Recently a friend emailed me this article, I am sharing the article he sent as well as my reply. I think candidates and lawmakers should be as transparent as possible. Having insight on how they think, is very important before you vote for them.
Progressives always get the BS line about how we are “purists” when it comes to politicians we support, but I will say that I would gladly support a moderate Democrat for office here in KY, if I thought that any existed. But with the exception of Howard Dean, I cannot think of any other figures in the Democratic Party in my state or national level who are truly moderate.
Let me explain.
I’m one of those older people who remembers when moderation was defined as a political philosophy that accepted change but at a more gradual pace. Moderates didn’t want to overthrow the political system, but they sought to manage necessary changes. In other words, you do not fix what is not broken, but when something isn’t working, you acknowledge there is a problem and try to make make corrections.
Moderates accepted a role for government as a positive good, but they didn’t think it was the solution to all our problems. And they could criticize government failures. Fair enough.
And, it appears that some had principles that they would not negotiate away. In other words, they stood for something. They may not have roared like progressives or conservatives, but they didn’t bargain away things either.
Unfortunately, where have the moderate politicians and leaders gone over the last 37 years? For all intents and purposes, the nation’s priorities and so called solutions to anything have been tilted to the right for all that time. So called moderate Democrats such as Bill Clinton internalized Reagan’s message that “big” government was over. Government could not fix big problems because it was part of the problem.
This type of thinking neatly fits into conservative economic policies. No Democrat could support increasing government spending because government economic policy became how tax cuts cure everything. The same tax cuts that were magically to balance budgets. And when the magic didn’t happen, these same “moderates” would propose balancing budgets by “reforming entitlements.”
Not only did Bill Clinton and other moderates, now called centrists, embrace the idea of cutting social programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security because deficits were bad. They also signed onto the idea of free trade. So blue collar middle class jobs were outsourced because everyone thought this was a grand idea. It certainly helped out international corporations though who achieved higher profits by employer foreign workers who are paid a lot less than Americans.
And then it was moderate or centrist to be for deregulation. This happened multiple times with lending institutions, and it lead to the Savings and Loan crisis and later the Wall Street meltdown. California deregulated its power grid, and they got rolling blackouts.
And let’s not forget that we have been in multiple wars now because many a centrist has ended up approving of them.
What happened during the 80’s and forward was that true moderates faded away. What replaced them was the modern day centrist. This is a politician who has been bought by his corporate donors. And with the extreme rightward tilt of the Republicans, the so called political spectrum has been forcibly dragged far to the right. The centrist now defines himself as midway between a progressive and extreme conservative Republicans. But he or she really ends up being a conservative on economic policy dickering with a reactionary Republican.
To bring my point home, the fact that someone like Howard Dean is seen as some kind of radical hippie by the media establishment is ludicrous. Dean is what you would call an old time moderate. He appears radical because he states his positions FORCEFULLY, even when he is going against the grain as in the second Iraq War. But on a number of issues, he is a middle of the road moderate. He just says, “This is what I believe, and I’m going to stand by this.” Not everything is up for negotiation.
So if there was say a Howard Dean type moderate running in KY for say the U.S. Senate, I would consider that person. If no one else I felt was better was around, I’d go out and try to help get them elected to office. You work with what you got sometimes.
But it does NOT mean that I have to make allowances for more centrists in the Democratic Party. I will fight against those folks every time. We tried their strategies and policies, and they have been found wanting.
This is a great point of view,
You can say on the subject of Obama Care I am not a progressive democrat, I
believe Obama care was an extremely well crafted piece of legislation that
definitely still needs improvement. I also strongly believe that for the most
part, what doesn’t work about it, is due to deliberate Republican sabotage. I
recently heard the argument that Democrats are acknowledging Obama Care is
failing and that is why Bernie Sanders and co sponsors are introducing single
payer legislation. I am concerned that pushing the issue of single payer will
cripple our parties ability to lead when we take over congress in 2018. Taking
over congress should not be our only goal. Our aim should be, that we do a much
better job than Republicans did when they were in complete control. In order to
make that happen, we should reach out to our brothers and sister on the other
side of the aisle and do our very best to work together. There is a ray of hope
when it comes to that approach. For example Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
who was working on a bill to secure Obama Care works. There is no hope in
believing Democrats can work with lawmakers like Dennis Ross. That is why I am
running against him. I know how painful it is to watch Republicans work
diligently on this newest cruelest of all repeal and replace bill. As well I
wonder how painful it must be for conservatives, who wonder if Bernie has an
inkling of hope of passing single payer. I once said “I don’t believe there has
ever been a baseball team, the all time underdog. Pull it out and win the world
series. After the game was over, every player on the winning team, walked off
the field with their head lowered in shame saying it wasn’t me” That is
essentially what we have done as a party when it comes to Obama Care. When
progressives like Bernie say we should be sure to make healthcare a right not a
privilege. I say Obama Care has gotten us 94% of the way there. By eliminating
the category of uninsurable without enormous rate increases, or for that matter
ensuring exact same coverage pricing, as well as expanding Medicaid to
millions. We have for the most part made healthcare a right not a privilege.
On a subject like electronic voting versus paper ballots, my feeling is paper
ballots have flaws too. The thing we need to most concern ourselves about is what
I call the greatest right wing conspiracy of all. That is voter suppression. We
have all heard the story of Texas law considering concealed weapon carrying permits
valid voter poll id. But not state issued personal identification cards.The
logic being conservatives have carrying permits and low income, minority and
young people may only have a state issued id. We need to do a better job of
ensuring democrats get out to vote in very large numbers.
Than on the subject of immigration, illegal immigrants should have a path to
citizenship. If they are not guilty of crimes and they can speak fairly good
This is just some of me thinking out loud. If you like to know more about my opinions on subjects that are important to you. Join the conversation. Visit my website click on the Quackers tab. Let me know what you would like to hear my opinion on. I look forward to speaking with you.
Democrat for Congress 2o18