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A new post on Alternet by University of California - Berkeley professor and author of Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate George Lakoff (and described in this diary by eXtina) says essentially that the ultra-right conservatives mutinying against the traditional party leaders are ultimately benefiting from the old adage, "all press is good press". He argues that as a function of the way our brains are wired to comprehend information, the mere fact that Democrats and progressives address the conservative policy distractions in their own terms reinforces the conservative mindset of all who are toxicly infected by it, not least of which for the crucial independent (I refuse to call anyone between the parties "moderate," as moderate is about twice as far to the left as much of the Democratic establishment):

Liberals tend to underestimate the importance of public discourse and its effect on the brains of our citizens. All thought is physical. You think with your brain. You have no alternative. Brain circuitry strengthens with repeated activation. And language, far from being neutral, activates complex brain circuitry that is rooted in conservative and liberal moral systems. Conservative language, even when argued against, activates and strengthens conservative brain circuitry. This is extremely important for so-called "independents," who actually have both conservative and liberal moral systems in their brains and can shift back and forth. The more they hear conservative language over the next eight months, the more their conservative brain circuitry will be strengthened.
The entire article is certainly worth reading, and eloquently reflects a sentiment long expressed here on Daily Kos.

He further argues that a progressive alternative morality needs to be clearly articulated by everyone running for public office against the Rabid Wrong and as the root of the policy suggestions we propose.

I think Democrats need much better positive messaging, expressing and repeating liberal moral values -- not just policies-- uniformly across the party. That is not happening.

One of the reasons that it is not happening is that there is a failure to understand the difference between policy and morality, that morality beats policy, and that moral discourse is absolutely necessary. This is a major reason why the Democrats lost the House in 2010. Consider how conservatives got a majority of Americans to be against the Obama health care plan. The president had polled the provisions, and each had strong public support: No preconditions, no caps, no loss of coverage if you get sick, ability to keep your college-age child on your policy, and so on. These are policy details, and they matter. The conservatives never argued against any of them. Instead, they re-framed; they made a moral case against "Obamacare." Their moral principles were freedom and life, and they had language to go with them. Freedom: "government takeover." Life: "death panels."

While a vision or platform of morals based on community and responsibility, as he argues further, is an obvious moral framework in opposition to one idealizing total personal freedom, except in the realm of strong, forceful, masculine, disciplined, patriarchal family-centric roles and relationships, I believe that the Overton Window is shifted too conservatively and doesn't so much "skew" as "thud" authoritarian to base our platform of progressive morals on something so seemingly antithetical to what is so widely believed and discussed. However strongly we may feel here at Daily Kos, liberal progressives do not constitute a majority of Americans, despite signs that the tides may be turning. We share these views as a direct result of the fact that we have such a vibrant and supportive community. But because this attribute is not yet shared by a majority of Americans, they are unable to appreciate that the ideas of "freedom" and "community" are in fact far from antithetical, and thus I believe progressives should frame their case morally in a way that can appeal to voters in a different way, in a way which can appeal to people of many political sways: a new progressive nationalism.

More below la squiggly.

I believe that the conservative political architects' embrace of ideologies of uber-Americanism has been another strong rhetorical association for them at our expense, one which roots itself in the surely now dispelled notion that Democrats are weak on national security, and which provides conservatives with yet another straw man to distract voters from allowing real progress to occur. In light of this, I believe that the platform Democrats need to stand on is one in which progressives play on a trait shared by most people in some aspect of their lives: a competitive drive to excel. It should be the job of every Democratic candidate to demand leaders solve problems like why we are ranked at the bottom of the industrialized world in healthcare, in happiness, in pollution, in change in income inequality, and making our way down in education, science, and technology, and to demand that we enact pragmatic solutions which seek to get us ranked the highest in the world. Our vision will be based on the idea that America can be the best country in the world, and we can prove it. If we are willing to devote the resources to be the best in the world in the Olympics, to have people who truly push themselves to the reach their maximum potential in service to a cause which makes their country greater, then surely politicians who demand less are not fit to serve the public and should therefore be replaced by people who will enact pragmatic solutions to make us the safest, happiest, most well educated, prosperous nation in the world.

