…an ongoing journal of a continuing journey
The purpose of this page about the Progressive movement is to explain what Progressivism really is, where we came from, and how it differs from what Glenn Beck claims that it is.
Thanks in advance for your Tweets and Facebook Likes!
Express lane chart
I realize that many visitors to this site have limited time, so in order for you to get the main ideas I am going to provide a summary of facts that Glenn Beck does NOT want you to know about Progressives and what we believe.
I have drafts of lots more material, so please stop back for updates, and share this with your conservative friends who bash progressives and have no clue what they’re talking about.
|Progressive/populist achievements, traits, goals or outlook||Glenn Beck’s side’s resistance, tendency, oppression|
|Optimism, progress, belief in the inherent goodness of mankind and the concept of human rights||Pessimism, maintain status quo or go backwards to an imaginary “good old days”, belief that people must be controlled, very limited belief in human rights when social justice is the topic|
|The creation of the middle class||The robber barons and hyper-rich oligarchy (yes, that’s the real spelling) and everyone else is subject to their whims|
|Standards for safe food, drugs, and products||Let the marketplace rule; if people die from food or drug poisoning the marketplace will take care of it. Word will get around and nobody will buy the products.|
|Municipal police and fire departments||Rule by the gun, home defense, volunteer fire departments or privately owned police and fire departments|
|Professional standards for doctors, lawyers, engineers, and so on rather than anyone just reading a few books and going into practice||Let the market take care of itself. If you get killed by a quack, make sure your heirs spread the word around.|
|Growth and capitalism are great, but there must be purposeful human intervention to prevent concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few ultra-rich||Social and economic Darwinism, meaning that the strong should be allowed to seize anything they can|
|Social cohesion; in a society, people are not autonomous but instead are part of a complicated system of relationships with each other||Every man for himself|
|Exposure and battle with machine politics, railroad and robber barons; the Muckrakers, the magazine, newspaper, and book writers such as Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Lincoln Steffens||Integration of politics and news apparatus with Fox News operating as a 24 hour anti-Democrat noisemaker. Phony outrage and made-up scandals, wild conspiracy theories, character assassination|
|Pass strong child labor laws||Offshore businesses to countries that use child labor to import products into America in order to make higher profits|
|The “Social Gospel”, foundation of the Salvation Army, a powerful attempt to work because of moral impulse to solve the problems of the poor, degraded, and impoverished worker class||The Religious Right, (now infiltrated by a Mormon cultist), which largely exists as a political arm of the GOP and tries to influence centrist voters with wedge issues like prayer in public schools, “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, “evolution science” in schoolbooks, and abortion.|
|Labor and trade unions; men and women have the right to organize for collective bargaining rather than having to face the power of a company by themselves||Union busting, corporations have more rights than their workers, the marketplace will take care of it and if the unions don’t like it we’ll just offshore all of our production|
|Living wage||If you don’t like your paycheck, quit and find another job. Even if there is 15% un-and under-employment|
|Woman’s suffrage||Women are second-class citizens in every respect. They are to stay home and raise babies (Mormon belief). If they do make it to the workplace they can only go to a certain level of management(with a few exceptions) and on average they are to be paid 28% less for the same job that a man does|
|Peace and negotiation, membership in the UN||Pre-emptive war, endless war on “terror”, US should quit the UN and kick them out of the country|
|Religious and cultural tolerance||The belief that there is only one true religion, Christianity, and Americans should be Christian. Other religions may be tolerated as long as they keep their place|
Why has Glenn Beck determined that “Progressives” are the root cause of all of America’s problems, real and imagined? The simple answer is that even during the birth, rise, and height of Progressivism, there were so many sub-groups with congruent and competing ideas that it was impossible to give a firm definition of what it means to be a Progressive. Today the Progressive movement is colloquially considered to be the left wing of the Democratic Party, or those who have splintered off into other leftist groups. But here’s the deal. There is no real definition of “Progressive” so Glenn Beck can define the term to mean anything he wants. How can you argue with him? Who is going to argue with him? Nobody at Fox, that’s for sure. That’s why he landed on “Progressives” to demonize, and it’s pretty clever, actually. But the bullshit stops here, Glenn. Right on this page.
