October 22, 2005

What a Liberal Stands For

With Bush’s presidency in a tail spin, it’s easy to sit back and criticize. But the President’s opponents need to say what they are for, too. According to several reports, Democratic chairman Howard Dean is set to announce a new party platform for the 2006 Congressional elections. “It’s about time” is what many people would say, though most voters favor Democratic control of Congress in 2006 before they have even heard the details. In the meantime, here’s my own policy wish list, which may end up being similar to the Democratic platform:

  • Health care for every American, including prescription drug coverage;
  • An “Apollo” project for energy independence;
  • Urgent action to lessen the impact of an avian flu pandemic;
  • Serious measures to combat global warning, and to lessen its impact;
  • Balanced budgets and sensible fiscal management;
  • Major investment in technology infrastructure and innovation;
  • Better education, particularly in science, mathematics, and computers;
  • More, not less protection of natural resources including wildlife;
  • Saving Social Security from privatization;
  • The rich elite paying their fair share of taxes, including a “Paris Hilton” inheritance tax;
  • More vacation time for full time workers.

I’d also like to see a return to effective government, including:

  • Accountability;
  • An end to corruption and cronyism among senior government officials;
  • An exit strategy from Iraq;
  • A more effective Homeland Security Department and CIA;
  • Stronger collaboration with allies to fight terror;
  • Decision-making based on reality, not ideology;
  • A major reduction in pork and wasteful spending;
  • A return to effective non-proliferation strategy.

Maybe I’ve been abroad too long, but it doesn’t seem to me that liberals are going to have a hard time agreeing on the important issues…

By Will Friedman in Politics | Permalink  | 

Comments

The trouble is that -at least right now, and arguably for several years- Democrats don't seem to have the disciplined "talking points" thing down like the GOP does.

What they have at least taught me is that repitition is WAY more important than fact when attempting to get their point across, or to define an issue. Two years ago, my own mom told me that she thought Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11!

It's all about framing the agenda in small punchy sentences. Liberals/Progressives tend to use (and understand) big words and think about things as being more than just black and white. We can all agree on everything that is wrong, and lay out an agenda for change, but can we come up with snappy slogans for them? Like "Family values" or "partial birth abortion."

Progressives have yet to convincingly and pithily define the Bush administration as "crooked, uncaring, arrogant, self-serving, etc." Bush did that himself with Katrina, but that image needs to be crystalized before the country forgets. Once convinced that the current GOP are messing things ups royally,(Hello 39% approval rating) they need to hear immediately (or before!) what the other side plans to do. Dems need to do it NOW and hammer the talking points home for the next year to get congress back. By next year, when in October Bush calls most of the troops back from Iraq, Americans will have forgotten all this ever happened.

cynical, but true.

Posted by: dks | Oct 26, 2005 8:20:29 AM

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