We tend to categorize our politicians primarily as progressive or conservative, with moderate as an adjective (moderate Republican or moderate Democrat). Independent was added as a catchall for anyone else. However, since Independents normally have not signaled their intentions regarding who or what they will vote for they represent the swing voters.
Conservatives seem most comfortable with the status quo—leave things the way they are. Does a particular policy work? Leave it alone. Does it work, but not very well? Leave it alone. Does it not work? Leave it alone because you can make things go from bad to worse. When in doubt, leave it alone. Conservatives want everything to be static and will invoke finances, national pride, or whatever else works to further their cause. Many Conservatives embrace the American flag, but managed to avoid military service.
Progressives want things to move forward—to make changes. If it isn’t working, change it. If it is working, but could work better, change it. Sometimes progressive ideas work and sometimes they don’t. Progressives tend to focus on social issues, which their opponents can dismiss as unnecessary and too costly. Progressives tend to have multiple flags besides the American flag—Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ Rainbow, etc.
But we often forget another category that is very important, very powerful, and getting more powerful—Regressives. Regressives want to restore “the good old days,” which have never been clearly defined. Some want the US to revert to the days of “Leave it to Beaver,” with women staying home and doing housework while wearing dresses, nylons, and high heels. Husbands ruled the roost and children were expected to speak only when spoken to. Other Regressives want to go back to the Jim Crow days or all the way back to the days of slavery. Regressives often embrace the Confederate Battle Flag, which they do not seem realize is not the flag of the Confederate States. Nevertheless, Regressives are hard pressed to name which states were in the Confederacy, who the principal players were (beyond Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee), and that slavery is promoted in the Confederacy’s Constitution.
Each group is quick to blame another (if not both) for all problems, real and imagined. There are few solutions presented, and if a solution was not generated by MY group, it is killed as quickly as possible.
I wish I could say that these thoughts will help us progress, but I strongly and sadly believe they will not.