As I grew up, I became aware of a political spectrum that had on the right conservatives and one the left liberals. One thing was certain, I did not identify with either. At the time I liked myself as progressive. It was simple. I thought a progressive was for doing whatever it took to get things done. Their fault, as I was seeing, was that they had no idea what was wrong. All they knew, was that things needed to be fixed. But, I liked them because I saw they could keep their hand off what was working. They instead was interested in building a society. They even exhibited a quality that was uniquely American- pragmatism. I gained respect for this; one the political spectrum, they were placed just shy of the center to the left. For that, one could say they are basically moderate.
Still, what does it mean to be progressive? Has the whole political spectrum shifted right? Does that mean a progressive is liberal? See, I do not think the spectrum shifted. Instead, what I see is the voices that are the loudest on the right. And, as Claire McCaskill said of Todd Akin, has gone too radical. I certainly do not consider myself as being radical. Those who are radical, for one, wish not to compromise. It is one of the definitions of being radical. To me, a progressive does wish to compromise. So, the spectrum has stayed put. And this has happened in the other direction when I see a liberal group Moveon.org is calling themselves as progressive. I am confused.
I know meanings of words change. But, many are happy to be liberal. So, what has changed? The conservatives have successfully tarnished the label people used calling themselves liberal. They equated this to socialism; and, then communism. Now, I see they are attempting to equate liberals to Nazism and Fascism. It seems like it is working as, now, liberals are adopting the term progressive. Hey, I thought being liberal was good. I know I cannot force people to interpret these words as I do. Does this mean that I should change? That is doable. I then can call myself a moderate or independent. But, as the vocal elements on the right then connect progressives to liberals. Will they shift their label to moderate? What is next with me? Am I caught in the middle with regards to what I call myself?