Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Countless Enemies At Home And Abroad: Democrats Awaken !

First Published in DelawareLiberal on August 20, 2014 by ProgressivePopulist

Do you dread opening your daily newspaper and internet news source each morning like I do?  Ferguson, Wilmington, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and countless other hotbeds of conflict, hate and destruction.  And America is at the center of it all.

We've managed to build a society that is earning us both disappointment and hostility across the continent and the globe.  About the only undisappointed and non-hostile are the very few reaping the very rare but enormous economic benefits from the version of capitalism we are practicing as a nation.  And protecting as a government.

The research I read tells me mainstream people,  foreign and domestic,  look upon America with skepticism and distrust and certainly do not buy the myth of American exceptionalism with the possible exception of those exploited people in this hemisphere whose  local economies pay them  so little they view our minimum wage jobs as a way out of their dire poverty.

The foreign hostility we're experiencing was not created by President Obama.  It is a function of post WWII foreign and economic policies built by multiple generations and bi-partisan consensus.  Decades of economic exploitation and corporate plundering, with military interventions to protect those interests and the repressive foreign regimes we've bought off to support our endeavors are the causes of the ravaging fires in the middle east and immigration crises from the south of our borders.

Our domestic focus on protecting our corporate interests at the expense of addressing the interests of  our mainstream population and resulted in a massive increase in domestic poverty, joblessness and racial conflict.  Where there is no current conflict, there is endemic hopelessness.

But here's where the Democratic Party can make a huge difference.  The Party can be a key vehicle for solutions by departing  from the incrementalism  it has been timidly offering as solutions to problems  requiring much bigger thinking.  Many of the big ideas are marinating in the policy prescriptions of the progressive movement within the Party.

Now is the time for the Party and its candidates to offer reforms on both our domestic and international fronts and start the national discussion.  Virtually no national discussion is currently underway in spite of the very obvious state of crisis our nation is in.   The DNC, our State Party organizations, President Obama and the Congressional Democrats can and should be facilitators of this discussion through neighborhood, internet and national leadership forums and meetings.  It can start with this mid-term election and continue through the 2016 Presidential election.

Here's an outline of some of the agenda as I see it:

Domestic:  Climate policy, racial conflict and reparations, a redefined immigration policy, increasing electoral participation and trust, corporate regulation and discipline, restricting corporate domination of public policy and legislation, consumer rights,  workers rights, full employment, fair wages, rebuilding the commons, fair share taxation, priority economic growth sectors, modernizing  the Constitution, criminal justice.

Foreign: Climate collaboration,  no war policy, re-thinking military facilities,  restraining corporate interference with foreign societies, relationships with oppressive regimes, fair trade, international corporate reform, reforming a dysfunctional U.N., prosecuting state crime and world criminal justice.

I'm hopeful our Delaware DNC delegates and Congressional delegation might agree that patch work solutions are not getting us where we need to be and get on board with ambitious initiatives to reform and revolutionize our declining society.

If the task is perceived as too challenging, then help us retool to retire the myth of American exceptionalism and work to build a smaller, more modest and humble empire.