promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

A ‘progressive’ distraction

In media, politics on February 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Glenn Beck and FOX News have a new left wing enemy — the progressives. Much of the rhetoric that was aimed toward Democrats in previous years is now being used against the supposedly sinister grandchild of the Bull Moose Party.

Most historians trace the beginnings of the progressive movement to Teddy Roosevelt’s resignation from Republican ranks and formation of his own Bull Moose Party. A party which advocated things such as minimum wage laws and prohibition.

Beck and FOX are correct that the Progressive Party and modern progressives are in favor of  increasing the scope of the national government — but all for the “common good.” Basically, a progressive sees things that are wrong within a society and attempts to make them right through the force of government.

While I don’t agree with much of the progressive platform, I do admire its concern and commitment to the downtrodden. The modern progressive movement is not some left wing, God-hating crusade that wishes to steal your children from you and place them in fascist indoctrination institutions. On the contrary, the progressives gave us things like child labor laws and women’s suffrage.

Perhaps what disturbs me most about (mainly) Beck’s anti-progressive banter, is that it distracts Americans from the real issue. How often do we hear Beck and other conservative media pundits claiming that it’s not about left versus right, Democrat versus Republican? And yet, they continually play the fear card, saturating their viewers with an us-versus-them mindset.

The progressives are not “evil” as some would have you believe. They are not what threatens America or the world. But neither is the Tea Party movement, moral majority, conservatism, communism or socialism. As long as Americans of all political ideologies are fed and accept the divisive rhetoric that causes them to see a targeted group as the “enemy” we will never be free.

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  1. good writing – you are on the roll and from one redhead to another – welcome aboard!
    stevemacgregor

  2. Jessica, wouldn’t TR, if he were around today, be a ‘Conservative Progressive’? For example, Prohibition was very authoritarian (vs libertarian) and conservative (a ‘values’ agenda). Present-day Conservatives promoting a values agenda are also ‘progressive’ in advocating the use of governmental authority to enforce that agenda. TR was also an international interventionist, if not an imperialist – making GB a political cousin.

    The ‘us-versus-them’ mentality first blinds people to their own confusion about labels and categories. The more vocal folks are often the most confused. – Jim

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