So long as I’m debriefing myself about the OAH panel on this blog, let me put up my answer to the “nomenclature question”—i.e., “progressive” or “liberal.” I said (and I paraphrase myself from memory) that while as a citizen I understand the practical reason for avoiding the “l-word,” as a historian I’m not that keen on the use of the word “progressive.” Because as I understand it, I said, both wings of our modern political family descend from the progressives of the early twentieth century.

Basically, some progressive reforms addressed the ills of modernity by trying to make Americans into a better people—prohibition, immigration restriction, eugenics and so forth, and their descendants are modern conservative measures. Other progressive reforms addressed the ills of modernity by taking people more or less as they are, but by trying to dicker with the system that governed them—regulation of the financial rules, changes in workplace laws, and so forth, and their descendants are modern liberal measures.

So the term “progressive” seems a bit imprecise.