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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

Anything but Progressive

February 16, 2016
Congressman Duncan Warns of Poorly Chosen Political Labels

Most members of the national media seem almost eager to refer to conservatives as right-wing, far-right, or even as “extremists.”

However, most in the media—and most liberals—almost never use terms to refer to liberals like left-wing, far-left, and certainly not as “extremists.” Instead, those on the left have co-opted the word “progressive” with its generally favorable connotation.

What is most troubling about this is that many conservative leaders, commentators, and talk-show hosts seem to be going along with this very misleading description. Columnist George Will on ABC in 2006 and several years later in a column said that neocons were “magnificently misnamed” and described them as really “the most radical people in this town (Washington).”

The most magnificently misnamed people in Washington today are the so-called progressives. Bernie Sanders deserves at least some credit for honesty in the past for calling himself a socialist, althoughboth he and Hillary Clinton are referring to themselves now as progressives.

Surely, all conservatives believe that countries around the world have achieved the greatest progress when allowing free enterprise and when following conservative, free-market, limited-government policies. Rigid socialism has dragged many millions into poverty or kept them there.

If this Nation goes much further to the left, we will not have progress and instead will regress into socialist mediocrity or worse.

The words “progress” and “progressive” have always had a good connotation to most people, especially to those who are not close observers of the political scene. Conservatives should not go along with this trend and instead should accurately and constantly refer to those on the left as left-wing, far-left, radical, or at least liberal rather than progressive.

Most liberals and/or socialists do not like to admit, possibly even to themselves, what they really are. Conservatives should not let them get away with this very deceptive practice.