Who Is A Progressive?
I Am A Progressive?
Many people say they are progressives, what the hell does that mean, who is a real progressive and what are the very fundamentals that must be present to be considered a progressive?
My first criteria would include that all human beings are seen as equals and maybe seeing others as brothers and sisters, not in a religious sense but for real. When I look at someone and I see an equal, the relationship may grow, but if I see someone beneath me in any sense of the word the relationship will never bear fruit.
One of the great progressives who comes to mind was President Teddy Roosevelt, a republican who said:
"The essential difference, as old as civilized history, is between the men who, with fervor and broad sympathy and imagination, stand for the forward movement, the men who stand for the uplift and betterment of mankind, and who have faith in the people, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, the men of narrow vision and small sympathy, who are not stirred by the wrongs of others. With these latter stand also those other men who distrust the people, and many of whom not merely distrust the people, but wish to keep them helpless so as to exploit them for their own benefit." (Not much in common with the "T Baggers")
There are many people who claim to be progressive and just make money off the ills of our present circumstances, you know who they are. They are politicians, have radio and TV shows and have never risked anything of real value to bring about change; they just make more money. There are those on the radio and TV who do care about the "Other" and do good work, they are called Cocktail Liberals. This is not meant to be a derogatory term, cocktail liberals do good work and support worthy causes, but almost never risk losing something of great value, like their job or being arrested at a protest, or just being shunned by their peers. They will say the right things so I give them much credit for that and wish them well, but they are not progressives. Tens of thousands who have lost or resigned their jobs because they could not support a system that is corrupted, they are my heroes. I often wonder if it would not be a great and noble thing to do, as a society, to create another memorial in our capital for our heroes who have suffered much in the name of Justice. That would be a place to visit, here would be the names of our present day heroes: Cindy Sheehan, David Swanson, Ann Wright, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Bradley Manning, Mike Malloy, there are so many more, but I think you should have a feeling for who my heroes are; they are not cocktail libs, they are real progressives. Is my standard high? Yes and it must remain high because many who claim to be progressive damage the movement by their lack of action. Those who say let's march on a Saturday because we get more people that way should be in a non-leadership role, they do not believe in the people coming out, taking off work and as long as you don't expect people to sacrifice they will not---trust in the people is one of the foundations of being a progressive. Protests should take place on Fridays at the height of the rush hour, people should be inconvenienced. Leaders who tell you we must be polite should go and stay on a farm, milk some cows but for all our sakes don't lead a group of protesters; they should join a committee to run the next big parade, maybe the Easter Parade. Leaders that want to visualize peace should also go to a farm, turn it into a commune and let us know how you are doing every so often, say once a year. But please don't tell people you have the answer, you don't. The answer to our problem is like the song, blowing in the wind, because there is no one answer, we have not even started to understand why humans love to kill things. At the end of the day, a progressive has a fundamental love of their fellow humans, will sacrifice for someone they don't even know, will tell people they are wrong, and will laugh and celebrate the goodness that humans so often display. This is an essay of great hope, not the politician's kind of hope, but the real kind---the common hope of all people.
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