This being my first dKos diary entry, I thought I'd take a moment to iterate where I'm coming from before getting on to other things. That is, while I want more equal access to education and healthcare in America, and reaffirmation of the separation of Church and State, even more important is that we ask our elected officials to enable a meritocracy.
By meritocracy, I mean that we resist the temptation to turn the country into our political ideal. That would be no better than what the Republicans did during the Bush presidency. We must do something different - hold the Obama presidency accountable and feel free to question its major decisions. And we must ask for the best policies, conceived by the brightest minds and considering all of the options, in trying to re-invigorate technological innovation, enable equal opportunity to all, and to circumvent the mess that is lobbyism and spin that prevails in politics today.
Self-introspective analysis and positive criticism are the feedbacks that America needs above all else right now. And I'm encouraged because I see a lot of it in Washington over the last couple of months, at least in the White House. Oh it's not perfect, and that's the point - but it is the heart of progressive politics - trying to make Government the best it can be even if it isn't perfect.
Take economics for instance. Are our tax dollars being spent as effectively as possible? Is Obama's plan to generate jobs likely to accomplish what it's supposed to?
I don't know the answers to those questions myself, but Treasury Secretary Geithner and Obama's economic team should, and they should be talking to the best minds on the topic around the country. They should also inspire confidence, since so much depends on our collective outlook on the situation. And while Obama is great at inspiring hope and optimism, Geithner appears less confidence-building. Is this really what we need right now?