An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Democrats’

The Liberal Agenda that Needs to Exist

A common statement amongst the conservatives and the Libertarians is that there is a “liberal agenda.”  While this has been a very effective tool for the Tea Party and the Ron Paulites to exploit to death, it is a concept that simpy doesn’t exist in the world of modern political discourse.  The problem with politics these days is partly due to the fact that there is NO liberal agenda.  They really could use one.

The Tea Party and the people who pull their strings have a very simple agenda, and it is one of the reasons that the liberals are losing a very open culture war that is going on.  The right wing of this country has discovered a very clear and very effective tool to get whatever they want – total attack, total offense.  People will complain about the endless political battle, but what those who do fail to understand is that this is not just an isolated incident.  The Republican Party has realized that this strategy can work.  And it is working.  Every single day, the liberal side of this country is losing ground.  Every single “compromise” that Obama has made has been worth nothing.  It has been nothing but the liberals losing ground on the social progress front.

The Tea Party is actually deserving of some acknowledgement.  They are able to motivate their base in a way that the liberal side of politics couldn’t hope to.  This is one of the reasons that the liberals are losing the culture war that is happening right now.  Progress is stopped dead.  Their agenda is simple – keep us constantly defending, knowing that the left-leaning politicians are not strong enough to stand up and fight back.  Keep us constantly in retreat, and they will inevitably win.

Those who follow the Tea Party are viewed as laughable by some of the more scholarly political commentators, but it is not a laugh to me.  Their strategy is not only effective, it is very sinister.  In order to get elected, Republicans now have to please the Tea Party base.  They have to promise them whatever they want.  It has sunk a couple of political campaigns, like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell.  But others have done very well, like Allan West.  The fact is that the Tea Party is being used by scum like Eric Cantor to completely eliminate all the moderates from the Republican Party.  As these racist and often impoverished white people scream about how the hispanics and the blacks and the gays are what is wrong with this country, the liberal community on the whole does nothing.

This is part of the real problem in America – the liberals need to, and pardon the frankness, grow some balls.  There is NO liberal agenda.  There should be.  There should be a very clear agenda that the liberals, not the most hardcore, but those who are left-leaning enough to be helpful, along with the moderates, should support.  Why support it?  Look at what the other side wants – to get rid of voting rights for minorities, and women.  They want to roll back a woman’s rights to her own body.  They want to take away a woman’s right to vote.  They want to make it illegal to be gay in this country, as many states already have laws in place to have.  They want a lock-step attitude toward the goal of taking away the freedoms of everybody who isn’t white.  They want to lower taxes to completely unsustainable levels.  They want to take away public education (Ron Paul, anyone?).  They want to get rid of America’s social safety net entirely, even though most of those ignorant Tea Party Republicans are using it.

So, what should be on this liberal agenda that people should actually be fighting for?  Well, that’s simple.  To start with, there needs to be an expansion of the social safety net, while cutting out the waste that we do have in it.  We need to have universal healthcare in this country.  We need to fix the education system that is absolutely a joke to the rest of the world.  We need to advocate for an education system that doesn’t teach that one side is right, the other is wrong.  Just give us the facts, and we’ll be the judges.  We need to leave the Middle East and slash the budget of a military that is outdated in the first world.  We need to increase taxes on the wealthy.  We don’t want to bleed them dry, but there is no reason that a guy who is making $5,000,000 a year can’t pay a little more.  That is just bologne.  We need to bring back secularism to how our country runs.  Even those who are religious should get behind this.  There is no reason that Christian doctrine should govern how America does things.  We need a police force that is actually working for the betterment of the common man, not as a machine of the state, and not as people who are continually busted abusing their power.

So, that is what our agenda should be.  You know what else we need?  We need to get rid of these politicians who are always advocating for compromise.  Obama was weak because he failed to realize that this strategy that the Republicans put into play was a very clever play to keep us always on the defensive, and every single “compromise” has screwed social progress.  The liberals get next to nothing, and in return, they give up nearly everything.

There was a time when it was not only considered good politics, but generally being a good person to compromise.  You give somebody some of what they want, they give you some of what you want.  That was a good way to do business.  But in this country, that isn’t how it works anymore.  It is now a mess of people using the system to drown out the voices who speak against them.  It is the Republicans very cleverly keeping the liberals doing nothing, and every day, we are losing ground.

