from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A possible progressive agenda 

is offered in today's Boston Globe by Robert Kuttner in his op-ed piece  Head in the sand.   I suggest taking some time to glance at it.   I will offer a very few selections and then list the topics he included.

the intro

SOMEWHERE, in a parallel universe, real leaders in a country very much like our own are dealing with real problems. Imagine what America might be like if our top officials were addressing the genuine challenges that confront us.

Domestically, the president might have responded to the 9/11 attacks by calling for equality of sacrifice, as presidents have done in every other wartime emergency. Instead, our president pushed through a succession of upscale tax cuts and urged people to go out and shop.

In the parallel universe, the American leader is serious about securing our country. Here, it fell to the opposition party to demand that something as basic as airline security not be left to private, minimum-wage contractors. Nearly three years after 9/11, America's ports and other vital infrastructure are still sitting ducks. While the Department of Homeland Security played Keystone Kops with color-coded alerts that seemed suspiciously timed to alarm the public in an election year, the different agencies that were merged into one are still working on how to communicate with each other.

In that other universe, the president surely would have enlisted America's allies to combat terrorism. Had war between the United States and Iraq come, it would have come with the full participation of the world community, so that Iraq's reconstruction and the burden of keeping it secure would have been broadly shared instead of falling upon American taxpayers and GIs.

One can imagine a whole to-do list of the president's national priorities:

The things he describes in detail are as follows:

Repairing American democracy.

Fixing our retirement system.

Keeping America healthy.

Dealing with global climate change.

Saving the economy.

Giving every child a chance.

Using science to the fullest.

Kuttner's conclusion is

In a decade, historians will ponder how the American people could possibly have reelected a president who lives in a fantasy world and who is doing such damage to the real world.

The poet e.e. cummings wrote, at the end of a fine poem lamenting the condition of humankind, ''Listen, there's a hell of a good universe next door. Let's go." We, alas, don't have that option. We have to bring sanity to the world we are living in.

Read the article.  While the points in bold above should be clear, his explanations of what he means on each point are "right on."

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