Paul Waldman’s “The Progressive Identity Complex” at TomPaine.com talks about the use of ‘We’re all in it together” as “the core statement of progressive identity: it is, in fact, what progressives actually believe.”
It’s what progressives have in common, no matter where they live or how much money they make, even if they disagree on abortion or guns or the war in Iraq. It’s why people with health insurance still think we need a national health care plan, why parents whose children are grown are still willing to pay taxes to fund good public schools, why people who are economically comfortable believe we need to increase the minimum wage. It’s about how you look at your family, your community and your country. It’s what makes you a progressive, and makes you different from a conservative.
I’m tempted to simply highlight the entire passage, because it does such a good job of delineating the progressive/conservative split on the importance of the common good. Use of words like “society” and “community” is problematic for the Left, because the Right would find some clever way to conflate them with socialism and communism. The concepts are still vitally important for progressives, especially in comparison to the self-centered egotism bordering on solipsism that passes for principled individualism on the Right these days.