Government & Politics | November 16, 2005
Douglas Drenkow, Editor of "Progressive
Posted in "GordonTalk",
From Left Field", &
post-mortems of the election are in: What killed the GOP, from
Virginia to California, was the Right moving too far to the Right;
the cautionary message, of course, for us on the Left is not to
play too much to our own "radical" base ... or
so the conventional wisdom goes.
only one problem with that analysis: It takes as a given the
Centrists' humble conceit that Left and Right are equally wrong.
Sometimes, God forbid, Liberals actually do lead our country in a
better direction than Conservatives.
why we're called Progressives.
Regressives, if you will, are down but never out. From Arnold
now apparently heeding Maria, to play nice with the California
state legislature, to Republicans in Congress now wondering if stealing
budgetary items from the mouths of babes to feed the
insatiable appetite of the Butcher of Baghdad (and I don't mean
Saddam) is really the best strategy for getting re-elected, the
GOP has already begun an at least skin-deep attempt of an extreme
makeover, moderation edition.
where does all that leave us Democrats? Searching our heads and
our hearts, of course; after all, we're Democrats.
heads are telling us, "Be moderate. We don't want to alienate
the middle and blow this golden opportunity to recapture the
Congress and even the White House." Our hearts are telling
us, "Be liberal. We don't want to gain the world but lose our
country is crying out, "Be something -- do
something -- dammit! We can't afford to follow these greedy,
intolerant, war-mongering idiots in charge any longer!"
we on the Left have a "secret weapon" for dealing with
just such contingencies: It's called "the truth."
the truth of the matter is that there is nothing more moderate --
more reasonable -- than progressive principles in action.
could be more moderate than the progressive principle of never
going to war unless it is absolutely necessary, and actually
having a plan to win the war and restore the peace?
could be more moderate than the progressive principle of levying
taxes more on the rich and less on the poor, and requiring from
those in the middle what is sufficient to meet our needs as a
could be more moderate than the progressive principle of treating
all human beings with dignity and respect, and seating as judges
those who consider "justice for all" not some phrase to
be uttered in the "gamesmanship" of winning an
appointment to the bench but rather a sacred duty to uphold with
the honor of sitting upon the bench?
could be more moderate than the progressive principle of acting as
good stewards for our one and only environment, and ensuring not
only that this generation has sufficiently clean land, air, and
water but also that future generations are blessed with an America
as beautiful as we have?
could be more moderate than the progressive principle of providing
the best medical care to the most American citizens, of being more
concerned with the health of the many than the wealth of a few?
could be more moderate than the progressive principle of ...
get the idea. Choosing between moderation and progressivism is in
many cases -- admittedly not all but arguably most instances -- a
false choice, like having to choose between peace and prosperity
(Clinton led us to both; Bush leads us to ruin).
politicians in both parties start falling all over each other, in
the wake of last week's election, trying to be more
"moderate" than the next -- moderation in anything but
moderation -- never for a moment forget that the Right is usually
not right; the Left usually is.
we, like Solomon,
would not be wise to "split the difference."
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