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  •  I call (4.00)
    myself a progressive.
    Then a liberal
    Then an independant.

    and a democrat only because I tend to vote that way more often than not.

    I tend to feel ignored and forgotten by the democrats.  By most politicos.  And, in our most recent revision of America, my voice isn't all that welcome because I'm a pagan and not a Christian at all.  Lately that seems to be synonymous with amoral.

    Just another sheeple wondering what the flock everyone else is doing.

    by coffeegrrl on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 06:42:48 PM PST

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    •  Progressive and liberals are the same thing (none)
      Progressive is the nice, fluffy term for liberal. At the core, the two philosophies are highly similar, IMO.
      •  Progressives and Liberals (4.00)
        I once read a quote from the South African writer Nadine Gordimer where she defines liberals as "people whose minds are open just wide enough for ideas to walk in and out."

        (Still, especially in these times, I guess I'd say I am a liberal. I'm kind of partial to [much of] the Enlightenment.)

        Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!

        by eoglesby on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:10:29 PM PST

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      •  True. (none)
        Still, it is useful due to the fact, noted here above that the far right has turned "liberal" into a dirty word.

        Just ask nearly anyone in the entire country and you'll see.

      •  PnL (none)
        I think of progressive as more liberal than liberal.

        Just another sheeple wondering what the flock everyone else is doing.

        by coffeegrrl on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:16:54 PM PST

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      •  no they're not (3.66)
        Your take is what liberals are trying to do because the L word has been so maligned. Kerry is a liberal. I'm a progressive, which is further left. I'm anti-war, anti-corporate, pro-environment, and pro-gay all the way. Just for starters. The Democrats infuriate me and that's not a recent feeling, as it seems to be for many here.
        •  Kerry's the 24th most liberal Senator (none)
          which isn't very liberal.  You can't use him to measure what "liberal" means.

          When progressives answer a multiple choice question about whether they are
          very liberal ... very conservative, they usually answer "very liberal".
          So there's a clear sense in which "liberal" includes "progressive".
          And "The Democrats" is a misleading term, because people fail to
          distinguish among elected politicians, party leadership, party hacks,
          and ordinary people who are registered as and/or self-identify asDemocrats.

      •  Not the same thing (4.00)
        The two terms get used to mean the same thing by people who don't know what they mean (as do "liberal," "Democratic," "communist," and "socialist"), but there is a difference, historically.

        The early 20th century, there was a progressive wing of the Republican Party. Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive. He was still a Republican. He wasn't exactly a liberal, but he believed in one vision of making the world a better place for the common man, not simply in maintaining the status quo.

        Of course, given the current state of either party, he probably looks like a liberal to most people. National parks? Anti-trust legislation? Ship that man back to Russia!

        Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

        by darrelplant on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:42:48 PM PST

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        •  Teddy also left the GOP (none)
          Let's hope that other moderate Repubs follow his lead in the next two years.
        •  the Republican Party was founded to oppose slavery (none)
          in the territories.  That Roosevelt was a Republican is neither here nor there.
          And "progressive" then and "progressive" now don't have identical semantics.
          Meaning is use, not history or etymology, so please don't accuse people of not knowing
          what the words they use mean.
      •  Bzzzzt!!!! Co-opting "Progressive" (3.66)
        : Progressive is the nice, fluffy term for liberal.

        Pleeeze don't do that. (Sound of nerve being hit.) "Progressive" is a useful designation precisely because it distinguishes from "Liberal."

        Yes, there's a lot of leeway in the definitions. But I think it's safe to say that "Liberal" is definitely Establishment, whereas "Progressive" is to the left of that, focusing on making life better for the little guy.

        Historically, "Liberal" was meant in the same sense that we refer to "The Liberal Western Democracies," so that would include Republicans, Whigs, Tories, and anyone else located between monarchists and socialists on the political spectrum.

        ("fluffy"... "nice"... grumble, mutter, grumble)

        •  "liberal" versus "progressive" (none)
          I think this deserves its own thread. Seems to have struck a nerve.

          I thought progressives included a broader spectrum. But then again, the people I know who call themselves progressives I used to call socialists, except that's far too dirty a word for most Americans. That might mean something terrible, like health coverage. (Howard Dean is looking better and better since December 3).

