American Values are Progressive Values


Liberty with Values

As a digital magazine that brands itself as “unapologetically progressive,” Big Easy Magazine is devoted to covering and reporting on progressive issues such as race, environmental injustice, LGBTQ issues, women’s issues, progressive culture, and progressive living. Contrary to mainstream perception, progressive thinking has been at the forefront of America’s economic and social policies over the course of the last century. The minimum wage laws, eight hour work week, worker’s compensation, equal pay for equal work, child labor laws, social security, and civil rights are all rooted in progressive thought.

What we’ve seen over the past few days is un-American, and it’s a product of the divisiveness we’ve been living. Specifically, explosives being sent to members of the media and to major political icons on the left is not consistent with Democratic ideals. We’ve reached a point in our politics where we normalize violence against those who don’t think the same as us. It’s important that we don’t allow ideological pureness to color our worldview, and consequently, lend hate the upper hand over love. We cannot afford to unravel over a century of progress and risk putting our democracy in jeopardy. We need to realize that American values are progressive values, and only together can we achieve real progress.

With the current administration constantly trying to divide us with fear and hate by focusing on what makes us different rather than focusing on the values and ideals we all share as Americans, we can ill-afford to accept the status quo. We have an existential crisis with cities and major landmarks threatened by climate change, an exploding national debt, which threatens a sustainable economy, hate crimes on the rise, increasing economic inequality, a dwindling middle class, and a broken criminal justice system in need of reform. Yet instead of being committed to finding solutions to the major challenges we face, we are allowing political ideologues and demagogues to drive a wedge between us by making the conversation about citizens versus illegal immigrants, white versus black, Christian vs atheist, nationalist versus globalist, gay versus straight, and left versus right. For far too long, there have been those in the media who play right into the hands of demagogues by spreading their message.

At Big Easy Magazine, we aren’t focused on division. We are focused on progress. Let’s have a conversation about the ideas, interests, and causes that bring us together. Let’s learn to appreciate and accept our differences while also acknowledging our common humanity. If we are going to overcome our challenges and address the socioeconomic and environmental threats that face us as a nation, we absolutely have to work together in doing so.

To solve these existential challenges, we also have to acknowledge the social and economic injustices rooted in a history of slavery. It’s important to understand that not all of us are born with an equal opportunity to succeed. Some of us were born into extreme poverty, and had no help from our parents. Those who were born black or brown inherently face prejudices that are deeply ingrained in our government institutions. 

As a people, in order to move forward together, we must be aware of these challenges, and we must work together to right the wrongs of our past so that we can work towards a more perfect union and a just society that ensures maximum equality and fairness. That’s what progress is about.

The progress we’ve obtained over the last century didn’t come by fearing and exploiting our differences. We only got this far by working together. Major progress comes when we all work together to live in a society that is fair, just and prosperous for all Americans regardless of race, creed, religion, political preference, sexuality, or gender.

At Big Easy Magazine, our core values of love, equality, justice, compassion, kindness, and inclusiveness inform everything we cover. We seek to objectively cover progressive news, events, and causes that align with our values so as to demonstrate that a progressive New Orleans is a united New Orleans, and together we can work to create a kinder, more tolerant, compassionate, loving and inclusive society.

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Scott Ploof is the Owner and Founder of Big Easy Magazine. Want to read more? You can see other pieces by Scott here.

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