If the letter entitled “Liberals/progressives fought social change,” (Jan. 30) was a parody of right-wing bloviating, it was effective. If not, its author needs to buy a dictionary, look up the words conservative, liberal, and progressive (which must be considered in their political and historical context to be properly understood), and retake American history.
Abolition of slavery was a progressive idea. Southern Democrats who supported slavery were profoundly conservative, that is, they supported traditional institutions, which slavery had become. They would come to be called Dixiecrats. By the late 1960s they began fleeing the Democratic Party and joined the right wing of the Republican Party.
Civil rights legislation was the work of socially liberal Republicans and Democrats who passed it in spite of opposition by the Dixiecrats and right-wing Republicans.
Income tax originates with President Lincoln, was promoted by Theodore Roosevelt (both Republicans), and made permanent by Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
The author’s calling Social Security progressive is his only assertion congruent with reality. He should research how many elders were living in poverty prior to passage of the social security act.