Monday, October 25, 2010
Their blog, their rules.
Nonetheless, sometimes I find myself wanting to respond to such folk and that's what I'm doing today. I'll leave names out to protect their privacy and just address their comments which I find problematic.
So, this person recently wrote a blog about "progressives" and what's wrong with their thinking. They said...
the progressive mindset is that the way to do it is to move away from what we are doing to something new, and the conservative mindset is to do what we are doing better...
What, exactly, is "progressive"? Well, the term refers to the idea of continual improvement. The concept is one of making things better. That, of course, is somewhat misleading when it comes to "conservative" versus "liberal" because the conservative notion is that by moving back we can make things better -- progress. The idea there is that by returning to what works, things will get better. "Progressive", then, can be misleading on its own.
And therein lies the problem, at least for me. Today's progressives have in mind the idea of "progress", of moving forward to make things better, as if movement alone is good.
The problem is, of course, that "progressives" don't want to move away from anything we're currently doing to something different for the sake of doing something different. Progressives don't want to "move forward" and just blindly trust that "moving forward" will result in a moral good.
"Progressives" want to see something that works. If an old Salvation Army program works and helps, then of course progressives support this. If a new school based Family Resource Center helps, then we support that.
Progressives (not unlike good conservatives) want to see something that works in the real world. I would not denigrate a conservative program or agenda simply because it is conservative, IF it was being effective. Heck, I probably wouldn't denigrate it even if it wasn't being effective, as long as it wasn't doing harm and was a private effort.
So, if some conservatives want to have, for instance, a prison ministry program and the result is convicts having some peace of mind and some comfort in their time of trial, then God bless whoever has done that work. I don't care if they're "conservatives" trying to save the prisoner's souls or if they're "progressives" trying to decrease recidivism. Good on folk trying to make a positive difference.
In the real world, if we set politics aside (and quit making goofy assumptions about what "those evil conservatives" or "those socialist progressives" think), we could agree on a lot, since we all have some similar starting points. We ALL want to see children warm and fed, what can we agree to work on to help meet that common goal?
Don't start with the assumption that it's "us vs them" and you won't find so much to disagree with. That would be my suggestion. Also, you don't come across as stupid for making asinine suggestions about strawman boogermen who mostly don't exist in the real world.