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DEMOCRACY: Government & Politics | November 16, 2005



By Douglas Drenkow, Editor of "Progressive Thinking"

As Posted in "GordonTalk""Comments From Left Field", & "OpEdNews"

The 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.

There's 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.

That's why we're called Progressives.

The 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.

So where does all that leave us Democrats? Searching our heads and our hearts, of course; after all, we're Democrats.

Our 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 soul."

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!"

Fortunately, we on the Left have a "secret weapon" for dealing with just such contingencies: It's called "the truth."

And the truth of the matter is that there is nothing more moderate -- more reasonable -- than progressive principles in action.

What 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?

What 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 nation?

What 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?

What 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?

What 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?

What could be more moderate than the progressive principle of ...

You 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).

As 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.

And we, like Solomon, would not be wise to "split the difference."

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