WHERE ARE THE DEMOCRATS?
#3 in a Series: Program? What Program?
Notwithstanding the moral cowardice of elected Republican officials (see previous Blog), Democrats cannot advance by just hoping that the Republicans will self-destruct. We need a program, a vision, a guide to our future action if we ever regain the Congressional majority. For starters, let’s address the following issues:
- Foreign affairs. The President is threatening nuclear war over North Korea. Do we have an alternative diplomatic plan? What do we think about Syria, Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
- Medical care for all. Should we lay out a specific single-payer plan? How about a transition to Medicare for All, starting with lowering the age of eligibility to 55?
- REAL tax reform. We cannot let them label their plan as “reform”: it’s simply and starkly a colossal tax cut for the wealthiest 1% (not to mention a personal windfall for our greedy President). Let’s get rid of the billions in tax loopholes. Let’s have wealthy individuals and corporations pay their fair share. Let’s give the middle class a REAL tax cut. And let’s be bold—and adopt the Tobin Tax. This would put a miniscule tax on all the casino gambling in the financial markets (such as currency and commodity bets)—which amounts to trillions of dollars PER DAY! We could become the Party of NO TAXES for the middle class!
- Community Policing. The answer to crime is to have REAL relationships between police officers and communities. Walking and bicycle patrols. Text numbers and e-mail addresses for the community to contact THEIR neighborhood cops. The police really getting to know the local businesses and local schools. I did much of this when I was a City Councilman in San Diego—and I was probably the only urban councilman in America who could walk into a meeting of black and brown community members with the Police Chief and his neighborhood patrols and get a standing ovation!
- Climate change. Let’s put together a national speakers bureau and go into denial communities and speak their language. Let’s aggressively confront this potentially planet-ending disaster.
- Cabinet Departments that are being hollowed out. We all know that the Secretaries of Housing, Energy, and Education and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency are Republican ideologues who want to destroy the missions of their respective agencies. We must demonstrate their true relevancy to the people of America.
- — (10) Fill in the blanks. And let’s get started! The 2018 elections are just around the corner.