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Forget Identity Politics, Call the Tribes


The purpose of the Democratic party and for the progressive movement and liberalism, for that matter, is to ensure that the American working class has the real power in this country, not conservative aristocracy. By arguing every point from a position of conservative economic theory, you give working people no reason to support Democrats and every reason to back Republicans/conservatives.

Specifically, $15 minimum wage is a matter of principle and of making a genuine difference in the world. It should apply to companies with over 500 employees, because that argument that minimum wage hurts small business is valid, and needs to be denuded, $12 for smaller companies. Some allowance should be made for regional cost of living difference tied to census growth.

TPP and other trade deals need to be readdressed to reconsider labor and environmental concerns to stop the worldwide race to the bottom and instead use our powerful market to lift the rest of the world up. Specifically, TPP’s extra-national tribunals are a direct assault on national sovereignty, the idea that a company can sue a nation for full life-cycle damages of what they could have made from privatization when a nation nationalizes an industry is corporatist insanity, and the fact that no member nation can nationalize any industry even more so.  All of our trade deals must be revisited to consider labor and environmental issues to end our race to the bottom.

Fracking causes earthquakes and destroys natural aquifers, it needs to stop. Obamacare does good things, but it starts from the Nixon/Kaiser premise that healthcare should be a national profit center. Single payer is the only solution and America is the only major nation that doesn’t use it.

College education should be debt free. That one was in the Party Platform thanks to Bernie. Our only focus in energy should be in efficiency and renewables. Solar is now cheaper than coal without supports, that should be the focus along with maximizing all other renewables to get to an 80/20 mix within 20 years.

Media consolidation must be addressed, fairness doctrine reintroduced, corporate charters should be potential targets for corporate offenders. If we’re gonna have the death penalty and corporations are people it should apply.

We should also have two years required national service, military, peace corps, teaching, national works, to reinvigorate our belief in our national institutions. Government is us. We need to make it us again. Term limits should be eliminated. There should be no wall with Mexico but an impenetrable wall between lobbyists and public office should be erected.

Citizens United should be overturned, and public financing of all elections instated. No person or organization should be allowed to put more than $5,000 into any political campaign or organization in a given year.

“Right to Work” laws simply gut bargaining power, they need to go, and Unionization should be put into place wherever possible.

The problem with Hillary is that she presented as a perfectly lubricated weather vane of public opinion. She didn’t present herself as someone who would stand on principle for the interests of the American pubic, but could be moved in one direction or another to win votes in an election or support for a policy in governance.

When you have a country that is as divided as ours, you need someone standing up to move the dialogue in a certain direction. Republicans are loud and proud in their approach to this, and that calls their tribe to support them. Democrats are half and half. Fiscal conservatism is conservatism, and because both parties represent it, we now have the complete corporate takeover of American democracy and an oligarchical hereditary aristocracy forming.

We battle over social issues, and make great progress when we do, but we face backlash and the overall flow of history is now trending towards conservatism because we have failed to call our tribe to battle. Why didn’t Hillary support #NoDAPL for example? Where was she on that? People were getting maimed and environmental disasters exploding everywhere.

Hillary could be reasoned with, as the party platform showed, but she didn’t lead. Democrats are not leading. Democrats are not calling anyone to their side or creating new supporters. They are hunkering down in a belief that a centrist tactic that worked after Iran-Contra is some kind of general success blueprint, but Republican control of The White House, Congress, 32 governorships and 67 State Legislatures is proof positive that it’s a losers game. Somebody has to fight for us, the regular American people. That’s all of us, we need to deal with the systemic injustice of racism in law and the judiciary and in policing, and the sexism in pay discrimination, but in a broader sense we need to deal with the economic injustice for everyone regardless of identity so that everyone knows that Democrats are on the side of the only force that can oppose violent militarism, corporate oligarchy, and racist, sexist, hate-filled theocracy. That’s progressivism and the only institutions powerful enough to fight for it effectively for all Americans is the Democratic Party.

Our policies should be generally beneficial for the broadest possible welfare of the American people.

Those support the health, wealth and power of the American republic because a healthy middle class is the only force that supports our critical ideals: justice, freedom, and opportunity and protects capitalism, democracy and the middle class. Call the American tribe as a whole and make clear to each member nation, women, Hispanics, LGBT, men, African Americans, whites, that our policies are best for each and best for all of us, The United States of America.

Crosspost A Flight of Sparrows


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