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Liberal or Progressive? (Original Post) MannyGoldstein Oct 2013 OP
progressive is the word fucking reaganista's tried to foist upon liberals in the 80's gopiscrap Oct 2013 #1
Anarchist...aka Left Libertarian. Tierra_y_Libertad Oct 2013 #2
I prefer liberal but I like progressive as well. hrmjustin Oct 2013 #3
Progressive. Smarmie Doofus Oct 2013 #4
I use both terms quinnox Oct 2013 #5
I do too. Not much difference that I can see. LuvNewcastle Oct 2013 #40
Aren't they in essence the same thing? Gravitycollapse Oct 2013 #6
They have different historical baggage; I think the DLC picked "progressive" as a label Recursion Oct 2013 #18
To me, progressive is far left of Liberal, but I accept both. CTyankee Oct 2013 #52
Liberal and old enough to remember what it really means. n/t Cleita Oct 2013 #7
Me too. Something like th e definition below? Zorra Oct 2013 #15
Your definition is more elegant than mine. Cleita Oct 2013 #43
Lib EARL RobertEarl Oct 2013 #8
Neither. I'm a leftist. scarletwoman Oct 2013 #9
Good one. RobertEarl Oct 2013 #14
I agree Recursion Oct 2013 #20
I also consider myself a leftist BainsBane Oct 2013 #26
For me the defining characteristic of "leftists" is the ultimate removal of the state DireStrike Oct 2013 #33
I don't fit a particular ideology. BluegrassStateBlues Oct 2013 #10
Both LostOne4Ever Oct 2013 #11
Me, too. Blue_In_AK Oct 2013 #21
Socialist HarveyDarkey Oct 2013 #12
I wanted to vote for pie. winter is coming Oct 2013 #13
lol Liberal_in_LA Oct 2013 #16
Socialist Dem. nt adirondacker Oct 2013 #17
How do you define these terms? JDPriestly Oct 2013 #19
Pretty much the same thing, but I think "Progressive" started being used MannyGoldstein Oct 2013 #38
Neither. Extreme far left. Th1onein Oct 2013 #22
Liberal. Laelth Oct 2013 #23
sincere question, what's the difference in the words ? I thought they were synonymous nt steve2470 Oct 2013 #24
No, the terms aren't now equal, mostly because of the far Left. bluestate10 Oct 2013 #27
Moderate-Progressive. nt bluestate10 Oct 2013 #25
Progressive makes me think statist Puzzledtraveller Oct 2013 #28
Neither. LWolf Oct 2013 #29
I like them both. I like "conservative" also in the sense of conserving the environment. mucifer Oct 2013 #30
Liberal. nt City Lights Oct 2013 #31
progressive. nt xchrom Oct 2013 #32
I'm a Jedi SummerSnow Oct 2013 #34
Socially liberal, fiscally progressive. JaneyVee Oct 2013 #35
I'm a "liberal capitalist". PragmaticLiberal Oct 2013 #36
Both! n/t hootinholler Oct 2013 #37
Here's the views of JFK, a liberal: AnotherMcIntosh Oct 2013 #39
Study JFK's policy initiatives. JFK was pretty conservative, stonewalling civil rights bluestate10 Oct 2013 #55
You could not be more wrong. AnotherMcIntosh Oct 2013 #56
Both, because Skidmore Oct 2013 #41
Hairsplitting. Do we really need more attempts to divide and fracture the Democratic Party? FSogol Oct 2013 #42
thank you... pipi_k Oct 2013 #47
Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson said it best - Morning Dew Oct 2013 #44
I'd like to think of myself as Hutzpa Oct 2013 #45
both terms have been bluewashed reddread Oct 2013 #46
Poll is not complete nadinbrzezinski Oct 2013 #48
Liberals were the more conservative/establishment of those on the left Chathamization Oct 2013 #49
Leftist. In the GOP there are three distinct groups... Demo_Chris Oct 2013 #50
60s Liberal still, but agree with many Progressive views as Pragmatic Liberalism. Best we can do libdem4life Oct 2013 #51
No idea anymore NoOneMan Oct 2013 #53
A left-winger. LeftishBrit Oct 2013 #54


(23,821 posts)
1. progressive is the word fucking reaganista's tried to foist upon liberals in the 80's
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:56 AM
Oct 2013

during their attempted political purge.


