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« Gary Null & Richard Gale - Liberalism’s Death Bell Tolls | Main | Gary Null PhD and Nancy Ashley VMD — Gardasil: A Deadly Vaccine »

Gary Null and Richard Gale — Who are the True Progressives?

Each day we hear right-wing pundits excoriating president Obama and the Democrats for being progressive. They ridicule progressivism as being socialist, for favoring the redistribution of wealth and resources, for challenging the bank-driven free market agenda, and for advocating stricter regulations on Wall Street and the multinational corporatocracy. They accuse progressives of embracing Big Government and a mindset of entitlement on steroids.

On the Left, the Right is equally mocked continuously. A perfect example was Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Persons” segment, which pilloried all conservatives as neocon Republicans. Any mention of support for a third party candidate, such as Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson or Gary Johnson, is vehemently attacked by the Democratic Left. It continues to rail against Ralph Nader for causing Al Gore and John Kerry to lose their elections against Bush.

Therefore, we feel it is necessary to revisit the issue of what defines a progressive. Amidst the battles waged between conservatives and neocons, such Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Mark Levin, and struggles that pit Democrat vs. liberal vs. progressive, defining the agendas and ideologies that clearly identify these labels becomes muddled and confused.

Most Americans regard Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz, and programs and publications such as Democracy Now, The Nation and Mother Jones as representative of liberal idealism. Those persons representative of the Fox News Network, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are viewed conservative ideologues. However, it is our belief that the vast majority of people who identify themselves as liberal progressives or conservative progressives are, in fact, neither.  Most of these individuals are either corporate Democrats or corporate Republicans.  They have their think tanks and major corporate and Wall Street sponsors.  For example, the Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, who describes herself as a progressive, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. No corporate Democrat is a genuine populist.


Certainly the pundits, both Left and Right, are unique personalities. They can be dynamic and even bombastic, such as Hannity and O’Reilly. They can be streetwise pragmatists such as Al Sharpton, or Washington insider intellectuals such as Lawrence O’Donnell.  But we should not mistake their uniqueness as an indication of independence from the corporate agenda.  These individuals are fully enmeshed in the multinational corporate program and must compromise their higher values, and are even required to do so, to serve the program’s needs.


For someone to identify his or herself as a progressive, a person must first break rank from corporate interests and become independent. They must next transcend their self-liberated sophistry in order to look upon people as human beings rather than objects of exploitation, irrespective of ideology, education, economic class, gender and race.  It was the progressive movement in the early part of the twentieth century that shifted national attention towards community, the restoration of stable neighborhoods, and social justice in the face of the big industrialists’ exploitation and mistreatment of workers and citizens. The difference is only that today it is not the moguls of manufacturing shattering the social fabric of cities and towns but the high rollers of the economic regime and industrial complexes such as Big Ag, the private military complex, the oil and gas industries, Big Pharm, Big Insurance, etc who are leading the assault.


In 2008, candidate Obama usurped the title progressive to distinguish himself from the bureaucratic Democrats in Washington. It was a winning strategy that earned him the support of many independents who were fed up with Washington’s duopoly. It is true that many of Obama’s promises chimed with the progressive platform. He gave guarantees to restore equality to Americans sinking under the weight of Wall Street and corporate lobbies’ influence. He promised to hold the crooks of finance accountable for fleecing the public. However, upon his arrival in the White House, Obama betrayed his pledges repeatedly.  A truly progressive president could never assign 57% of proposed discretionary spending to the military complex and then feed 20% of the crumbs to energy, the environment, health, education and housing combined. But this is what we find in Obama’s 2013 discretionary spending proposal.


Progressives look upon Clinton and Obama as one and the same. All we need to do is consider who has occupied the Clinton and Obama administrations: executives from Wall Street and Fortune 500 firms. Today more than ever, we see Obama moving towards the kind of cronyism that defined the Bush years, while leaving behind genuine progressive values altogether.


If we want to find the authentic American progressives today, we won’t discover them among those who voted for Obama in 2012. And they are certainly not found in the ranks of the GOP and Tea Party.  Those with the humanitarian conscience of a progressive acknowledge the importance of a third party to break the stalemate and ineptitude of Washington’s two-party dominance.  Therefore we find progressives among those who supported Rocky Anderson, Jill Stein and among some libertarians who embraced Gary Johnson.


Today the best of progressive minds are found among those who buttress great causes such as equality and human rights and who are willing to sacrifice themselves and risk being arrested.  We must look at the words and actions of Chris Hedges, Robert Parry, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern, Glen Ford, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Cornell West, Paul Craig Roberts, Bill McKibben and others to find the true progressives. They are not financially supported by the corporate elite nor accommodated in our soulless media. Theirs is a struggle to have their voices brought to Americans. It is a prophetic voice with a long national history that calls upon truth against power. They are excluded from mainstream forums that debate ideas, principles and universal ethics that concern all people.  The following is a list of values, initiatives and policy actions that we believe holds true for most progressive minds in the Obama era.


