Progressive politics [...] from a linguistic perspective is not seen as very different, it's just a better antonym for conservative than "liberal" ever was
That may be true in the world of words, but not in the world of facts to which words refer.
There's only one way (or very few ways) for things to stay as they are, so "conservative" is a relatively precise term.
But there are uncountably many ways for things to change. Some of them constitute progress, some of them don't, and people disagree which are which. Consequently, the word "progressive" is vacuous in a way that "conservative" isn't.
And while "liberal" may not be quite as precise as "conservative" because the concept of liberty is somewhat disputed, it's not nearly as vacuous as "progressive" is.
Yeah, no biggie, labels lend themselves to disagreement particularly well.
ossobuco wrote:What does the word 'progressive' mean?
The statement "I am progressive" means: "I am for things getting better and against things getting worse." Of course, the question is what constitutes "better". Since it appears that nobody can agree on a definition, I have concluded that the word "progressive" means nothing in particular at all; it just sounds good.
But isn't getting tough on Mexicans an old school point of view in this example? Even if it is a proposed change it is a proposed change in a different direction (toward greater tribalism, toward the past).
Ask anyone trapped in a vicious cycle of ever-increasing interest, ever-increasing debt, and ever-deteriorating credit. Banks have engaged in all kinds of shady practices in the run-up to the Great Depression. And the resulting misery has fallen disproportionally on middle-class and poor people.
When you say liberal do you mean classic liberalism, or the us version?
I see your point, but generally speaking it is a word that makes sense to reasonably politically educated people in discussion. It's value laden but not useless...except maybe in the US
[...]Part of the problem with “progressive” comes from the bastard nature of English vocabulary. We know what transgress, aggressive and progress mean. But if someone asked us, “Gress much?” we’d draw a blank. Gress, like “mit” in transmit, isn’t a word. Gress comes from Latin gradus, for “go,” and thus “progress” breaks down as “forward-go.” Or at least it did to an Ancient Roman. Latinate words’ meanings are often less immediately precise to us than those from English’s original Anglo-Saxon rootstock. If our word for progressive were something like “go-forward-ive,” Gallup pollsters would find people less ambivalent.[...]
I just don't like the word because I have a literalist mind and because literally, the word "progressive" means nothing and practically...