In keeping with our new crusade for accuracy in political labeling, we will no longer post an article or comment containing the word “liberal” when applied to a political figure or position. The word “liberal” has lost all meaning over the past forty or fifty years. Instead, we will use the word “progressive”. Progressive has a recognized meaning and a long history of use. In a campaign speech in Madison, Wisconsin, February 12, 2008 Barack Obama remarked, “And where better to affirm our ideals than here in Wisconsin, where a century ago the progressive movement was born”.
His reference was to the work of Senator Robert M. La Folette of Wisconsin, the driving force of the progressive movement at the turn of the nineteenth century. The progressive movement was the political rival of the socialist movement led, at the time, by Eugene Debs of Indiana. La Folette attempted to gain the Progressive Party’s nomination for President in 1912 but lost the primary to fellow progressive, Theodore Roosevelt. The progressive movement eventually found its home in the Democrat party and became the popular voice of American socialism.
Progressivism, the Americanized version of European socialism is more descriptive of the policies of the Democrat party than “liberal” and is more difficult to deny than “socialism” since this is the term Democrats routinely apply to themselves. At the same time, it more accurately describes the political views of “moderate” republicans and many self-identified fiscal conservatives. It is more accurate to use the terms “Progressive Republican” and “Conservative Progressive” or “Progressive-Conservative” to identify these groups.
It is not uncommon to hear someone refer to his or her political views as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. What they usually mean is that they are opposed to the reckless spending and high taxes connected with progressive policies but they support unconstitutional federal regulations and spending on education, energy use, health care and many of the other unconstitutional federal policies prevalent in today’s America. Many also support abortion, gay marriage, and more liberalized laws regulating recreational drugs. “Fiscal conservative” is not an accurate label for this political group. “Progressive-conservative” more accurately describes the moral confusion inherent in their conflicted political views.
“Classic republicanism” and “classic conservatism” both refer to the rule of law applied to government and adherence to the governing principles found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Only those supporting these principles should rightly be labeled conservatives.
Illinois Conservative Action Network
Make a difference