Now that Democrats have started winning again, Michael Lind wants to go back to using the word “liberal” instead of “progressive.” Writing in Salon, he explains why:
- A name change isn’t going to protect anyone from criticism in any case, so be brave. “Your enemies will caricature you, no matter what you call yourself.”
- “Progressive” used to be a euphemism for sympathizers of the Soviet Union and Ho Chi Minh. Time for the left to move on.
- Everyone claims to be progressive. “Fiscal conservatives who wanted to invade Iraq were progressives—and so were democratic socialists.”
- “Progressive” suggests liberals are for anything new. In fact, they’re only for good new things.
- The word “progressive” is borrowed from German, and grafts a German philosophical tradition onto a political movement that has a proud Anglo-American heritage. Think Bismarck vs. Jefferson.