Monday, November 10, 2008

The Move to the Left

Obama, Be Progressive!

To meet the challenge, Democrats have to abandon their worst habits.

They must, for instance, acknowledge their progressive mandate, rather than denying it as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did on Tuesday. "This is not a mandate for a political party or an ideology," he fearfully told reporters.


America Is a Center-Left Country No Matter How Much the Corporate Media Say Otherwise

As Robert Borosage of Campaign for America's Future, wrote of the his group's poll (PDF), "When asked why they voted for Obama, the leading reasons were his proposals for withdrawing troops from Iraq, cutting middle class taxes first, providing affordable health care, and his commitment to invest in education and make college more affordable. When those who voted for Obama were asked about their doubts about McCain, picking Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin led the list, but fear that he would give tax breaks to the rich and big corporations came in second, followed by the notion that he would continue Bush's policies."



That bit above is just one of Holland's many sources in support of a progressive America - and all of his bullet points are worth a good read.

Obama needs to acknowledge the progressive mandate that has been given and steer well away from centrist bullshit if he is to accomplish what really needs to be done. If he succeeds on a progressive agenda he will continue to make history; if he fails by remaining too centrist he will give the GOP an opening in four years time to remake the U.S. yet again in a manner of their choosing.

Often when one talks politics in the U.S. the Democrats are spoken of as the "left" and Republicans as the "right." The Republicans are to the right. I'd put the Neocon faction of the Republicans at the far-right. But the Democrats are hardly the left if viewed from an international perspective. The Democrats can more fairly be described as the true center of American politics - and that's why American politics lean right: because things are either at the center or to the right, that's the available part of the political spectrum as things stand right now. A true left really would be a communist or Marxist party of some kind, and the Democrats are certainly not that by any stretch of the imagination. When Neocons tried to paint Obama as a Marxist any thinking person just laughed at such a suggestion as absurd on the face of it.

Personally, I'd like to see the rise of a true left in the U.S. It's not precisely that I want a far left party to assume power here but rather that I want such a political perspective to inform the ongoing political discourse of what is possible and what should seriously be considered. To dismiss leftist ideas as automatically beneath the threshold of consideration damages our political discourse very severely.

I want the whole rainbow of political possibilities from which to choose the best solution to a given problem.