For much of the past thirty years conservative leaders have been driving the nation uncompromisingly and unapologetically rightward. In the 21st century, that right curve has revolved so much that it is now going completely backwards.
Woman’s rights, union rights, the poor and even the middle class have been under constant attack for years, but as of late conservatives have been going to extremes with their policies. Today, even Ronald Reagan would be considered too liberal by Republican standards.
In the past, conservatives have led without having to give an inch; it was their way or no way, whereas liberals were always willing to give an inch to get an inch (Obama and Clinton did this repetitively). Not much has changed in regards to the White House, the Senate or House of Representatives. The progressive common folk on the other hand are tired of lying down.
Thanks in part to social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the public is waking up and refusing to take it. In a way, it has led to a mini revolution in the progressive movement, a movement that still has little political power, but is now putting their foot down.
Last Week, Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell signed a law that requires women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, but was forced to give up on a requirement for a more invasive vaginal probe. This might not be seen as a victory to some as the law should not have passed at all. The real victory here lies with the protest itself. Twenty other states have passed similar abortion laws in the past and they were able to pass them in virtual silence.
Rush Limbaugh has gotten away with spreading his sexist, racist, hate filled message for over twenty years. All of a sudden a tasteless and baseless attack on a law student results in 98% of his advertisers leaving him, why? A progressive movement tired of his bullshit; they reposted his words on every website and news media outlet they could find in order to open the eyes of the public… and it worked. The same thing happened to Glenn Beck a year earlier.
Progressives have also been flexing their muscle when it comes to union workers with the best example being in Wisconsin. This past weekend, 35,000 protesters marked the one year anniversary of Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union bill that deprives unionized public sector workers of the right to collectively bargain. Since the law was passed, over a million people have signed a petition to begin the recall election process for Walker and other GOP state senators.
For decades, Fox News, talk radio and countless newspapers have been a force for conservative propaganda, but in the last couple of years the tide has been changing. Progressives embraced the advent of social media and in a lot of ways now control it. It helped to elect Obama, it helped to build the Occupy Wall Street movement and it’s now keeping conservatives in closer check.
Of course social media only helped the cause, it didn’t start it. I can’t be certain of when or how this progressive movement began to take shape. Whether it was with the election of a liberal black president, the 99% or possibly the people in general are just fed up with going in reverse. Perhaps it’s all of the above combined.
Nevertheless, I suspect if these progressive voices continue to grow louder and louder, Fox News and politically motivated business owners like the Koch Brothers will not have the political influence they desire leading into the election in November. Making a progressive victory that much easier.