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Liberal v Conservative? How About Progressive v Libertarian?

12:13 am in Uncategorized by salembard

Political space offers us a three-dimensional viewpoint of political life., breaking down simple linear distinctions of conservative and liberal. It even goes beyond the political flatland described by economic and social political thought..
Traditional conservatives, neo-conservatives, isolationists, and internationalists, allclaim the pure staff of contemporary conservatism. Recently, another player has entered the stage, the Libertarian, also claiming the mantle of the true conservative.
Not to be outdone, and uncertain of how people might respond to the label “liberal,” we often hear the word “progressive” substituted as a convenient mask for a timid left in the new century.
today, moderate views position political leaders between two warring factions, right versus left. Conservatives increasingly demand rigid adherence to clearly described conservative values for economic and social beliefs.
Some social liberals do accept more moderate or even conservative-economic ideas. Will the same inflexibility afflict liberals as has become the custom among social conservatives?
What do the words mean: liberal and progressive, conservative and libertarian? Might the new competition within our political vocabulary suggest new trends worth investigating? If so, then, I propose examining a different axis, a libertarian-progressive dichotomy.
Let’s substitute separate axes for economic and social ideas with a single conservative-liberal one. Then a new libertarian-progressive axis can reshape our assumptions of political space.
Libertarians, in general believe less government is best. Economic policies should be left open to pure market forces.  For the past two generations, Libertarians have even had their own political party, much as the progressives had an active Progressive Party during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
We can glimpse the essence of these two ideals by examining the core motivations driving their political beliefs.
progressives  rose to prominence slowly after the election of 1876, when the last “radical” Republican president, Rutherford B Hayes, managed to negotiate a successful Supreme Court fight to overcome Democrat Samuel tildens lead in the popular vote. Yes, Florida again.
The result was a party-line vote to resolve Electoral College votes by the Supreme Court after the Democratic Chief Justice died and was replaced by a Republican. In the great compromise, Hayes won and the Republicans agreed to end Reconstruction.
Years later, in 1901, after Pres William McKinley was assassinated, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, TR, was sworn in as the new president. He became our first progressive president. By 1906, progressives began coming together as a distinct political movement.
then in 1912, Roosevelt, sharply critical of his hand-picked successor, Robert H Taft, ran against him as a Progressive for another term in a divisive three-way race against Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Wilson won, Roosevelt came in second, and the incumbent, Taft finished in third place.
Progressives in 1912 and again in 1916, at their party convention debated over how strong a national defense should be and how to regulate corporations some viewed as acting responsibly. However,, overall, they wanted responsible, efficient, transparent government, social and economic justice for all Americans, and careful monitoring on the size and scope of both government and corporate elites.
Libertarians stem from a long American tradition of moving outside of restrictive rules, be they imposed by private or government elites. They continued the traditions of individual freedom and responsibility as ethical guidelines for people to live by.
Whereas conservatives usually support strong government institutions on some level, ranging from local to state to national, libertarians believe in minimal government at all levels.
I suggest, just as the conservative-liberal divide represents only an American political spectrum, contrasts between libertarians and progressives may serve to describe differing views of restraining the size of government and private sector elites.
A three-dimensional view of political space then, may involve the following:X Axis. Conservative-Liberal.Y Axis. Libertarian-Progressive.Z Axis. Environmental Axis, ranging from Strong private property rights on the right to strong-environmental regulations and individual stewardship on the left.
Finally, using political space, rather than a linear or flat-plane political spectrum breaks up our three-dimensional space into many varieties. Doing this disempowers easy polarization, encourages alliances, compromise, and allows for differences to assert themselves as advantages in a cooperative, decision, making process.
Participants in the Occupy movement in the United States look for ways to encourage broad ideals and empower a political process for all Americans. embracing the ideas of political space supports our process. It encourages the new thinking necessary to re-empower “We the People.”

