims, or Circus Clowns. As for political movements and ideologies, most would like to profess, whether it’s true or not, that they think of themselves as practicing the “Big Tent” theory of inclusion.
With that said, I do feel that the following ideas and concepts help define me as a Progressive.
  • I believe in science. There, I said it. Science is important, and has both helped our daily lives, and produced massive tragedies for mankind. But it is real, and it can not be ignored.
  • Have I mentioned I believe in science? I also believe in the Scientists who warn us about Climate Change. I often hear Conservative pundits and politicians use the following two arguments:
    • – “I am not a scientist, but. . .”  Actually, the phrase “I am not a scientist” always ends in a period. Never a comma. Never a ‘but’. Listen to the scientists, and feel free to quote them.
    • – “Scientists are split on climate change”. There are plenty of surveys done with scientists who were asked if humans are causing climate change. The most-often quoted survey shows that 97% of scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. This is not a split. Not even close. Lets put it this way: I have an apple pie, and I want to ‘split’ it with you. I get 97% of it. Are you OK with this?
  • I believe that there has been a distortion of The Golden Rule. Many are taught to ‘treat others as one would want to be treated oneself’. Unfortunately, The Golden Rule has been bastardized to mean, “Whoever has the gold makes the rules”. This leads to a Plutocracy, which I fear we are living under right now.
  • Government has a role in our lives. Conservatives and Libertarians cry out for less government, less regulations, less laws. All that leads to is a stronger Plutocracy. Think of it this way: the government is like a referee in a game, that helps enforce the rules of the game, and ensure that no one side gets an unfair advantage.
  • Pay your taxes! No one likes to pay taxes, but everyone gets the benefits from them. Without taxes, how do we pay for our roads and bridges? Schools, police and firefighters? Our unmatched military? And yes, how about using a bit of those taxes to help feed people who are hungry? Conservatives say that corporate taxes are just too high. Well, it’s expensive to build and maintain roads over which commerce travels daily. It’s expensive for our Navy and Coast Guard to ensure that international waterways are open and safe for the transport of goods. It’s expensive to make sure our skies are safe so that planes can travel to all corners of the globe. It’s expensive to maintain the world’s most powerful military, and yes, it’s expensive and it’s essential that we take care of all of our soldiers both during and after their service to our country.
  • What a stupid thing to have to say in 2017, but . . . women are equal to men. Argue all you want, but you can not tell me that we have thrown off the constraints of a patriarchal society. Women make less money than their male counterparts. Women constitute a smaller percentage of elected officials. Many in our society are afraid of a woman in charge. Think about that for a moment. There are many men and women who can not support a candidate simply because they are a woman. Boy, we sure have a long way to go . . .
  • No rights are absolute. None. This includes the 1st Amendment (e.g. libel laws, Schenck v. US) and the 2nd Amendment (“So, you want to purchase a tank?”), Rights are also not “God Given”. If they were, they would have been included in another book. Rights can be viewed as an umbrella, providing protection from government tyranny. Rights can also be viewed as things to use, stretch, and embrace. But if your rights somehow interfere with me, my life, and the practice of my own rights, than your rights are not absolute.
But hey, not everyone is perfect. Progressives in the early part of the 1900’s pushed for and helped pass Prohibition. A dark, dark, dark stain on America’s history. Really. A stupid idea. Ridiculous. Tragic. Moronic. For goodness sake, someone get me a beer!