Friday, January 8, 2010

Putting Obama Behind Us

There's a lot of good articles out there right now. Ones that I've read over during the holidays, but which I never had time to link to and write about. So, expect to see a flood of new posts soon. :) Of course, the way a blog is organized, you'll read this after you worked your way through all the new posts above this on the page. :)

by Sam Smith at Progressive Review.

I can't tell if anyone else knows about Sam Smith. I greatly enjoy his writing and his logic. Like this .....
Most of all, however, Obama represented a triumph of a generation of liberals dramatically different from their predecessors, most markedly in their general indifference to issues of economic as well as ethnic equality.

This heavily professional liberal class never once - in the manner of their predecessors of the New Deal and Great Society - took the lead in pressing for economic reforms. It wasn't that they opposed them; they just never seemed to occur to them.

They, after all, had risen in status even as much of the rest of the country was slipping. Over a quarter of a century passed and the best the liberal Democrats could come up with was to slash welfare and raise the age for Social Security.

Obama was the epitome of this new generation: well educated, well connected and well toned in rhetoric. But far distant from the concerns of so many.

To me, the key point is to realize that today's 'liberals' have little or nothing to do with 'the left', or with trying to do anything to actually help ordinary Americans.

Yet, we see many on 'the left' vote for and support these modern liberals almost reflexively. I suppose while the liberals were the supposed opposition to Bush, these basic facts about their policies were masked. But now, with the Democrats in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, there's no mistaking the policies they support and promote.

What I like is that he doesn't just stop with the typical whining about what's wrong. He goes on to give some ideas as to what to do about it.

The first thing that needs to happen is for there to be a clear distinction between smug, self-serving liberalism contemptuous of so many Americans and a populist progressive movement that seeks unity with those many liberals prefer simply to condemn.

The magnets for this unity are such obvious yet ignored issues as the creation of jobs, the preservation of pensions, decent treatment of endangered homeowners, an end to credit card usury, respect for local decision-making, and, yes, a healthcare plan based on providing financial assistance, not bureaucratic nightmares.

Such a movement would have to be formed issue by issue. It can not rely on empty icons or over-packed ideology. If one agrees on how to handle foreclosures but disagrees on abortion, leave the latter for another day. It is by working together on the things upon which we agree that both respect and power are gained.