          Does this make us the left? is there anyone left of us aside from Dennis Kucinich?

          Aside from being a meat eater and supporting employers as well as employees, I'm pretty much a liberal stereotype: pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-privacy, multilateralist, in favor of taxes and spending them on education, pro-sex (and birth control), and keep your church out of our govt.

          •  socialists are anti-capitalism (none)
            Liberals and progressives (I think these categories overlap, if they aren't in fact coincident) may or may not be, but generally are more pragmatically focused on incremental improvements of the existing system.
          •  Hey , , (4.00)
            I re-registered as a Dem to support Kucinich - but then I am an Independent Progressive Socialist Democrat.  

            I see Kucinich as incrediably reasonable on the issues and it is beyond me, why anyone thinks he is too far to the left.  

            Lets see, he was right about Iraq
            He was right about the Patriot Act
            Looks like he was right about the need for Universal Health care
            With clean water about to become the new gold standard, looks like he was right about that.

            He supports equal rights regardless of gender.  Someone here opposed to that?

            Maybe you have a problem with letting folks with severe medical conditions have access to medical marijuana?  

            His position on abortion was not different than Kerry's.  A Catholic who did not like it but was the first to say he would not appoint a SCOTUS judge who would not support Roe v Wade.

            He thinks we should support alternative energy.

            And yeah, he is a vegan.  Which, I am not.  but Kos and a lot of you are.  

            So I don't get where you all think he was so liberal.  Maybe not the best presidential candidae, but how do you knock him for standing up for issues most of you agree with?  

            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King, Jr

            by SarahLee on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 11:11:17 PM PST

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        •  no, it's not safe to say that (none)
          >  But I think it's safe to say that "Liberal" is definitely Establishment,

          I think it's safe to say that you have been taken in by Republican propaganda.
          There are millions of people in this country who self-identify as "liberal" or
          agree with policies described as "liberal" but who have nothing to do with

          •  Well, unsafe then... (none)
            Unsafe on both counts, actually (I am so immune to Republican chatter, you would laugh if you knew).

            The important point in my post was that we shouldn't equate "Liberal" and "Progressive." It's a useful distinction in the very muddled-together pile of political terminology we seem to be stuck with.

            Still, the points you make are good, too, and I think reflect the struggle many of us are having as we grope for appropriate self-descriptions.

            My take on it draws on world history of politics, which can be very helpful in providing some backgound and context for the terminology.

            Historically,  Liberalism came about in the aftermath of the French Revolution as a way to keep "the dangerous classes" in line by granting them the vote, a bit of welfare state, nationalism, and a few other bennies, while essentially preserving the status quo. It was an agenda created and carried out by the Establishment of the day. (Immanuel Wallerstein, to name one source, has written much of interest on the subject.)

            More recently, the demonization of "the L-word" in the US managed to associate the term with New-Deal style, centralized government. The implication was Big Bad Establishment -- cheerfully hypocritical, of course, as it came from ever-so-Establishment Republicans.

            I don't believe, though, that the association is going to be broken very soon; given that, and the history of the term, it might make sense for those who consider themselves anti-Establishment to reconsider describing themselves as "Liberal." YMMV.

            Of course, the terminology is likely to stay muddled for some time, perhaps until some coherent movement emerges to counter the Right and the status quo. At that point, it seems likely that such a movement would include a distinctive self-desribing label.

    •  maybe (none)
      this can be a "post-Christian" blog.

      I went to a UU church with some friends in North Carolina recently and had to drop that in; actually I'm a proud atheist. But what I believe has nothing to do with the government.

      •  religion's place (4.00)
        is not in government.  Unless you follow Islam.  Or certain aspects of the jewish doctrine ( I think ).  Chrisianity has not specific mention in its doctrine as to its place in government (beyond give to caesar what is caesar... blah blah).  However, if you listen to the media -- and what is swiftly becoming CW, liberal means amoral, and not christian means amoral.

        Moral has increasingly become defined, at least in rural America, as Christian.  This is not a 2004 thing, either, it has been a growing trend.

