Leftists Are Neither Progressive Nor Liberal

The left changes monikers whenever their chosen title becomes too easily identified with their collectivist political intentions. They seized the title "Progressives" in the early 20th century and adopted "Liberal" when the progressive image became tarnished. Today, with liberalism inextricably linked to collectivism, the left has returned to the progressive label. But one problem remains. Words have meanings that defy distortion, and neither "progressive" nor "liberal" accurately reflects the left's governing philosophy.

The case has been made, on the pages of American Thinker itself, that identifying the leftist as a Progressive or Liberal is erroneous. It has been stated that policies declared to be progressive or liberal are actually backward and authoritarian. Thus, the leftist has been aptly identified, based on policy and result, as regressive.

To state the case further, not even the definition of "progressive" or "liberal" identifies with the leftist ideology. It's just that the left has manipulated those words until the distortion has become accepted. It is a common practice, for they routinely ignore reality and wear their title du jour like camouflage.

"Progressive" is defined as advocating, attaining, or being characterized by improvement and forward thinking. It dates to the early 17th century and became politicized in the late 1800s. The modern left isn't progressive in the practical or classical sense of the word. In fact, much of what constituted progressivism during the early 20th century is the antithesis of contemporary leftist beliefs.

Early Progressives certainly desired social change, but they regularly utilized private organizations -- such as churches and charities -- for effecting their transformations. Not even the Progressive Era's trust-busting government regulators were akin to today's leftists. Those reformers sought to protect the future of market competition from monopolistic mergers and thwart the fledgling communist movements. Creating a labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape wasn't their primary objective.

Nothing in the word "progressive" and little in early progressivism describes today's leftist. The left has no desire to defend capitalism, foster competition, or accomplish their vision of social justice via private channels. They have only an insatiable lust for control.

Leftists promote nothing new; their goals are those of an archaic doctrine. Forward thinking isn't featured in their agenda, the purpose of which is to repackage policies that are proven failures. "Bolshevik" is more descriptive than "progressive," for the left shares the Bolshevik's socialistic dreams. They are mired in the past, rendering "progressive" an inappropriate description.

Socialist ideals quickly co-opted the early Progressive movement, giving the title a black eye. Leftists then adopted "Liberal," a more inviting identifier, but one that also defies their agenda.

"Liberal" spawns from the Latin "liberalis" and "liber" meaning noble, generous, and free. A genuine liberal bristles at authoritarian attitudes and fulfills the nature of the word. America's leftists, conversely, are adamant in their support for a domineering central government and generous only when distributing their neighbors' property.

Leftist liberalism defines not freedom, but the welfare state. Their concept of liberalism frees one segment of society to live at another segment's expense. Leftists then pat each other on the back for their thoughtfulness and generosity. It is indeed a warped vision.

Leftists have moved from Progressives to Liberals and back to Progressives, but in name only, never in definition. Their quasi-metamorphosis results from their ever-present collectivist mentality. Once the public realizes the agenda behind the name, the name is changed to obfuscate the agenda.

The left is an immutable lie; let's call it that. Their social desires reflect a statism worthy of Marx, Lenin, or Mao. They're trapped in the past, in antiquated testaments to a flawed and failed philosophy where liberty is defined as the ability to avoid responsibility. Ignored is the unassailable truth that liberty without responsibility is nonexistent. Leftists demand allegiance to a backward dependency. To call them Progressives or Liberals is patently false.

The left cannot be allowed the privilege of defining their nature. Today's "Progressive Liberal" desires to rob us of our autonomy and render us wards of a collectivist state. Their label should reflect their innate desire to move society backward. Leftists are regressive in every sense of the word. The Regressive label has been proposed for them before. Let it become their perpetual identifier.

Anthony W. Hager has authored therightslant.com since 2003. More than 200 of his commentaries have appeared in a variety of publications and web outlets.
The left changes monikers whenever their chosen title becomes too easily identified with their collectivist political intentions. They seized the title "Progressives" in the early 20th century and adopted "Liberal" when the progressive image became tarnished. Today, with liberalism inextricably linked to collectivism, the left has returned to the progressive label. But one problem remains. Words have meanings that defy distortion, and neither "progressive" nor "liberal" accurately reflects the left's governing philosophy.

The case has been made, on the pages of American Thinker itself, that identifying the leftist as a Progressive or Liberal is erroneous. It has been stated that policies declared to be progressive or liberal are actually backward and authoritarian. Thus, the leftist has been aptly identified, based on policy and result, as regressive.

To state the case further, not even the definition of "progressive" or "liberal" identifies with the leftist ideology. It's just that the left has manipulated those words until the distortion has become accepted. It is a common practice, for they routinely ignore reality and wear their title du jour like camouflage.

"Progressive" is defined as advocating, attaining, or being characterized by improvement and forward thinking. It dates to the early 17th century and became politicized in the late 1800s. The modern left isn't progressive in the practical or classical sense of the word. In fact, much of what constituted progressivism during the early 20th century is the antithesis of contemporary leftist beliefs.

Early Progressives certainly desired social change, but they regularly utilized private organizations -- such as churches and charities -- for effecting their transformations. Not even the Progressive Era's trust-busting government regulators were akin to today's leftists. Those reformers sought to protect the future of market competition from monopolistic mergers and thwart the fledgling communist movements. Creating a labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape wasn't their primary objective.

Nothing in the word "progressive" and little in early progressivism describes today's leftist. The left has no desire to defend capitalism, foster competition, or accomplish their vision of social justice via private channels. They have only an insatiable lust for control.

Leftists promote nothing new; their goals are those of an archaic doctrine. Forward thinking isn't featured in their agenda, the purpose of which is to repackage policies that are proven failures. "Bolshevik" is more descriptive than "progressive," for the left shares the Bolshevik's socialistic dreams. They are mired in the past, rendering "progressive" an inappropriate description.

Socialist ideals quickly co-opted the early Progressive movement, giving the title a black eye. Leftists then adopted "Liberal," a more inviting identifier, but one that also defies their agenda.

"Liberal" spawns from the Latin "liberalis" and "liber" meaning noble, generous, and free. A genuine liberal bristles at authoritarian attitudes and fulfills the nature of the word. America's leftists, conversely, are adamant in their support for a domineering central government and generous only when distributing their neighbors' property.

Leftist liberalism defines not freedom, but the welfare state. Their concept of liberalism frees one segment of society to live at another segment's expense. Leftists then pat each other on the back for their thoughtfulness and generosity. It is indeed a warped vision.

Leftists have moved from Progressives to Liberals and back to Progressives, but in name only, never in definition. Their quasi-metamorphosis results from their ever-present collectivist mentality. Once the public realizes the agenda behind the name, the name is changed to obfuscate the agenda.

The left is an immutable lie; let's call it that. Their social desires reflect a statism worthy of Marx, Lenin, or Mao. They're trapped in the past, in antiquated testaments to a flawed and failed philosophy where liberty is defined as the ability to avoid responsibility. Ignored is the unassailable truth that liberty without responsibility is nonexistent. Leftists demand allegiance to a backward dependency. To call them Progressives or Liberals is patently false.

The left cannot be allowed the privilege of defining their nature. Today's "Progressive Liberal" desires to rob us of our autonomy and render us wards of a collectivist state. Their label should reflect their innate desire to move society backward. Leftists are regressive in every sense of the word. The Regressive label has been proposed for them before. Let it become their perpetual identifier.

Anthony W. Hager has authored therightslant.com since 2003. More than 200 of his commentaries have appeared in a variety of publications and web outlets.

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