Allow me to throw my 2 cents into this discussion by saying THANK GOD someone with some readership is finally saying what I have said for years now, that the terms "Progressive" and "Liberal" are ill-suited to the Contemporary American Left in general and the Democratic Party in particular.
What's more, I generally shy away from labeling myself as a "Conservative", because I think the moniker has a tendency to reflexively paint someone as a "defender of the status quo" irrespective of whether or not the status quo is morally valid.
The terms "Progressive" or "Liberal" are best suited as Wickman uses it in his article:
"There was a time in our history when the positive connotations of this word as description of certain political policies were reasonably merited. When African-Americans were suffering the woes of Jim Crow laws and the bigotry that spawned them, efforts to end these conditions were certainly progressive."
Or, to put it differently, Jim Crow Laws and "Separate But Equal" were inherently immoral attitudes pervasive in a large part of our society, and moves to counter that ideology were truly Progressive.
Today, its a different story. In a post on another website, I made this comment back in December:
"I refuse to flatter the American Left (including those power whore Democrats in elected office - Reid, Kennedy, Pelosi et al) by referring to them as “Liberal”. I’m even more annoyed at their references to themselves as “progressive”, especially as its meant to apply that those of us who disagree with their destructive policies are not progressive. A point I have routinely made in my writings is that there is NOTHING Liberal or Progressive about:
* pushing for negotiation with Tyrants and Terrorists around the world, when history has shown that they view talk as weakness.
* zealously clinging to Great Society Welfare-ism when it has destroyed the traditional family and had devastating effects on the inner cities, increasing poverty and leading an increase in crime by fatherless men.
* continuing to incite class warfare and soak the rich tax policies, when its the “rich” who invest the money and grow the economy. Taxes take away the incentive to invest.
* hamper America’s effort to defend itself in the war on terror. The very existence of all we love and know of Western Civilization is at stake, and they refuse to accept it when its plain to see.
I don’t call them Liberals or progressives. They’re just the contemporary American Left."
I'm a Reagan Republican. BUT, I'm progressive - anything that is inherently immoral and counter-productive needs to be reconsidered and re-approached. Someone needs to slide that memo very casually to those at the table who label themselves "Progressive" and keep spewing the same old Democrat garbage that has given us a lot of the social, economic, and foreign policy headaches we have today.
Thank you, Wickman and Lifson, for validating what I have been shouting from the rooftops.