So that is what our agenda should be.  They say only the bad guys have an agenda.  Well, as my favorite YouTube vlogger pointed out, they are right.  Only the bad guys do, because the good guys are too afraid to say that they have one too.

Peace out,

Eli

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Partisanship has Always Been Around

So, I got the most recent edition of the paper when I returned to UAA to resign my contract for the next year.  Annoying, but whatever.  I got to read an article written by a very articulate and very passionate writer at The Northern Light named Brett Frazer.  He wrote a very good article, but I will admit that I do disagee with parts of what he says.

His article talks about partisanship in this country, and how it is a very big problem that people are not devoting enough time to thinking about and not realizing what a dangerous issue it actually is.  I don’t disagree with his conclusion, just some main points.  And since I’m always looking for a new concept for my professional blog, I thought I would address that.  Here is giving a shout out to Brett Frazer, for giving me today’s blog idea.

In any case, partisan warfare has always been around, in my opinion.  The only real difference between then and now is that back in the day, they didn’t have the platform that we have in this country today.  A YouTuber by the name of Pat Condell made an assertion that the “9/11 Mosque” (the worst moniker that I have heard in a long time) divided America like nothing ever has.  But he missed it too.

The fact is that partisan battles have been going on in this country since we have had a country.  We call it partisanship, but truly it’s just different ways of thinking.  Even back when America had only one partly, the liberal and conservative way of thinking often clashed.  They clash because it is in their nature.

Frazer quoted Jon Stewart in his article, and rightly so, but there is another quote by Stewart that I think works much better to describe the modern atmosphere of politics in this country.

The embarassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment the public has in what the news media does.”

Stewart argued on Chris Wallace’s show on Fox Sunday that the “liberal media” that Fox so unabashedly attacks is not some huge liberal counterweight to their massively overwhelming conservative and Republican bias.  They are more sensationalistic and somewhat lazy.  He also pointed out when Wallace said that Fox viewers are happy to be getting “the other side of the story” that studies consistently show that Fox viewers are consistently misinformed.

But he is right, none of the 24-hour news networks are innocent in it all.  Personally, I get my straight news from PBS and BBC.  But I like the political commentary of Rachell Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Keith Olbermann.  I don’t like Ed Schultz all that much.  His mannerisms are way too much like a liberal Rush Limbaugh.

However, partisanship in this country is definitely not a new thing.  Back in the days before the Civil War the partisan lines were pretty clear.  Frazer quotes George W. Bush from 1992 for bringing about the huge partisan movement in this country on the premise of a kind of holy war.  While he did start something pretty major, the fact is that part of what we are seeing today is brilliant political manuevering by the conservative elements in this country.

My good friend, John Aronno, had a thought about modern politics.  It used to be in the 90’s that the Democrats and liberal and progressive elements of this country could talk about the real issues, like legalizing pot, gay marriage, getting rid of DADT (we finally got to that, but there was a gap), all sorts of things, and it was accepted.  There was real debate.  However, the modern political landscape has been for at least the last nine or ten years that the conservatives go further and further to the right and get increasingly more crazy with their ideas, keeping the liberal and progressive and even the moderate elements from not even bringing anything to the debate table.  They are kept too busy trying to stop the insanity that they can’t do anything for the issues that actually matter.

I don’t think some of what has happened with modern politics is all partisanship in the way Frazer does.  I think that partisanship has evolved into a game of chess.  I am absolutely with Frazer when I say that it shouldn’t be a chess board with pieces on one side and the other, but the fact is that this is what it has become.

But more than that, the entire system is crooked, from top to bottom.  One of the key things that Obama said during the campaign was how the problems that sunk our economy couldn’t be fixed by keeping things the same.  And now he has two of the guys who got us into this mess in the first place as his chief economic advisors.  Economic Reform was a joke.  Elizabeth Warren was put (sort of) in charge of yet another toothless government agency.

The partisanship in this country is a problem, but it is a problem that has always been around, and will continue to be around.  The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that the entire system is built around this government really working for the lobby groups, and the American people not choosing to stand up and get involved because they are so apathetic because of seeing how unpleasant modern politics is.

Another good quote from John –

The reason voting doesn’t work is because nobody does it.”

Peace out,

Eli

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