After reading through the document to which you set up a link, what struck me most was the changes United States faced in light of the Industrial Revolution. Rather than being God-centered, now machines and science were seen as far superior. The Industrial Revolution (for example) eas one "event" that changed how the world had worked up to that point, and while changing people's philosophies, it also influenced employment, the economy (think of the garment mills so women could buy dresses off the rack), and a sense of moving into a new age of man. With this growth came concerns over destroying nature to build mills and factories, the abuse of workers (including women and children) who worked under terrible conditions, as well as a new sense of the need to and fear of the emancipation of women and slaves.
As with anything that involves human beings, there is growth—therefore there is change. Some good things took place: humane treatment of the mentally ill was adopted, there was a push for public sanitation, better care for orphans, new medical treatments, the ability to communicate more quickly and travel with greater speed. These things sound really good. However, with each good thing, there is the realistic side that not all good comes without a cost—sometimes at the expense of others. The Porters on trains were black and some felt lucky to have jobs, but where they treated and paid fairly: were they considered travel assistants (like flight attendants) or servants?
One point made in the linked article is:
"All that progressives ask or desire," wrote Woodrow Wilson, "is permission -- in an era when development, evolution, is a scientific word -- to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine."
Whenever human beings are concerned, we must look at everything we touch as changing, because we are always evolving. I'm not a big fan of Darwin, but evolution of our species in terms of watching how we have adapted and thrived over the years is Darwinian in nature—and the Constitution and the laws need to be as flexible and able to change as the country it speaks for. This does not mean we throw the child out with the bath water; we need to seek to retain the original intent of our forefathers. Did they have the Internet? Was child pornography as accessible then as now? No. So we need to let the law speak for us, protect us and our family members, and our country as well. Are special interest groups represented now in a manner that they were not before? Yes. However, evolution does not come without a price. If the price is too high, than the people and the politicians we elect are responsible to keep up with our changing world to address inequities. Progressivism was not the first to shake up the status quo of our government, nor will it likely be the last. The responsibility in light of these things is to keep an eye on what happens around us, and do the best we can—amid our careers and other responsibilities—to make sure that those who represent our country do NOT lose sight of what our founding fathers had in mind. Some things come in black or white. Those in various shades of grey need grounded, visionaries who seek to maintain the integrity of the nation as Jefferson, et al, envisioned it. We are capable of great things. Remembering our roots should not be so hard, as long as we are more concerned with the nation, and less with our own personal gratification.
Politics always makes people crazy because we disagree, and because we care. Caring is the first element necessary to address the needs of the people, at the hands of our government. (By the way, I found Locke very interesting as well, especially when compared to Hobbes. And Jefferson was particularly influenced by his as well.) We need to focus on the basics, and adopt change while keeping focus on those basics.
Perhaps the problem with the Heritage Foundation is that it is too conservative: what we need is probably a way to find a middle ground. It seems logical and wise to do so. We can send men to the moon and replace organs: middle ground shouldn't be an impossible vision.