This is a winning message.

As in art and war, people who can see the future, make the future. A progressive future for America can and should be one where our public servants do just that: serve a cause dedicated to making sure we are in fact the greatest nation on the planet, and that it is not just a platitude uttered to garner favor.

And this is a message that can attract our current opponents without alienating our base.

A hunter celebrates the biggest buck just as an environmental lawyer celebrates a case won defending a unique ecosystem.

A gay man celebrates his newly won right to marry just as a college football fan celebrates his team's national championship. [I wouldn't normally compare the two, but I live in SEC country, so if you don't understand how religious that is down here, you probably don't realize there's a little truth in what is otherwise hyperbole for most people.]

The point is: Americans with diverse political and social interests can be united under the banner of our competitive spirit to work hard and be the best.

We just need to funnel those competitive drives almost emblematic of Americans into the will to work and stand united to make American #1, and we will steer America into a more progressive future. The political climate is so polarized now (and will probably only become more so if President Obama is reelected in November), it would be an extremely difficult fight to make the progressive case solely in terms of a stark contrast between the parties. Instead, where "economic populism" might not be as effective, i.e. where the Republican mindset is so entrenched in the populace that "good government" and "the 99%" are messages that won't resonate, it is especially important to peel off voters with a message that can appeal to them: The notion that America can and should be #1 in the world.

I do feel the need to finish with a few caveats: Ultimately, I believe in the concept of one world united and the ultimate unification of mankind as one people. Although, again, I think it would be wrong to think of my proposal as antithetical to this, I think that even if this were the case, it will ultimately prove a faster and more effective process in shifting to a more community-based, freedom-loving, progress world society. Think of it as sort of a arc from the first quadrant of the political compass into the second quadrant of the political compass, then finally down to the third quadrant where the debate ranges around the area much more closely surrounding the area around the red dot below:

My Political Compass

However, I believe that although the arc motion is a longer linear distance than a straight line down through the center to where the dot is from where a so-called "moderate" would be now between the Democratic and Republican establishments, the battle we will fight will be more easily won by implementing progressive policies and ideals into society through a broad, sweeping conversion of the populace such as I am proposing rather than a truly divisive head-on with-us-or-against-us mindset that the "shortest distance between two points" straight line would be, and would therefore actually be the slower, more difficult route.

My other caveat that I feel is important to mention is that I believe serious and active nuclear disarmament and destruction of the military industrial war machine must be implemented simultaneously, so as to not risk becoming so nationalistic from all parties as to become jingoistic and degrade to fascism. This platform addition is also clearly a reflection of the many other virtues and noble threads in the fabric of the complex progressive moral platform, one which can win the public over by taking back from the Republicans mantras of national pride and a demand for excellence that they allege to hold but do not actually defend or put into practice.

Although I really feel as though I could go on and on (about the positive effect this mindset could have on education, crime, civic participation, and so many more), I will leave you to discuss and share your ideas. Thanks for your thoughts. :)

Peace.

Update 1: Perhaps "nationalism" is not the best word to describe what I'm looking for. It does have negative connotations, and as griffin459 points out, "Progressive Nationalism" and the "National Socialist Party" (of Germany) certainly sound a bit too similar for comfort. In my defense, I was exhausted when I wrote this last night, so I didn't really consider the implications and baggage that the word carries.

I am open to suggestions, though, of what this tactic could be called instead. I honestly think that this can be spun in a very positive way to get real progressive ideas into the conversation and policy in places and among voters where "the usual messages" don't really hold much sway, especially in areas more typical of Blue Dogs, because the only way we can have the best health care, happiness, et cetera is to implement progressive policies through good government. Thanks for your input!

Originally posted to Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for a New Progressive "Race to the Top" (22+ / 0-)

    "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

    by Panacea Paola on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 10:13:44 PM PDT

  •  Is it possible to have a functional modern society (7+ / 0-)

    that is also left, if the circle is that far down the libertarian scale too? Don't offerings like universal healthcare, education, environment, and infrastructure all require a high level of centralized authority?

