Skip to main content

View Diary: Walter Cronkite's Letter to the NYT: An Idea for Dems (281 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Ah, wisdom... (4.00)
    When we weave together the fundamentals of Democracy that have served to allow for the success of our Republic (transparency of processes, service to the common good of our citizens and their enterprises, adherence to standards, rewards for performance and consequences for malfeasance,...), and overlay this fabric of maturity on the network of 06' congressional campaigns, we can make marked gains in the House and Senate.

    Senator Kerry's 2004 loss displayed for us the probable outcome of relying on a "We are not those guys" strategy.  It conveys weakness.  And being weak is the shortest route to tragedy in a time of armed conflict (it is hard to say which conflict is the most treacherous - the war or the campaigning).

    For Democrats to not only make gains but to take the Capitol Hill power dynamic through the looking-glass (gain majorities), the party needs to reach out to the common threads of life that government affects for all segments of the population; elderly, students, poor, middle-class, executives, wage-earners, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, dogs, cats, hamsters, church-goers, tailgaters...  

    We are experiencing life at the hands of a class of Ed Rooneys.  We need a gang of Ferris Beuhlers to make the scene and do the right things with some sincere grasp of the right reasons.

    Here are some suggestions for a start to a party-wide platform to be offered as reinforcement to all 2006 elections, be they local, state or federal:

    1.  Education of our children will return to the forefront of priorities in this country.  The current federalized system of under-funded simplified standardized evaluations has resulted in the lowering of the bar of achievement for our institutions, instructors and students.  This course is poisonous for our country's future.  

    The education system will therefore be shifted from one that has its structure fully mandated from the Oval Office to a process that places a high value on the input and expertise of the local and state practitioners that have spent decades accumulating the wisdom necessary to construct the next generation of American schools.  Our children will learn quickly to master the tools required for leading the world in the pursuit of a higher quality of life.

       2.  Respect for the need of a new approach to protecting our nation from foreign threats.  Primarily, a shift away from pouring hundreds of billions of our tax dollars into places across the globe on unsuccessful and violent social experiments to investing in the science, technology and manpower required to secure our borders and free-trade systems of exchange.  We have thousands of miles of unguarded borders and thousands of people crossing these lines unchecked.  We must exert our capacity to monitor the inflow and outflow of citizens.  Also, the systems we employ to trade goods with companies and countries from every corner of the globe must be more closely guarded.  We must improve our understanding and monitoring of these exchange practices so that threats do not become attacks via our regular trade practices.

       3.  Leadership in defining the economic future of our country and our world.  We launched ourselves into the leadership position in the world by anticipating and ferociously pursuing innovations of thought and process that came to be known as the industrial revolution.  We stand at the precipice of a new era that requires risk, talent, confidence, and a sense of joy and trust in mankind's inherent capacity and need to explore and succeed.  We may not know for certain at this instant how tomorrow will look, but we can take heart in the fact that our predecessors have taught us well how to learn and how to lead.  The next wave of prosperity will be generated from different forms and disciplines than the last.  We choose now whether to cower in yesterday's shadows, grasping the apron-strings of our parent's and grandparent's accomplishments, or to stand up with a sense of blessing and maturity and welcome the mantle of leadership that comes with achieving our own victories.  To adhere to the status quo of reactionary policies is a certain path to mediocrity at best and is quickly putting us in a position of indebtedness and isolation with much of our international influence having been wasted and lost.  We must set out on a new journey of discovery and leadership.  It is the only way forward.  It is the only way to deliver to our children an America that is strong and proud and, in those important respects, like the America that was delivered to us.

       4.  A commitment to fostering a powerful, vital and valued military is necessary to America's future.  It is imperative that we understand that the military assets that served our Greatest Generation as they made their sacrifices for our freedom are going to be somewhat different from the assets that we need for defending America tomorrow.  What hasn't and can not change are the absolute value and support that our nation's people provide to those that choose to serve in the military.  Instead of offering just ribbons and nice speeches we must provide opportunities in military service that are competitive with other jobs.  Income, medical needs, family needs and opportunities for advancement and accomplishment have to be built in to the military system.  Without them, we are asking men and women to do an unreasonable thing and that is to take a risk today and in the process to sacrifice future opportunities for themselves and their families.  We are asking them to be excluded from the America that they are putting themselves on the line to defend.  This must change if we are to have an effective fighting force as our primary defense from threats of force against America.

    It is equally important that our military investment recognize the threats and challenges of today and tomorrow and adjust accordingly.  Mobility, technological capacity, flexibility, cultural acuity and manpower are among the important considerations to be weighed in the re-construction of America's military.  We will value the wisdom gleaned from more than two centuries of successful military management so that we can do as those before us have done: anticipate, prepare, meet the challenges and when we stand up to fight, we will have done everything possible to have already won.

    These are just a couple of suggestions.  Most important in these and future recommendations is the tenor of hope and absolute value for the unique brand of success and leadership that America continues to deliver to her people and her world.  We value dearly the contribution of those that have led America to the forefront of progress and achievement in the modern world.  Above all else we cherish the American heritage of facing down fears and challenges and leading the way to tomorrow's prosperity for our children and for those in the world that choose to contribute and come with us.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (127)
  • Community (60)
  • Media (32)
  • Elections (32)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (30)
  • 2016 (29)
  • Environment (28)
  • Law (28)
  • Civil Rights (26)
  • Culture (24)
  • Barack Obama (24)
  • Hillary Clinton (23)
  • Republicans (22)
  • Science (21)
  • Climate Change (21)
  • Economy (19)
  • Labor (19)
  • Josh Duggar (18)
  • Jeb Bush (18)
  • Marriage Equality (17)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site