There are three main ideological groups: Progressives, Assimilators, and Regressives.
Progressives currently do not have a major political party in the US.
Assimilators mostly affiliate with the Democratic party.
Regressives almost exclusively affiliate with the Republican party.
Progressives keep looking for ways society is failing or could be improved. They argue, lobby, and campaign for the changes that need to happen until they succeed. Then they look again, always asking the question, “how can we do better?”
Assimilators slowly, gradually accept the arguments progressives make, but each argument is a battle. And, once assimilators accept a given argument, they settle. They think, “ah, at last, we are a just society” and relax until progressives speak up again.
Regressives are always two steps behind progressives. They think things were great just before the most recent bit of progress. They hold out until enough Assimilators jump on board (or enough Regressives die) to be outnumbered.
With each new generation:
- Regressives think how it was when they were young is the pinnacle of progress.
- Assimilators think how it is now is the pinnacle of progress.
- Progressives recognize that we can always look to improve.
To put this in immediate, present day terms:
- Trump is a regressive; he wants to restore an era in our past that he believes is better.
- Biden is an Assimilator. He thinks today is just fine, with a little polish.
- Sanders is a progressive. He wants things to be better.
I’ve chosen these words intentionally because political party language is broken. Those words don’t have ideological meanings any more (if they ever really did). They’re empty. Pointless. We should discard them.
If you truly, in your heart, want the world to get better than it is, and want love and care for one another to predominate in our communities, you are not obligated to be a Democrat. But you ARE obligated to be a progressive.