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What the heck does progressive mean?

In today's Chicago Tribune there is an article by Jonah Goldberg, a good old fashioned conservative, called "A label we can all claim" about how more and more politicians on each side of the aisle are labeling their policies as "progressive." He deduces that it really means big, powerful government.

The arguments between the political parties for the foreseeable future will not be between champions of state intervention and champions of laissez-faire. They'll be between those who want the state to do "liberal" things, on race and the environment, for example, and those who want it to do "conservative" things, such as faith-based initiatives and national education standards.

Because the post could eventually be put under a pay wall, I did a little of copy and paste and backed the thing up.
I highly encourage you to search through American history, around 1890-1913. This is commonly referred to as "The Progressive Era" (which you could search on). It seems to be related to these people now calling themselves "Progressive."

Here's a few links to get you started:
Digital History

There's tons more if you search "Progressive era" at Google or something. Good luck.

The progressives represent the people who have combined certain liberal aspects with certain conservative aspects.
Oh soulfire, you and your intelligence! : ) If this was a scored debate I'd give you a +5.

Thanks for the links, though. I did realise the reference to the last turn of the century politics (I had US history last semester), but I don't really think that politicians and the columnist are more than making a passing reference to one hundred year old ideas when they talk about progressivism in modern politics. They even call it new progressivism a couple times. But at it's core you're right, it's a weird amalgam of conservative and liberal policies.
Could it just be hype? Wink An attempt by everyone to initiate a realignment of the voters? Hey, Democrats, We are progressive Republicans, we arent like the old ones! (Repeat, only switch the position of rep/dems).

Labels are so convenient and are often meaningless. Laughing
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