Transcript: What makes a progressive? Dec 04 2006

Transcript: What makes a progressive? Dec 04 2006

This is the first part of a rant Thom did. He expanded on the theme in the following segment.

Thom's "What makes a progressive?" rant 4 December 2006

This is the first part of a rant Thom did. He expanded on the theme in the following segment.

What makes a progressive?

You know, this brings up a larger issue and that larger issue is, you know, what is it that we're all about? You know, what really ultimately is it that we're all about? Is it a laundry list of items? What makes a progressive? What is a progressive? You know, there are folks out there and web sites and radio hosts, whatever, the whole, politicians, "I'm a progressive". How? How do you know? "Well, because I'm in favor of raising the minimum wage. I like unions. I think we should have universal health care. Voting reform, yeah, that's a good one. No more illegal wire taps. I'm in favor of free speech." I'm sorry; it's not about a laundry list. It's about a world view.

I spent the weekend in Berkeley with the, it was a not open to public group, the Praxis Peace conference. Spent most of Friday and Saturday with George Lakoff and a bunch of other folks and one of them, Stuart Pimm, actually made one of the most eloquent presentations, pointing out that within the next 35 years half of all species will be extinct: half of all life, half of the web of life is gone.

A true progressive, a true liberal, gets it that we're all in this together; all of life together; we're a community; we humans and all other living things, we're a community; that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Progressives see peace as strength not as weakness and see war as an admission of failure, not a noble venture.

Now, true conservatives - Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney - true conservatives believe that each man is an island. It's every man for himself. That humans are superior to all other forms of nature and so killing nature for fun or for recreation or simply as, you know, as a routine thing, no big deal. "So what? Half the species are going extinct, who cares?"

Conservatives think that strength always wins over weakness, no matter what its impact is on community. This whole idea that, you know, the powerful win: survival of the fittest. It's not, you know, the reality isn't survival of the fittest. The reality is survival of the co-operator. If an individual organ in your body decided that it was going to take over the rest your body and start consuming all the resources in your body, that's not called survival of the fittest - that's not called winning competition - that's called cancer.

I'd like to go into this is a little bit more… What does it mean to have a progressive world view?

The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places