|Source: Crash Course-|
If someone were to ask me what is progressivism or what is a Progressive, I would answer someone who believes in progress. Moving the ball forward in a positive direction and how that relates to politics. Making the country better than it currently is for the future and if thats the case, then I would argue most Americans except for the Far-Right and Libertarians, are progressive. But since we are so big, vast and diverse even politically as well as divided politically, we all have our own philosophy's on how to achieve progress in America. Which I believe is great in a liberal democracy, freedom of thought and everything that comes with that but it does make it more difficult to govern.
But thats how our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) wanted it so we are stuck with that. And to back up my definition on what progressivism is, there are a couple of think tanks in Washington both progressive democratic think tanks like the Progressive Policy Institute and Center for American Progress. Which I believe they are pretty professional and sort of a sidekick of that. A political website called Think Progress that I would describe as further left of CAP and are basically a partisan political site and hack for the Democratic Party. There in business for the most part to dig up dirt against Conservatives and the Republican Party. They are the left's version of the Heritage Foundation for the right but at least Heritage also acts as a think tank as well with research and policy papers. I almost never agree with them on anything, except for the War on Poverty and education reform. But at least it acts as a think tank and does research which is what think tanks are supposed to do.
Todays popular definition and perhaps historic definition of Progressive and progressivism, are people who believe in making society better through government and in a lot of cases the Federal Government. Well, thats exactly the definition of what a Democratic Socialist is like Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich, Paul Krugman, Ralph Nader, etc. Democratic Socialists don't believe in nationalizing all private industry, the men I just named are pretty good examples of this. But definitely health insurance, perhaps even health care, drug and medical research, maybe banking, maybe even education.
Socialists complain about private education all the time and say its only for special few and powerful. But certainly not the auto industry or professional sports ,and entertainment, media, when it comes nationalization of private industries. I mean, they do also have liberal leanings as well. People who are definitely progressive but tend to be skeptical about capitalism, private enterprise, profit motive. And people who have a lot of faith in government, especially the Federal Government. And that it should have a much large role in providing services in the economy. Perhaps even as large of a role if not larger than the private sector like in Sweden.
Socialists tend to believe that Americans generally speaking are under taxed. To know what the word progressive means, just look at the word, the first eight letters in progressive is progress. People who believe in progress. Progress is a goal not an ideology, to move the ball forward in a positive direction. And when it comes to politics, to make the country better for everyone. And under that definition most Americans are progressive, except for Libertarians and people on the Far-Right. We all just have different views on how to achieve progress in America.