I've noticed that while watching the myriad political events, stories, campaigns etc., that the term progressive is often spoken with disdain. "Progressive" has become much more of a smear, "Oh, (s)he's a liberal left-wing progressive", than a way to move the country forward. I can understand why. There are those who long for the days when parents looked after each others children in the neighborhood, when things were "relatively" safer. Are those day gone? That's open to debate. I'm more interested, not in looking backward, as so many in this country are apt to do, but in looking forward.
I often watch Fox to hear what the conservative arguments are. There are some valid points. We spend to much, tax to heavily, restrict too many freedoms. The crop of conservatives of the last maybe 15, 20 years has an inherent flaw that seems to me to be glaringly obvious, and yet the flaw continues to rear its head. Indeed, since the onset of "Reaganomics" this countries conservatives have been wrong on a host of issues. Chief among them is American Exceptionalism.
That America is exceptional goes without saying. But how did we get to be the best? We were first and foremost Progressive. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." This is inherently a progressive ideal. We as progressives have allowed the strictest of conservatives to parade the Constitution as if only they could recite its basic premises. Is the Union perfect? Of course it isn't. But it is in the act of constantly striving for a more perfect Union that makes America exceptional. Those who would "take America back" cannot be allowed to do so. The America of the 50s, 60s and 70s no longer exists. We must move boldly or we will be doomed to the status of "Former Super Power." But, we have a long way to go.
I have often wondered why in America we let abuses go unnoticed. We deny our citizens the right to marry whom they choose. We stereotype, point the finger at others and often fail to take responsibility for our actions, both home and abroad. The media will say that American's have short memories, that we are easily distracted. While that may be possible I don't buy it. There are plenty of people who remember the mood when Reagan was elected, how the first Pres. Bush vowed no new taxes. They remember the Monica Lewinsky scandal and where they were the exact moment when the towers fell on 9/11. We devote precious little mental capacity though on making our country great. We say we want beautiful monuments and streets without potholes. But we refuse to pay more in taxes. We say the rich and/or powerful are running the country but we refuse to turn out to vote. We complain, bitterly at times, about how we were betrayed, stabbed in the back, mislead and worse. And when the time for action approaches we often are left behind.....
We have a literally once in a lifetime chance to fix some of the glaringly obvious flaws in our Democracy. We are on the cusp of something unique in our country. A younger generation will soon be taking over. The diversity that makes America great will begin to bloom again as the baby boomers begin to retire and a younger work force takes control. We should take this chance to progress toward more equality, better education and a reproach of out-dated ideals. After all, we're Americans. We invented progress. We envision change. We demand progress.