Bernie Sanders has opened a wound for the soul of the Democratic Party. Instead of socialism being an extreme wing of the Democratic Party it has become the center and the players have to define themselves based on that belief. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairperson of the Democrats was either unable or unwilling to distinguish the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist. Hillary just refused to criticize the socialists, dismissing the distinction as semantics or how others want to define it. She thoroughly embraced the old school progressivism which defines the Democratic party. Even Schultz’s dance around the issue with Chris Matthews thoroughly embraced Sanders in the Democratic tent. The Democratic party has moved far left.
The Progressivism of Woodrow Wilson was magnified under FDR, and extended by LBJ. Obama’s progressivism is a further extension, but the previous successes of progressivism has left fewer battles to be fought. We are now in a third stage of progressivism and it is being challenged in ways the first two periods were not. Progressivism is a form of socialism ‘lite’, seeking to redistribute wealth and control capital through policies and regulations.
Progressivism suffers from pragmatism- seeking what works and refusing to be encumbered by a set of principles that would require any clarity on their governing philosophy. In the absence of any clear vision there is never a point where the government is restricted, where more government is not needed, where any desire cannot be deemed a right, where any economic problem can not be resolved by political means. Rather than be a resource to facilitate our lives, politics becomes embroiled in every facet of our lives.
The goals of progressivism requires straw dogs like the 1% or the Koch brothers, but rarely seeks an adult view of how the economy really works or an accurate analysis of the economic environment, and is void of any mathematical reality, In their political semantics, the Democrats have been reduced to weak distinctions between socialism and progressivism. They like words like equality and justice, without either defining or limiting them. Other words like individual rights, liberty, freedom, entrepreneurs, personal responsibility and achievement rarely enter into the conversation.