Magazine article The Masthead

They're Not Socialists, They're Progressives!

Magazine article The Masthead

They're Not Socialists, They're Progressives!

Article excerpt

Dear Speaker Newt,

I hear you're worried about socialists infiltrating the editorial boards of the nation's newspapers. So am I. I don't think there are enough of them out there.

I'm not even sure there are enough of them on our editorial board at The Capital Times, the progressive/liberal voice in the People's Republic of Madison. But by your definition, we'd probably fill the bill.

We're skeptical of capital gains tax cuts. That seems to be the heart of your definition of socialism. We think the members of society, acting through their governing institutions, have an obligation to help out each other. We think those same governing institutions have a duty to use their clout to look out for the health and safety of the citizens - a clout that can be a useful balance to the profit imperative that can sometimes cause corporations to cut corners.

We think there are some services government can actually do a better job of providing than the private sector. Consider the socialistic interstate highway system, for instance.

You may find this kind of thought "socialistic" but our readers know it to be rooted in the Progressive movement that shaped politics in the Midwest back at the turn of the century, when the captains of industry and their political lackeys made sure the government looked out for their interests first. (You know how that works, don't you, Newt?)

My worry is not that too many of us progressives or liberals or socialists haunt the editorial board rooms of American journalism. …

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