Progressive Pragmatism -- A Conversation With The Left
Tonight in the United States, the wealthiest nation on earth, one in five children will go to bed hungry.
If this sounds depressing, preachy, or moralistic that's because it is. The United States today exhibits the widest gap between rich and poor since the heady days of the roaring 1920s. Progressivism in America is a feeble flame, doused and dieing in a torrent of wealth and privilege . Though hunger and poverty scratch at the doors of millions of Americans, the suburban middle class has forgotten the economic perils faced by their grandparents nearly 80 years ago. In the abundance and prosperity of the post WWII era, the American Left has, to greater or lesser degrees, lost its way amid political struggle and legislated morality.
Conservatism, particularly in the Reagan era, rebelled against the entrenched ideologies of the Liberal Left. American Progressives were criticized, perhaps rightly so, as seeking to institute a "nanny state," micromanaging the behaviors of the nation and substituting the judgment of the aloof intelligentsia for the wisdom of the individual. Republicans became the party of "personal responsibility," and Democrats the party of "big government." The Left lost, perhaps for decades, its identity as an ideology in pursuit of economic security and justice. In place of these depression era goals, Liberalism became about judgment, restriction, and a sort of modern "white man's burden."
And the American people responded.