I've written before (here and here) about the ludicrous campaign by Democrats and their fellow travelers, both liberal and conservative, to hijack the word "progressive". As I mentioned there, Normal Solomon wrote to the co-director of the Campaign for America's Future to ask why Hillary Clinton's name was mentioned in the context of "prominent progressive leaders", and the response was that "some people do consider Hillary progressive"--which led me to joke, ha ha ha, that the people he's talking about apparently live on Mars or perhaps in deep caves under the ocean floor, completely cut off from any conduit of information.
But I was wrong; at least one of them lives in New York. Here's Hillary Clinton describing her preferred political classification in the recent CNN/YouTube debate:
CLINTON: I prefer the word "progressive," which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.
I consider myself a modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we're working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family. So I consider myself a proud modern American progressive, and I think that's the kind of philosophy and practice that we need to bring back to American politics.
So Rupert Murdoch's favorite Senator is a "proud modern American progressive"? Oh ferchrissake...don't words mean anything to these people?
Obviously this isn't the end of the world, but it's been useful to have a one-word moniker to describe myself and like-minded folk, despite the limitations. What do we do once the Democrats have completely tarnished it? Maybe we should just start reclaiming "liberal" the way homosexuals have reclaimed "queer"; I actually try to do this already in my own small way whenever someone asks me if I'm a Democrat, to which I usually reply, "No, I'm not a Democrat, I'm a liberal."
(Thanks to Arthur Silber for the pointer to this horrific quote.)