Hillary wants you to know you are looking at one. The word progressive in American politics has a long pedigree, going back to the late 19th Century with the rise of industrialism and the migration of massive numbers of people to cities. The rural, agrarian America of the Founders was no more, and politicians were looking for ways to deal with the upheaval. Modern progressives and their political ancestors do have some things in common, but the modern progressives are much more radical in their break with the Founders’ vision of a liberty oriented, limited government society. In the age of Obama, who came to office with his progressive bone fides incognito, it is important for Americans to know what progressives really believe. In the run for the president on the Democrat side the front runners are an avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, who who strongly proclaimed her progressive credentials at the Debate last week.
If you are not familiar with the term progressive, and even if you are, you will find this short overview of “The problem with progressives” by Judd Gregg, former Republican governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire, helpful. It is critically important in this upcoming election that relatively apolitical Americans know exactly what and how radical modern progressivism is. This is of course almost impossible to do given that liberals and progressives control the media and the mindshare of most of these Americans, but nonetheless, we must try. Gregg points out that:
Folks who want to define themselves as being further to the left than orthodox liberals now use the term “progressive.” If this were Denmark, they would be calling themselves socialist. But only Bernie has the courage and integrity to do that, so they refer to themselves as progressives.
Progressives — and Hillary specifically — very much aim to carry forward the ethos and legacy of President Obama. His aims are theirs. The only difference of any consequence, as Hillary said in the debate, is that the progressives want to go further.
That is a scary thing to contemplate.