Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Progressives

This post is for those of you who become irritated with the post that will come next, Enough of the D.C. Dems by Molly Ivins. When I first read it a couple weeks ago I was immediately struck by the importance of Molly's article. It expresses from the heart what so many people are feeling. They are exactly the kind of words that I've been hoping to use to create a dialogue on the future of this nation and the world.

After listening to a moving speech by Gar Alperovitz here in Ithaca a few months back, I was determined to take his advice and start a discussion group on where we go from here... as it says on the cover of his book America Beyond Capitalism, to reclaim our wealth, our liberty, and our democracy. With our busy lives it is exceedingly difficult these days to get a group of people together at the same time every week for a discussion. This blog is becoming the substitute for that discussion group.

Gar suggests that we are at a turning point in history. Throughout history major change has occurred seemingly out of nowhere, when in actuality it was always a slow progression under the surface that finally exploded. We now have the basis for fundamental change with worsening economic inequality, the erosion of civil liberties, governments that are unresponsive to the people, and, at the same time, people with vision and determination to realize equality, liberty, and democracy.

This is what it means to be a "progressive". The dictionary definitions are: a person who actively favors or strives for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government; a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties. Being a progressive is about peace and against militarism, about social and economic justice, about returning the power over government to the people, and about basic human rights, including environmental protection. This is also what it means to be green. We are the progressives and this is what we stand for.

In The Progressive, Molly Ivins writes for the progressive cause in the Democratic Party because a two-party system is what we're stuck with in this country. And the two parties that we're stuck with have attracted people with diametrically opposite views, the progressive view on the side of the Democrats. Unfortunately the vast majority of politicians do not well represent those on their side. Until this nation abandons its black-and-white party system in favor of a multi-party system, we are forced to fight for our cause within the Democratic Party.

We need every person with progressive ideals to be as enraged as Molly is. Now is the time to realize the fundamental change that is necessary to save our nation. This isn't about Democrats vs. Republicans... it's about all who value peace, justice, liberty, and democracy coming together to determine where we go from here.



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