Dems, It's OK to Use 'Liberal' Tag Again

Label is ready to make a comeback
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2008 1:50 AM CST
Sens. Harry Reid and Charles Schumer stand near a statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt in this 2005 file photo.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – 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.