by Bud Meyers, published April 13, 2015
The Hill has a short article titled: “Reid, left push for liberal 2016 candidate” — reporting that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has joined a progressive group’s call for Hillary Clinton (or any other Democratic White House candidate) to run from the “left” in 2016. (We need a Democratic debate! — because not all Democrats want Hillary, and not because they’re misogynist.)
Personally, I think of myself more as a “progressive” person rather than a “liberal” or a “leftie” or a “socialist”. I don’t think the descriptions should all be lumped together as one and the same. People on the Right might confuse progressivism with staunch socialism, communism, eco-terrorism or Code Pink — because some extreme groups tend to side with progressive causes — with progressive like-mined people such as myself. Meaning, those that hold political office who caucuses with the Democrats, who also (more-or-less) better favor the working-class, minorities, the elderly and the poor — as opposed the GOP, who mostly favor the very wealthy and the biggest businesses, but who also have their own radical (and sometimes, violent) political supporters.
I oppose the liberal use of the word “liberal” by the media (even by the “liberal media”) when reporting on political issues, because “liberal” might sound soft on crime (like allowing pedophiles in the suburbs to freely roam elementary schoolyards at will) — or “liberal” might imply an “anything goes” attitude (such as the hippie culture of “love-ins” and communes in the 1960s), as if we were all from the great “liberal” State of California (where I was raised for several years). Is Charles Manson a “liberal”, or just a psychopath?
Bernie Sanders calls himself a “socialist”, but many people (who remember or study history) equates socialism to Joseph Stalin and genocide. While at Fox News Glenn Beck called the 99ers “socialists” and said “I bet you’d be ashamed to call them Americans”, just because they protested for extending UI benefits until there were enough jobs available. How can one compare the long-term unemployed in America to a mass killer’s ideology? People weren’t even allowed to protest in Stalin’s Russia. On Fox News, according to Bill O’Reilly, all progressives, liberals, socialists, environmentalists, tree-huggers, climate change advocates, civil rights leader, minorities, union members (and anybody else who votes for Democrats — including Veterans, musicians, movie stars, professional athletes, etc.) are “left-wing loons” if they don’t agree with him and other multi-millionaires like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh.
FDR and Theodore Roosevelt — and even Dwight D. Eisenhower — weren’t “left-wing loons”; just as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders aren’t socialist despots. But the GOP and the media have depicted them as “left of center” (“center” being in the middle of being what most people believe and agree with), when the “progressive” platform seems to be more “center” than whatever a “moderate” (Third Way) Democrat like Hillary Clinton advocates — which is really more to the right of center, and closer to what a “moderate Republican” might be today.
The political “Left” advocates for average working people (and those who can’t survive without help), while the political “Right” advocates for very wealthy oligarchs and plutocrats, and that everyone else (the working-class and poor) should all be left alone to fend for ourselves — even while the GOP consistently promotes policies that makes it ever more difficult for everyone else to fend for ourselves (like raising the minimum wage). Aside from the “wedge issues” — such as birth control and abortion (which are religious and moral differences), that’s really the biggest difference between right-wing radicals and left-wing loons. It’s really that simple.
For example: Sane gun laws (aka “gun control”) isn’t about disarming American citizens so that the “government” (our elected officials and our military) can take control of our daily lives, or lock us up in FEMA camps. It’s really about the NRA (gun lobbyists) who are advocating for big businesses and selling more guns to us (besides just to the rest of the world for war profits). It has nothing at all to do with constitutional rights, the 2nd amendment, and our right to bear arms. It’s all about corporate profits. Period.
Dwight “I like Ike” Eisenhower articulated his position as a moderate progressive Republican: “I have just one purpose … and that is to build up a strong progressive Republican Party in this country. If the right wing wants a fight, they are going to get it … before I end up, either this Republican Party will reflect progressivism or I won’t be with them anymore.”
Continue reading Progressivism may be “The New Center”