Progressives get bad rap

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Mr. Peter Kapuscinski (“On disrespecting Southern history,” Friday, July 24) makes the charge that the Progressive movement wants to destroy the Constitution. What utter nonsense! I think he needs a correct definition of a Progressive; not the straw man one he believes in.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a Progressive is “one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action.”  The Progressive movement has been around in various forms for over a century going back to Teddy Roosevelt and Robert LaFollette through FDR.

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To quote “Progressive Thinking: A Synthesis of Progressive Values, Beliefs and Positions,” “As Progressives, we believe that everyone deserves a fair shot at a decent, fulfilling and economically secure life. We believe that everyone should do his or her fair share to build this life through education and hard work and through active participation in public life. And we believe that everyone should play by the same set of rules with no special privileges for the well-connected or wealthy.” I’d like to know what part of the Constitution these ideas violate.

Mr. Kapuscinski also trots out the right’s favorite boogie man, Saul Alinsky, who’s been dead for 43 years and whom I wager hardly anyone heard of before Newt Gingrich mentioned him. Yes, Alinsky was an agitator just like Frederick Douglass before him. He organized black communities in the North because of the injustice he saw in the South at the time: lynchings and violence toward civil rights activists while the law looked the other way. The divisions in America that Mr. Kapuscinski decries have been there for decades. It’s only when someone does something radical that most well-off people take notice.

James Peca