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Archive for the ‘Progressive’ Category

Progressivism
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

What people need to understand about progressivism, is that it isn’t socialism. Sure, they are both about big centralized government, but progressivism isn’t completely about government. And doesn’t think individualism and individual initiative is necessarily a bad thing. Or that freedom isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Progressives, unlike Socialists in many cases, believe in all of those things. A true Progressive, doesn’t believe that government can and should do practically everything if not everything for the people. Socialists, don’t seem to have a problem that a new tax increase and government program can’t solve and do something new for the people.

Progressivism, was basically born in the late 1890s and early 1900s, under people like Teddy Roosevelt and later Woodrow Wilson and many others, as part of the so-called Progressive Era. These people who might have seem radical then, but today they would be mainstream Center-Left Progressive Democrats. And thanks to the Great Depression and with Franklin Roosevelt coming to power as President in 1933 with an overwhelming Democratic Congress in both the House and Senate, the New Deal was born. The American safety net and social insurance system. To help people in need help themselves and get themselves back on their feet.

The originally Welfare system was badly designed. Because it didn’t require people on Welfare to finish their education and even look for work. Unlike Unemployment Insurance where people have to look for work and even get help from the program looking for work. But the basic idea of progressivism is that government can help people when they are down get on their feet. And protect the innocent from predators. Either in the economy with the regulatory state. And put criminals way when they hurt the innocent physically and otherwise with the law enforcement state. And protect the country from foreign invaders with the national security state.

If you look at the economic options of the 1930s, the progressive economic approach was actually the middle ground. Which might sound strange even for that period. But think about it, you had Conservatives and Libertarians on the Right, saying that government shouldn’t do anything to help people who are down and stay out of the economy all together. To Democratic Socialists and Communists on the Far-Left, saying that private enterprise and capitalism is the problem. And that government should take over a lot of these sectors in the economy to serve the people. Progressivism, is not socialism, but a very mainstream American ideology.
Right-Wing Watch: FDR & The New Deal- “How Progressives Ended The Great Depression”

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Glenn Beck
This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times

I believe in Glen Beck Land or Glen Beck America, that we would go back to the days pre-New Deal, Progressive Era. And we essentially go back to being a libertarian nation. Where we are all on our own and when we need assistance, we get it through private charity. What he’s forgetting is back in those days, African-Americans were treated basically like Colonial Americans. Before the United States was formed, even though they were American as anyone else in America. Except for American-Indians. Their constitutional rights were not enforced under law or enforced equally.

So progressivism has made at least some positive reform in America. And no I’m going to interpret whether Mr. Beck believes if its okay for African-Americans to be treated like second class citizens or not. Let him do that for himself. We had of course had the Great Depression of the 1930s, which lasted at least through the 1930s. The New Deal did not pull us out of it, our involvement in World War II did that. But what the New Deal did and no one including myself would design the New Deal, the same way today as back then, was give the Great Depression a floor and allow of the economy to start recovering.

I would’ve not of given the Federal Government all of that power. To run the safety net and instead empower the states and private sector with that responsibility. Same thing with the Great Society in the 1960s. But what the New Deal and Great Society did was at least give people in need some floor of income that they could rely on. When they are out of work and that sort of thing. But of course none of those programs would’ve been designed the same way today by anyone.

The Glen Beck World that he talked about before the Progressive Era had some advantages. As we were becoming the richest country in the world, thanks to American private enterprise and our natural resources. But it also had some holes in it as well. With all the racial, ethnic and gender discrimination that was going on back in that era. That government let go on and did nothing about. Even though these people had the same constitutional rights in America as Caucasian men. But they were just not being enforced equally, which is how bigotry was able to take place.

Including with things like hate crimes, which is why government was needed to step in. And make this bigotry illegal and try to put a stop to it. And when people were unemployed, or didn’t have enough skills to get a good job and be self-sufficient, unless they were able to get help from private charity, they were out of luck. Which is why the New Deal was created and again I wouldn’t have designed the New Deal the same way.

No one would, but at least it was something that people in need could turn to. Things were definitely done differently pre-Progressive Era, but not exactly better in every sense, sometimes better. And in others like with equal protection, done worse. Sometimes moving forward and progressing as a society can be better, especially since we’ve never lived in a perfect world. Which is why we should always try to get better.

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