These days there are a lot of issues to be concerned about. But the polarization and rancor of the debate seem to make any progress that much more difficult. What can an individual do about this? The answer for me is Panhandle Progressive.
When you think about it, the economic objectives of right and left, Democrats and Republicans, are similar in a central way. Everyone wants prosperity. The questions are how to achieve it and how far down the economic spectrum the prosperity will reach under each method. My writing will be about economic prosperity for all West Virginians. Inclusive prosperity means improving the situation of the poor, the middle class and those who are already well-off.
The core principles of this effort will be:
- providing the rationale for progressive policies that advance inclusive prosperity;
- relying on facts and empirical evidence, where possible, rather than ideology or emotional arguments;
- supporting constructive legislation and public policy, whether from the left or the right;
- opposing legislation and public policy that is harmful to the prosperity of all West Virginians; and
- doing all of the above in a respectful manner toward the person, if not his or her politics.
Progressives have been around a long time. The original progressives in America gained notoriety and some power around 100 years ago. For the most part, they were Republicans who were frustrated with the slow pace of progress within their own party. Today progressive ideas come from both Democrats and Republicans. There is room under this tent for everyone. We can use progressivism as an organizing principle to help us work our way through competing claims and policy choices. And we can do this without contributing to the coarseness of today’s political discourse.