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?

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And for good reason, too.

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