How far to the Left?

Jim,
You asked, Is this the right time to get more liberal, or the right time to shoot to the middle? I guess I’d start by saying that we have moved so far to the right in the last generation (politically, I mean, not the people in the country), that we absolutely have to move to the left from where we are. We have a long way to go to get to the middle. I would argue that we need to go quite liberal, FDR liberal, to put the country back to work and to reboot the economy. And I also think that before we can ask the question of how far to the left we should move, there is a more fundamental question that we must answer. How can the American people get some semblance of democracy back?
As I’ve pointed out before, even a large majority of Republicans agree that taxes should be raised on the rich. Even a good majority of Republicans want to protect Social Security and Medicare. A majority of Americans understand that we need to rebuild our infrastructure. And yet virtually none of that is even on the table for discussion in Washington. The new super committee in congress represents (if you look at the population of the states the senate appointees are from–the senate, remember, being the least democratic institution imaginable) about 15% of the American people. Well, to whatever extent they actually represent the people in their states. I would say that is a very small extent.
The debt deal was pretty much the final straw that proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the elected people in Washington as a whole only represent the richest one percent of Americans and the largest corporations. The welfare of the American people, beyond an occasional rhetorical nod, hasn’t entered into the equation in more than a decade.
So for me the question isn’t how far left we need to move, but rather how we can begin to move away from our money controlled plutocracy and back towards some semblance of democracy. Because until we have a plan for a way to do that, it won’t really matter what should or shouldn’t be done, for what will be done will continue to be written by the people in Washington representing only the richest Americans; that top one percent who control 90% of the wealth in America.

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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