The Battle Over the Term “Progressive” by Rob Hager

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton - Caricatures

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Please see revised version: “Progressive”: Does its Meaning Depend on Whatever the Clintons Think is “Progress”? by Rob Hager

by Rob Hager
Guest Writer, Dandelion Salad
February 10, 2016

The battle between Sanders and Clinton over the term “progressive” presents an opportunity to discuss some history relevant to the campaign. The meaning of the term gains importance from new thinking that “people of color and progressive whites add up to a new majority” comprising 23% and 28% of the electorate respectively. See Steve Phillips, Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority (2016). These Americans are those most strongly committed to America’s republican traditions. Today’s progressives represent the same fraction who fought to establish the republic envisaged by the two Toms, Paine and Jefferson.

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