        Just another sheeple wondering what the flock everyone else is doing.

        by coffeegrrl on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:15:49 PM PST

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        •  I agree with you and see it (3.66)
          everyday around me but the appalling thing, and I do mean appalling is that not only is liberal amoral and not Christian amoral (and even immoral) but the only thing that defines morals is sexual activily.

          As long as you don't commit (or are not found out to commit) adultry, are not gay, you are moral regardless of what else you do.

          I belive that morals are how you treat other people, not just who you sleep with.

        •  Not just Islam (none)
          Point 1:

          The Vedas describe the model society as divided into four main occupations: brahmana (priestly), ksatriya (government), vaishya (farmer/merchant), sudra (laborer).  Brahmana's are above ksatriya's in status, but they cannot accumulate wealth.  In addition to teaching the general public, they are advisors to ksatriyas.  There are examples in the Puranas (the history component of the Vedas)of brahmanas killing an evil king by chanting mantras and installing a new king, and of a brahmana taking up weapons to lead a successful rebellion against an oppressive emperor.

          In Vedic society, monarchs were highly trained in justice and morality by the brahmanas and then ruled according to the advice of brahmanas.  Vedic society was significantly weakened by Islamic invaders, and essentially destoyed by the British empire.


          Point 2:

          Christian definitely doesn't mean moral.  It may have been a revolution in morality 2000 years ago in the Middle-East, but they've got a long way to go before they know anything about morality.  A big step would be to close the slaughterhouses.

          The Vedic version, on slaughter

          "Animal-killers cannot understand God. I have seen this. It is a fact."

          on abortion:

          "If you kill the cow, who is your mother, then in some future lifetime your mother will kill you."  - A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

          ... and on war:

          "They are killing mother cow in the slaughterhouse. They are killing babies in the womb. Therefore they will have to send their sons to the slaughterhouse of war."

          "Now if you are willingly killing cows and so many animals, so how much we are being responsible? Therefore at the present moment there is war, and the human society becomes subjected to be killed in mass massacre -- the nature's law. You cannot stop war and go on killing animals. That is not possible."

          Srila Prabhupada on cow protection

          Government has the responsibility to protect all the inhabitants within its borders.  Instead it supports slaughter those who most need protection.  Might makes right, they say.

          Hare Krishna,
          Pandu das

          •  Not much a student (none)
            Of hindi religion -- my focus has been on the "big three" and fundamentalism lately -- and my own personal fascination with Buddhism and paganism.

            thanks for the info on hindi faith.

            Just another sheeple wondering what the flock everyone else is doing.

            by coffeegrrl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 07:32:45 AM PST

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      •  Yay for UU's... (none)
        UU principles from:

        The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
        Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
        Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
        A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
        The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
        The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
        Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

      •  Well (none)
        Some of us liberals are motivated by belief in social justice, and for some of us religion plays a part in that.
        •  Texas UU (none)
          As a Texas UU, repukes scare me...what is scarier is THIS  repuke lady---there have been rumblings on her running for Gov of TX:

          Not very long ago this happened:

          The Comptroller of Texas is foisting upon a certain UU congregation in Texas. Carolyn Strayhorn, State Comptroller, has denied tax-exempt status to a Fort Worth congregation on the basis that it will not proclaim that all members must believe in God; this in spite of the fact that in prior challenges the Texas courts have agreed with the UU's.

      •  yay (none)
        for UU's AND NC'ers (i'm both)...where did you go, if i might ask
    •  You hit the nail on the head: (none)
      I tend to feel ignored and forgotten by the democrats.

      Absolutely.  I voted for Fulani in '92 and Nader in '96 (hey, back in '96, he was a different candidate!)  I joined forces with the Dems because, frankly, Dubya is sooooo bad that defeating him was more important than standing on principle.

      But the Democratic Party -- instead of embracing those of us from the left -- ran away from us, cringing at the idea of supporting true social and economic justice, and instead trying as hard as possible to be the lesser of two evils.

      I understand Markos's reasons for calling it a "Democratic blog", but not his reasons for calling some of his members "dishonest shills" -- how inclusive is that tent?  Still, in the past, this has been a blog that's been willing to say the right things even if they weren't blindly partisan -- and I hope that will continue.

      Same handbasket, different day.

      by osterizer on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 05:43:31 AM PST

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