Conservatives and Their Demonic Labels
Glenn Beck loves to throw the word “progressives” around like it’s some kind of dirty word. For decades, conservatives have short-circuited political discourse in America through their tactics of taking a word, redefining its meaning, and then using it as a supposedly derogatory label. “Progressive” is one of the many words that has taken on this usage. There are other words, too, such as “liberal”, “socialist”, “leftist”, “black nationalist”, “labor”, “union”, even the word “democrat”. Glenn Beck is not the first, and he won’t be the last. He has a rich history of red-baiting, Jew-baiting, race-baiting, and communist witch hunts to draw on. He follows in the footsteps of Father Coughlin, Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy, Cleon Skousen, Carl McIntyre, Robert Welch, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingram, Ann Coulter, Michael Reagan, and even Klan figures like David Duke.
The Pilonidal Cyst of Hate Radio
AM radio was on its last legs in 1987 when the FCC under the direction of Ronald Reagan quietly removed the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine was a rule recommended by the FCC in 1949 and implemented in 1961 that required as a condition of broadcast licensing that radio stations must present controversial issues of public importance and they must present all sides of the issue fairly. (This is not the same as Equal Time). The most famous and outspoken opponent of the Fairness Doctrine that I remember from that period was Dr. Carl McIntyre, who railed that he would never bow down to the tyrants at the FCC and to prove it he took his radio station onto a tramp steamer and parked it just outside US territorial waters. From there he continued to “prove” that there was a commie heathen behind every tree and bush in the US and call them out by name. I actually phoned into his show one night and he PICKED UP. Recently, I came across an internet site that has preserved many of his radio shows from 1970 and 1971. I believe it was April or May when I phoned in, and if I can find the .mp3 of that conversation, you’ll hear a young W.W.Wexler in action!
Ending the Fairness Doctrine was heavenly news to the right wing nutjobs. It was also a infusion of money into the AM radio industry, which now could draw on polarized audiences driven by hate, falsehoods, smears, and demagogues to rally around their radios and buy Gold Bond Powder. The first one of these to really cash in was draft-dodging drug addict Rush Limbuagh, who took to the airwaves in as a conservative talkjock in 1984 and then after 1988 moved to NYC and has been on the air ever since. With the rescinding of the Fairness Doctrine, Rush could present all the controversial issues and make up the wildest bullshit imaginable and there was nobody that could stop him. The only way you could even get to the same audience was to buy up radio stations like they were little Monopoly pieces and this is exactly what Clear Channel and Sinclair Broadcasting, among others, have done. With mega-networks controlling what’s on the airwaves, this led to syndication and therefore an opinionated little man huffing and puffing about the l-i-i-i-i-i-berals got national attention while America’s rolls of fat got less itchy and our insoles were less flat than they could have been. Limbaugh made a cottage industry out of playing the Clintons like cheap, hillbilly violins. He came up with a new shocking scandal every week, and new revelations that played into the political hands of the mostly inept GOPER Congress who ended up trying to impeach a sitting US President over lying about whether or not he had oral sex with one of his campaign helpers.
Did You Forget About Beck or Something?
No, I was just getting around to that. Thanks for asking.
Beck has been especially busy redefining words, rewriting history, and connecting non-existent dots for about 3 years. He had about a year at CNN where he was pretty much of a failure. I remember hearing about him in those days as the “whiny guy who cries once in a while”.
Then the Mormons picked him up, then Fox picked him up, and his fortunes have changed indeed. He has a national cable TV show and a syndicated radio show, a multimillion dollar merchandising operation, a couple of really, REALLY shoddy books, and even an upcoming slap in the face to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who gave his life in the struggle for black civil rights in America. He even has a whole day of his show, “Founder’s Friday”, dedicated to rewriting American history into his narrow, Mormon-poisoned, extremist worldview. The purpose of this page is to give real historical facts about the Progressive movement; how it started, what its goals are, and who are people who are pivotal in the Progressive movement from its inception through to today. This page is still developing, but I want to put it up as it is so you have some facts to use in your discussions with friends and neighbors.
Much more to come.