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.
- Impeach the Secretary of Defense and all other responsible parties for incompetence and criminal negligence in the prosecution of the war in Iraq
- A Constitutional Right to Privacy
- A Higher Minimum Wage
- Universal Health Care
- Universal Free University Education
- National Mass Transit
- Full Corporate Governance Reform to End Corporate Corruption
- National Free Internet Access and Copyright Reform
Over at DemSpeak, AlexD summed up his platform planks under the following headings.
- The only good governtment is a Transparent government
- America needs to kick it’s addiction to foreign oil
- Education is Power
- Basic Healthcare protection is a right
- Full time work should be enough to raise a family
- No matter how you slice it, Pollution is BAD
- Corporations are not “people”
- Privitization: We see what you’re doing and it’s got to stop. now.
- 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?