February 5, 2016.
So, we're arguing over who's a real progressive?
I don't care.
This is one of those angels dancing on the heads of pins arguments of interest and import only to pedants, prigs, and priests. If the word has any real meaning, it's an historical one. Otherwise, it's a fad term that's used as cover for liberals and leftists who for one reason or another are embarrassed to call themselves liberals and leftists. It's also popular with people who want to claim credit for liberal Democratic successes while disdaining the dirty work necessary to achieving those successes and the politicians who had to do the dirty work.
In my circle of acquaintance, most liberals are content to call themselves liberals and the occasional self-styled progressive is usually someone who knows the President could have given us single-payer if he'd truly wanted it and the fact that he didn't give it to us is proof the President is not only not a progressive, he's a closet Republican in the pocket of the insurance industry.
Maybe I just travel in the wrong circles.
At any rate, I don’t like or need to call myself a progressive. “Liberal” is a good enough word for Pop Mannion, and it was good enough for his President, Franklin Roosevelt.
I think a more useful distinction between Hillary and Bernie is that she’s a reformer and he’s more of a revolutionary. Some progressives think that makes her a conservative. And she is. I’ve made this case before. Liberalism is the true conservatism. It’s an idea I got from Roosevelt by way of Pop Mannion. HRC’s that kind of conservative because she’s FDR’s kind of liberal.
Roosevelt popularized a new term for his political philosophy. The word "liberalism" was not common in American political debate before 1932. As a presidential candidate, Roosevelt sought a new word that would transcend partisan lines and signal a break with older (and outdated) political divisions. During his campaign, Roosevelt began calling himself a "liberal" rather than a "progressive." He always distinguished his ideology from conservatism on one hand and socialism on the other. Later, when he ran for re-election as president in 1936, Roosevelt explained his political philosophy by quoting one of his favorite sayings: "'Reform if you would preserve.' I am that kind of conservative because I am that kind of liberal."
---from Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism by Kathryn S. Olmsted.