Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to Grow a Progressive

Teddy Roosevelt - Founder of
1912's Progressive Party...
I found it!  I was sitting here the other day trying to figure out whether Progressives were 'born' or 'made' (the old "Nature vs. Nurture" debate) and my extensive research - MORE than six minutes! - has given me the answer.

It is my civic duty to share it with you.  Because you MUST know... 

You know, in case anyone ever asks you!

Here's the deal: 

FIRST:  We must understand 'who' a Progressive is.  Okay, so, let's ask a Self-Proclaimed 'Who'!

The following is from the folks at the Center for American Progress Action Fund:

Who is a progressive?

Founded on the ideals of the progressive movement at the turn of the century, today’s progressive movement believes that an open and effective government can improve the lives of everyday Americans by playing an active role in solving social and economic problems.

In other words, a progressive is someone who is idealistic enough to believe that things can be better and pragmatic enough to get it done.

A Defining Moment...

i·de·al·is·tic (-d-lstk)

Of, relating to, or having the nature of an idealist or idealism.

[Figures, now I have to do MORE extensive research!]

idealism [aɪˈdɪəˌlɪzəm]
1. belief in or pursuance of ideals

2. the tendency to represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are

3. (Philosophy) any of a group of philosophical doctrines that share the monistic view that material objects and the external world do not exist in reality independently of the human mind but are variously creations of the mind or constructs of ideas
Compare materialism [2] dualism [2]
idealist n
idealistic adj
idealistically adv
Yet ANOTHER Defining Moment...
pragmatic [prægˈmætɪk]
1. advocating behaviour that is dictated more by practical consequences than by theory or dogma

2. (Philosophy) Philosophy of or relating to pragmatism

3. involving everyday or practical business

4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) of or concerned with the affairs of a state or community

5. Rare interfering or meddlesome; officious Also (for senses 3, 5) pragmatical
[from Late Latin prāgmaticus, from Greek prāgmatikos from pragma act, from prattein to do]

pragmaticality n

pragmatically adv
Using the definition provided above with a 'bit' of definitional enhancement: 
"In other words, a progressive is someone who will represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are to believe that things can be better and advocating behaviour in everyday or practical business  to get it done.

There, isn't that better?  No more boorish, arcane, or burdensome words to look up online!
Having defined WHO a Progressive is, let's spend several minutes understanding WHAT they believe, according to the site quoted above:
What We Believe
As progressives we believe that America should be a country of boundless opportunity—where all people can better themselves through education, hard work, and the freedom to pursue their dreams.
We believe this will only be achieved with an open and effective government that champions the common good over narrow self-interest, harnesses the strength of our diversity, and secures the rights and safety of its people.
Real progress will be achieved only through innovative solutions borne of open collaboration.
To realize our vision we must:
  • Build an opportunity nation where every hard-working person, regardless of background, can realize their dreams through education and decent work and fair play.
  • Reawaken America's conscience, our sense of shared and personal responsibility, to build healthy, vibrant communities.
  • Reform government so that it is of, by and for the people: open, effective, and committed to the common good adherence to the US Constitution.
  • Use America's strength to bring the world together, not pull it apart  to protect and defend the United States, its allies and its Constitution.

You know, if you modified the Progressive Vision as shown above (the strike-throughs are mine, as well as the highlighted verbiage I added), you'd think they were a bunch of Right Wing Extremists... 

Or, your basic Conservative Group - as the terms are pretty much interchangeable these days in the Media. 

Thanks Media!

So how do you 'Grow a Progressive'?

That's easy, you begin early.  How early?  Let's shoot on over to Karl's place for his thought on the matter:

The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.  -- Karl Marx

Great, thanks Karl, if it's not too much trouble, could you please keep away from my kids, um, and my dogs?  Super, thanks!

Okay, so you need to begin early. 

Let's get back to the original question:  HOW early?


Consider the following epic tomes of 'Youth-Oriented' Progressivism:

HUMANISM - WHAT'S THAT?  A Book for Curious Kids

Humanists espouse values of universal education, freedom of thought and free expression, open-minded pursuit of the truth, tolerance of others' differences, mutual respect, and preservation of the environment.

Complete with discussion questions, suggestions for activities and a bibliography, this innovative approach to presenting humanism to children and young adults will be welcome by parents and teachers looking to expose their students to a secular perspective.


WHY MOMMY IS A DEMOCRAT (Feel free to interchange the word 'Progressive' for 'Democrat' here)

Why Mommy Is A Democrat children's book. This delightful 28-page paperback isn't just for children. It depicts principles of fairness, tolerance, peace and concern for others, bringing to life the core Progressive values of the Democratic Party in ways that young children will easily understand and enjoy. It makes a great bedtime book for little Democrats!

"JUST PRETEND - A Freethought Book for Children"
A fun book which allows children of all ages to explore myths like Santa Claus and compare them with ideas like the existence of God. Entertaining and respectful of children's intelligence, Just Pretend encourages kids to apply the tests of reason to any idea, fairy tale, myth or religion.

Paperback, fully illustrated, 72 pages. 

Ah yes, Progressivism - Where joy goes to die...


From the people who brought you "Why Daddy (AND Mommy) is a Democrat," comes this colorful new book of Progressive rhythm and rhyme. It's a fun and easy way to let your kids know that you made the right choice in November 2008!

THIRD:  Kids don't have time to read to themselves once they're out of diapers - it's time for the multi-media messaging to convince them of the evils of coporations, Capitalism, and Conservatism!

Oh, you were hoping I was kidding, weren't you???

Funny, but does Karl here look a lot like 'Groucho' Marx to you?  Hmmm?

In conclusion, Progressivism is learned, it is not something you're born with.  Unfortunately, it's been taught for years. 

The folks at the Center for American Progress (and organizations like them) have been around for a hundred years.  They've done a fair amount of damage over the past century co-opting our kids through the education system, the Media, and most recently, Social Networking. 

I mean, seriously, how else could you possibly explain something as odd as, "President Barack Hussein Obama"?

Okay, given the fact that Progressive Republicans gave us "Senator John McCain", yeah, I guess that had a lot to do with it also. 

Americans have seen what Progressivism does when left unregulated with President Obama and the Democratic majority in the House and Senate in 2009 and 2010.  We have watched, we have learned, we have lived through the effects of Radicals left in control. 

Time to clean House (and Senate) in 2012.

Carter gave us Reagan.

Obama will give us, fingers crossed, anyone other than Obama.

The reckoning is coming.

Yup, I reckon so...
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