Update1: This term has been recast as "Puritopian." Emo Progressive was never coined by either Joy Ann Reid or myself. It had already gotten traction before we came together and tried to give it greater definition. We succeeded, perhaps too well. Like others, we were never comfortable with it because it was far too disparaging of emotion, which in itself is not a bad thing. At the same time, we never much liked "Pro Left" either, as many of the people associated with the behavior and attitudes were amateur writers and boggers. Thus, we now feel that "Puritopian" is a better term of art to decribe the beliefs and attitudes that were being discussed on this page. You can read more about the term as soon as I have time to write it up here. For now, just substitute it wherever you see Emo Progressive below.
Update2: I've never been able to get "Puritopian" to gain much traction because too many people had already become too enamored with the "emo" in "emoprogressive," (which I still dislike). So I found a middle ground and defined a new label which seems to be resonating with many in the social media space already. That new label is: Emotarian
Note: Joy Ann Reid and I posted the definition below on Urban Dictionary. But it really needs more discussion than what can be posted there. So this post will serve as an ongoing primer on the subject, and will be expanded incrementally. If you have comments or ideas for things to include, please post them below.
The Original Definition, reprinted from Urban Dictionary
Emo Progressive (or "emoprog") is a self-described liberal or progressive, often with strong libertarian leanings, whose primary political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation at any given time, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly enough or articulated forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents.
Emoprogs are ideological purists who disdain compromise and incremental change, which they see as "selling out" classical liberal ideas like full employment, an end to all wars, state secrets, and liberal social policy.
Emoprogs dislike Republicans but reserve their greatest disdain for Democratic presidents, whom they relentlessly attack for not meeting a set of ideological goal posts that are constantly adjusted to ensure that the president will be deemed a disappointment, "not progressive enough" or "just like a Republican" no matter what policy achievements are made.
Emoprogs routinely dismiss or ignore congress' role in making or impeding policy, believing presidents can simply "use the bully pulpit" and "fight" in order to overcome constitutional or legislative obstacles.
Emoprogs have a strong affinity for third party politics as a way to punish Democratic presidents. They are especially hostile to President Barack Obama and deem anyone who expresses a lack of ill will toward him to be "Obamabots" and enemies of liberalism.
Example1: After Eric Holder announced congress had blocked the Justice Department from trying 9/11 mastermind KSM in civilian court, social networks lit up with emo progressives complaining that President Obama had broken his campaign promise to end military tribunals. Their criticism did not mention congressional Democrats who helped block Holder.
Example2: Emoprogs dismissed healthcare reform as a failure, saying President Obama should have used the bully pulpit to achieve a single payer system, despite the fact that Sen. Harry Reid made it clear that such a plan could not pass the Senate.
- How I Left The Left (by Citizen K)
- About the "professional left" (by Rootless_e)
- Fight the People: 40 years and counting of left wing failure (by Rootless_e)
- What the Left Doesn't Understand About Obama (Jon Chait)
- Barack Obama and the myth of the progressive ‘majorities’(by The Reid Report)
- Why Americans are Fed Up with Armchair Beltway Talking Heads
- Shoq's Short List of Progressive Achievements by The Obama Administration