Posted by: vernacularsnoop | July 20, 2008

The difference between liberal and progressive

A lot of people are confused about the difference between what makes a “liberal” and what makes a “progressive”. I’ve come up with a distinction that I hope others can agree with and popularize. Both liberals and progressives have forward-looking views, recognize the role of society in our lives instead of espousing simplistic individualism, and seek to protect the least-protected in our society. The difference between liberals and progressives comes not from their views, but their actions: the liberal supports and votes for the lesser of evils out of fear, while the progressive supports and votes for the people and causes she believes in. 

Using this distinction between liberals and progressives, we can say that all major progress in American history has come about thanks to the efforts of progressives, while liberals have followed along behind to protect what progressives have built.

The more history one reads, the clearer it becomes that to create real change, one must become progressive. As the old Chinese proverb says, “To know and not to do, is not to know.”


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