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Where's the progressivism?

I have been happy to be a subscriber to The Progressive, and I continue to be so. More often than not the articles and opinions that find publication here reflect my own personal views. But I must admit to a growing sense of unease at the passive stance your magazine has taken toward Election 2004. With John Kerry's likeness gracing its cover last month, The Progressive made clear which candidate it endorsed to hold the nation's highest office. What you failed to tell us, however, was why.

We know, of course, that under no circumstances can we cast a vote for Bush. But can we, as progressives, vote for Kerry? Many of us will, but not with a clean conscience. He has yet to find a message that resonates. His only workable slogan seems to be "Vote for Kerry: He's Not George W. Bush." But that hardly looks good on a bumper sticker, even though a fair percentage and perhaps the majority of the votes he receives will come for exactly that reason. And while Kerry smiled at us from the cover of your last issue, only a few months earlier Molly Ivins's column bore the title of "Kerry, Sigh" (April issue). It seems your magazine is not calling upon us to act so much as acquiesce.

I don't know what Robert La Follette would say if he were alive today, but I imagine he is turning in his grave at the thought that the best advice the magazine he founded can put forth is to take what Kerry offers because it's the best progressives can hope for.

Make no mistake: I want Bush out, and I will do what I can to help that happen. I will bite down, swallow hard, and I will, come November, cast my vote for Kerry. But I hope that in future elections your magazine will return to its roots and encourage discussion of true progressive ideals, rather than settle for the less anti-progressive of the two major party candidates.

Eric Brehm

Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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Title Annotation:Letters to the Editor
Author:Brehm, Eric
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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