|In order for the progressive movement to be a success,|
progressives needed to take power away from the individual.
W. Cleon Skousen, in his book, "The 5000 year leap: Principles of Freedom 101," reminds us of this. He said:
"There are many reasons why the Founders wanted a republican form of government rather than a democracy. Theoretically, a democracy requires the full participation of the masses of the people in the legislature or decision making processes of government. This has never worked because the people become so occupied with their daily tasks that they will not properly study the issues, nor will they take the time to participate in extensive hearings before the vote is taken. The Greeks tried to use democratic mass-participation in the government of the city-states, and each time it ended in tyranny."The authors note that while a democracy becomes "increasingly unwieldy and inefficient as the population grows," a republic "governs through elected representatives and can be expanded indefinitely."
James Madison, one of the main authors of the Constitution, knew the limits of a democracy. A republic, he said...
...derives its power directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.
The United States was a republic, and considered as such, until the progressive movement of the early 1900s. Early proponents of the progressive movement realized there were essentially two things standing in the way of moving forth their agenda: republicanism and the U.S. Constitution. They aimed to tackle both these issues with a public relations campaign, or by twisting facts.
To understand this, we must first understand the history of the progressive movement. Progressives believe that an ideal, or perfect, or Euphoric, world is possible. This is a world where there where every person has an equal share of the profits, where everyone who wants a job has one, and where everyone has health insurance. We must realize that this is a dream.
To move America forward to this dream world laws must be made, and the people responsible for making these laws are experts in Washington. Of course, these experts must all be progressives. These experts must make laws for the good of society, or for the good of all, or for the collective.
The gist of this agenda is the assumption that people, as individuals, are not capable, or not willing, to do what is necessary to move forth the agenda. People, left to their own devices, are selfish, and will not give to charity and will not share the wealth. So they must be forced.
So you can see that this would not be popular in an republican America where individualism was taught. So, these progressives started a campaign to change this view.
Since a republican government limited their ability to push forth their agenda, the term "republic" was taken hostage. It was at this time people, mainly progressives, started referring to their progressive programs as liberal, and their progressive programs as democratic. They did this in order to make them sound more appealing. They would say things like "this is for the good of society," or "for your own good."
For example, in 1921 socialists in the United States started calling themselves, "The League for Industrial Democracy." It has a much more appealing taste to Americans, and appeared much more likely to suck people in.
During WWII, Woodrow Wilson added to the confusion when he hailed
"Make the world safe for Democracy."
This strategy worked. Teachers and journalists prove the effects of this campaign by teaching that America is a democracy. Even George W. Bush fell victim to this when he hailed that he was encouraging Muslim nations to become democracies.
The second effort was to make the term socialism appealing withing the borders of the United States. In order to to this they used the name "progressive" instead of "socialism." Progressive was a much more appealing term. Later, as this term lost its appeal, the name was changed to liberal.
Prior to the progressive movement the term liberty referred to the exercise of human rights in any manner a person chooses so long as it does not interfere with the rights of other people. Liberal, therefore, which dates from the Middle Ages to about the 1930s, referred to freeing society from the shackles of the state.
In 1930 it was abducted by the progressives/liberals and now means "open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values." The term made it possible for the progressives to convince people that is was okay to change, or in some cases ignore, the laws of this nation, including the Constitution, in order to push forth their agenda.
Evidence of the success of this campaign is seen in every day life in America. The influence of government has dangerously expanded far greater than the founding fathers ever envisioned, nearly to the point that presidents such as FDR and Obama have gained near king-like powers.
Bottom line: A successful push to destabilizing the meaning of the terms "republic" and "liberal" allowed progressives (i.e. socialists, liberals) to convince Americans to ignore or change the Constitution, thus allowing them to push forth their agenda.