The Progressive Platform we are building will be a sort of blueprint that we believe all progressives, especially candidates, should follow. It will be our beliefs as progressives, where we stand on various issues, and in many cases, what we believe needs to be done on those issues.
In the first post, the idea of creating a Progressive Platform was introduced. I had posted links to various political platforms, so everyone could get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish. Then you were asked to vote on what planks we should include in our platform.
This week we will briefly discuss planks for our platform.
In the past few months, there have been a lot of discussions in the media and on the blogs about what a progressive is. Many, especially in the media, are of the opinion that a progressive is the same thing as a liberal. But is that really the case? Chris Matthews considers himself a liberal. The DLC folks consider themselves liberal. Most Democrats consider themselves liberal. But are those folks progressive?
Is a progressive the exact same thing as a liberal? If not, what is a progressive? And better yet, what does a progressive, in this day and age, stand for?
These last questions are ones that we will be answering over the course of the next several months while we draft our Progressive Platform.
(Great Choices by a Fantastic Writer - promoted by Predictor)
First, let me get the meta issue out of the way. This is "be inspired." I've changed my name on the blog here to better match other sites I'm now blogging on. I'm getting serious about my writing, and I needed a more professional byline. My old articles are here, but I'm just not going to be blogging under that name anymore, at least not here.
Lately I've been getting an increasing recurrence of the same questions: what is the difference between liberals and progressives, and what is the difference between the Progressive Movement and the Progressive Party? The answers to these questions are important, for as we inch ever closer to the general election in November and as primary battles across the country reach their conclusion the future of our country and our world shall be determined by them-and by how swiftly we figure them out.
The first question I shall tackle is, what is the difference between a liberal and a progressive? For that I'll quote the Huffington Post'sDavid Sirota, who explains it far more eloquently than I can:
I often get asked what the difference between a "liberal" and a "progressive" is. The questions from the media on this subject are always something like, "Isn't 'progressive' just another name for 'liberal' that people want to use because 'liberal' has become a bad word?"
The answer, in my opinion, is no-there is a fundamental difference when it comes to core economic issues. It seems to me that traditional "liberals" in our current parlance are those who focus on using taxpayer money to help better society. A "progressive" are those who focus on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules.
To put it in more concrete terms: a liberal solution to some of our current problems with high energy costs would be to increase funding for programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A more "progressive" solution would be to increase LIHEAP but also crack down on price gouging and pass laws better regulating the oil industry's profiteering and market manipulation tactics. A liberal policy towards prescription drugs is one that would throw a lot of taxpayer cash at the pharmaceutical industry to get them to provide medicine to the poor; a progressive prescription drug policy would be one that centered around price regulations and bulk purchasing in order to force down the actual cost of medicine in America (much of which was originally developed with taxpayer R&D money).
Let's be clear: most progressives are also liberals, and liberal goals in better funding America's social safety net are noble and critical. It's the other direction that's the problem. Many of today's liberals are not fully comfortable with progressivism as defined in these terms. Many of today's Democratic politicians, for instance, are simply not comfortable taking a more confrontational posture towards large economic institutions (many of whom fund their campaigns)-institutions that regularly take a confrontational posture towards America's middle-class.
Jesus was a Democrat. That's the secret that the Religious Right doesn't want you to know. Jesus preached fairness, tolerance, peace and responsibility, all of which are Democratic principles. Republicans have continuously acted in the name of war, greed, fear and hatred, none of which are supported by the teachings of Jesus.