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.”