Tuesday, November 8, 2011

See Progress: 'The Progressive Values of the U.S. Constitution'

Source:Center For American Progress- talking about the U.S. Constitution.

"A panel explores the progressive values of the Constitution at the Center for American Progress's annual "American Idea Conference" in Washington, D.C.


Richard Beeman, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Jeff Shesol, Author, "Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court"
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Akhil Amar, Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University" 

To me the U.S. Constitution is an individualist document designed to protect, promote, and advance individual liberty and limited government. Limited government being the key factor, the belief that if government becomes very big, it gets big at the expense of individual liberty, because it makes the people more dependent on government. Thats one of the beauty's of living in a liberal democracy especially if you are a Liberal. 

But I would argue for anyone who's not a Socialist, that individual liberty is protected to the point that we have constitutional rights protecting our individual liberty. Not a government designed to take care of the people, that we have the liberty to make our own lives better. 

There is a Welfare Clause in the U.S. Constitution, but that doesn't mean that government funded by taxpayers, but that doesn't mean that government is supposed to protect the country. But more about protecting the country from things that individuals can't do for themselves. Like being attacked by armed criminals, being attacked by a foreign country, being held hostage, people out of work not able to fend for themselves. Or are disabled and can't work enough to take care of themselves or can't work at all.  

If your definition of Progressive is Progressive in the classical (or I would argue real) sense that you are someone who believes in progress and that government is supposed to promote progress and work to make things better for people and for society, then you could argue that the U.S. Constitution is progressive, because it allows for government to try to make things better for the society. 

But if your definition of Progressive is more a pop culture political sense and that Progressives are supposed to be anti-establishment, anti-man (especially straight, Caucasian men) that Progressives are supposed to be radical, hippie, Socialists and are supposed to hate everything that America stands for and it's the job of Progressives who take down the current government and replace it with something that's supposed to be more Progressive, which are the basically the current stereotypes of what's supposed to pass as a so-called Progressive today, then of course the U.S. Constitution is not Progressive. 

Our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) didn't break away from one authoritarian state (the United Kingdom) to create a socialist state in the United States. But wanted to create a society in America where Americans were free to be Americans, which is free to be ourselves and have the freedom to live our own lives and make our own decisions. With a limited government there to protect our freedoms, but not run our lives for us. 

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