Everyone is familiar with Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech. Whether you love him or you hate him or you're indifferent to his existence on this earth, you're still aware of the speech. If you're sitting in front of your computers at home, at work or anywhere in between, I would like to ask you a question -- what is your dream?
Do you dream of being able to send your kids college? Do you dream that simple dream of being able to pay off your bills and have some money left over at the end of the month? Do you dream of being able to go to your doctor without having to worry about how much the prescriptions, the diagnostic tests and other procedures may cost? Do you dream of getting paid a living wage? What is your dream?
When I look at the life of Martin Luther King, I look at someone who was focused on justice and equal opportunity for all. Every now and then I think we get lost, as progressives and lose our focus. Every time we open our mouths, conservative will stand up and say, "I object." So, sometimes, we get caught up in the back and forth with conservatives. Sometimes, we forget that our goal is to accomplish something. Our goal is to stand up for justice and equal opportunity. Our goal is not to combat every single, silly utterance of the Right. (See Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh for starters)
To combat the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, we were told we had to bail out Wall Street. Others have said that we should let Wall Street flounder and bailed out MainStreet. Wall Street is now rolling in record profits because of our money. Main Street is hurting. Where's the justice? Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Congress need to enact legislation that is going to seriously help MainStreet. Main Street is the engine that will create jobs for the rest of us. The goal of this legislation should not be to hand out money to a couple of fat cats but instead to enact legislation that will help revitalize MainStreet. As MainStreet returns to its former glory, it will begin to hire.
I'm not sure where the idea of Green Jobs came from. I'm not sure why it has been pushed to the back burner or even taken off the stove of ideas. It is time for Ross Feingold, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to figure out a way to enact a series of bills which are targeted to help our environment and create millions of new jobs. We need to be able build large wind farms. We need to figure out how to build a smarter electrical grid that will easily transfer the power created by these wind farms in the Midwest to our large urban centers which need the energy. We need to give small, medium and large companies opportunities that these contracts. This legislation should include language that prevents jobs are being shipped overseas. Everything should be made here in America. This will give everybody an equal opportunity in an industry that should be around for a good while. (BTW, why hasn't we poured money into Telsa cars? An electric car that really works and is ready to drive today? I'm just asking?) Why is this so hard?
There are hundreds if not thousands of infrastructure projects that are sitting idle across the country today. Congress, along with local and state governments (that's right, everybody needs to work together) needs to get these projects kick started with the stimulus money that has not been spent as of yet. Almost all of our schools need to be redesigned, rebuilt, repaired and updated. Money needs to be poured into education. For the most part, we are teaching students approximately the way we taught students 100 years ago. Isn't there a better method? What is the role of computers in the classroom? Can't learning be fun and interactive? Where are all of the new ideas for teachers and teaching? This is where justice starts. This is where opportunity starts.
When I close my eyes, I dream of a country where my grandson and your grandchild can go to a public or private school anywhere in the country and still get a solid education. I dream of a country where we are not all slaves to big corporations. I dream of a country where we all have equal access to affordable, efficient and cost-effective healthcare. Finally, I dream of a country that has figured out that we have great because of our compassion and love for humanity and not because of our military might. These are my dreams as a progressive. What are yours?