A good discussion on dotCommonweal about it. I have a lot more to write about this, but I have a library trip and a dinner out with my family pretty soon here.
One comment struck me, though:
Only when progressives find that they have something counter-cultural and useful to say on these issues will they regain their relevance. Until then, I suspect their influence will be more divisive than instructive. I wish it weren’t so, but I am not sure how else to view it.
And I’m not sure what to say about this. Progressives were criticized in previous generations because they were counter-cultural. If the perception is that progressives have adopted modern values, I’d say they’ve set aside being progressive. Let’s recall that forming communes and communities apart was a progressive hallmark of the 60′s and 70′s. Now pizza moguls talk about it. Let’s not forget that defense of the weak and underprivileged was also a hallmark of progressives. Pardon me for parting company with the mainstream pseudo-Left, but progressives like Nat Henthoff (and me and millions of others) are still opposed to abortion on demand. I’m going to suggest that the abortion movement is actually a conservative Trojan Horse. It’s also part of the Establishment, and therefore, utterly conservative … but that’s a topic for another day.
My take on selected side topics in this discussion:
The pre-conciliar Church did a better job of community. And communities raise up leaders like priests. The pothole was not liberal Catholicism, but suburban life in the First World. So maybe I should say that the pre-suburban culture did community better than the cul-de-sac culture does it today.
I also think that many progressives have done a poor, poor job of mentoring. Let me ask priests and church musicians out there: how many vocations to your vocation have you been responsible for?
In no way, do I consider authentic liberalism, either the secular brand or the Catholic version to be a sell-out to the mainstream of society. Maybe individuals have compromised their liberal values.
And maybe it’s time to hit the road, folks. Talk to you again soon.