This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
James Ostrowski, had the best line in this video, when he said that, “we should stop calling Progressives, Liberals, because they are not.” I would argue that todays so-called Progressives, even people who claim the label, because perhaps they don’t like the word Liberal, because they don’t want to be associated with Center-Left Democrats, or because of how successful right-wingers have made the label seem unpopular in the last fifty years, or perhaps are smart enough to know that they are further left than American Liberals, are not that Progressive either. They believe in progress, but are so government centric that they have more socialist or statist views with their politics.
Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, the only self-described Socialist in Congress, is not a Progressive. He’s a Democratic Socialist and proud of that. He even believes in capitalism and private enterprise, but wants government especially the Federal Government to be big enough so that everyone can do well in the private enterprise system. And not just people who were born to wealth.
A true Progressive, believes in progress and that government should be used to improve the lives of everyone and that everyone can succeed. But doesn’t want government so big that the individual becomes dependent on it and stops trying to take care of them self and live in freedom.
The Progressive, believes in things like public education, infrastructure, civil rights, equal rights, a safety net for people who truly need it, but not big enough to manage people’s lives for them. They believe in a big centralized government even, which is what we got from FDR and LBJ. But not to replace the private enterprise system and eliminate certain functions of the private sector. But go hand in hand and have an insurance system for people who don’t have access to a lot of the services that wealthier people can get in the private sector.
The Democratic Socialist, wouldn’t outlaw private enterprise in America. But have the Federal Government takeover basic human services in the country. And not have the private sector involved in them any longer. Things like education, health care, health insurance, childcare, retirement, banking and energy even. As well as big regulatory state to make sure the private sector is behaving properly and in the interest of the country.
The Progressive, wants everyone to be able to succeed on their own and have access to the tools that they need to make that happen. Government comes in especially for the people who can’t access those resources through the private sector.
The Democratic Socialist, believes the role of government should be there to take care of everyone. That government should be big enough to meet the needs of the people. That certain aspects of society shouldn’t be for-profit at all and can’t be trusted with the private sector. Like the examples that I mentioned before. And that is where government comes in to see that everyone’s needs are met and have a private sector big enough to be able to finance all of this government for the people. This Democratic Socialist ideology, is that ideology that Senator Sanders and his supporters in and outside of the Democratic Party supports.