Progressive Heroes in the “Untelevised” News

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There are more progressive heroes at your back, than you realize. Seldom seen on television network news, their deeds inhabit the Internet.

LAST UPDATED: December 31, 2019

“The Butler” Did It

What impressed me most about the 2013 film, The Butler, were the progressive heroes sprinkled throughout the story of Cecil Gaines’ 34-year tenure as White House butler. The film highlighted famous heroes — like our assassinated trio, Kennedy, King, and Kennedy — and also honored the multitude of nameless, unsung heroes who fought for the civil rights movement. Indeed, the Butler became one himself, as he gradually evolved to the point of supporting, and then joining, his son’s political activism.

The Butler is an emotional experience. Face swollen from sobbing as I left the theater, I felt a powerful yearning. Who, I wondered, are our heroes today? Who do The People have in our court today? I knew of the hapless (as commonly reported) Occupy Wall Street movement, and remembered consumer advocate Ralph Nader. But… who else?

Renewed Political Hope

Little did I know, when I asked the burning question, that I would soon embark on a long study of the Progressive Movement — and would be blown away, as I began to realize that an ARMY of progressive heroes are fighting the Good Fight for you, me, and democracy.

The more I learned about the progressive movement, and progressive heroes, the more my political hope grew. I wish the same for everyone. In the words of Jon Meacham:

The opposite of fear is hope, defined as the expectation of good fortune not only for ourselves but for a group to which we belong. Fear feeds anxiety and produces anger; hope, particularly in a political sense, breeds optimism and feelings of well-being. Fear is about limits; hope is about growth. Fear casts its eyes warily, even shiftily, across the landscape; hope looks forward, toward the horizon. Fear points at others, assigning blame; hope points ahead, working for a common good. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. Fear divides; hope unifies. 

~ Jon Meacham, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

(By the way, Ralph Nader is alive and well. He’s still a consumer activist, also a prolific author, and more!)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Progressive warriors are allotted little air time on mainstream TV. Television network moguls are Status Quo loyalists. From their perspective, that of the rich and powerful, there’s NO need for further political, economic, or social change — unless it’s a guaranteed, faster, easier, no-risk, no-brain way to increase corporate profits (i.e., tax cut legislation or environmental deregulations). From their perspective, on high, there’s NO reason for political activists to be covered on TV. “What in the heck are grassroots???” they ask. “I’ve not seen one.” they answer.

Like the Gil Scott-Heron song says:

The revolution will not be televised.

~ Gil Scott-Heron, 1970

When the work of progressive heroes does happen to be covered on commercial network news, it’s typically presented as foolish, problematic, a threat, or un-American. Therefore, thoughtful news junkies must seek independent progressive news coverage, easily found on the Internet, in order to get the full picture.


Today’s Progressive Heroes

A quick review of today’s progressive heroes is contained in the gallery below. Be encouraged and strengthened. Support our heroes in whatever way you are best able. Peace!

  • All
  • Climate
  • Labor
  • Peace
  • Human Rights
  • Anti-Corruption
  • Progressive Policy


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3 thoughts on “Progressive Heroes in the “Untelevised” News

  1. Real heroes defy the status quo, hence seldom seen in the popular sense and they couldn’t care less for what is done has nothing to do with popularity.

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