Tag Archives: Robert La Follette

Andrew Kaczynski: Brian Lamb Interviewing Newt Gingrich in 1999- Theodore Roosevelt-Robert La Follete Tradition

Source: Andrew Kaczynski: Brian Lamb Interviewing Newt Gingrich- Theodore Roosevelt-Robert La Follette Tradition

This might sound at least borderline crazy at least for hyper-partisans, on the Right who see Democrats as immoral criminals and terrorists, who all deserve to be locked up. And hyper-partisans on the Left, who see all Republicans as nothing but ignorant fundamentalist neanderthal bigots. But there is such a thing as Progressive Republicans and reform republicanism, which is what Newt Gingrich has always represented in his 20 years in the House of Representatives and his post-Congressional and political activist career.

Again, progressivism is not socialism and is not even liberalism. And its the least ideological of all the political ideologies in America that is barely qualifies as an ideology. The definition of s Progressive in a political sense is someone who believes in progress and making things better and using a limited government to help create that progress. So a Progressive on the Right like a Newt Gingrich, is going to be different than a Progressive on the Left. Someone like a Teddy Roosevelt or a Sherrod Brown today is currently a U.S. Senator from Ohio.

Progressives right or left, are different from Conservatives, because Conservatives believe in conserving the status quo when it comes to government. And that current society and the way of life is already great and doesn’t need improvement. Progressives always believe things and society can be better. That things and life aren’t always good or bad, but they can always be improved. That progress can always be made.

So someone like a Newt Gingrich can be a defense hawk and believe in a strong national defense and law enforcement strong enough to protect the innocent from predators, believe in fiscal responsibility and that government shouldn’t run high deficits and debt, that taxes and regulations should be low for everybody. But that there should also be a safety net for people who truly need help in society, but to use that safety net to help improve people’s lives. Not just give  them cash in the short-term, but help them improve their lives so they no longer need public assistance in the future. Newt is one of architects of Welfare Reform that became known as Welfare to Work in the mid 1990s. If he was a hard-core Conservative-Libertarian, he wouldn’t believe that there should even be a government Welfare program or public assistance at all.

Being a Progressive is not about being pro-big government or anti-government all together. Or being for a big strong national defense, or almost no national defense at all. Or someone who believes in freedom, or believes in statism. Being a Progressive is about believing in progress and believing that government can serve a useful purpose in making things better for everyone in society. But progressivism is not very ideological at all in how that progress is achieved.

 

 

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