This was an answer I posted over on Quora.
Why are you a progressive?
Largely because the things I care about, and the policies that I think make a better, more functional society for nearly everyone are labelled “progressive.”
If my general political goals (briefly summarizing, that’s prioritizing environmental protection, global climate change, feminism, LGBTQ equality, racial justice, economic equality, and a complete overhaul of our foreign policy to stress human rights over US imperialism) were labelled “neoconservative,” or “juniper berries,” I’d use those labels instead.
I don’t particularly care about the label. It’s useful to have something other than “liberal,” when a small minority of European Quorans get pedantic about their liberalism being more or less equivalent to our libertarianism, but I’m not attached to the label per se.
If you’re asking why I care about those things, regardless of the label, it’s because I’m of the firm belief, based on what I can see with my own eyes, that societies that prioritize these things work better, for the vast majority of the populace, than societies that don’t.