I was scrolling through Facebook when a David Pakman video showed up on my timeline. The video's title was "The Founding Fathers were Progressive, and You Should Be Too" and let me just say this: It actually wasn't a bad video.
But you just said we shouldn't all be progressives. Why are you contradicting yourself?
The reality is that while the video itself is informative (although I do wish the sources were linked in the description instead of just shilling his social media, I digress) there are some serious problems.
The biggest problem with this argument (among others) is that Pakman is relying on what Progressivism would have meant during the 18th century. Keep in mind, many of the big European powers were, at the very least, constitutional monarchies. To be a conservative in colonial America would have meant staying under the oppressive tyranny of the British Empire. The founding fathers established a government system that would have promoted liberty, property ownership, capitalism, etc.
It is also important to remember that the Founding Fathers also held a wide array of beliefs in how government should be run. Some were even willing to uphold the institution of slavery (which is not very progressive at all) in the name of ensuring that a central government would not rule in the same tyrannical way the British did. Others were fiscally conservative. Others still were social conservatives, and so on and so forth.
The bottom line is that, in the sense of the word during the 18th century, any form of liberalism would have been considered progressive. And all of the Founding Fathers were liberals. So yes, at that time, they would have been considered progressives.
Of course, definitions change. Movements change. As time goes on, the Progressive movement began to reject the founding principles more and more.
At the turn of the century, a time that became known as the Progressive Era, the likes of Woodrow Wilson declared that the Declaration of Independence was "irrelevant", and many in his camp began to reject natural law as arrogant. These rejections spurred the massive government expansion under Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal.
Progressives today want to take this rejection of natural law even further. They openly embrace socialism, a system that has killed over 100 million people in the span of a century, and has caused countries like Venezuela to become absolute dung holes.
Progressives today are calling for censorship on college campuses on social media. They conflate legitimate criticism with bigotry, calling anyone who disagrees with them racist, sexist, or homophobic. They use the terms "white nationalist" or "white supremacist" or "Nazi" just to shut down any arguments before they can even begin. They are sowing division to keep us distracted from their failings
The progressive media peddles fake news and propaganda. They will bury news stories that go against their narrative. They are keeping information from the general public. Does any of this sound like a society changing for the better?
The founders would be appalled if they saw what was happening today. So no, David, I'm not going to be a Progressive.