Category Archives: Progressive

Eugene Debs by Bernie Sanders

A good listen on YouTube.

Debs, a union activist and five-time Socialist candidate for US President, memorably said upon being sentenced to 10 years in jail (of which he served 26 months, in his second stay in prison) for opposing American participation in Waorl War I:

“…years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

From 40 years ago. Bernie Sanders, among other activities a radical film director in the 1970s, is Debs’ voice for quotes from him.

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Filed under History, Progressive

What Swings the Swing Voter?

by Les Leopold, Common Dreams, 2/13/19

Today, a similar common denominator unites every identity group with every economic populist: All have much to gain from policies that address rising inequality

According to conventional wisdom, the Democrats must appeal to middle-of-the-road swing voters in order to defeat Trump in 2020. Supposedly these voters want a moderate who “crosses the partisan divide,” “finds common ground with all classes and income groups,” “removes barriers to advancement,” “builds public/private partnerships,” “works for the common good against all special interests,” “avoids the extremes of the right and the left,” and “shuns costly pie-in-the-sky programs.”

Wrong.

Mounting evidence suggests that the swing voter is one who faces the stark daily realities of rising inequality and all its related issues — expensive or non-existent health care, astronomical student debt, unaffordable housing, and a generation’s worth of wage stagnation. As the New York Times recently reports (“For Democrats Aiming Taxes at the Superrich, ‘the Moment Belongs to the Bold’”)

The soak-the-rich plans — ones that were only recently considered ridiculously far-fetched or political poison — have received serious and sober treatment, even by critics, and remarkably broad encouragement from the electorate. Roughly three out of four registered voters surveyed in recent polls supported higher taxes on the wealthy. Even a majority of Republicans back higher rates on those earning more than $10 million, according to a Fox News poll conducted in mid-January….

continue reading at Common Dreams

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Filed under Democratic party, Progressive

Draft Statement of Conscience–Democracy Uncorrupted

Unitarian Universalist Association

“Democracy is a name for a life of free and enriching communion.” -John Dewey

Democracy in the U.S. has always been compromised. At the Nation’s very founding, only white male land owners were allowed to participate in governance. Wealth was created from those excluded: the seizure of land from indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed and exterminated, enslaved Africans, and exploited labor from indentured servants, immigrants, prisoners, and the working poor. As people of faith committed to “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large,” we must strive toward uncorrupted democracy.

As a means to an end, democracy organizes consensus among diverse people and preserves stability while balancing competing interests. But democracy is not merely a means. It is an end in itself, an ethical ideal, a moral and spiritual way of relating to one another.

The promise of democracy is for a life that fashions us as the people we want to be. Terry Tempest Williams asks: “Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up – ever – trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy?” She calls us to be equitable, and generous, attentive to one another, resolute and courageous in our trust. If democracy has sometimes seemed, as Winston Churchill said, “the worst form of government except for all those other forms,” it is because democracy has been limited and constrained – merely a means for giving powerful interests the appearance of legitimacy….

read more or download at Unitarian Universalist Association

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Filed under Progressive

Daring Democracy Feb. 23

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by | February 7, 2018 · 6:00 pm