Smarmie Doofus

(14,498 posts)
4. Progressive.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:59 AM
Oct 2013

I associate that with economic justice and this is of increasing concern to me; eclipsing all others. But, in reality, I'm both.


(56,582 posts)
18. They have different historical baggage; I think the DLC picked "progressive" as a label
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 02:10 AM
Oct 2013

I think today people saying them mean the same thing, and in particular people started using "progressive" because they wanted to disassociate themselves from the Great Society; I associate it with From and Carville.

I call myself a leftist because I think the state should subvert rather than reinforce the power structures in society. I'm too statist to call myself a "liberal" in good conscience. And, I believe too strongly that unintended consequences tend to outweigh intended consequences to call myself a "progressive", which I suppose makes me a "conservative" with a small "c".


(64,008 posts)
52. To me, progressive is far left of Liberal, but I accept both.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:13 PM
Oct 2013

I like Progressive because it implies the other side is regressive, which sounds like a whiny toddler who is refusing to use the potty.

Progressive is nice, too, because the filthy repukes made such a travesty over the word "liberal." I'm truly sick of it...


(27,670 posts)
15. Me too. Something like th e definition below?
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:50 AM
Oct 2013

Merriam - Webster:

: the quality or state of being liberal
belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress

c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)


(75,480 posts)
43. Your definition is more elegant than mine.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:40 PM
Oct 2013

I call being liberal as being favorable to unions and labor; to be anti-war; to be environmental; to being in favor of social programs that benefit the ordinary American; to respecting individual's rights and privacy; striving for true equality among minorities, women and LGBT communities
bringing them to the level of privilege of entitled white males and to making capitalism serve the people, not the other way around. This was the liberalism that started the hippie movement and the one I define as true liberalism.


(31,893 posts)
9. Neither. I'm a leftist.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:15 AM
Oct 2013

"Liberal" and "Progressive" are essentially meaningless labels. All kinds of people can and do self-identify as one or the other or both, since there is no universally agreed-upon definition of either term.

"Leftist" may not be much better, but it at least implies an economic stance rather than a social stance. Plenty of self-identified "liberals" are merely socially liberal, while still supporting - or at least acquiescing to - the capitalist paradigm.



(13,685 posts)
14. Good one.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:49 AM
Oct 2013

Yeah, socialist is a much better moniker and more truly adaptable to matching our basic human concerns and problem solving.


(56,582 posts)
20. I agree
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 02:12 AM
Oct 2013

Though I think "left" implies that you think the state should redress power imbalances in society rather than reinforce them.


(53,175 posts)
26. I also consider myself a leftist
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 09:25 AM
Oct 2013

but in many ways the left-right paradigm is a relic of the Cold War.


(6,452 posts)
33. For me the defining characteristic of "leftists" is the ultimate removal of the state
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 09:37 AM
Oct 2013

For Anarchists, right now. For traditional communists, following a dictatorship of the proletariat to remove the conditions that make the state necessary. And other schemes, but ultimately to replace authoritative coercion with a general "administration of things" with full democracy and transparency.

(Of course removal of a state assumes elimination of basic material want, which is why I don't mention it.)

10. I don't fit a particular ideology.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:29 AM
Oct 2013

I am driven by results and believe that the ends usually justify the means. If the trains can run on time without anything too heinous going on to make sure of it, I can jive with that.

I struggle mostly with issues that have no right or wrong answer. I always have. So I usually go with the majority opinion on those issues. The majority of liberal positions, however, are based solely on facts and that's why I identify with liberals and the Democratic Party most of all.

Let's take the issue of torture for extracting information for an example. Numerous studies have concluded that information derived from the use of torture is mostly invalid, so why put a human being through something that horrific if it doesn't produce results? Thus, my position on torture is that I'm wholly against it.



