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August 28, 2003
I Dunno

A Small Group of Dedicated People Might Actually Do Something. She's right. I don't think anyone would argue the truth of this headline.

I doubt, however, the, well, not the intelligence of people who say these things. I doubt the knowledge, which is a very different thing. We can't just band together, rise up, and overthrow the corporations. No one in their right minds should want to do such a thing. They are the lifeblood of our prosperity.

"The big corporate empires would be powerless if they were not in league with crooked politicians." That's just not true.

Corporations are, like any living entity, intent on their own growth and survival and that's as it should be. With each swing of the pendulum between the Left and the Right over the last 80 years, regulations have been put into place, struck down, reinterpreted, and abandoned until those who run the corporations decided, quite understandably, that government was the enemy and began to work around or even in opposition to it. And that's natural.

Maybe it's our fault. WeThePeople, I mean. There's been no widespread, public debate over the role corporations should play in our society. No discussion of what form they should, or should not take. No limits, no shape to any boundaries they should observe.

We need a long-term vision. That's the one thing I'm not hearing from any of the "activist" groups I follow on-line or from any of the groups purporting to be the new Progressive Voice.

I don't want to hear about how we shouldn't have invaded Iraq. I know that, okay? No one is getting my vote by repeating that 500 times in the next fifteen months.

I don't want to hear about how tax cuts were the work of addled nincompoops. I think a $500 billion dollar deficit proves that.

(Although I have no objection to someone pointing out, repeatedly, the dichotomy between Bush's we-ain't-going-to-mortgage-our-children's-future speech and his wholesale mortgaging of the same. In fact, I think that would make a dynamite commercial. A voice-over of Bush saying those words against a graphic showing how he squandered the surplus and how the deficit shot skyward, with a projection of how many decades it's going to take to pay it off.)

(Speaking of mortgaging the future, I want to hear about where the Social Security money went. Who spent it and did anyone ever have any plans for how to replace the funds they were stealing?)

I don't need a 'vision' for how we're going to make everything hunky-dory by electing someone new. I'm not that easily fooled, okay? The problems Bush inherited, plus a few new ones, are all there, waiting for the next Administration. It's going to take more than a small group of dedicated and determined individuals to fix this stuff.

I want a vision for how corporations should function in our society, including what role they're allowed to play in government and their responsibilities to little things like the environment, worker safety, equality, and a few other details.

I want a vision for our future that addresses the 60-hour work week many of us work, even those of us not on the poverty line. I want a vision of how we'll provide a living wage to every worker while at the same time redefining what it means to "live" in this country so that people do, in fact, have time to "live" and don't die at their desks at the age of 57 from stress and overwork.

I want clean air, clean water, and at least 50% as much money spent on education as we spend on guns and missiles. I want a safer infrastructure, not only in terms of air and water but in terms of transportation, law enforcement, and a few things like that.

I want to vote for a candidate who understands that quick fixes don't fix and that any plan that really results in long-term improvements and changes isn't going to be implemented in 90 days. I want a candidate backed by a party that's willing to commit to long-term goals and who stay faithful to those goals.

I want a government that believes citizens have the right to know what's being done by their elected leaders and with their tax dollars. I want a government that trusts me, one that feels free to explain that this, that, or the other problem exists in the world and then asks us, what do you think? I want a government that understands that I'm not an idiot and that I can, in fact, walk and chew gum at the same time, so feel free to lay complex problems in front of me.

I want to live in a society where the voices of free people from every corner of every state shout down the voices of the reactionary, bigoted, and narrow-minded. I want to live in a society where everyone receives a decent education so that irrational appeals to uneducated, frightened people die for lack of interest.

I want a free and open society run by people who care about maintaining a balance between liberty and security and who don't think the answer to finding a couple of dozen terrorists is to gather secret information about 281 million people.

Also I want to stop going off on these half-considered rants. Now I'm out of time to actually read the news, which is annoying. Also, now I'll have to spend two weeks thinking about this and researching some of the problems so that, if someone with a real vision does come along, I'll recognize it.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:29 AM


The problem with any political party or candidate articulating long-term goals is that each winner only gets four years to carry them out, and if their successors don't agree with the programs that have been legislated they just unlegislate them.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at August 29, 2003 11:40 AM

There's no reason to believe one party couldn't stay substantially in power for an extended period of time if they had a vision that the majority of voters could get behind and would care enough about to get out and vote for.

Posted by: Anne at August 29, 2003 04:34 PM