This week’s word is: PROGRESS
the process of developing or improving; forward motion – Macmillan Dictionary Online
It seems clear that a free and democratic society would be interested in developing and improving. In fact, the concept is explicit in the United States Constitution:
We, the people…in order to form a more perfect union…
Note the phrase “more perfect” in this preamble. In order to become more perfect, a nation must IMPROVE.
to make something better – Macmillan Dictionary Online
This clearly demands that we focus on those whose circumstances are currently worse and focus our improvements on them. This should include:
- Ensuring quality health care for everyone
- Giving women full control over their personal health choices
- Supporting equal access for everyone regardless of race or ethnicity
- Ensuring full civil rights for everyone regardless of sexual orientation
- Providing non-commercial, freely available l broadcasting and information services
- Protecting workers from abuses by their employers and governments
Unfortunately, as the links above demonstrate, the current trend in government is working against this progress.
What happens if there is no progress? One of two things: you might STAGNATE:
to stay the same without growing or developing – Macmillan Dictionary Online
- Preserving budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens
- Maintaining absurd campaigning laws that allow wealth to guide elections
- Participating in two pointless wars while the Federal budget remains out of balance
Stagnation is certainly a big part of current government practice. The other alternative to progress is RETREAT:
the process of moving backward from a position or state attained – Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
It is difficult to imagine how moving backward from achievements already attained can move us toward a “more perfect union.” Nevertheless, as noted above, many current actions in the Tea Party-dominated House of Representatives are signs of retreat, not progress. In fact, a key line from many Tea Party sites is:
The Tea Party movement is instead, about reforming all political parties and government so that the core principles of our Founding Fathers become, once again, the foundation upon which America stands.
That’s right, this movement is all about returning America to the 18th Century, ignoring everything we’ve learned as a culture since then. By any definition, their agenda is not progress.