(34,589 posts)
38. Pretty much the same thing, but I think "Progressive" started being used
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 10:38 AM
Oct 2013

as a response to Republicans and the Third Way attacking the word "Liberal". And I *hate* having the bad guys telling us what to call ourselves..

Here's a good rant on it:

Liberals vs. Progressives: What’s the Difference?

I’m not the only one who’s noticed the sudden replacement of “progressive” for “liberal” starting around the time Newt Gingrich became the Speaker of the House in 1994. I agree that progressivism, as a political movement, has its roots in much older history. However, it doesn’t appear to have replaced that naughty “L word” until the early ‘90s. It’s no secret that the Reagan revolution was a stark attack on all things deemed liberal and that the torch of anti-liberalism was carried full-tilt by AM radio as soon as the Fairness Doctrine was nullified by the Reagan-appointed chair of the FCC in 1987. I certainly remember the early early ‘80s bumper stickers stating, “I don’t believe the liberal press”. A well orchestrated attack on the political language and evenhanded discourse was under way. It’s roots extended at least as far back as Spiro Agnew’s “pointy-headed intellectuals” remark. In fact, politics since the McCarthy era has been a war of attrition for the American right. The left has often seemed aloof and too easily sucker punched by a fight it refused to acknowledge it was even engaged in.

So, why suddenly has the word “liberal” become exclusively associated with the (now right-wing) panacea of laissez-faire capitalism? Why has it suddenly become forbidden to associate itself with the basic definition of the word itself, including all of its left-wing implications? Why is the left suddenly incapable of defining its own meaning for a label it once gave itself? What happens when “the P-word” suddenly becomes a target for witch hunts? Do we have another backup?

Obviously I have an opinion of my own on the subject. I consider it to be an example of what we could call “classical pansy liberalism”. “Anything to avoid or divert confrontation” could be the motto of this movement. To me, the historic progressive political movement of a century ago was a strategy of moving forward with a liberal agenda much more than one of anti-liberalism. At any rate, the word “liberal” has its own history as a proudly worn label for the left-wing movement for many decades before this sudden rebranding. I find it distasteful to run from a word because the conservative media has decided it has naughty connotations. In fact, the act of hiding from it shows a lack of conviction more than anything else.


(32,017 posts)
23. Liberal.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 08:27 AM
Oct 2013

I am a capitalist who seeks to use the power of government to save capitalism from its own excesses through sharing the benefits of capitalism more equally throughout all segments of this society.

Plus, here's what Ian Welsh says about liberalism:

Liberalism, in its classic form, is, among other things, the proposition that you get more out of people if you treat them well. Conservatism is the proposition that you get more out of people if you treat them badly.

Post war Liberalism was a giant experiment in “treat people well”. The Reagan/Thatcher counter-revolution was a giant experiment in “treat people worse”. The empirical result is this: the rich are richer and more powerful in a society that treats people like shit, but a society which treats people well has a stronger economy, all other things being equal, than one that treats them badly.




(10,942 posts)
27. No, the terms aren't now equal, mostly because of the far Left.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 09:28 AM
Oct 2013

The far Left wants to separate itself from any Democrat that doesn't reflect the far Left's idea of a "pure" Democrat, whatever that means. So, the far Left has hijacked the term Liberal because of the relationship of that word to the 60s, when Liberalism was a strong trend. I view Progressives as Liberals who have a practical, get it done view of what is possible, that group is willing to put it's back in and work to make policy a reality.


(5,937 posts)
28. Progressive makes me think statist
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 09:32 AM
Oct 2013

at least being far too comfortable with the nanny state. Also it always came across to me as persons who are also all to cozy with corporatism. Just my opinion.


(23,724 posts)
30. I like them both. I like "conservative" also in the sense of conserving the environment.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 09:34 AM
Oct 2013

But, it doesn't mean that anymore.


(10,942 posts)
55. Study JFK's policy initiatives. JFK was pretty conservative, stonewalling civil rights
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:25 PM
Oct 2013

and being aggressive in using military might. JFK was a legendary cold-warrior, far more vocal and active in that sphere that his predecessor, Eisenhower. JFK also treated women as bed things, being a notorious womanizer. Time builds legends if a person doesn't take time to study actual policy and actions of the legends.



