While President Taft stated that he was a Progressive, Teddy Roosevelt responded with:
“A well-meaning man may vaguely think of himself as a Progressive without having even the faintest conception of what a Progressive is.”
“We fight for our core principles of social justice and economic equity.”
The Progressive Magazine
“It champions peace, social and economic justice, civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, a preserved environment, and a reinvigorated democracy. Its bedrock values are nonviolence and freedom of speech.”
“The Progressive has a storied history. On January 9, 1909, Senator Robert M. La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin founded La Follette’s Weekly to be “a magazine of progress, social, intellectual, institutional.” The goal, he wrote, was “winning back for the people the complete power over government —national, state, and municipal—which has been lost to them.” He attacked private greed in the form of corporate monopolies that hoarded power. He championed the public interest, campaigning for social and economic justice. And he urged the United States not to entangle itself in foreign wars.”
So, one can conclude that a Progressive embraces pluralism– standing in opposition to one single approach or method of interpretation. They promote social justice, pacifism, environmentalism, and human rights, the democratic process, direct voter control, and they’re all for consumer rights.
I guess, simply put, a Progressive is someone who sides with the “plain people” over “Wall Street.”
Hey, what’s this? Wait a gosh darn minute….La Follette was a stinkin’ Republican! Holy Smoke! If La Follette, a GOP Senator, creator of The Progressive Magazine–a magazine that has featured articles by Howard Dean, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Janeane Garofalo, Danny Glover, Amy Goodman, Mikhail Gorbachev, Seymour Hersh, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Barack Obama, Michael Pollan, Robert Redford, Martin Sheen, Joseph Stiglitz, Helen Thomas, Alice Walker, and Elizabeth Warren then…. Holy Mole! Run! La Follette was a Republican! What the heck is going on here?
Move along. Nothing to see here, folks. Nothing’s going on, as it turns out, except only that perhaps the Republican Party has not stuck to its Progressive roots. Something has changed over the years. Something that Roosevelt called a crisis for the Party:
“The Republican party is now facing a great crisis. It is to decide whether it will be, as in the days of Lincoln, the party of the plain people, the party of progress, the party of social and industrial justice; or whether it will be the party of privilege and of special interests, the heir to those who were Lincoln’s most bitter opponents, the party that represents the great interests within and with out Wall Street which desire through their control over the servants of the pubic to be kept immune from punishment when they do wrong and to be given privileges to which they are not entitled”. – Teddy
I have to think about that last bit of what Roosevelt said in 1912,
” …the party that represents the great interests within and with out Wall Street which desire through their control over the servants of the pubic to be kept immune from punishment when they do wrong and to be given privileges to which they are not entitled.”
Thanks, Teddy “Trustbuster” Roosevelt, I guess simply put a Progressive is someone who sides with the “plain people” over “Wall Street.”
Here’s a short list of Republican from the past–office holders that might fit the Definition of Progressive:
The Progressive Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) 16th President of the United States, Moderate Republican, served from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln set up the Freedman’s Bureau for the freed slaves and lobbied for theThirteenth Amendment, which would permanently abolish slavery in the whole nation. He prevented British recognition of theConfederacy by skillfully handling the Trent affair late in 1861. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.
Radical Republicans: Thaddeus Stevens (April 4, 1792 – August 11, 1868), of Pennsylvania, was a Republican leader and one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, expand the rights of African Americans through such laws as the Fourteenth Amendment, Fifteenth Amendment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875. These laws enabled the first African American Congressman and Senators to be elected to Congress,
Charles Sumner (January 6, 1811-March 11, 1874) was a senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator. Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction, working to punish the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the Freedmen.worked to expand the rights of African-Americans through such laws as the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875. These laws enabled the first African-American Congressman and Senators to be elected to Congress, including such distinguished men as Hiram Revels of Mississippi, Robert Smalls,
Who is a Progressive? by Theodore Roosevelt
- Robert La Follette: “Better Balanced Citizenship and A Truer Democracy” (jkkreth.wordpress.com)
- What Do New Progressives Want? (okieblog.wordpress.com)
- On the Capitol: Paul Ryan, write a book then run? (host.madison.com)
- Quote of the Day: October 31, 2011 (delong.typepad.com)
- Teddy Roosevelt: Republican. Thomas Sowell: ? (pacificbullmoose.com)