Beyond No: Why Progressives Should Build Up, Not Tear Down [John Doe Society]

 Photo: Kelly Wilson 2017

Photo: Kelly Wilson 2017

Throughout America's brief history, liberal and conservative voices have served to balance each other's excesses. Both are important in steering the American ship going forward.

But if liberals are going to gain any traction in making new converts and regaining some power in the next election, they--we--are going to have to make it clear what positive values and initiatives they stand for, not just tearing down conservatives (literally and figuratively).

From the top of the political hierarchy--whether that means the Democratic Party gets its act together and regains its position as the standard-bearer of progressive values or some other group takes on that mantle--to those of us on the front lines of Social Media, arguing with strangers and Uncle Bob alike about American values, we have to be seen as standing for something positive, active, and actionable--not merely the ones telling everyone what they can't say or do.

Many of us know that progressive values are American values.

Liberty means freedom for everyone, including people of every race, color, belief system, gender, sexual orientation, or other difference the current power structure would oppress.

Equality means not only equal freedoms, but equal opportunity, including economic stability, equal justice, access to education, and a healthcare system we can afford.

Prosperity doesn't just include opportunities and benefits for the top 1 percent, but worker protections across all economic strata, investments in innovation and infrastructure, and a thriving global economy.

But as of today, these values are not how liberals and progressives are being seen throughout America.

Last night, as I was flipping through the channels, I landed for a few minutes on a surprising interview between White House advisor Kellyanne Conway and television evangelist Pat Robertson of the 700 Club. Despite having issues with both of these public personalities, I watched the interview with fascination...