Addicted? Time to Leave the Haze Behind for the Freedom of political Space

11:45 pm in Uncategorized by salembard

Just why should it matter how we describe our personal politics? After all, the liberal-conservative division seems to satisfy most people,. Or, is the satisfaction merely an induced haze produced by managers of public opinion?
Freeing ourselves from manipulation by elites depends on how we define ourselves. It depends on how we associate with others and organize our opinions. When the easy way restricts public opinion to simplistic ideas, we surrender our freedom to learn, to understand, and decide for ourselves. So, let’s take a new look at how we define our thoughts and express ourselves in our democracy.
In the first commentary of this series, I introduced the idea of political space to open up civic dialogue. When we choose to describe the range of possible points of view as social, economic, and environmental, each with liberal and conservative positions, eight distinct regions emerge.
Imagine a cube., with up-down, right-left, and forward-backward, or X,Y, and Z lines in space creating a three-dimensional area. We live in a world with three dimensions, now lets make a break for our minds to live in 3-D also.
So, if we begin with liberal and conservative ideas about social, economic, and environmental arenas. Four areas are on the right side, call them conservative. Do the same for the left or liberal side. We can draw each of these three directions as a line divided according to how liberal or conservative a position is.
Now, include moderate points of view, and the eight regions grow to 64 areas. Extend each of the three lines, add ULTRA at the edges, and the eight regions increase to 216 specific types of political identity.
Woah! Here we should slow down. Take a look. Decide when to just keep it simple and when to encourage diversity. usually, “eight is enough!”
It certainly helps to use the eight basic regions of our freedom to occupy space in order to provide broad identities. Sometimes, simple is good. However, as real people, life is not as simple as this. Sometimes, the full range of free thinking empowers each of the eight regions to employ three segments on each axis– moderate, conservative or liberal, and ultra-conservative or ultra-liberal.
For instance, are you a social conservative, an economic moderate, and environmentally moderate? When we begin to think about political space, our world becomes more familiar. We begin by stepping out of line, climbing up, diving down, stepping to the right or left, and moving forward or pausing to step back. We look around at others and begin to feel freedom and experience open space for the first time.
Others may feel comfortable standing in line for opinions to be prepared for them like political-junk food. They breathe deep the airs of pure ideology carefully prepared for them, inhaling the fumes of some popular-political narcotic. Ah, enjoy the haze, and ignore that man behind the curtain, Dorothy.
But, as we wake up and discover we are citizens in what we hope to be a free country. Free people do not elect to submit to prepackaged ideas designed to support some small group of elites. It matters not if they call themselves conservative or liberal, right or left, progressive or libertarian. A free people need space to breathe and to run and live.
Political space offers diversity in how we think of ourselves as citizens with opinions and real lives. Try it out. Toss away those old labels and begin to think and live in a 3-D world. Take a breath. Let the haze clear away. Now, tell me how free people think!

Can the Pundits Give Us Some Political Space?

12:03 am in Uncategorized by salembard

For years conventional wisdom crammed the mass of political opinion into a narrow range, linear, and absolutely polarizing. At its worst we must live on a narrow one-way street called Liberal-Conservative Way. Sometimes we may even enter into the mystical realm of flatland, where conservative and liberal values expand to fill social and economic axes, like X and Y from high school algebra.
And, as so often the case, conventional wisdom merely serves to describe current limitations imposed on creative expression. Today, I hope to join others who have departed from linear confinements and even leap beyond the political flatland we have been sentenced to. Today, I say, “Can the pundits give us some political space?”
I am not proposing anything new, merely adding the earth as our third or Z axis, an environmental or ecological axis. Simple, yes, but revolutionary. Political space defines a three-dimensional world where the major arenas of thought and life can find their own levels and expressions.
It delivers us not two realms of thought as linear-thinking pundits direct, nor four as economic and social values describe our places. Political space opens a world where three-dimensional people live real lives with at least eight distinct regions to explore. Allow for moderate positions and the number of places within political space grows even more!
Those who choose rigid consistency where others confine them to absolute ideology may continue to seek their two portions of political space and yield the rest of us room to mix about and explore our new sense of freedom. We can walk through a world where life resembles our own world. Sure, it is a lot more varied. The relationships offer more diversity. That, dear reader, is the price of freedom.
So, for the pundits of conventional wisdom, sincere thanks for demonstrating consistent values, but after all, time for a free people to say, “Give us our political