Progressives respectful of differing views


This is in regard to Greg Sterling’s letter, “Throw the progressive bums out.”,

Like Greg, “ ... I have read many letters lately filled with hateful, intolerant and mean spirited statements ...”

But this is where I must part company with Greg. He seems to equate progressives with liberals and Democrats together as if they are all the same thing. I see them quite differently from the perspective of a person born on Dec. 6, 1941, one day before the Japanese military launched an unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor and the many vessels in port that day.

My father lost a cousin on the USS Arizona. My father-in-law was drafted from his college and was sent from training base to training base, with his young wife accompanying him when she could until he was sent to the South Pacific to serve as a combat medic.

So what was the political scene in Washington, D. C.?

While the Republicans and Democrats continued to differ, sometimes politely in smaller matters, they put these aside when it came to war matters. President Roosevelt had a Republican opponent each of the four times he ran.

The same cooperative attitude was generally true for liberals and conservatives and they all operated under the title “progressives,” not of either faction but for the country first. And that is where I stand now, with fellow progressives who find both parties filled with greed and desire to remain in office ahead of all other issues.

Progressives can be of either party, liberal or conservative, as long as they subscribe to an upright moral code and are respectful of differing opinions. Shouting, bullying and calling names should not be tolerated.

Decisions about policy should be made only after careful study, and group consensus modeled on the League of Women Voters or the current Walla Walla Community Coalition.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a widely popular Republican whom I believe has been around too long. I have examined her record in detail. She is closely identified with the tea-party faction of the Republican Party, not a group that believes in compromise or in moderation.

I hope the readers of this letter find it helpful in distinguishing between Republicans and conservatives and between radicals, progressives and Democrats as the terms are used in the United States.

Jim Swayne

Walla Walla


thrifty 1 year, 10 months ago

On at least one point I beg to differ with Mr. Swayne. First and foremost I see many Democrats preferring to be called "progressives" since they are trying to get away from the term "liberal" or Democrat. You may feel that "progressive" can mean either party but I'm not aware of any true conservatives that consider themselves as "progressives." I am aware of a few liberals that belong to the Republican party. They are both Representatives and Senators in Eastern States that probably wouldn't be able to win election if they actually stood for true conservative values.

Mr. Swayne's criticism of Representative Rodgers reflects his true colors. There are "tea party" members in the Republican party and there are also a number of members that have different beliefs. I suspect that many who identify with the tea party movement are well educated and successful. My impression is that most progressives, liberals, Democrats, and some Republicans have attempted to degrade the tea party members by inferring things that are not necessarily correct about them. However, I realize that some in the Republican party do leave something to be desired. The Democrats confess to having a big tent and I suspect that many of those inhabitants are of questionable character.

It appears that you are fortunate Mr. Swayne since apparently you don't have to participate in the healthcare fiasco that your party created since you are old enough to be on Medicare. Perhaps your next letter will inform us as to how well that legislation is working. It looks like a real "progressive" piece of work.


Iopine 1 year, 10 months ago

Being a conservative Mr Swayne, I really look forward to seeing more of your ongoing saga of progressive, liberal Democrats being respectful to differing views.. Maybe we should reference speeches from J McDermott (D-WA) - Patty Murray (D-WA) - Harry Reid (D) - Nancy Pelosi (D) and many more of that illustrious party that respect differing views?

With all due respect I would trust Bernie Madoff before I would have much faith in your philosophy.

If you hadn't noticed Ms. McMorris Rodgers was voted in by her independent/moderate/conservative constituency much to the dismay of the progressive, liberal Democrats.


Iopine 1 year, 10 months ago

I understand why the progressive, liberal Democrat respectful viewing is being brought out now?. Ms. McMorris Rodgers will give the SOTU speech for the GOP in the upcoming rebuttal to this Administration explaining the failures that they have created in the last 5 years.


dogman12 1 year, 10 months ago

The tension between citizens who orbit one or the other of the two poles of political belief is built into the DNA of the country. It will never be fully resolved in favor of one of the poles. Whichever pole they orbit, citizens hold a wide variety of beliefs as to the role of federal or state governments, market regulation, the validity of science, and individual freedoms, among many other issues.

I find it disappointing when one who orbits either pole tries to lump all of those who orbit the other pole together with one label. It is also disappointing to hear someone call for some version of "ultimate victory" for their pole. It is never going to happen. Believe me, the "elitist, Volvo driving, wine sipping surrender monkeys" are just as sick and tired of the "knuckle-dragging, obstructionist, fascist war-mongers" as vice-versa.

As far as I know "the golden rule:" to treat others as you would be treated, has not been improved upon, though it is often forgotten.


tpeacock 1 year, 10 months ago

So sad that such a well written letter with a valid line of reasoning has to be condemned and berated by those who, as in dogman12's letter, reside at the extreme end of the poles. It's well documented that in some minds, there is no middle road, it's simply if you're not this you're that, and if I'm this, and your that, then I have nothing but contempt and a host of names to demean you with. As a Drill instructor, I learned one of the most valuable lessons ever in life; sometimes the best thing to do with someone obviously trying to bring attention to themselves is to simply ignore them. There was always one soldier who would continually screw up so you would administer some sort of punishment, usually in the form of pushups. Simply put, he wanted to be the center if attention. Ignored once, maybe even a half dozen times, the soldier would learn he wasn't going to get the attention and soon enough would cease the unwanted behavior. I would be kidding myself and anyone else to believe this would have that desired effect here, but ignoring comments would take away the response platform some seem to crave more so than making salient points in conversation, or affirming a valid viewpoint. Very well written letter Mr. Swayne, some of us know of what you speak.


Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in