Liberalism in the Trump Era

liberalism August 13th, 2018

This blog dedicated to a brief analysis of what liberalism really means in this time of great storm and stress. I’ve been thinking about it while the news is showing the “Alt-Right” (or faction of power-hungry, white supremacist folks) and or the Nazis are planning to march on Washington D.C. this year – on the anniversary of the Charlottesville, VA debacle. I bet a year ago Germany looked at that hate-orgy and thought “Damn, America is tolerant of bigotry, hate, and racism.” Yes, America is the country that was built on slavery, did the Tuskegee Experiment, and shot J.F.K. But America is also the land of Thomas Jefferson, the country that beat the Nazis and Japanese in war, and created the University of California system of higher education. In a country with polarizing partisanship, the KKK and the Alt-Right, and extreme wealth inequality, what is the proper attitude for liberalism (i.e., political liberals, progressives, Lefties) to take? Agitate against power and bigotry vociferously, lay down, fight fire with fire, love those who hate us, or look down our noses on the Right?

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American History Reflects Certain Values

American February 13th, 2018

I came across a quote that really moved me, and I was getting into it with a friend about whether liberals are biased and whether conservatism is just a bit odious. I want to “sketch out” why I am a liberal (a political designation, but also the more philosophical meaning of the term), and why, therefore, I criticize America. To that end, I will use quotations, not by crafting sentences and paragraphs. I think of it like a mosaic – every piece is made of a small piece of glass, but together it makes sense to the eye. It’s going to read like social criticism mixed with a clear-eyed recognition of some American strengths. In so doing, I will look to history’s intellectuals, artists, and fighters for social justice to do the talking for me.

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Powerful Quotes By Famous Progressives

quotes by famous progressives February 8th, 2018

Liberals have a long history of bettering this country – and leading it better (than the opposition). When it comes to having a coherent and compelling philosophy, progressives suck. We fight amongst ourselves, equivocate, cower, and are even afraid to proudly use the word liberal. However, as Eric Alterman points out in his great book Why We’re Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America’s Most Important Ideals, progressive politicians provide superior leadership, have more integrity, and speak for the ideals held by most Americans, by and large. This blog features many compelling and unique quotes by famous progressives.

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Modern vs. 19th-Century Progressives

progressives November 22nd, 2017

What do modern progressives (i.e., “liberals”) have in common with The “capital-P Progressive” movement that took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? What do Bernie Sanders and the late Paul Wellstone share with Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson? To what degree do both movements/ideologies favor lower- and middle-class interests over those of the rich; avoiding war if at all possible; renouncing empire and colonialism; separating church and state; prizing the welfare state over big business interests; a willingness to invest in new social programs; and securing abortion/social/civil rights? You can probably toss in anti-death penalty sentiments and a general approval of world government. Women achieved the right to vote in ‘33, so that is not something both groups called “progressives” could share. This blog is an analysis of the modern Left in America and the “capital-P” Progressive Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Progressive: Promoting Social and Economic Change

Was America Ever Progressive? April 14th, 2017

Considering the relative powerlessness of political progressives (i.e., those on “the Left”), it’s obvious that such individuals are in it for the love of principle. As compared to the lure of power and money, the struggle for rights, social welfare, true democracy, true freedom, humaneness, and other ideals/values is a noble sentiment. The goals of social activism are also usually superior to conserving the status quo and bolstering institutional power. It has never been easy; from securing a fair wage to voting rights to being free of conscription to breaking the shackles that enslaved, progressives have not had much power on their side. Power concedes nothing without a demand…. Frederick Douglass wrote. A comparison and contrast of progressivism (“liberalism”) and conservatism follows.

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Quotes About Struggle: Solidarity

quotes about struggle March 2nd, 2017

Struggle, protest, dissent, and organization is a big part of this country. Almost everything that the people have was worked hard for. We forget how much striking, sitting in, and agitating there was in times-past, in part because the powers that be want to tamp down on that kind of progressivism. That kind of lobbying for rights is not good for business, as it were. I want to extol the virtues of dedication, courage, and standing up for something. As Peter Marshall said, “Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for — because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

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A Progressive Perspective on Social Problems, Justice, and Liberty

January 22nd, 2017

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Matthew Rothschild, Editor of The Progressive Magazine, called from the East coast to field questions such as: “What is going on in the heads of those running the show overseas?” “Why are Americans torturing people?” and “What are the moral issues inherent in today’s political

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