Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Being Progressive

Being "progressive means ensuring that the actual conditions of people's lives improve through government acts."

In a good article, "Moving Obama", Karen Vanden Huevel, the editor of The Nation gives the above definition of being a progressive. We hear a lot of talk about progressive agendas that thwart private enterprise, but have there not always been government and private enterprise?

We already have the government's influence in our public lives such as in Armed Forces, police force, fire departments, and social security. After all, being progressive, or conservative for that matter, is not only about what programs we support but how we do so.

Both government and private enterprise should improve people's lives and do so in ways that move agendas and initiatives forward. In this regard,I guess we're all progressive.


dave wheeler said...

"Both government and private enterprise should improve people's lives and do so with the of the people in ways that move agendas and initiatives forward."

I like your version better than:

"ensuring that the actual conditions of people's lives improve through government acts."

Policies and programs need to be separated in some way, shape, or form from "politics". Everyone agrees public education needs fixed yet one party insists the only way this can be done is vouchers and school choice. The other party says no...we need to invest billions more on programs and policies that are ineffective and haven't adapted to the societal and socio economic realities of the past decades. Positions and policies based and influenced on how much $$$$$ are donated (both political parties) and no accountability for producing results isn't going to change a thing.

We however as voters can. Go to a school and ask the building level administrators, teachers and support staff what the barriers are to excellence and you will hear a differet story. Tough for a child to read and do homework without electricity. Tough for a child to learn when they are chronically absent from school due to a variety of health, transportation, personal safety, no parental involvement or thousands of other reasons. Billions get spent but so few of those dollars actually make there way to where the service is delivered...to where the customers are. Each school is a unique community but problem solving and resourse allocation don't address those needs.

People can make a difference. Folks can unite behind common goals regardless of their personal differences and things can get changed and done. Government has role but so do we as citizens. Time for us to get up, go out and make a difference...NOW!!!!!!!

Thanks Judith...great topic!

judith ellis said...

Dave - Thank you for your very thoughtful comment, as I know that you have practiced with you're preaching here for many years. We honor your community service and are appreciative of the work you do without fanfare. Though, I think your brand of involvement is taking root. I so appreciated President Obama's speech last night to the graduating class at ASU. Service was emphasized. I also appreciated the fact that he turned an apparent slap in the face into something powerful, "our body of work is never over."

With regards to your comment about policies and programs, I would agree that the separation is between politics and programs, not necessarily policies. Moderates Republicans have agreed on policies with Democrats even when their politics varied. The problem as I see it within the Republican Party is that the moderate voice has been pushed aside to embrace and extremisit far right religious often loveless message that the people have by and large rejected. I would dare to say that Jesus Christ Himself would have rejected such messages.

It sincerely "takes a village to raise a child." Parents alone can't do it. Schools alone can't do it. Government intervention, though necessary and prefunctory, alone can't do it. Communities alone can't do it. Places of worship alone can't do it. And money alone can't do it. It is the sum of the various parts that matter most. We are communal beings. We all have to be our brothers and sister keepers and it doing so show love, concern and care. It is important to do this daily in small and not so small way. In some kind of way, JUST DO IT!

And PLEASE, Dave, don't get me started on campaign contributions that influence Congress! We need CAMPAIGNE REFORM NOW AND NOT THE LIP SERVICE KIND LEAD BY THOSE WHO ARE A PART OF THE PROBLEM!!! How can these guys currently in office, the likes of Senators Dodd (D) and Shelby (R), for example, lead such reform when they are knee deep in it? It's RIDICULOUS! Yet, they are seeking to reform banking and housing regulations when it was on their watch, being heads of the most powerful committee in Washington on these matters, whose campaigns were supported by Wall Street banks, that the catastrophe happened!

It feels like Dick Cheney saying that the polices "kept the country safe" when it was on HIS watch that 3,000 Americans were KILLED ON OUR SOIL and over 5,000 in Iraq after having invaded another country with bogus intelligence. PULEASE! Dick Cheney should SHUT UP and many of these senators should resign as it was on their watch that this financial catastrophe occured OR if for no other reason than to "to shun the very appearance of evil." The latter is also VERY significant in public office.