    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:42:40 AM PDT

    •  I was concerned about that, too. (7+ / 0-)

      But I think that's just a function of the way Political Compass labels their graph. I want to be clear: I am not advocated a position of libertarianism. That is generally considered to be quadrant four of the graph. Quadrant three is "civil libertarianism" with state intervention in the economy (as opposed to "economic liberalism") in exactly the areas your describe: health care, education, the environment, infrastructure, consumer protection, etc., etc.

      As an aside, I was reading up on Political Compass, and it seems to me the allegedly non-partisan group that runs it really does skew Ron Paul-esque libertarian (they said that he's the only Republican with a serious shot at taking down Obama, a laughable statement), so perhaps that is the reason they chose to label one whole axis libertarian, rather than using that descriptor to mean social and economic liberalism, which is obviously dangerous and not welcome at DKos.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:49:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Onomastic, Lujane

        I think some that "vote Democratic" (allegedly) have a problem concepting that while having a medical tent and a library in an OWS tent is nice and a great coming-together of community, it's not a practical solution nor an acceptable one.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:21:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Definitely. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, Onomastic, ozsea1

          It's important to stay in the frame of the real world. Which is essentially the reason I thought of this: We progressives have to realize the limits of fighting a one-front pick a side battle with the Republicans and employ strategies like this when appropriate to win battles we otherwise wouldn't be able to connect with those voters on.

          "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

          by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:31:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Their graph includes all historical politics, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie, commonmass

        and places them appropriately in relation to each other.  It doesn't caricature any of them, seems to account for both economic and social aspects, and leaves room for new ones (although I think it also shows that there won't be anything completely new).  The corners are Marxist-Communism (authoritarian socialism), Fascism (authoritarian capitalism), Libertarian Capitalism (exactly what it says on the tin), and Anarchism (libertarian socialism).  

        It's not surprising that although the rhetoric on DailyKos is Left-Centrist, the impulse of a great many people here seems to tend more toward the Left-Libertarian vertex.  What that might mean can be hard to understand, for people who believe the government can be a force for good.

        •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          I won't disagree that it includes a wide range of beliefs. I just think it's hard to accurately quantify people's positions based on current issues. When I take it, I get almost -10 on both factors, and while I consider myself a "modern socialist" -- somewhere a little to the left of most social democrats, I would definitely not go that far, especially not towards libertarianism.

          And even accepting the premise that all possible historical political ideologies are covered, I still think human error or bias behind the scenes could have skew the results. Like I said, their analysis of the Presidential race is a little baffling to me, saying that Ron Paul is the only "true conservative" able to beat the POTUS, and that the two parties, for all intents and purposes, and melding into one identical one. It's a useful tool, but that's all it is: a tool. When I brought it up, I meant to just use it as a way to emphasize the shift from current upper right to a more progressive, freedom-valuing society, and this graph was the first one on photobucket that seemed to reasonably demonstrate that.

          "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

          by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 04:48:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The two parties are very close when it comes to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, joe wobblie

            fundamental political principles.  For example, "Does the government have the right to collect a property tax?"  Practically any member of either party, the judiciary, and the media pundit class is going to give you the same reaction if you ask that- they're going to look at you like you're crazy for even conceiving of the possibility that it could be otherwise.  But that political philosophy only exists in a small area of the total possible political/economic landscape; it just happens that the ideology of that small area is so dominant (when it comes to number of adherents and real-world prevalence) that it has become hard to see that.  But to have a really objective political philosophy, it's necessary to see all the possibilities.

            •  That's a good point, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              but I think it still serves to highlight the fact that reducing a complex political value system into a graph with two axes is a very limited way to perceive political philosophy.

              If agreeing on that one point can really limit you to a very specific portion of the graph, doesn't that adversely affect the weight of other still compatible ideas? I could be wrong here. It just seems to me that, if that really plays such an important factor in determining relation on the graph, how could parties that still concede that point (especially such as some Socialist or Green parties not in America) be so far away from the upper center right to upper extreme right that is the region where current American political conversation takes place? Are their other platforms really that much different from American policies that it would compensate from what you say would otherwise confine their plot on the graph to the upper right where we are?

              "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

              by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:28:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. Anarchism is just selfishness in another (0+ / 0-)

        form. I'm sure the "federalism" that anarcho-syndicalism (which has never been an adapted and successful system on a major scale, btw) will be SO easy to coordinate amongst a group of anarchists, and there's nothing here to explain how someone who cannot produce medical care by their own labor, for instance, can somehow then access it without totally un-anarchizing my groove, brah.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 12:14:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it has worked. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, AoT, chipmo

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...
          Several foolish mistakes were made, primarily trusting the Communists, and those mistakes have been identified and the theory updated (contrast that with Trotskyists, who blame the failure of Marxism on "conditions").

          •  Ha, ok, what "worked" about this as a (0+ / 0-)

            functional government for a successful society long-term?

            Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 01:07:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your question was "Is it possible to have (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie, chipmo

              a functional modern society that is also left, if the circle is that far down the libertarian scale too?"

              I just wonder how you expect to grow intellectually if this is how you always respond to unusual ideas.

              •  You responded to my comment that said (0+ / 0-)

                it hasn't worked, so that was the context. Sorry I can't tell exactly what you're thinking.

                Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 01:39:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let's review (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe wobblie, AoT, chipmo

                  You asked if a functional Left-Libertarian modern society was possible.  I pointed out that it would be Anarcho-Syndicalism.  Within five minutes you called it "selfish" and raised other criticisms that are either nonsense (such as the point that it "hasn't been an adapted and successful system on a major scale," which was the case for every system, from capitalism to feudalism, before they existed) or easily refuted (such as how a federation of collectives and cooperatives would be able to produce and distribute good and services) indicating that you hadn't actually read anything.

                  •  Oh, because if I just read it, I'd totally be (0+ / 0-)

                    convinced, as would everyone else, that its the way to go, right?

                    And no, you did not point out anything EXCEPT that the idea is CALLED Anarcho-Syndicalism. Ideas do not necessarily work as applied, even if you think they're well thought-out.

                    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 02:01:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Also, I'm having trouble believing that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, chipmo

          you read and fully comprehended the ideas to which you're responding in all of five minutes.  I could tell you exactly how coordinated federation would work to ensure production and distribution even of highly technical goods and services, but why would I go through the work of typing it out if you're not going to read it?

          •  I think you'd type how it COULD work (0+ / 0-)

            but that's like typing out how Republicans COULD actually govern.

            Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 01:06:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's all very clear: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Panacea Paola, ozsea1

            ARTHUR:  Please, please good people.  I am in haste.  Who lives
                  in that castle?
              WOMAN:  No one live there.
              ARTHUR:  Then who is your lord?
              WOMAN:  We don't have a lord.
              ARTHUR:  What?
              DENNIS:  I told you.  We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune.  We take
                  it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
              ARTHUR:  Yes.
              DENNIS:  But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified
                  at a special biweekly meeting.
              ARTHUR:  Yes, I see.
              DENNIS:  By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--
              ARTHUR:  Be quiet!
              DENNIS:  --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
              ARTHUR:  Be quiet!  I order you to be quiet!
              WOMAN:  Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
              ARTHUR:  I am your king!
              WOMAN:  Well, I didn't vote for you.
              ARTHUR:  You don't vote for kings.
              WOMAN:  Well, 'ow did you become king then?
              ARTHUR:  The Lady of the Lake,
                  [angels sing]
                  her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
                  from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
                  Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
                  [singing stops]
                  That is why I am your king!
              DENNIS:  Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
                  is no basis for a system of government.  Supreme executive power
                  derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
                  aquatic ceremony.
              ARTHUR:  Be quiet!
              DENNIS:  Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
                  just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
              ARTHUR:  Shut up!
              DENNIS:  I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
                  because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
                  put me away!
              ARTHUR:  Shut up!  Will you shut up!
              DENNIS:  Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
              ARTHUR:  Shut up!
              DENNIS:  Oh!  Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
                  HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
              ARTHUR:  Bloody peasant!
              DENNIS:  Oh, what a give away.  Did you here that, did you here that,
                  eh?  That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me,
                  you saw it didn't you?

            Where are we, now that we need us most?

            by Frank Knarf on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 02:20:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How the hell is anarchism selfish? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chipmo

          Sure, there are some anarchists who are selfish, but that doesn't make the ideology that way.  Or are you just throwing out insults?

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 04:38:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  IMO anarchists are just introverted libertarians. (0+ / 0-)

            Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:58:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you have no idea what you're talking about? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chipmo

              Because Anarcho-Syndicalism is about as far from libertarianism as you can get.  I mean, it's based around the idea of democratically run unions which are about as anathema as you can get to libertarianism.  Anarcho-Syndicalism is worker owned worker run cooperatives on a mass scale.  It's inherently opposed to the idea of private property, meaning the ownership of property by people who don't use it.

              Maybe you need to go back down thread and actually read that link because you clearly don't know anything about anarchism except for what the media wants you to.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:13:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My understanding of an anarchist system (0+ / 0-)

                through definitions in dictionaries, the never-falliable Wikipedia, etc is that it's still based on absolute voluntary participation amongst everyone. Nobody would voluntarily provide postal service to rural communities or build a decent road to a rural town of 100 people in that system, because they would not get a comparable return. Democracy, even in a "anarchist" society, is inevitably the authority of the many over the few, and it's not really a democracy if people can just walk away when they don't like a decision.

                Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:15:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Anarchistic organization (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chipmo, joe wobblie

                  There are good reasons why people would do those things, mainly having to do with the obsolescence of the profit motive.  Without a State, there can be no property ownership in the contemporary sense, which is based on title, which is tracked and enforced by the State.  Without title-based property, property ownership would revert to community control, distribution, and defense.  Without a State to require taxes, the need to make money would gradually decline as people naturally switch to communal and collective resource-based systems (there is the danger of the rise of new States by way of warlords, which would happen in the so-called "Libertarian" situation; which is why organization is necessary before then).  Property ownership would be determined by use, and what a person doesn't use they would be unable to prevent others from using; for example, banks would be unable to prevent people from simply moving into to the millions of houses they're keeping empty in order to prop up the housing market.  Without the ability to stockpile trade commodities, capitalism could not exist, and the idea of "profit" would be meaningless.  This is why Anarchists are more anti-State than anti-Capitalist: The State can exist without Capitalism, but not the other way around.

                  So, without profit, why would anyone do anything?  Consider yourself.  Do you only do things for other people because you're getting paid?  Of course not.  You give away things and services to your friends, family, and neighbors all the time.  This kind of economic activity could probably be shown to dwarf the 'real' economy, if it was quantified.  It's completely endemic to human nature, as a series of anthropologists (most prominently David Graeber) have shown.  Anyone who understands a pot-luck dinner understands a gift economy.

                  Anarcho-Syndicalism is the idea of organizing the gift impulse for a large scale.  The Capitalist economic system has no place for Solidarity, but that's the founding principle of Syndicalism.

                  So why would anyone provide postal service to a small rural town?  Because it makes their community stronger.  I could see the postal system being the MOST likely to take to Syndicalism, because it's already organized close to that way.  In fact the international postal system is a great example of an acephalous federation.

                  As for democracy- You're right that majority-rules systems are not compatible with Anarchy.  That's why we use Consensus, which does allow anyone to walk away if they don't like what's going on.

                •  I'll take that as a yes n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chipmo

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:40:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  To be less flippant (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chipmo

                  No, that's a radical libertarian society and not anarchism, and definitely not Anarcho-Syndicalism.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:55:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The gap (0+ / 0-)

              between what you think of your opinion's value and its actual worth is comparable to the gap between Santorum's vision of Christianity and Chris Hedges'.

              The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

              by chipmo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 05:44:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't care what you think, Chipmo. (0+ / 0-)

                So I guess that puts your opinion at the same level as mine...worthwhile only to ourselves. Difference is, I don't presume my opinion is worth more.

                Oh, and, how courageous of you to reply with an insult 11 hours after I posted.

                Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:12:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

                  I have the courage to sleep.

                  The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

                  by chipmo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:17:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Must be nice to get 11 hours/night. nt (0+ / 0-)

                    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:31:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm sorry I've let you down. (0+ / 0-)

                      I will do my best to always be on DKos so I can mock you immediately instead of when I actually get around to it.  That way my responses will occur way earlier than your apologies for your dickish behavior that inspired my mockery instead of 5 minutes beforehand.

                      The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

                      by chipmo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:43:40 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  RanDomino, I apologize for pish-poshing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chipmo

        in a somewhat condescending way. While I stand by my positions on the practicality of an "anarchist" system as an effective one for large populations, I could've phrased much more politely than I did.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:17:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Could Be Putting the Cart Before the Horse. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, enhydra lutris, AoT, Chi, ozsea1, chipmo

    First off I don't dispute anything being said here.

    But we have only a minority of people alive in the population any more who remember the last time the American masses were at their relative peak wealth and opportunity compared to the rich, which was when the Beatles were still performing. (And yes we realize that minorities and women were still left out of much of that.)

    The policies that enabled that to happen began to be repealed in the 1950's in the case of some labor rights, in 1970's for financial regulations and protections, and in an avalanche beginning with Reagan.

    So those best-in-our-history policies are not remembered and seem extreme even to Democrats.

    Before we get too deep into messaging, somebody somewhere had better be thinking about economic policies that actually work, that will not continue concentrating wealth and opportunity into the hands of the rich as Democratic Party economic policy presently will do. I've even seen proposals from Occupy that will continue concentrating wealth to the 1%.

    If we end up launching a faux progressive movement that further strengthens the rich, because it's merely vastly less radical than the Republicans, at this critical time in history calling the consequences to humanity catastrophic will be an understatement.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:54:01 AM PDT

    •  I don't disagree we need a strong progressive (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Chi, ozsea1

      economic agenda, which actually solves the problems of the massive wealth discrepancies.

      But I do disagree that branding is the problem.

      As George Lakoff asserts, the minds of the public will be made up more than we or they realize by the messaging they hear. By framing the message of economic progress in a more palatable (for those with knee-jerk reactions against it) pill of American dominance on the world scale, we can sway many more voters to give progress solutions a chance. In essence, it's a diversionary tactic because it's not an apples to apples comparison when deciding between the two party platforms.

      I think that in order for us to truly become "#1" in the world in these categories, progressive policies will have to be instituted. That's a given.

      But the only way -- or the most expedient way -- for this to happen is for us to splinter the vote of the right by playing up a progressive nationalism which can split the vote away from Republicans, especially in areas that would otherwise only nominate and/or elect Blue Dog Democrats, when they elect Democrats at all.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:03:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Becoming #1 in the world (0+ / 0-)

        is an antiquated goal, one that only serves the elite.

        Replacing the competitive mindset with a cooperative one in every place possible is essential, and #1'ist sentiments are antithetical to that goal.

        Let's just aim for "avoiding extinction".  That seems quite hard enough of a goal as it is.

        The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

        by chipmo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 05:49:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Democratic Party has lost a lot of its (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mumtaznepal, AoT, Chi, ozsea1, chipmo

    credibility in the race to the Right. Look at President Clinton: he governed centre-Right and in many ways was nothing more than Republican Lite--for those days.

    "Liberal" has become a bad word, and some elected Dems are falling all over themselves to help dismantle what is left of the Welfare State--and I use that term on purpose, because it's NOT a bad word!

    When we call the current President a "progressive", we're actually lying to ourselves. Frankly, I find him to be a centrist pragmatist who shares some of my values but not my most deeply-held Leftist values.

    Lakoff is correct. We need to get aggressive re-framing the public conversation. We need to treat the GOP like the dying elephants they are, and start our own conversation. Better to be dismissive of them than argue, like Kossack JeffW does with Sarah Palin: Sarah Who?™

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 02:47:44 PM PDT

  •  nationalism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chipmo

    is allied with competition and a false sense of superiority.

    i will never support it, anywhere.

    if this is what people need to get on the bandwagon, i  won't.

    bad idea: reinforcing arrogance.

    we don't need to be best, not that could ever be achieved or demonstrated.  

    WE JUST NEED TO BE MORAL.

    Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

    by BlueDragon on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 03:21:51 PM PDT

    •  Nationalism is just a word, like "liberal". (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Frank Knarf, Chi

      To some people, a knee jerk reaction is all they will ever have to words like that, because they are charged with history and have been used differently in different contexts.

      I tried to make clear that I think the only way we're going to survive and flourish is if eventually coming together. But pride in oneself and one's country and out collective ability to come together to be the best in the world can be an asset which unites us and moves us in the better direction.

      If it sounds better to you, think about it as a new progressive competition-ism, or something similar.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 04:53:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not "just" a word (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chipmo

        Nothing is just a word.  It describes something and has meaning.  If you want to use it as just a nice word to brand stuff with then say that, but don't think it comes with no baggage.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:04:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, I take your point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          I've updated the diary to reflect that "nationalism" really probably isn't the word I'm looking for to describe this, but then I don't know what is.

          Is there a way or a word for basing a platform on the idea that we implement a pragmatic approach to the have or be the best of something, without reverting back to the term nationalism?

          "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

          by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:31:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Progressive Libertarianism? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Panacea Paola, joe wobblie

            It has the dual function of emphasizing the liberty aspect and pissing off Libertarians.  And it's fairly accurate.

            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:38:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That makes me feel dirty, haha. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, ozsea1

              I don't know if I could wear the term Libertarian without seriously taking a good look in the mirror. That's all you had to say to show me how much baggage words have. :)

              That said, you make another good point. Progressive, because we're working towards improving the future, and we're not afraid to use an honest, accountable government to do it. Libertarian because we do value freedom, especially in regard to civil libertarianism, but when that freedom is combined with the values that progressivism entails -- the dignity of all people, the desire for access to education and health care and a preservation of the environment -- it's not so radical as the ultra-pure conservative libertarianism that gives the word definition today. I could certainly come around to calling it that.

              I'm going to continue thinking about this. Maybe I'll write another diary on this topic when I get a few more things hammered out.

              "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

              by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:53:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It sounds like the word you want is "Solidarity" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, joe wobblie

            There's a reason it was/is the Industrial Workers of the World.

            •  I think solidarity is a large part of (0+ / 0-)

              progressivism. It ties in very neatly with the ideas of the social contract.

              But these are still buzz words that appeal to people who are already more community-oriented and would probably turn off those the Republicans so frequently lambast for, you know, having a heart and brain.

              While I don't disagree it can be a useful part of a moral platform, I don't know how effective it would be in recruiting members of the right and convincing them to join the cause. Again, I think this is a term that, to low information voters, would seem somewhat antithetical to our opposition's moral platform of "freedom." I wanted to try to come up with something that wouldn't necessarily compete head on, but would provide a rival platform. Which is how I ended up on "nationalism," even though I'm pretty well convinced now that's not the word I want to use.

              "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

              by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:18:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Progressive Nationalism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Knarf

    you may want to chg the way that sounds too close like the German National Socialism??

    •  I knew the Nazis were going to come into this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1

      Perhaps I was mistaken in using the world "nationalism." But it is just a word.

      All I mean it as is in terms of coming together, as a nation, and uniting to truly be the best country in the world, or trying our damned hardest to. It eliminates the baseless American Exceptionalism ideal that permeates our culture and replaces it with a drive to come together as a nation in order to truly change in a way that is positive.

      And obviously, at DKos, the vast majority here would agree that the way to do that is to let government be a force for good, to be open and transparent, to value freedoms and the rights of all citizens to make a difference.

