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  •  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

        [ Parent ]

    •  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.

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