Monday, February 20, 2012

Libs vs Progs

      The GGG (Great Glenn Greenwald), the Constitutional and civil rights attorney, progressive political commentator, best-selling author, media watchdog, and blogger for has made it abundantly clear that President Obama is an extension of George W. Bush when it comes to “covert endless wars, consolidation of unchecked power, the rapid growth of the Surveillance State and the secrecy regime, and massive inequalities in the legal system,” as Glenn stated in a previous post. In the big picture, there is very little difference between Democrats and Republicansegal system, continuous transfers of wealth from the disappearing middle class to large corporate conglomerates.” In the big picture, there is very little difference between Democrats and Republicans. Both are owned and controlled by…well, I won’t repeat what you already know. And when I saw the tweet from Katrina vanden Heuvel a couple of days ago, I thought -- right on, what a courageous statement. But in this properly detailed post, you continue to equate liberals with progressives. I believe there is a difference between the two. For example, the appropriately named “The Progressive” magazine is mostly critical of Obama’s policies, whereas the liberal “The New Republic” is frequently apologetic to the Obama administration. I’m not big into labels, but I’ll go along with them for the purposes of this comment. I consider myself a progressive, not a liberal, and I did not vote for Obama because I suspected he would continue the trend toward the Surveillance and Secrecy State, maintain the murderous drone attacks, etc. If one is truly progressive, one will not vote for President Obama, for the very reasons you outline. The people you speak of who support Obama, despite his reprehensible positions on such crucial issues, I would consider liberals, not progressives. I would hope that Ms. vanden Heuval, if she thinks of herself a progressive, would not vote for Obama. I cannot imagine Amy Goodman voting for Obama. Nor Bernie Sanders. But Alan Grayson, despite his outspokenness, would in the end, I believe, vote for Obama. Dennis Kucinich – I’m still not sure. Ron Paul, indeed, speaks a truth that needs to be heard. His newsletters, of course, are a concern. His and any libertarian’s viewpoints invite a return to this nation’s racist past. We, as a country, have not advanced to the point that, if a corporation had free rein to hire anyone it could, it would freely hire an African-American or Hispanic. I don’t think Ron Paul himself is a racist, but those newsletters are baggage. So it appears that neither Paul nor Obama deserves to be elected President. Third party, anyone?. But there is a difference, in my opinion, between liberals and progressives. However, Glenn continues to equate the two. The terms should not be used interchangeably. Liberals claim to want change. But it’s only change within the status quo. Among liberal Democrats in Congress, it’s merely change within the realm of a compromise with conservatives. I define a progressive as one who is further to the left of a liberal, one who supports real and fundamental change in our governmental, economic, and judicial systems. Grass roots change. Ralph Nader-type change. Perhaps Noam Chomsky-type change. Not the pretend change espoused by Obama. Progressives struggle to move the country forward. Also, whereas a liberal is almost always a Democrat, a progressive may be a Democrat, but may more often identify with a third party. It’s the liberal, not the progressive, who is tied to the toxin of “blind leader loyalty.” It’s the liberal who sides with the reprehensible national security policies of the Obama administration. The progressive works to get the courts to declare them unconstitutional. To offer another example, the aptly named “The Progressive” magazine is often critical of Obama’s policies. But “The New Republic”, considered a liberal magazine, is frequently apologetic to the administration. By way of personalities, Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!” is considered by many to be a lib. No way. I consider her a progressive, and I can’t really imagine her voting for Obama. Alan Grayson, despite his outspokenness, I consider to be a liberal, and if he was still in Congress would ultimately side with the Obama administration on most every issue. Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich – I’m not sure. But whatever. I would just ask that the term liberal no longer be used to tarnish the fine reputation of progressives.