Progressivism

changes

Progressivism [pruh-gres-uh-viz-uhm] is a political attitude advocating changes or reform through governmental action. Progressivism is often viewed in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies. The Progressive Movement began in cities with settlement workers and reformers who were interested in regulating tenement housing and child labor.

The Progressive Party, organized at the start of the 20th century, made great strides under American presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Today, most progressive politicians in the United States associate with the Democratic Party or the Green Party.

In the US Congress there exists the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is often in opposition to the more conservative Democrats, who form the Blue Dogs caucus. Some of the more notable progressive members of Congress have included Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank, Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, John Conyers, John Lewis, Nancy Pelosi and Paul Wellstone.

American progressives tend to support international economics: they advocate progressive taxation and oppose the growing influence of corporations. Progressives are in agreement on an international scale with left-liberalism in that they support organized labor and trade unions, they usually wish to introduce a living wage, and they often support the creation of a universal health care system.

The term ‘progressive’ is today often used in place of ‘liberal.’ Although the two are related in some ways, they are separate and distinct political ideologies and should not be used interchangeably. Progressives see progressivism as an attitude towards the world of politics that is broader than conservatism vs. liberalism, and as an attempt to break free from what they consider to be a false and divisive dichotomy.

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