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Oh, Those “Progressives”

November 24, 2009

Left-wingers have been running away from the adjective liberal for years.

“The liberal brand is tarnished,” said Democracy Alliance member Rob Glaser, who heads the online multimedia company RealNetworks. He wants to “change the political paradigm” and treat the word “progressive” as a thing “that’s nurtured and managed just like any other brand.”

To test his theory, Glaser teamed up with John Podesta’s Center for American Progress and spent $600,000 on TV ads in the Midwest over a three-week period. He proudly claims liberals in the test areas subsequently re-categorized themselves as progressives. However, CAP research shows that as much as 40% of the public has no clue what “progressive” means. (Politico, Dec. 6, 2007)

Thomas Frank, Wall Street Journal columnist and author of the influential tract, What’s The Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won The Heart of America, resents the stereotyping of liberals as shallow, materialistic, arrogant urban elitists. This “latte libel” is one of conservatives’ “dearest rhetorical maneuvers.” It holds that “liberals are identifiable by their tastes
and consumer preferences and that these tastes and preferences reveal the essential arrogance and foreignness of liberalism.”

Astonishingly, Frank even dismisses the idea that America has a liberal elite, calling the notion “not intellectually robust.” The idea “has been refuted countless times, and it falls apart under any sort of systematic scrutiny.”

Yeah, right.

Strangely, left-of-center Americans have rechristened themselves progressives, borrowing a label from mid-century and FDR-era America often associated with radical politics.

As David Horowitz told Glenn Beck on his TV show yesterday:

You have to understand this modern left, what you call the progressives, which is, my parents were card carrying Communists, they always called themselves progressives. They belonged to the progressive party. It’s the same battle. These people are totalitarians. They think they know what’s good for you and they’re going to control you to make you do what they think is good for you even if you don’t want to do it.

Liberal may not be a political winner, but is progessive any better?

  1. Carterthewriter permalink
    November 24, 2009 4:35 pm

    They may change the name, but socialism remains the synonym.

  2. November 24, 2009 5:25 pm

    Saul Alinksy is the hub of the wheel around which these various names (liberal, progressive, leftist, marxist, maoist, totalitarian, statist, fascist communist, radical) revolve. Alinsky’s pragmatic approach to revolution is the glue that binds various ideologies. The issue is not the issue. The issue is always the acquisition and consolidation of POWER. Forget what they call themselves and let’s just agree to refer to them as LEFTISTS. Forget what leftist say and focus instead on what they DO. Remember that leftists will do and say anything to acquire power, and they’re in a hurry. The leftist is at war with the civil society. No time to lose.

  3. Alan Wolfe permalink
    November 24, 2009 9:17 pm

    Progressive enslavement.

  4. Helga Fischer permalink
    November 25, 2009 7:08 am

    Communism is liberalism in a hurry…heard that years ago and am presently watching the left put the pedal to the metal…

  5. Len Powder permalink
    November 25, 2009 10:22 pm

    I just started reading a book which I would recommend to everyone: “A Conservative History of the American Left” by Daniel J. Flynn. Here are two quotes from page 107:

    “The [progressive] fiction writers eagerly sacrificed HUMANS for an abstraction known as HUMANITY.”

    “The intellectual’s utopia is the common man’s hell.”

    Progressive, liberal, leftist, socialist, Marxist, communist all signify man pretending to be God. They all have a putrid smell to them although some generate worse odors than others.

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