What Andy Hailey laid out in his piece was American progressivism which the New Deal, Great Society, Eisenhower’s national infrastructure program, the civil rights law, the Nixon environmental laws. Things that Theodore Roosevelt advocated for when he was President and after his presidency, that President Woodrow Wilson also advocated for when he was President when it came to the safety net in this country.
I’ve blogged about this many times before, but progressivism is not the same as socialism however you define socialism. A lot of aspects of socialism are actually very regressive when you’re talking about communism or Neo-Communism that you see in Venezuela, where the national state isn’t in complete control of the country unlike in Cuba.
Progressives, believe in the private market and private enterprise, free trade, the rule of law, progressive taxation, but not universal high taxation, fiscal responsibility even, ( President Lyndon Johnson had a balanced budget in 1968 ) but they also believe in a social insurance net for people who fall on hard times. The safety net from the Progressive, is different from the welfare state of the Socialist who says that all employee benefits should be provided for by the government, instead of employers. The Progressive, just wants public assistance programs like Unemployment for people who truly need it. Unlike the Socialist who wants welfare programs to be universal regardless of income.
Regardless of what you hear from the so-called mainstream media today when they’re talking about Congressional Democrats and other leftist Democrats that they call Progressives, whether it’s Bernie Sanders or Alexandria O. Cortez, or any other members of the so-called Congressional Progressive Caucus, these people are Socialists, not Progressives. They believe that American progressivism hasn’t gone far enough and we now need a welfare state and government big enough to take care of the people. Which is different from progressivism which advocates for a social insurance system for the people who truly need it. While at the same time we encourage Americans to be as economically independent as possible so the resources are always there for the people who truly need it.
“In other industrialized countries, movement towards a democratic form of socialism has been strong enough to win national elections. So why hasn’t socialism ever become a powerful force in American politics? There are lots of reasons, as well as younger generations who align with socialist ideals that may bring the necessary gusto. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield reports.”