A Cautious Man
March 03, 2005
Somebody Callin' My Secret Name
You may have noticed that "progressive" is the new "liberal". Inside, I guess I would tell myself I was more liberal than conservative, but on the outside it seemed that "liberal" was a notch below "leper" as a word you would want associated with your name. I wasn't sure why I was bothered by substituting the P-word for the L-word, but I recently received some guidance from reading Jeff Jarvis:
Who went to the committee meeting that decided that liberals should be called progressive now?

Well, I can guess who went. And so I know why I wasn't invited. But I would have liked to have gotten the memo... so I could complain about it (and piss off the committee once again).

What wimpery. What balllessness.

It's as if liberals are ashamed of being liberal. It's as if we bought the conservative mantra that it's a bad word. It's as if we, too, started to believe it was a bad word and so they changed the word. It's as if the party believes it can win elections if it just changes a word. If that's the case, why not go all the way: Rename the Democratic Party. Any ideas?
Now, if you've been following along with Mr. Jarvis, you know that he's been having an argument with others over whether you can be a liberal and support some of what the Administration is doing in the Middle East. I think you can be (albeit a misguided one). At least by being a liberal, one is open to thinking about the issue, and refining one's views.

As you know, the conservatives are happy to gloss over their differences. The "financial conservatives" (i.e., "leave me and my money alone") are perfectly happy working with the "social conservatives" (i.e., "let me tell you how to live, and by the way, give me some of your money so I can do the same for other people"). It's a symbiotic relationship, perhaps. The "socials" hope one day to have enough money to be one of the "financials", while the "financials" figure that as long as the "socials" let them keep more of their money, they can buy their way out of any "inconveniences" which the "socials" may put in place.

It is time to take back a perfectly good, descriptive word. Besides, lately the "conservative" side seems to be the one for bloated budgets and "borrow now, tax later" policies.

Or, we could focus less on labels and more on sensible solutions to help improve society (a typical liberal view?).



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