Tuesday, October 11, 2005
In this Bush era soon to be known as The Blunder Years, the Democrats have been a failure as an opposition party.
First they caved into Republicans and allowed the 2000 election to be stolen from them after Gore beat Bush by over 500,000 votes. Then instead of responding to “Get Over It” with “Crimes and injustice against our democracy are to be prosecuted, not gotten over!” they went home and licked their wounds. Most of them have been as bad as Bush has the on the Iraq war and terrorism. And they rolled over and played dead while hapless John Kerry was slimed and slandered in the last election.
Today, the best the Democrats have been able to offer as a party is righteous indignation, justifiable criticism, and no backbone, no solutions and no clear enunciation of who they are and what they stand for.
They at least recognize it and they recognize that now is the time that America is waiting to hear from them. So Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are accelerating their release of the Democratic party’s new platform and policy agendas.
You can get a sense of where it’s headed by reading the post from our buddy kos over at The Daily Kos.
While it is light years better than what the Republicans offer, it is still not seizing the moment in ways that will hook Americans like a hit TV series and inspire them to rise up and fulfill our true destiny.
So that makes this the perfect time for The Angry Buddhist to step in and make it as clear to you as it is to me about exactly what the Democrats should be saying and believing. Because, gentle followers, I know exactly what the Democrats destiny must be.
And so do you. Frank Capra taught us all everything we need to know about what the good guys stand for and who the bad guys are over 60 years ago.
In films like “Meet John Doe,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” and “You Can’t Take It With You,” Capra showed us what real American values are.
Each of Capra’s heroes fought against the forces of entrenched greed, each showed integrity in the face of temptation and each was helped by the combined goodwill of the ‘little people,” leading to their victory over the powerful and the privileged.
Capra’s traditional American values are easy to explain, they are easy to understand and their appeal is undeniable as George Bailey’s, Longfellow Deeds’ and Jefferson Smith’s.
Using them as my guide, The Angry Buddhist has put them together here in a little piece of future history I call -
The Declaration of Democracy
Above and beyond everything we stand for the common person, the individual. We believe the human dignity of the common person is the strength of our nation. We believe that there is nothing really common about free individuals, who are each unique people worthy of respect and their fair chance at the American dream.There you have it. Exactly what the Democrats should both say and do. This is what they should stand for and this is what we should expect from an opposition party that truly lives up to its obligation to offer a real alternative to the Republicans.
We stand for a one-person-one vote democracy. We stand for the individual against the big machine, the powerful and the moneyed interests.
We believe that each American is truly equal and that everyone from the richest to the poorest must wait their turn fairly. We believe that the same rules apply to one and all.
We believe that government exists to stand up for the little guy and to provide the services, agencies and help that the profit-driven private sector should not. We believe that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and
We believe every American regardless of where they live has the right to a peaceful, law-abiding neighborhood. We consider gangs and organized crime terrorists and their actions terrorism and we will respond accordingly.
We pledge to protect the people from criminal harm from within and outside of the United States. We believe that the punishment should fit the crime and that justice should be swift and certain when guilt is assured.
We believe that might does not make right. We reject the role of bully and preemptive military attacks. We believe our military must be used to protect our citizens from harm, respond to any attack and rescue any ally under assault.
We will attack no country who does not attack us first. But if attacked by another sovereign nation we will hold their government and their military responsible and we will seek to immediately destroy them.
We believe that America must always do the right thing even when it is not to our advantage. We must tell the truth even when it makes us look bad. We must always be fair, even when others are not fair with us. We must be generous to those in need even though they might not be generous with us. We recognize that it is our destiny to be the good examples for everyone else. Only by living up to this standard can we be as great as we claim to be.
We believe in neighborly goodwill, that we each have a responsibility to contribute to the greater good of our neighbors and our communities. We believe in the selflessness of community and of belonging to something larger than oneself. We believe that these principles apply equally to our next door neighbors and our country’s foreign neighbors.
We seek first and foremost to live in a free, peaceful world of cooperation and friendship. We believe our country has an obligation to work with the other nations of the world to promote liberty, truth and democracy through the example we set and the help we provide.
We believe that terrorism is another form of organized crime and that terrorists should be fought and defeated by the FBI, the CIA, Special Forces squads and international crime agencies like Interpol. We believe in giving these agencies the tools and resources they need to effectively do this job. We believe that these law enforcement agencies are better equipped and trained for this job than the Army, Air Force, Marines or Navy.
We believe that our dependence on oil as an energy source is harmful to American’s health physically, economically and militarily. We believe it is in our immediate best interest to commit to an all out national effort to develop oil’s renewable, clean replacement. We believe that the jobs created by this effort and by our future discovery will more than pay for our investment.
We believe it is more important to our nation’s future that every American has healthcare, than it is that insurance companies make healthy profits. No one should be denied healthcare because they cannot afford to pay for it and our Federal and state governments should help those who need it.
We believe that poverty, hunger and homelessness are unacceptable and that our nation cannot achieve its true potential so long as these conditions exist across America. Many homeless belong in medical facilities and we will make the room and the budget money available. Other homeless Americans are down on their luck and just need a break and a job and we will offer them both.
We believe that every American who wants a job and is willing to work hard should have the opportunity for employment at a livable wage. We believe that Americans cannot live adequately or with dignity at the current minimum wage and thus it does not qualify as truly “minimum.” We will raise the minimum wage to a point where people can actually live on it.
We believe that it is better for American companies to employ Americans and make a little less profit than to outsource jobs to foreign countries and make more profit as a result. We will tax companies that do so until it becomes economically illogical for them to do so.
We believe that in order to be truly free your private life should remain private unless you are harming others by your actions. We believe the right to individual privacy and freedom of personal expression are integral to being American.
We believe that success in life is measured by the good you do and the friends you make and not by the amount of money you make or the things you own. We reject materialism and rampant consumerism and consider them bad for our nation’s character and soul.
We believe we have a responsibility to conserve and preserve the wild lands, national parks, forests, and other natural places and pass them on to the next generations in better condition than we received them. We believe there are already too few of these places and that they must remain undeveloped and unspoiled for our children and our children’s children.
We believe that it is a crime to pollute the air, land or water or to change the temperature of the earth. We believe that we have a responsibility to repair any damage our actions have had in these areas and that those who have caused the damage and profited by it should pay for the repairs.
We believe that too much money is spent on political campaigns, that money has too much influence in campaigns and in governing, and that this influence is harmful to America and Americans. We pledge to stop taking any and all political campaign contributions over $100. We don’t want your money, we want your vote and your support.
Granted your Angry Buddhist has only mused and meditated on this document for a day or so and the contributions and directions of others will improve it. But if this were the platform, Americans would recognize these values as the ones the majority of them believe in deep down inside.
There's a reason "It's A Wonderful Life" is such a revered classic and why most people call "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" their favorite movie about politics. It's because Frank Capra's movies were about the very essence of our best American values and virtures. And those values and virtues can still help to bring out our best if we hold them up and make them available again.
And that, gentle followers, is our lesson for today.
Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!
I agree friend. I feel that doing anything less than fight tooth and nail with these Repugnacans is laying down and accepting the crap. In order to win elections we need to FIGHT, not so much dirty, but HARD. I have yet to see some serious ammo out of the Democratic party-it's time to go guns-a-blazin'!Post a Comment