Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I'm a progressive...

This wonderful and clear-eyed contrast between progressive and conservative ideologies offered at Huffington Post by Mike Lux.
Conservatives' answer to the question "Am I my brother's keeper?" is a resounding Hell NO. And that is the essential divide between them and the progressivism which Beck describes as a cancer: progressives believe that all of us are in this together. When our child is weakened by a chronic illness, or our parent by old age, we don't abandon them in the wilderness so that the lion can eat them up (and then laugh about it). When our brother stumbles and hits bottom, we don't stand back and see if he can pull himself up by his own bootstraps, we lend him a helping hand. When our sister is abused and treated unfairly by an employer, we don't tell her she's on her own, we work with her to make things fairer. We believe in a community that helps each other survive and prosper, because we don't want to live in a world where only the strongest and wealthiest and -- yes -- luckiest survive. We don't have fantasies that all our success is of our own making because we know that without good families, good neighbors, good school and libraries and roads and bridges paid for by public dollars, that without all that, we'd be much less likely to make it on our own. In spite of Beck's paranoia, we have no problem with people being successful. I have never once heard any progressive attack Steve Jobs or Eric Schmidt for their success, or attack the local small businessperson making a good living because he or she is supplying products a community wants. But what we do believe is that those lucky enough to be successful have a responsibility to give something back to their fellow citizens.
That just about sums it up.