You’re Not A Progressive
[tweet_dis]I hate to be the one to break it to you. You are not a Progressive.[/tweet_dis] Many people think they can pick up the title as a replacement for the oft-defamed term “liberal.” The two terms are not interchangeable. Admittedly, the American political spectrum is skewed to the Right due to decades of well-funded, persistent Conservative policy and activism. Conservatives have been very effective in dictating our national Overton Window in our politics.
[tweet_dis2]Are You Really A Progressive?[/tweet_dis2]
What many people may view as Liberal, Progressive, or even Socialist is actually center-right, at best. An excellent example is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. The core of the ACA was the Conservative response to Universal Healthcare proposals. The bill came from halls of the archconservative Heritage Foundation. It was even watered down as it went through Congress. Democrats pulled the Public Option to court GOP support (read: to keep donors happy). The GOP roundly rejected it anyway. The Supreme Court pushed it to the right even further when the went with “states rights” for the bill’s Medicaid expansion component. The ACA improve healthcare for millions. It is ALSO a vulnerable hodgepodge of corporate giveaways. It is definitely not the Socialist Communist Slavery Reparations Scheme the Conservatives commentators made it out to be.
What is a Progressive in the 21st Century?
The above definition of Progressive is overly broad and tepid. The current iteration of Progressivism is still forming and is already far beyond the confines of this definition. Taking cues from Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements, Progressives have become an unapologetic force in U.S. politics and policy.
Progressive needs a more accurate definition:
[tweet_dis]This definition of Progressive is much better.[/tweet_dis] It more accurately encapsulates what the movement is about. Progressives must move legislation. Laws are merely a set of societal incentives and disincentives that represent the values of a country, community, or state. The highest reflection of Progressivism is demanding and fighting for the implementation of People First public policy. It is society’s responsibility to assure that human need drives policy. Physiological and Safety/Security needs must never be undermined.
Winning Hearts and Minds
The Left is truly ascendant. Leftists saw wins in 2016 that were unthinkable even four years prior. Unabashed Socialists picked up wins in the Red States. Poll-after-poll shows Americans are ready for People First policy. Neoliberalism from both the GOP and Democratic Party has left most of the country facing economic and social insecurity. The rich and powerful have co-opted/bought our politics and directs our policy. [tweet_dis]The citizenry wants their country back.[/tweet_dis]
[tweet_dis2]Progressives are the only force offering a significant change in favor of We the People.[/tweet_dis2]
Progressives are the only force offering a significant change in favor of We the People. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has become the titular head of the movement. His barnstorming campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination reinvigorated the Left and provided a vision for the future. While much of his policy platform is milquetoast to most of the developed world but, for beleaguered America, it was a revelation.
The Bernie Effect
The biggest impacts of Bernie’s campaign have yet to be felt. His call 1) for average Americans to run for office and 2) to actively shepherd Progressive, People First policy proposals through to implementation at every level will likely be the Vermont Senator’s two greatest contributions. People from all walks of life are finding their voice and entering politics carrying the Progressive banner.
[tweet_dis2]Folks from all walks of life are finding their voice and entering politics carrying the Progressive banner.[/tweet_dis2]
The Center Right
In typical fashion, [tweet_dis]Democratic Party leadership is acting as the rearguard of Conservatism[/tweet_dis]. The Party is fighting Progressive candidates at every turn. Even running Dem operatives against Progressives are spaces where they have not competed for office in years. They are doing all this under the guise of “assuring electability.” It is obvious that Democrats are doing the bidding of it’s rich & powerful donors.
The party has gone far beyond putting their thumb on the scale. Over the last few years, operatives and officials have broken the law, and no one has been punished. The Democratic Party is actively undermining One person = One vote. The party is functioning in an unethical and anti-democratic manner to keep citizens from being represented in government. Their actions further undergird our rigged system.
[tweet_dis2]The Democratic Party is actively undermining One person = One vote[/tweet_dis2]
The Good Fight
Progressives are up against the 1%. These members of the American Oligarchy fund public officials through our broken campaign finance system, patronage/development, and industry/lobbyist revolving door. [tweet_dis]The American Oligarchy have walled-off politicians effectively from their constituents and consequences[/tweet_dis]:
- The party protects incumbents from primary challengers.
- News media is controlled by a handful of oligarch-friendly corporations.
- Social media platforms are actively suppressing Progressive outlets and messages.
- Funders can outspend any grassroots, Progressive campaign.
- Ousted establishment politicians can look forward to a cushy, 6 or 7-figure landing spot with industry.
[tweet_dis]Public support has been rendered an after-thought.[/tweet_dis] This may be the most prominent problem Progressives face.
Hope on the Horizon
There is a new breed of Progressive that wants radical change, and they are ready to fight for it. Millennials are the most educated and best-informed generation in US history. They are very aware that they are getting a raw deal compared to post-WW2 generations.
And they are not happy about it.
[tweet_dis2]There is a new breed of Progressive that wants radical change, and they are ready to fight for it.[/tweet_dis2]
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Middle-aged Black husband, father & grandfather hoping to make an impact on Social Justice. Fingers crossed… Writer for ProgressiveArmy.com and Actify Press.