By Tracy R. Walsh

Keith Humphreys thinks the phrase “progressive Puritans” is unfair to both progressives and Puritans:

A Puritan would be delighted to meet a fellow member of the faithful, but that is not what I see in these parents. If they are vegetarian and meet another vegetarian, they are unhappy and commit to becoming a vegan. If they then meet another vegan, they become unhappy and commit to becoming an ovo-lactic vegan. They don’t want other people to share faith in a community of peers; they want to outrank their lessers within a hierarchy. This is also why they are not truly liberal or progressive. They are not trying to save the world, they are trying to get an edge in life for themselves and for little Hayden and Sawyer too.

Rather than surrender the terms liberal or progressive so easily to the domain of lifestyle and shallow issues of personal identity, I suggest we let those terms retain their political meaning by not describing panicky, entitled, hierarchy-obsessed, materialistic strivers as “liberals.” Likewise, let’s not throw theology and history to the side and call them “Puritans” either. If we need a shorthand term for them, I suggest that someone with literary skill invent an entirely new one, as long it isn’t very polite.

Any ideas? More of the popular thread here.