Climate Change and Energy

  • Prioritize the threat of climate changes as an inevitable catastrophic condition facing the nation.
  • Launch a concerted effort to rein in the fossil fuel industry’s influence over energy policies and begin an aggressive transition from reliance upon fossil fuels to renewable, clean energy technologies that incorporates the following measures:
    • Reduce natural gas fracking.
    • Vote against the Keystone XL tar sand pipeline.
    • Reduce subsidies for oil, gas and nuclear industries and increase subsidies for solar, wind, hydro and thermal energies


Freedom and Democracy

  • Strengthen rather than limit freedom of speech, which includes the cessation of government’s intelligence surveillance on citizens without legitimate cause.
  • Strengthen public protection from the government surveillance of emails, mobile phones, websites, etc.
  • Launch a systematic Congressional review and reevaluation, with independent testimony, of the Patriot Act and Obama’s NDAA and repeal policies that would detain American citizens indefinitely on suspicion of terrorist affiliation.
  • Return to constitutional law to prevent the civil court system from adopting military legal practices.



America’s Wars and the Military

  • Initiate a high level review by independent scholars of the legitimacy behind the war on terrorism and reevaluate its long-term consequences.
  • Restore the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 that forbids the US military from deploying troops to states and cities and waging war against Americans who express dissention against government policies.
  • Increase checks and balances to prevent state, county and city law enforcement from being usurped under the Department of Defense and Homeland Security.
  • Reduce military bases overseas and cut back the Dept of Defense budget; redirect this funding towards ill-funded social programs to help the nation’s growing poverty, starving children, and Third World education systems in impoverished communities.
  • Carry out a thorough review of our treatment of American veterans and the growing sexual harassment and rape in the military; implement a more aggressive national program to treat veterans’ mental and physical disorders that are now epidemic.


The Federal Government

  • Increase transparency and accountability across the three branches of government and encourage whistleblowers to come forth and reveal illegal activities conducted by federal departments and agencies.
  • Evaluate the detrimental affects to the nation when conflicts of interest between corporate powers and government legislators create laws and policies.
  • Rein in and limit the influence and power of corporate lobby groups to write bills at the federal and state levels.


American Society

  • Conduct a full investigation into the corruption of the private prison system and hold a Congressional reevaluation of the long-term adverse effects of prison privatization and its direct relationship to the unwarranted criminalization of Americans.
  • Provide debt forgiveness on mortgages, student loans; restore bankruptcy laws to the pre-Bush era.



  • Allow full transparency of all tentative free trade agreements between the US and the EU and the Pacific Rim.


Healthcare and Medicine

  • Transition to an affordable national single payer or universal healthcare program.
  • Strengthen the protection of health freedom choices and keep government out of mandating what we must do to our bodies.
  • A complete cessation of mandatory healthcare policies that reduce the choices of medical modalities.
  • Limit the influence and phase out the medical insurance industry from having a role in federal healthcare policymaking.
  • Conduct a Congressional review of the influence of the psychiatric industry’s assault on mental health and institute stronger regulations of psychotropic drugs and their use.
  • Overhaul the FDA’s drug evaluation protocol to include independent research and evaluation of prospective drugs prior to licensing.


Agriculture and Food

  • Mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods and products that have GM ingredients until such time that GMOs have been scientifically proven to be safe to human health and the environment.
  • No representative of the agro-chemical industry should hold a high position of authority in the USDA or FDA for the approval of industry products.


The Economy

  • Conduct a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve by independent economists in matters of Qualitative Easing, austerity policies and cutbacks to the most needy of Americans.
  • Repeal the concept that banks are too big to fail.
  • Increase executive accountability and criminal investigations into actions of Wall Street executives, including crimes of money laundering.


The Security State

  • Revaluate the feasibility and waste of the 16 intelligence agencies including Homeland Security.
  • Launch a new 911 investigation.
  • Launch a thorough Congressional investigation into the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq and hold this Administration accountable according to international law on war crimes.


Human Rights

  • Restore the US’s compliance with international human rights agreements and treaties regarding torture and launching war on sovereign nations.


Foreign Affairs

  • Equanimity in US relations between Israel and Palestine to be a fair broker in peace negotiations.
  • Rein in the private military industrial complex’s provision of weapons to despotic regimes opposed to human rights and freedom such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, Georgia, etc.
  • Cease sanctions against Iran that are responsible for untold suffering to Iranian citizens and children without concise proof that Iran poses a nuclear threat.
  • Reduce the use of drone strikes in sovereign countries that are contributing to the murder of children, women and the elderly.
  • Revision our foreign policy that is fueling hatred of America by nations around the world who now perceive US military aggression as the world’s greatest threat to world peace.


For a moment, imagine what the US could become if these ideas and actions became part of our national dialogue.  Consider how much we could achieve by addressing the issues facing us today free of the influence of depraved corporatists and with an eye towards America’s higher values. Until America adopts a progressive agenda we will remain captive to a false Left-Right paradigm driven by greed and fascism.