What’s Your Platform?

It’s hammer-and-nail time, folks. If the blog posts I’ve been seeing lately are any indication, people are already thinking in terms of progressive platforms for 2006 and beyond. Over at MyDD, Matt Stoller posted his idea of a platform for 2006, which instantly reminded me of a post I saw over at DemSpeak a couple of weeks ago that presented a short progressive platform.

Matt included the following top items in his 2006 platform recommendations for Democrats.

  1. Impeach the Secretary of Defense and all other responsible parties for incompetence and criminal negligence in the prosecution of the war in Iraq
  2. A Constitutional Right to Privacy
  3. A Higher Minimum Wage
  4. Universal Health Care
  5. Universal Free University Education
  6. National Mass Transit
  7. Full Corporate Governance Reform to End Corporate Corruption
  8. National Free Internet Access and Copyright Reform

Over at DemSpeak, AlexD summed up his platform planks under the following headings.

  1. The only good governtment is a Transparent government
  2. America needs to kick it’s addiction to foreign oil
  3. Education is Power
  4. Basic Healthcare protection is a right
  5. Full time work should be enough to raise a family
  6. No matter how you slice it, Pollution is BAD
  7. Corporations are not “people”
  8. Privitization: We see what you’re doing and it’s got to stop. now.
  9. Greet Us with Flowers and Candy Is STILL NOT A PLAN

You’ll have to visit the posts above to get the authors’ exposition on their platform ideas. What I’m interested in is what readers here think about the ideas above and what you would add or change if you were constructing a platform for progressives to run on in 2006 and/or 2008.

Of course, I have some thoughts of my own.

There are some things in both posts that resonate with me right off the bat. Naturally, the idea of a constitutional right to privacy, even if it takes an amendment to ensure it, appeals to me. If nothing else it could mean that sodomy laws are dead, buried, and unlikely to return. And then there’s a host of other issues, including choice, that would be strengthened.

There are a couple other areas where I think some serious strides could be made. Republicans love to trumpet the words “liberty” and “freedom,” to the point that they become nearly meaningless. I don’t remember who said it first, but it’s worth reminding people that liberty and freedom are useless if you don’t have knowledge of what your right or liberties are and the ability to act on them.

I think most people probably get that, and there are two issues where progressives can make real progress winning people over on that message: education and health care. Without education, you can’t really know what you’re rights or protections are, thus it’s easy to lose them. Without health, and health care to maintain it, you likely won’t be able to to act on your rights or freedoms if you even know what they are.

Of course, these are broad strokes and there are details that need to be worked out. For example, free university education may not be the answer, because university education isn’t necessarily for everyone. But there are tons of ideas out there that can be expanded upon where education is concerned. Maybe alongside university education we need to strengthen and offer more options when it comes to trade schools. Maybe we we need to focus more on continuing education for adults and workers.

But again, what are your thoughts, readers? Here’s your hammer and nails, and the platform is yours to build. What planks would you use?

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About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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11 Responses to What’s Your Platform?

  1. Shaula Evans says:

    Terrance, I’ve been thinking about the "right to privacy" plank since Matt put up his post this afternoon.  I think it will protect Roe and Griswald and do away at last with the anti-sodomy laws…which is great.  And it’s a politically pragmatic way to do so.

    I wonder if it is enough, though, especially for the GLBT community, but for women and visible minorities, too.

    And I wonder if this is a chance to bring back (a possibly updated version of) the ERA…and the political pro’s and con’s of doing so.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

  2. Nio says:

    I would inject safe and affordable housing as an undeniable right.

  3. Rachel S says:

    Just a side note…Didn’t Lawrence v. Texas overturn sodomy laws?
    I like the right to privacy thing as a way to appeal to moderates, liberals, and conservatives.

  4. Terrance says:

    Yeah. Lawrence v. Texas did overturn sodomy laws, but the religious right would like nothing better than to reverse that, probably right after they overturn Roe v. Wade.

    I think the right to privacy amendment would help reassure gays and choice advocates that the party isn’t drifting so far right that it’s abandoning them.

  5. Rachel S says:

    Yeah, I’m with you and Shula on that right to privacy…..I also think that should be connected to the Patroit Act.

    BTW–I wanted to comment on your gender fence riding post from a few days back.  I can’t wait until you get back to that subject. 

  6. jaqua says:

    I always agreed with a free university education, and anything after that i.e. graduate school would have to be paid for by the applicant.  The national mass transit idea is an interesting one.

  7. Justin says:

    A constitutional right to privacy is such a great idea.  What legislator could say no to that?!  Seriously!?!

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  9. keri says:

    One issue I’d like to add to these lists would be reforming public school funding so that it’s not based largely on property taxes. I believe that equality in opportunity comes in large part from equality in education and we won’t have that until the funding for public elementary and high schools is standardized.

  10. Lorin Ripley says:

    One thing about the whole right to privacy thing.  So far as I’m concerned, there already is a constitutional right to privacy.  Advocating one falls into the same trap that the pro-choice forces did in allowing the opposition to define the field of play.

  11. Pingback: My Progressive Platform For 2006 at connecting*the*dots

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