Constitution – The Constitution of the United States is based not on rugged individualism and survival of the richest, but on “We the people.. ”:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Constitution is a living document that enables generations of Americans to govern themselves and to address changes to governance through an elective process so that people will not be oppressed by the conservative political elites who hold on to power at all cost to the liberty and prosperity of the common man.
The Constitution is based on citizenship, the rights of the common man to make laws that apply equally to all persons regardless of their wealth, status or natural born features.
Values – Progressive values are founded in the virtues of character that can be developed through education and self-fulfillment through productive work that enhances a personal reputation and contributes to the welfare of the community. It is the virtue of character that is the foundation for progressive moral values, and character that can be redeemed of failure by education and good works.
Principles – Progressive principles balance the competition for gain with the need for cooperation in community and performing good works. The purpose of competition is to promote equal opportunity in furthering the advancement of solutions to society’s needs; competition that destructive of the rights of others or diminishes the dignity and humanity of others is not healthy. Cooperation is essential in all aspects of human living, from the family to international efforts to promote the well-being of the environment and human species.
Progressive principles are based on the complexity of natural processes, and the orderly organization of human institutions to adapt to those complexities. The economic institutions for meeting human needs are not exempt from the impacts of their resource utilization and unintended consequences of waste and diminishment. Human life depends on the persistence of a limited range of climate change, and, as well, on the existence of a healthy ecosystem.
Vision – The progressive vision is a balance between conservatism and evolution. Conservatism for a progressive means avoiding radical changes that have unforeseen consequences to society and environment, but not restricting or reducing the progress that has been made in science or human rights. A progressive vision is evolutionary – the emergency of variations from which solutions can be selected that improve human adaptation and contribute to the progress of the human species as we become more aware of the consequences of our dominance on planet earth. We are not pilgrims, but inhabitants on planet earth, and none of us are aliens to the universe we live in.
The progressive vision is based on science as a method for investigating and testing our understanding and knowledge of the universe in which we live. The progressive vision is not based on authority or ancient books which justified the rulers of past empires, although having been written by persons they can contain insights and guidance for human life, but not inerrancy that excludes them from skeptical inquiry and confirmation.
The progressive vision is a balance between love, power and justice.
Love that is not only compassionate to our immediate family and friends, but also to strangers and those who have failed in tests of their character; love that enables people to redeem themselves of offenses and love that is patient, kind and enduring in the acceptance of other persons who are different.
Power that is not corrosive to human relationships or demanding of entitlement or privilege over others. Power that serves the common good in advancing peace and prosperity.
Justice that apportions responsibilities, rewards and punishments according to the consequences of personal behavior, allowing for forgiveness when possible. Justice that recognizes that persons cannot be deprived of the basic necessities for sustaining life, nor should rewards be in excess of their contribution to the welfare of the community, and punishments should be proportional to their offense and not cruel or unusual in their delivery. Torture or cruel executions are never just no matter what historical document approves them.
Agenda – The progressive agenda considers humanity to be at home on planet Earth in this universe. We, as a species, have emerged from a long history of natural trial and error, and natural selection that encourages us to realize our humility in the grand scheme of life. We are alive today because previous generations have struggled for their survival and we have inherited their success. Our struggle today includes restraint on our exploitation and processing of the resources that promote a healthy and moderating environment that doesn’t overwhelm the capacity of existing life to adapt and survive, and our own capacity to change biologically and culturally. The progressive agenda is a fair and equitable distribution of resources so that each person can meet their opportunities in life without hindrance, and receive a reward when they contribute to the advancement of knowledge and prosperity.
The progressive commitment is a new covenant with life on planet Earth, arising not from the power of authority, or revealed information, but from the common wisdom tested through a process of empirical evaluation and broadly promoted through education. It is a commitment to the measured practice of love, power and justice in human relationships, and consideration for the preservation of an environment that is capable of sustaining a diversity of life in a balanced dynamic ecosystem . It is a commitment to practice governance that enables future generations to continue living on an evolving planet Earth.