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View Diary: Time for Liberals to Go on the Offensive, and Stay There (254 comments)

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  •  I disagree. The reason we don't have change is (0+ / 0-)

    that there is no central, uniting theme to the "change" we seek that has been communicated. Thus, no critical mass of citizens to get behind the demands for change, and therefore the "leaders" of the democratic party aren't forced to stand for what they say they believe in.

    One can't just propose programs,programs, programs. There has to be an underlying understanding of reality that is different from the reigning one.

    The conservatives certainly have theirs: life is a zero sum struggle and if the poor or middle class gain, it must be at the loss of the wealthy. And since the wealthy are more deserving (by virtue of being wealthy), the poor and middle class should be allowed to die off. There is no such thing as society. It's all about individuals, and the survival of the fittest.

    Our counter to that would run something like this: each person is part of a community, and within that community are both rights and responsibilities. The government exists not to enrich the rich, but to provide a level playing field, to protect the rights of the weak against the strong, and to act as a mechanism for each of us to fulfill our civic responsibility to everyone else, by providing the services the community needs: transportation, defense, charity for the destitute, education of all children, and to guarantee equal opportunity to all.

    This world view manifests itself in all kinds of ways, most of which are a change from the way we now do things.

    The 19th century was marked by struggles over what it meant to be human, with the fight over slavery, and then the war between social darwinism and the social gospel. The 20th century became marked by the struggle between economic ideals: capitalism vs. Communism.

    This century the struggle is over what defines community: an atomistic collection of individuals, or an interlocking abundance of life dependent on and nourishing of one another.

    Statesmen used to be able to talk in those terms, and great things got done. That our politicians can't do that anymore says a great deal about the state of the republic.

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