Sunday, December 19, 2004

Soul Power

While doing some overdue maintenance of the Other Lefties blogroll, I found another longtime pal o' Upper Left, Daniel in Chicagoland, had suspended his election year blog, Blog4Kerry, in favor of pursuing his Search for the Democrat's Soul. It's another fine site, and now blogrolled as Democrat's Soul for your clicking convenience.

Given his new blog's title, his latest posting seems on point.
Democrats should be striving to establish a baseline of what we ALL believe. After all, Democrats are the mainstream party; the new Republican Party consists of radical ideologues. We should be able to establish basic core principles that resonate with Middle America...
As Daniel notes, establishing core principles is a hard task for a truly 'big tent' Party, but it's not only worth doing, it's essential that we do it. Happily, the biggest tent of all, the House Democratic Caucus, has done a lot of the heavy lifting for us.

There's simply no body of Democrats that represent interests more diverse than our members of the US House. Choose any measure - geographic, economic, ethnic, racial, age, rank or serial number - some Democratic House member from somewhere represents the relevant interest. That's why, in summary, I think they best represent the general interest, and that's why I think their New Partnership For America's Future holds such promise for our Party.

Organized around six principles that serve as a lens for each of our proposals and a filter for each of theirs, this is something worth promoting. Here's the general outline...
PROSPERITY

Providing all Americans with the opportunity to succeed and to live a secure and comfortable life, including good jobs here at home, affordable health care, a growing economy with stable prices, investment in new technologies, and fiscal responsibility in government.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Guaranteeing military strength second to none, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, building strong diplomatic alliances to protect America’s national interests, and collecting timely and reliable intelligence to keep us safe at home by preventing terrorist attacks before they occur.

FAIRNESS

Ensuring equal opportunity for all, including affordable health care for everyone, spending Social Security funds only on Social Security and eliminating tax loopholes so that all Americans pay their fair share.

OPPORTUNITY

Providing Americans access to the tools to succeed as they choose: a vibrant public education system, accountable to the highest standards for every school and a chance for all children to reach their potential, including an affordable and accessible college education.

COMMUNITY

Working together for safe communities free of crime and drugs, supporting local businesses and groups to keep our families safe and our neighborhoods strong, and enforcing our anti-pollution laws to keep our air and water clean and healthy, with polluters paying for the damage they cause.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Holding those in power accountable for their actions, acting responsibly for our children by restoring fiscal discipline and eliminating deficit spending with pay-as-you-go-budgets, and requiring real consequences for CEOs and corporations who break the law at the expense of those who play by the rules.
That's the stuff of the Democratic soul, and that's powerful stuff.

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