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The Defining Difference Between a Liberal and a Progressive

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Book Cover: Death of the Liberal Class
Book Cover: Death of the Liberal Class
(Image by Chris Hedges)
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It's really simple. A progressive would not support Hillary going into the Democratic convention.

A progressive might vote for Hillary once there was no longer any hope. But a real progressive will hold his or her nose and vote for Hillary knowing that Hillary is definitely the lesser of two evils, while Bernie is not an evil. People further to the left will see Bernie as a problem as well, because he doesn't meet their criteria on anti-war and is not pro-Palestinean enough.
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That's my take. This means that we are at a time where the liberals are clearly separated from the progressives. Those who shift to Hillary now, while there's a chance Bernie can still get the nomination are liberals. Frankly, ever since Chris Hedges wrote Death of the Liberal Class, (my podcast interview of him, discussing it, is here) my opinion of liberals has not been very high.
A few days after the 2012 election was over, Chris Hedges wrote a new article,Once Again-- Death of The Liberal Class, which I excerpt, below. I think it applies, already to this election.
"The presidential election exposed the liberal class as a corpse. It fights for nothing. It stands for nothing. It is a useless appendage to the corporate state. It exists not to make possible incremental or piece-meal reform, as it originally did in a functional capitalist democracy; instead it has devolved into an instrument of personal vanity, burnishing the hollow morality of its adherents.
Liberals, by voting for Barack Obama, betrayed the core values they use to define themselves -- the rule of law, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the protection of unions, the preservation of social welfare programs, environmental accords, financial regulation, a defiance of unjust war and torture, and the abolition of drone wars. The liberal class clung desperately during the long nightmare of this political campaign to one or two issues, such as protecting a woman's right to choose and gender equality, to justify its complicity in a monstrous evil. This moral fragmentation -- using an isolated act of justice to define one's self while ignoring the vast corporate assault on the nation and the ecosystem along with the pre-emptive violence of the imperial state -- is moral and political capitulation. It fails to confront the evil we have become.
"The American Dream has run out of gas," wrote the novelist J.G. Ballard. "The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now. ..."
Liberals have assured us that after the election they will build a movement to hold the president accountable -- although how or when or what this movement will look like they cannot say. They didn't hold him accountable during his first term. They won't during his second. They have played their appointed roles in the bankrupt political theater that passes for electoral politics. They have wrung their hands, sung like a Greek chorus about the evils of the perfidious opponent, assured us that there is no other viable option, and now they will exit the stage. They will carp and whine in the wings until they are trotted out again to assume their role in the next political propaganda campaign of disempowerment and fear. They will, in the meantime, become the butt of ridicule and derision by the very politicians they supported.
The ineffectiveness of the liberal class, as I saw in the former Yugoslavia and as was true in Weimar Germany, perpetuates a dangerous political paralysis. The longer the paralysis continues, the longer systems of power are unable to address the suffering and grievances of the masses, the more the formal mechanisms of power are reviled. The liberal establishment's inability to defy corporate power, to stand up for its supposed liberal beliefs, means its inevitable disappearance, along with the disappearance of traditional liberal values. This, as history has amply pointed out, is the road to despotism. And we are further down that road than many care to admit.
Any mass movement that arises -- and I believe one is coming -- will be fueled, like the Occupy movement, by radicals who have as deep a revulsion for Democrats as they do for Republicans."

There's more. It's worth reading the full article, and the book by the same name.

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At this point in this election cycle I am, indeed, thoroughly disgusted with the Democratic party. So are most of the Berners I talk to. Suddenly, I'm hearing of people who say they were for Bernie, but now they're getting behind Hillary and some of them are pissed at Bernie. I'm not sure I believe them.

But I am sure that this is not the time to give up on Bernie. Watching Hillary last night was surreal. Her speech was part just fake and empty, party Saturday Live skit and just about all charm offensive, a part of a massive PR effort to sell the idea that the primary is over-- an effort in which MSNBC and CNN were totally co-conspirators.

The fact is Hillary has not, without superdelegates, won the election. That will be decided in 47 days in Philadelphia.

So, don't tell me there's no difference between liberals and progressives. This primary is making the difference very clear.

Hedges ends his article with a quote from James Baldwin:

""People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster."

How many times do you have to vote for the lesser of two evils, always voting for some evil, before you, having repeatedly enabled evils and monsters, become a monster?

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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