Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive and John McCain views him as a hero. At best, McCain is a moderate. At worst, he's a liberal who talks conservative to get elected (we saw that just last month). Notice he's already singing the praises of the VERY liberal Russ Feingold, who just got booted. "Progressivism" is a far left socialist (liberal) ideology that incrementally removes individual freedoms and I personally reject it.
As for conservative vs. liberal, here are some examples of how I personally see the extreme ends of spectrum...
* Pro Life
* Capital punishment for murder (that would include people who perform abortions)
* Individuals are ends in themselves and not means to an end (Immanuel Kant)
* Strong faith in Judeo-Christian God
* Small Government / low taxes (reliance on individual compassion and good nature to push / lift others up)
* Anti-Union (Capitalist in nature)
* Strong National Defense / Reverence for the military
* Anti gun control
* Belief that man has little to no impact on climate
* Energy independence over saving polar bears
* Let the free market dictate what gets produced / consumed (Too big to fail should be abolished)
* Everyone accountable equally
* Extremely limited government regulation (example: no encroachment on right to free speech, even for liberals - LET KEITH OLBERMANN SPEAK!)
* Marriage between man and woman only (homosexuality is sinful)
* Understands where money comes from
* Return to the gold standard
* Hayek over Keynes
* Person in congress who best represents - Jim DeMint
* Presidents who best represented conservatism - Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Reagan
* Person not in congress who best represents - Still looking
* Pro Abortion
* No Capital punishment (especially not for abortionists)
* Individuals are means to ends, to be exploited for the purpose of a larger agenda (Saul Alinsky)
* Atheist, Agnostic, or Pagan
* Massive entitlement programs (welfare, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, etc.) / re-distribution of wealth
* Pro-Union (communist in nature)
* Weak National Defense / military demonized
* Repeal 2nd amendment
* Belief that man is contributing to destruction of the planet by exhaling CO2 (the fact that polar bears exhale CO2 should be ignored)
* Don't understand that necessity is the mother of invention. Instead, they try to dictate what customers should get (green energy / Chevy Volt)
* Some people are more accountable than others
* As much government regulation as possible to limit the free speech of conservatives (FCC - net neutrality and Fairness Doctrine as examples)
* Nothing wrong with homosexuality and gays should be allowed to marry
* Don't understand where money comes from (it's printed, not earned)
* What's a gold standard?
* Keynes over Hayek
* Persons in congress who best represent (the 70 congressmen who are registered members of the Socialist caucus - Bernie Sanders in the Senate and 69 in the House)
* Presidents who best represented liberalism - Wilson, FDR, Carter, and Obama (Clinton gets honorable mention)
* Person not in congress who represents - George Soros (incidently, Soros sees himself as a progressive)
As for your questions about the Patriot Act.....
The reason the Patriot Act is so confusing to people is because it doesn't address the real threat - ISLAMISM. The Patriot Act was put into place as a direct result of 9/11. Yet, due to political correctness (a liberal trait), the words "Islam," "Muslim," or "Jihad" can't even be found in the law. As a consequence, the Islamic enemies that hit us actually end up potentially being better protected. Case in point - Wheelchair bound nuns are being patted down at airports while DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (liberal) gives serious consideration to the Council on American Islamic Relations' (CAIR) request to allow Muslim women to pat themselves down.
We have not identified our enemy and as a result, the Patriot Act is potentially very dangerous to law-abiding citizens. In fact, in the spring of 2009, DHS put out a "Right Wing Extremist Report" that identified conservatives as potential terrorists despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary - The vast majority of terrorists are Islamic Jihadists.
After 9/11, Congress SHOULD have declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood and all of the groups that fall under that umbrella. For example, Hamas, al-Qaeda, CAIR, ISNA, MSA, and many others. We did not and are losing the war we have chosen to fight against a "tactic" known as terror instead of against a living, breathing enemy.
As for Glenn Beck, I'm not a big fan of his over-the-top advocacy for gold buying. I also think he gets too conspiratorial at times BUT I think he's on-target about 80%-85% of the time. His exposing of Van Jones, Anita Dunn, Ron Bloom, George Soros, and the other Maoist / communist / socialist / progressive tendencies in the current administration are SPOT ON.
Ben Barrack - "Let's Talk About Something Important!"www.benbarrack.com
“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right”
- Abraham Lincoln