Jefferson’s “happiness” is not personal. It is a social notion of the greatest good done for the greatest number. Pursuing happiness is the reason governments are created by the people; the consent of the governed given through every election. We have a collective right to make our world a better place.
Progressives express a faith in ourselves, as a people, as able and wanting to make the world a better place. This faith calls for the creation of governments to make this happiness possible.
Progressives first believe that the pursuit of happiness is just that—a pursuit—government after government, election after election. Elections are best seen as how democracy perfects itself, not as simply prizes to be won. Governments are best when transparent, where privileges of the few do not kill off the hopes of the many. Progressives believe when the people have a transparent understanding of government, forums for the free exchange of ideas and open access to the political process, we will best be able to pursue happiness together.