FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How Progressives and Liberals are Different

Progressives, as liberals did before Reagan, emphasize doing the most for the most – which is how we got socio-economic programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and a minimum wage. Today’s liberals favor expanding health insurance company profits over expanding Medicare and strongly support Democratic presidents who undermine the very programs that earlier liberals created such as social welfare and Social Security.

Progressives don’t act like prudes and prigs.

Progressives don’t think the commerce clause of the Constitution should be used just because you feel like doing something, such as avoiding single payer health insurance. There is a huge difference between using the commerce clause to guarantee human rights and using it to subsidize health insurance companies.

Progressives recognize the Green Party and its members as part of a broad coalition. Most liberals act as though Greens were a new kind of HIV.

Progressives try to convince people with whom they disagree, not just scold them.

Progressive oppose the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq; liberals like them as long as a Democratic president is running them.

Progressives oppose the war on drugs, America’s most masochistic and deadly battle since Vietnam. Liberals treat it with utter indifference.

Progressives believe what people do is more important than how politely they talk about it.

Progressives don’t think you should have to go to grad school to have an important role in government.

Progressives respect state and local government; liberals often act like they’re a Republican plot. Progressives understand the importance of the devolution of power to the lowest practical level.

Progressives worry about locked doors, liberals about glass ceilings, which is why liberals thought Obama’s election would create a post-racial society.Too many liberals are infatuated with symbolism such as electing a black president, while ignoring the real problems most minorities face in everything from the job market to dealing with the law.

Even progressives who don’t own guns respect the right of others to do. Besides, why piss them off the way liberals have done, when they could be allies on a host of other issues, beginning with civil liberties.

But then, progressives still defend civil liberties. Liberals seem to have forgotten about them and ignore Obama’s abuse of them.

Progressives pursue issues; liberals support candidates.

Progressives don’t give up an issue just because the candidate they voted for is now in office and opposes it.

Liberals love Clinton and Obama while despising the Bushes who preceded them. They don’t seem to notice that our government continued to move to the right under both Democrats and that neither repealed any significant policies of their GOP predecessors

Progressives don’t think bailing out banks is an economic stimulus, but that helping to create jobs and stop foreclosures is.

Progressives support local public schools and their teachers; liberals go along with the Bush-Obama attack on public education.

Progressives are not afraid of criticizing Israel for its abusive treatment of Palestine. Liberals either support Israel’s criminal actions or are afraid of being called anti-Semites so don’t say anything.

Progressives have new ideas; liberals come up with new compromises with the right.

Progressives believe that change is produced by broad coalitions brought together on specific issues, but not necessarily agreeing on all policy. Liberals believe change will come when everyone acts like they do.

SAM SMITH is the editor of the Progressive Review, where this column originally appeared.

WORDS THAT STICK

?

 

More articles by:

Sam Smith edits the Progressive Review.

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Justin Anderson
Don’t Count the Left Out Just Yet
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail