A brief definitional note.

March 5, 2010

Dear everybody,

It seems like there is some confusion coming in from all reaches of the political spectrum as to what it means to be a progressive liberal, so here’s my view in brief.

Liberalism is not a lifestyle.  It’s an ideology.  It’s based on humanistic principles – liberty and equality.  If you stick a “neo” in front of it or qualify it in some other way, it stops being liberal.  A politician who disavows being a liberal is probably telling the truth.  It’s not a club.  It’s not about winning the competition on who can be the most politically correct.  It’s not new.  It’s what free democratic societies are founded on.  It’s not nationalist, but if your country merits it, it is patriotic.

Progressivism is not a cult.  It’s a political orientation.  It’s an effort to reflect liberal principles to political outcomes.  It’s not communism.  It’s practical, but it doesn’t compromise its principles, ally with whoever is in power, or constantly settle for the easy only-slightly-less-evil outcome, because progressivism seeks positive movement – it doesn’t settle for the status quo.
It’s not partisan, except to the extent that a particular party is progressive.  Progressivism isn’t monolithic; it’s not about adhering to a political doctrine – it’s about leveraging common ground.  It’s not about weakness, or being nice to people whose agenda harms others.  It’s not about staying above the fray, keeping one’s hands clean and staying on the sidewalk while getting nothing done.  It’s not about meekly accepting whatever the future might bring.  It’s about shaping the future together.  Progressivism pushes forward deliberately.  It’s aim is to improve society.

That’s all.

-Brendon

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Joe Stack and Self-Determination, & The Difference Between Obama’s Lies and Bush’s Lies

February 19, 2010

A word on the breaking news, Joseph Stack attacks an IRS office in an airplane, seemingly because he felt like he had no voice in a corrupt government which served the rich and not the people. People lash out when they have no hope or feeling of self-determination and control over their lives, and this is just a particularly explosive example.

The main story, Obama lies vs. Bush lies, and why Bush can lie and break the law and destroy the Constitution with no reaction from his party, his base, or conservatives in general, while Obama can’t afford to run that kind of show because progressives actually care about that stuff.
In other words, Bush got away with lying because he was lying “for us”, from the conservative perspective. When what we progressives want is a more accountable and transparent government which serves the people, Obama can’t claim to be on our side when he lies and makes backroom deals.