Sunday, April 24, 2005

agenda for the left

a recent critique of the left (viz. the Democratic party) that struck a chord with me is the suggestion that the party has lost any foundation in "moral values" (I take morals and values to be different, though related, concepts; I'm just using the popular terminology) that it may once have had; that it is a godless, anti-religious group of intellectual zealots. of course, such charges are manufactured ammunition of right-wing agitprop; nevertheless, it behooves the progressive left to reflect why such charges, though demonstrably groundless, were chosen by the right, and why they have gained a foothold in public sentiment, mortally wounding the Democratic party in the process.

the dems' failure to produce a viable candidate in the past two presidential elections (regardless of one's opinion about the constitutionality/legality of their outcomes) to counter such a blatantly unqualified, undereducated, right-wing puppet as presently occupies the White House, is surely an unmistakable sign that it's time to send the donkey to the glue factory. the Democratic party is defunct. whom does it even represent? my late father, certainly--- at least for the majority of his lifetime. not me, despite the fact that I donated $150 to it, all told, in 2004, and that only because the dems offered the only hope of getting monkeyboy out of office. in toto, I donated almost $400 to "left" candidates, PACs, and campaigns--- a significant portion of my very modest income. yet the dems, as a party, do not inspire me, do not move me, do not stir my notion of "just cause"--- they simply do not float my boat. I see them as an out-of-touch, old-school bureaucracy of inside-the-beltway old-timers; a behemoth, leaderless (Howard Dean? please!), soulless cadre of career politicians who don't begin to understand how to combat the neocon agenda.

so what's a progressive to do?

yes, tess, three words: publically financed elections.

well, short of a grassroots movement to produce a constitutional amendment for same--- a movement the likes of which may well never have been seen in this country's history--- I ain't holding my breath. meantime, there must be a new, clear, value-based agenda for the progressive left; a rallying-point, a call to arms, if you will. and such a focal point is staring us squarely, painfully in the face: that is, the conversion of our fossil fuel-based economy into a renewable energy economy. yes, the entire u.s. economy has its diseased roots in the importation, production, and consumption of oil. seems to me that pretty much all wealth, all value, at present, directly or indirectly derives from the stuff. what better way to rally the progressive left than to pursue the rehabilitation of this addiction-based economic foundation?

it offers three great causes in one: 1) the creation of millions of domestic jobs to do the work of the new renewable energy economy (what a great sell-point for your constituents, congresspeople--- hint, hint!), 2) the reduction of dependence on foreign oil sources and all the geopolitical conflict that entails (i.e., no more invasions of sovereign nations to ensure our crude supply; no more blood for oil! think of it!), and 3) environmental remediation, as we reduce the burden the environment is now/will be for generations paying for our shortsighted, rapacious habit. win-win-win! it's a political trifecta! brilliant!

I'd love to lay claim to this fabulous idea, but of course it ain't mine. please visit and support these guys:

Apollo Alliance

I think this strategy not only makes supreme sense, but reflects and articulates the deeper values that have all along motivated the progressive left--- but somehow never managed to be articulated in the dems' platforms or party identity: the value of people over money, the value of a healthy world community, the value of healthy stewardship of the global ecology.

move over donkey, the Greens (or something like them) will become the new political soul of the left.


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