(11,064 posts)
56. You could not be more wrong.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:52 PM
Oct 2013

1) He was not a conservative, pretty or otherwise.

2.) He was not opposed to Civil Rights, nor did he stone-wall them. In fact, he provided a leadership role:

3.) If you view men and women as being equal (and from your comment, I'm not sure that you do), then there were women in his life who also willingly participated in their dalliances or affairs and were not victims. He loved women. He was certainly capable of being seduced by women, and particularly women who appreciated him. He no doubt seduced a woman or two in return.

If you want to condemn him for his love of women (and many powerful men have loved women), do so. But don't falsely accuse him of being a conservative or being opposed to Civil Rights.


(37,364 posts)
41. Both, because
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 11:02 AM
Oct 2013

I consider them not to be mutually exclusive labels. I have yet to find a good explanation of how you can be liberal without being progressive or progressive without being liberal. Just doesn't work for me to try to pigeon hole people in this manner. I have never been anything but a proud liberal looking toward progress forward for our nation. The difference is that I have never been ashamed to call myself liberal and feel the need to label myself otherwise. I do not get the distinction between the two terms even when I see peope trying to explain them as political terms here because when actual discussion occurs, there is much agreement. I see that labelling as something foisted upon the left by the Luntz branding machine, and some bought it wholesale and are happy to club others with it. I won't play that game.


(21,020 posts)
47. thank you...
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:54 PM
Oct 2013

That's sort of what I was thinking myself.

I'm a Democrat. That's it.

If I don't identify with more "Liberal" ideology, does that mean I'm whatever the opposite of a Liberal is?

If I don't identify as a "Progressive", does that mean I'm a Regressive?

Labels suck, especially when they divide and subdivide and subdivide...

Morning Dew

(6,539 posts)
44. Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson said it best -
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:47 PM
Oct 2013
"I am not a liberal. I am what I want to be — a radical."
—Floyd B. Olson to the 1934 Farmer-Labor party convention


(154,021 posts)
48. Poll is not complete
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:56 PM
Oct 2013

Where is Classic Liberal?

Oh and you missed bull moose and the early 20th century progressive movement

(I kid, I kid, )



(6,234 posts)
50. Leftist. In the GOP there are three distinct groups...
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:07 PM
Oct 2013

Libertarian leaning Paleo Conservatives; Neo Conservatives; and Social Conservatives. All three have distinct goals and beliefs, and rarely do more than allie with each other.

The Democratic party is simpler. We seem to have third-way centrists who are basically Neo Conservatives with a dash or sprinkle more social concern than Republicans, and progressive leftists. Another, more interesting distinction, is that we are FAR more rigid in our insistence that party loyalty trumps any other concerns. Paleo Cons are quite open in their disdain for their party, and often switch en masse to whichever candidate better represents them, and Social Conservatives (who are currently running the GOP) are similar -- at least at the primary level.

I think a poll like this is more an effort to impart flavor where none exists, like putting parsley on sawdust.



(13,877 posts)
51. 60s Liberal still, but agree with many Progressive views as Pragmatic Liberalism. Best we can do
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:07 PM
Oct 2013

right now to get Democrats back in power.

I resent that the lurch to the Right dragged the political continuum more rightward. But I also notice that the Tea Party and the Radical Religious Right may have plumbed the extent/extreme that the mainstream Republicans will accept and it is time to move, however slowly, to the Left.



(4,795 posts)
53. No idea anymore
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:16 PM
Oct 2013

I'm more of an environmentalists & human first these days. Surprisingly, being so just doesn't mesh so well anymore with most of civilizations' political paradigms, leaving you in a mighty confused place


(41,240 posts)
54. A left-winger.
Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:18 PM
Oct 2013

What is the difference between a liberal and a progressive anyway?

In the UK, 'liberal' basically means centrist, and 'progressive' has no precise political meaning. I get the impression that in America the terms 'progressive' and 'liberal' usually have more-or-less the same meaning, and would correspond to 'centre-left' elsewhere. Am I wrong? Or is the attempt to split them something akin to the split between the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea?

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