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Sunday, November 28, 2010

A PROGRESSIVE MANIFESTO (Conclusion, Part 5)

I began this series over 6 months ago in an effort to spell out to conservatives why we on the left think as we do, and not as they do. This, then, is my concluding segment.

We progressives are activists and fighters. As to WHY we fight, that was spelled out brilliantly by Mycue23 in a February post on his marvelous blog Random Thoughts (http://hamsandwich66@blogspot.com/). The post, entitled "Why We Fight", is featured below. My own comments will follow.

We fight because "...in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope". We fight because senior citizens should have not have to chose between food and medicine. We fight because American Individualism is not an open invitation to social Darwinism. We fight because Gay and Lesbian are not dirty words. We fight because we believe that all men are created equal. We fight because we believe that people should be judged by the content of their character. We fight because having tens of thousands of people die each year because of a lack of affordable health care is morally unacceptable. We fight because having thousands of children go hungry in the richest nation on the planet is morally reprehensible. We fight because every child deserves access to an education that will prepare them to compete in the global economy. We fight because torture committed in our name is still torture. We fight because everyone should have the right to marry who they chose. We fight because we only have one planet. We fight because the status quo is unacceptable. We fight because a lie repeated often enough must not be permitted to become the truth. We fight because women deserve to paid the same as men. We fight because our veterans deserve to be treated with respect they have earned. We fight because the expenditure for the Iraq war could have paid for health care for every man, woman and child in the country who cannot afford it. We fight because the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We fight because the forces massed against us never take a day off. We fight because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. We fight because as FDR put it, at the height of the Depression,


"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of the those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little".


That is why we fight. We fight because we must.


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Those words are as true today as when they were written back in February, 2010. The sad fact is, that while some personalities may come and go, the basic truth remains: we progressives see something that is unfair, or because we do not believe that our Founding Fathers made this country happen for the benefit of just a few, we act. That is what led the abolishionists to oppose the evils of slavery. That is what led the Pullman Strikers to riot and protest their lot in life. That is what led the New Dealers to enact the legislation they did, much of which we are benefitting from to this very day. That is what led a lonely woman to refuse to give her seat up to a white person after a long day at work. We do not enjoy the task which has been thrust upon us. We wish we could just leave things as they are. But we can't. Our very being cries out with rightful indignation when we see others attempt to exploit those around us. For we are not content to accept we have have for ourselves as enough. Rather, we won't rest until ALL are free from want, from hunger, or from unequal treatment. Ours is not to ensire a unending source of equalness between everyone, for that would inhibit individual initiative. But ours is to ensure that EVERYONE in this country has enough to be able to live their lives as they see fit. And that is not too much to ask.

Some may call us bleeding heart liberals. That is a cold-hearted way of saying to hell with everyone else - I've got mine, now you go ahead and get yours and don't bother me about it. Those are hopeless, self-centered people. Others may say we are dreamers and that such a lofty goal will never be realized. To them I say: their is no harm in trying, so why not lend a hand?


In recent decades, we have seen a disturbing trend toward the type of concentrated wealth being centered in the hands of but a few. This cannot and will not be the case forever. The forces of progress cannot be held back for more than a few years at a time. The forces of reaction (and that is exactly what our latest Tea Party phenomenon is) will be shut down altogether. Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann will rightfully slide onto the slag heap of history where they belong, for they have absolutely nothing to offer the country and never will. This movement will become as irrelevant as the John Birch Society, or the Know Nothings of the 1800s were. Such is the way history disposes of such types. But until then, we progressives must fight one chunk at a time for the ground we will wim.


AND WE WILL WIN!!!

4 comments:

Mycue23 said...

Jack,
Well said as always. I am humbled that you chose to include something I wrote in your post. I can't think of anything to add to your wonderful series of posts. I'll just end with this quote from Ted Kennedy which I think sums up my thoughts:
"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

Jack Jodell said...

VERY nicely said, Mycue23! I am indeed honored to have you as my friend!

mud_rake said...

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

Right now, however, anyone to the left of Goldwater feels like they are wearing cement boots sitting on the edge of the Chicago River.

Jack Jodell said...

mud_rake,
You DO have a point there, but it's still better than another term of Bush or GOD! PALIN!