Monday, July 26, 2010

Cutting the Gordian Knot on the topic of what 'Progressive' means

By simply saying that folks at places like the Huffington Post aren't really progressives, not in any meaningful sense anyways. I've been going back and forth on this, reading things on the Huffington Post and elsewhere, in the more widely known news outlets that are associated with being progressive, like shows on MSNBC, and thinking that they were pretty hackneyed, lightweight, and often very inconsistent with progressive values, if we describe progressive as a sort of spectrum between liberalism and the Left that in fact bleeds into the Left and shares common ground with it. The inconsistencies aren't due to the fact that progressives aren't out there, they're due to the fact that a lot of folks who are really liberals, albeit liberals who are slightly to the left of moderate liberals, have now become involved in web based politics in the wake of the Bush administration, 9/11, and the Iraq war.

Specifically, my own thinking came out of the inconsistency featured on the Huffington Post between their coverage of Israel and virtually any other issue. Despite being liberal and putatively progressive, they veer to the right at virtually any turn where Israel is involved. But the thing is that this shift isn't reflective of progressive politics as a whole, which on the whole has been vitally critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, but of Huffington Post. Therefore, it's not fair in any sense to shift the issue from that of one website's coverage of a topic to that being one of a whole spectrum of a political movement as a whole.

The fix, the thing that makes it comprehensible, is that the folks at the Huffington Post, and on other issues the folks at places like shows on MSNBC, aren't actually thorough going progressives but are instead either left of moderate liberals or folks whose progressivism is just a mish mash of principles that happen to be popular at the moment rather than a real thought out attitude to world issues in general.

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