I have the start to our answer to the question: What is Progressive?

Many folks have asked malcontent and I, ‘What is Drinking Liberally all about?’ and ‘Who are you guys?’ and worst of all, ‘Are you Democrats?’

Nope, we are not Democrats although we know a lot of Democrats and in general find them a lot more sympathetic to our vision for our still great nation than the vile Republicans; the Party of Treason, Murder and Genocide. That’s all you’ll here from me about who and what we aren’t. It’s boring and not a good use of my time . This is our 803rd post and I have learned not to waste time on what we aren’t.

I’ve been thinking and reading and discussing the question of who and what we, at Drinking Liberally and Bear Republic Action Group, are and what we are trying to do. I am not alone in this effort to define myself and those I find around me who oppose the attempted fascist coup of the ReichWing, the rottenness of our materialistic society, the economic stratification of our economy, the rampant sexism and racism we see every day. Others at MyDD, dKos, Angry Bear, Pandagon, Sirotablog, and the many, many other progressive blogs I read every day are engaged in the same work.

Here is the meme I have arrived at. Keep in mind that every word is, as my mathematics professor back in my days at UCB would have put it, is: Necessary and Sufficient….

‘Progressive is Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.’

I’ll expand a little on each element but be warned this is only the first of many posts on this issue. Today I got a commitment from those present at our Drinking Liberally, Brunch with A.Citizen that this post unlike my previous posts: ‘What is Progressive?’ and, ‘This is Your opportunity to get in on the next big thing Progressive Division.’ and , ‘What do Modern Progressives Want?’ and, ‘Enough ranting about the Traitors. It’s time to move forward. will be commented on and used to start the dialogue. To start the creation of a viable platform for progressive political action. And if you are thinking, ‘Who is this guy that he thinks he can do this?’ I have one response. ‘Who do you think is gonna do it?’ The folks running the country into the ground? The prepaid shills of the corporatist media? The bought and paid for ‘Democrat’ Party consultants who don’t really care who wins or loses politically, or in life; as long as they get paid? They are not. So I will. If you are serious about political change for the good of all then you will join me and we can do it together; that’s progressive too.

If not…

Please don’t ask me what to do. It’s incumbent on you to do for yourself , your children and your fellow citizens. I have, as you probably already know, plenty of ideas but without your help we aren’t going to achieve much.

The question which was asked today, and which gave rise to this post, was,

‘What do we want to do and how can we do it?’

Well if you read my posts and all the associated links you will know what I want to do and no lie about that. The answer to the question cannot come from just me however it must be something that resonates with the voters. And it must be, absolutely must be good policy for our nation. The combination of these will allow progressives to take political power and more importantly to exercise it effectively for the common good which will allow them to keep power long enough to change the destructive course this nation is on.

So…diving right in with:.

Peace….

Peace in the context of my meme means: first, an end to the war occupation of Iraq. Second, an end to Military Keynesianism. Third, making all military expenditures subject to the review of Congress without exception for any ‘security’ concerns. Yeah, I bet you thought your Congresscriitter knew what he as voting to spend your money on. That is not actually the case.

Health….

This polls as the number one issue with a bullet right after the occupation of Iraq. At current rates of inflation for healthcare costs the money spent by Americans on all healthcare expenses exceeds the GDP somewhere around 2040. Yes, I know that that will not happen but what that rate of increase in the greed costs of healthcare providers means is that sometime between now ant 2040 there will be a break in the smooth curve of increasing healthcare costs nationally. This discontinuity will occur when another 40 million or so folks are thrown off the roles of insured by the insurance industry. We as progressives need to be ready with our solution to the crisis when that happens. What is the solution? I’ve posted about it more than once but suffice it to say today the following, ‘The era when can afford to let healthcare be a ‘for profit activity’ are over. Over for all time.

Your thoughts?

Prosperity….

At every one of our meetings concern is expressed about the state of the economy. And the folks showing up to meet with us are all employed in ‘good’ jobs. The problem is not with the economy as it is performing. A cursory glance at the markets and the profits big corporations are reaping in every industry shows that things are good. For those who are rich. Not for the rest of us. Nor as my post ‘Gee…no wonder I don’t feel so good.’ shows are you or anyone you know, unless you know someone who is already rich, are ever…ever going to be rich. So what to do? The answer could be to start with educating people about how to talk about the economy in terms that relate to their lives. What do we care if the DOW Jones index is above 13,000? A better question for the hundreds of millions who don’t own stock is, ‘How many months rent or house payments do you have in the bank? This is something we can do as it revolves around language; something we in the blogosphere are good with. Far better than the ‘conservatives’ are actually. Their strength in is in their corporate control of the mass media and it’s wholly owned sockpuppets.

Everyone….

This means what it says. Our agenda must be viable for the planet. That does not mean we don’t look out for our interests as a nation but if Bush-the-Idiot has proven anything it’s that America cannot forge events solely for it’s own advantage.

That’s all I can do today. I hope to see a response from you. Is this viable? I think it is and to show you that things don’t always follow the ‘conventional wisdom’ and even less to they turn out the way the ReichWing would have you believe they will….

I leave you with this………..

Parting thought: The first time I spoke the meme at a D/L meetup I was instantly told that I’d left out ‘X’ which was a very, very important issue. Typical ‘Democrat’ dialogue in that since I had not on the surface addressed an issue near and dear to the questioner the whole meme had to be invalid. I say I can expand on any of the major concepts in this meme to cover any substantive issue. That’s why it’s a meme folks. Try me and see.

Flash Update: If you think this all sounds like too much to do….Consider what this progressive legislator has done and at what risk.

