CK Macleod wrote an article about Paul Ryan and real Progressivism. In that article she quoted Ryan:
The Democratic leaders of Congress and in the White House hold a view they call “Progressivism.” Progressivism began in Wisconsin, where I come from. It came into our schools from European universities under the spell of intellectuals such as Hegel and Weber, and the German leader Bismarck. The best known Wisconsin Progressive was actually a Republican, Robert LaFollette.
Progressivism was a powerful strain in both political parties for many years. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, and Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, both brought the Progressive movement to Washington.
Early Progressives wanted to empower and engage the people. They fought for populist reforms like initiative and referendum, recalls, judicial elections, the breakup of monopoly corporations, and the elimination of vote buying and urban patronage. But Progressivism turned away from popular control toward central government planning. It lost most Americans and consumed itself in paternalism, arrogance, and snobbish condescension. “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson would have scorned the self-proclaimed “Progressives” of our day for handing out bailout checks to giant corporations, corrupting the Congress to purchase votes for government controlled health care, and funneling billions in Jobs Stimulus money to local politicians to pay for make-work patronage. That’s not “Progressivism,” that’s what real Progressives fought against!
Beck read this on the air and went into this somewhat lengthy monologue on where Ryan goes off the tracks when it comes to Progressivism. Ryan asserts that Progressivism started out in a good democratic way, that had the best interests of the people, but then got corrupted and turned into this central government that operated in the best interest of government, not the people. Beck’s basic point is that Progressivism has always been about central government and has never been about the people.
Beck adds that we don’t need another John McCain. Yes, he is making a comparison to John McCain, but based on Paul’s words, I think it’s an apt comparison. That said, if it is true that Ryan misunderstands Progressivism as Beck claims, at least he misunderstands it in a way that opposes government control.
Beck goes on after this clip to suggest that he would like to have a round table with McCain and Ryan (and some other guy I can’t remember). I must say that would be good TV.
UPDATE: I’ve been accused of not chopping up these clips enough…that they are too long. Well, I’m guilty as charged. Here’s a much shorter version that carries you to the same point. If you want more context, watch the longer clip above: