Friday, September 21, 2007

Defining Democrats

Liberals Are Now Progressives (Again)
By Matt Mayer

When Hillary Clinton recently discarded the term liberal for the term progressive, it reminded me of the famous question of whether a leopard could change its spots? The answer, of course, is no. A leopard is genetically a leopard as a liberal is philosophically a liberal whether she is called a liberal or not.

Nonetheless, it is important to know what a progressive is since that is now the preferred term of the left. It comes from the Progressive Era. One of its intellectual and political leaders was President Woodrow Wilson.

The Progressive Movement's chief aim was to centralize power by eliminating those pesky little concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances and escape the confines of a fixed constitution so that America could progress (not that it hadn't up to that point as evidenced by the abolishment of slavery and its rise as a world power).

Wilson despised those constitutional mechanisms because they prevented government from "proceeding" in accordance with the will of "an outside master." Wilson believed that the Constitution should be a living document.

As Wilson stated: "All that progressives ask or desire is permission to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle." The outside master, then, was the fittest among us whose societal beliefs could be inserted into the constitution.



Anonymous tom said...

excellent analysis of who and what liberals, leftists, democrats are today... and have always been.

7:44 AM  

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