What is a Progressive?
The term has been thrown around quite a bit as establishment ideologues attempt to isolate Progressive reformers and others seek to marginalize ideas. In the Progressive space, we are united in the idea that working families should come first.
So just what is a Progressive?
To put it simply, a Progressive believes that sound fiscal policy must address the needs of the people who pay taxes. This means an efficient and practical use of the money we pool in tax payments at the state and federal level. Is that Socialism? No. We are not trying to seize the means of production.
The goal is well regulated capitalism where a free market can thrive without the threat of monopolies that stifle competition. For example, the telecom giants are allowed pay lobbyist and Congressmen to ensure laws are written that benefit them, stifling innovation and small start ups. That means higher costs for the consumer and poor service. Is that fair to then hand your tax money out in the form of subsidies to the same monopolies? No. That is something we can all agree on.
Are Conservatives Progressives?
Yes, they can be. Our members come from just about every part of the political spectrum. Our fiscal conservative members are against throwing money at inefficient government and private sector projects. They also know that cutting programs such as job training or effective and efficient programs like Medicare actually cost us all more in the long run. Social Security is a direct benefit for those who pay into it and should be protected and strengthened, not privatized and risked through Wall Street speculation. Likewise banks should not be allowed to gamble with your savings.
One area that affects all of us is access to affordable healthcare. We know that ACA (Obamacare) is not the answer when better, cheaper, and more patent-centered options are on the table. Even doctors nation-wide are advocating for a better, cheaper alternative that what we have now.
Overall, our members recognize that protecting people should come first. They oppose handouts to wealthy corporations that profit through TIFs or underpaying employees while we foot the bill through for SNAP assistance programs. No person who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty. Likewise, if a company is using our roads to operate, they should be paying their fair share of taxes, not leaving us to foot the bill while also paying employment taxes.
Are all Liberals Progressive?
No, not exactly. Progressives are keenly aware of the corrupting influence of money in politics. In fact, we recognize this as a big part of the reason working families are having to make due with so much less. Income inequality is at the highest levels its been since the Great Depression in 1932. It’s no wonder families are struggling. The value of your ideas should never be measured by your net worth.
David Sirota described the difference for Huffington Post this way, “There is a fundamental difference when it comes to core economic issues. It seems to me that traditional “liberals” in our current parlance are those who focus on using taxpayer money to help better society. A “progressive” are those who focus on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules.”
To get a better idea of specific policies and programs Progressives advocate for, see the People’s Platform, complete with bills already introduced to Congress. https://summerforprogress.com/platform
You may find that here, in this Progressive space, we are not as divided a nation and some may want you to believe.