It turns out that a majority of 54 percent aren't quite sure what a "political progressive" really is. And a very small percentage, 12 percent, actually self-identifies as "progressive" (with 45 percent of those identifying as "liberal" or "very liberal"). The numbers make sense to me. Traditionally, ideological discussion of the left/right continuum focuses on liberals and conservatives. But liberalism literally has become a dirty word in American politics, and for decades Democratic-leftists have been working feverishly (yet unsuccessfully) to get out from under it. Well now it turns out that self-identified socialist Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has called herself a "progressive," hence Gallup's inclusion of the measurement of progressive in its June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll.
What's frankly awesome about this is that Gallup recognizes that leftists use "progressive" to avoid being "pigeonholed" as outside of the mainstream. And even funnier is how Thomas Rhiel at Talking Points Memo also acknowledges the truth about leftist identification as "progressive":
For years, pundits and politicians on the left have been calling themselves "progressives" to avoid the apparent stigma of the word "liberal." But a USA Today/Gallup poll released today indicates that a majority of Americans still aren't sure what "progressive" really means.Long-time readers of American Power will recall that I never use the word "liberal" to refer to Democratic-leftists. I've always thought "liberal" was an unacceptable bastardization of the more traditional "classical liberal," from which we draw our political heritage (in the Declaration of Independence, for example). And since around the time of the Iraq War in March 2003 --- as one who had voted Democratic my entire life --- it finally dawned on me that today's Democratic-leftists are not only not "liberal" but they're literally allied with all the anti-democratic ideologies and movements in world politics today. Of course, as I've noted here recently in my commentaries on The World Turned Upside Down, leftists adopt a righteous infallibility that disdains anti-statist ideologies as backwoods. Of course, the most irrationalist and totalitarian programs are entirely associated with the left (which of course includes its alliance with global jihad). What's unfortunate is that if the respondents at Gallup really knew what was going on they'd be distancing themselves from the "progressive" label faster than you can say "RAAAAACIST"!!
In any case, progressives today are not social and economic reformers, or those who're directed toward modernization and social improvement. They're totalitarian ideologues working for the idealized utopia that always historically ends in the terror and the gulag.
Here's a bit from David Horowitz on the bankruptcy of communism (what progressivism is really all about):
In what sense can a bankrupt idea be called “progressive”? For two centuries the socialist idea -- the future promise that justifies the present sacrifice -- has functioned as a blank check for the violence and injustice associated with efforts to achieve it. The “experiments” may have failed – so go the apologies for the Left -- but the intentions that launched them were idealistic and noble. But it is no longer really possible to hold up the socialist fantasy to justify the destructive assaults on existing societies which, whatever their faults, were less oppressive than the revolutionary “solutions” that followed their demise. The failed “experiments” of the Left and its divisive crusades must be seen now for what they are: bloody exercises in civil nihilism; violent pursuits of empty hopes; revolutionary actes gratuites that were doomed to fail from the start.UPDATE: Linked at Doug Ross, Linkiest, and The Rhetorican.
Historical perspective imposes on us a new standard of judgment. Because they were doomed from their origin and destructive by design, these revolutionary gestures now stand condemned by morality and justice in their conception and not merely in their result. If there was a “party of humanity” in the civil wars that the Left’s ambitions provoked in the past, it was on the other side of the political barricades. In these battles, the enlightened parties were those who defended democratic process and civil order against the greater barbarism that, as we now know for certain, the radical future entailed.