At The American Conservative, Bradley Birzer explains the racist and bigoted past of the American Progressive movement, and the views of its earliest champion, Woodrow Wilson, who as Birzer writes, “might have been America’s most left-wing progressive president.” He explains (abridged):
Toward what do the progressives of today believe they are progressing? The chances are more than good that they have no idea. Somehow “progress” means greater equality, greater understanding, greater tolerance, greater peace, and greater evolution. Somehow. But it’s never entirely clear how. In almost every sense, modern progressives mean that anything they deem good is progressive while all else is not just wrong but evil.
Is there an actual end to the progress of progressives?
Progressives have come to dominate academia, churches, the media, and especially politics.
Woodrow Wilson might have been America’s most left-wing progressive president, but his ideas were not significantly different from those of either George Bush, not only in foreign policy but domestic policy. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the No Child Left Behind scream progressive, each placing what should have been dealt with privately and locally in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
Tellingly, it is impossible to separate Progressivism from racial and religious bigotry, especially in the United States. Eugenics and social engineering come directly from America’s progressives, who firmly believed in a lily white, Protestant America.
From its beginning, whether intentional or not, Progressivism has been racist and bigoted.
Read more here.