8 Responses to I have the start to our answer to the question: What is Progressive?

  1. malcontent says:

    Excellent post, A.Citizen. This does a commendable job of expanding on your comments at our 5/27 brunch and gives us a launching pad, from which to take our first cohesive action(s) to correct the course of our once-respected democratic republic.

    I will digest this post, commit to taking even more private progressive action through communicating with our legislators, in addition to my efforts to reach out to my fellow citizens online and in person. I will also work with you to refine and promote this worthwhile meme.

    I wish regular_guy had been present at our last gathering, as his comments re: the fundamental difference between campaigning and governing were given more weight in the lucid comments of one of our guests. Despite the difference in perspective within our budding group, I believe we can agree that we now have a solid start in defining what progressives value and what we all hope to achieve.

    Bravo.

  2. A.Citizen says:

    Thanks for the praise….

    Now we must ask for action from our ‘list’.

  3. regular_guy says:

    Thank you A.Citizen and malcontent. Unfortunately I could not make it to brunch on Sunday. I was unable to clone myself and opted to spend some holiday time with my family rather then my DL family. I look forward to catching up during our next meeting. It appears there is no brunch gathering scheduled for this coming Sunday, June 3. Is that correct?

    What is Progressive? A major prerequisite optimism and today I find my own optimism being sorely tested. I feel a very strong empathy towards Cindy Sheehan and her views about the Democratic party in particular. I sincerely hope Cindy is only suffering temporary battle fatigue and not giving up the fight entirely.

    Another severe test of optimism are details emerging about the so-called benchmarks in the latest version of the supplemental appropriations bill and the full extent of the capitulation by the Democratic party. According to Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army colonel, the most important “benchmark” is the passage of oil industry privatization legislation by the figurehead Iraqi Parliament.

    What Congress Really Approved: Privatizing Iraq’s Oil for US Companies

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/052607Z.shtml

    This is most disturbing aspect of this “benchmark” is the fact that oil industry privatization has been a primary aim of the Bush Administration from the very beginning of this conflict and now it is being handed to them by a Democratic controlled legislature. The Democrats have proven just how complicit they are in this corporate grab for oil. Cindy Sheehan is right and our only hope now is that the Iraqi Parliament will be more independent then the US Congress. What a sad state of affairs.

  4. Hi! I have never posted here before, but I am so glad I clicked A.Citizen’s link over at Crooks and Liar’s most recent open thread (the one with a suggested topic of the Republicans’ disturbing inability to recognize that Jack Bauer is a fictional character in a fictional world). For anyone who might not recognize my moniker, I post at C&L under my actual first name, Karen, but everywhere else as Liveliest Crib. As a San Franciscan, I’m excited to learn of the Drinking Liberally meet ups and the Bear Republic Action Group. :)

    As for this particular topic, I hope I can add (constructively, as admonished ;) ) to the definition of “progressive.” Perhaps you’d like the perspective of a Libeqrat. (A what? Heh, don’t go googling that or stampeding to your dictionaries….it’s just a term my friends and I have coined for libertarian-influenced progressives who focus on LIBerty, EQuality and RATionality.)

    My tiny group believes that each and every person on the planet is equally, fully and substantively entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (We kinda Americans we were supposed to hold that truth to be self evident. Silly us.) Progressives most certainly believe in that ideal — though we have an approach to the ideal that separates us from other ideologies. Namely, we recognize that government and collective action are do not necessarily threaten an individual’s pursuit of happiness. In fact, the lack of government and collective action can threaten the pursuit of happiness we hold so dear. If I may quote from our own blog:

    “Simply put, real world circumstances often militate against the pursuit of happiness and in favor of pure survival. At such a point, the choices an individual makes in order to survive can hardly be deemed voluntary or consensual, and her lack of ability to pursue her own happiness is unconscionably low.”

    Progressives seek proactive governments who ensure that no individual finds herself in such circumstances. Contrast that with the orthodoxy of the Libertarian Party, which would advocate a purely laissez faire approach to government, in which people are

    “. . . free, in sort of a “survival of the fittest,” “sporting match without a referee,” “welcome to the jungle” sense of freedom, but how exactly is that a good thing without some sort of enforced measure of Equality? If the government stays out of EVERYTHING, we have merely beheaded the de jure tyranny of government oppression only to have the head of de facto tyrannies of corporations, pollution, bigotry and poverty grow in its place. Sure, markets are good, but not entirely self-regulating in a completely beneficial way. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are threatened by unrestrained powerful private people, and the government must act affirmatively, for Freedom, Equality, Safety and Happiness to have real substance. Otherwise, the vast, vast majority of people end up impoverished, discriminated against, physically sick and powerless. If they can’t turn to the government for collective help, they can’t turn anywhere. To wit, government must provide social programs that provide an economic safety net and to produce social equality as much as humanly possible.”

    From those basic ideas, we as Libeqrats, would hope that other issue stances logically follow. Indeed, we want Health and health care for everyone. It’s simply part of ensuring that each and every one of us can pursue our own happiness — the founding ideal of the United States. And indeed, we want a measure of Prosperity for everyone — at least enough to allow everyone to pursue happiness in the real world. And yes, we also want Peace for everyone, since, after all, the self evident truths apply to all people, not merely all Americans. Our particular challenge, and one about which I debate with my friends, is how to resolve the apparent tension between freedom and equality, under which some sort of collective action will somehow interfere with individual liberty.

    Anyway, I hope that wasn’t too academic, and might actually prove constructive in your debates. I’ve bookmarked your site, and hope to be back here more often. :)

  5. rdan says:

    Just stopping by. I won’t be in for lunch…you are about three thousand miles away.

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