      Most countries that have the word "democratic" in their official names use that term so that they can claim that they are, when in fact they are far from it. Nazism isn't really national socialism, not in any real sense, and I know that while the similarity in name to what I was trying to suggest is tempting, I think it just distracts from my main point to make that connection.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 04:59:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems like you may want to rethink (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        the use of Nationalism in the phrase.  If this is going to be an effort and a great rebranding then you definitely don't want something that you have to defend against everyone.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:06:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

        the word nationalism is VERY widely used in a range of contexts.  I wouldn't can the word "nationalism" from your title because the Nazis used it anymore than I'd axe your use of "socialism" or "party"

        I think the solution is instead for Griffin to read a bit more widely about nationalist movements and sentiments from all kinds of contexts to lose this particular association (for example, the Scottish national Party which sits in the UK parliament.  They have TWO Nazi words in their title, but I'll be you no one has that association)

    •  Progressive America (0+ / 0-)

      "A Progressive America, based upon our old-fashioned American Values of faith, freedom, country"

      Gag ... it's so Republican saying it like that ....

      Anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-union, anti-worker, anti-health, anti-progress, anti-freedom: Republicans 2012.

      by mumtaznepal on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 06:29:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read extina's post and Lakoff's article. The (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, jan4insight

    distinction between morality and policy caught my attention and made me wonder if that had a connection to why so many Republicans think Pres. Obama is a Muslim and why so much effort has gone into giving them that idea.

    Pres. Obama is a policy wonk but he is also a very moral person.  He's made it clear that he's a Christian and that his brand of Christianity is concerned with more than words.  He believes in deeds.  Looking after the least amongst you and that sort of thing.  Graduating from Columbia and seeking out a job as a community organizer.  Foregoing a ton of money and status after finishing Harvard Law to go back to Chicago and devote his life to public service.  Plus his personal life as a husband and father is exemplary.

    The Republicans thought they'd cornered the market on morality but Pres. Obama is threatening their cartel.  So they keep this Muslim issue alive to distract voters from the possibility that Pres. Obama can offer a moral narrative more appealing than theirs.  Especially considering how tatty theirs is getting.  

    BTW, that Lakoff's article is really thought provoking.  Any Kossack who thinks Santorum would be easier to beat than Romney ought to think again.  Esp. on what Santorum might do to excite voters to support down ballot candidates.  Getting Pres. Obama re-elected won't help with a Congress working with him.  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:19:27 PM PDT

    •  If President Obama was just able to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Observerinvancouver

      publicize these truths about his strong moral character and incorporate them into a winning message that all (or at least most) Democrats can stand behind and live by themselves, I would gladly do away with my suggested alternative. I think his example is an exemplary one to follow, but unfortunately, that's largely because it's so extremely rare for someone to live so true to his ideals.

      I think ideally, progressives would unite around his example, and we wouldn't necessarily need a different platform in opposition to that posed by Republicans. I only suggested this because I think it is a path progressives haven't tried that could make headway with a group that otherwise would be inclined to vote Republican, but who appreciate the pragmatic results sound progressive policy results in.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:34:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Without a Congress working with him, I meant. (0+ / 0-)

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:39:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dont be affraid of the words (3+ / 0-)

    There is nothing wrong with being a nationalist

    There is nothing wrong with being a socialist

    and there is nothing wrong with being a nationalist and a socialist

    The problem is there was a particular group the "national socialists"   who were a big bunch of D-bags

    The left of current day is far too afraid of using its own strength and and forming a strong unified left national government. Likely largely due to the fear brought on by the Nazi's and McCarthy

    A nationalist and semi socialist agenda would be a very strong force in today's politics.  A strong leader who was not afraid to stand up and be in the top left half of your little graph would get my vote any day.

    Policies like that such as national health care, federal funding of sciences, federal control over national resources (oil etc)  and saying fuck you to states rights are all very strong arguments which are not actively argued for right now.

    •  I'm really glad you feel that way. (0+ / 0-)

      I was defending myself because I heard some very valid points.

      In my heart I agree with you, I think. But if the core reason for this action was political pragmatism, as I claim in the diary, then I think I would still cede the point to them. At some point, it will be okay to call oneself a "national socialist" without drawing the breaths of the people around you, but that time has not yet come. If the real point is to elect Democrats and move the conversation to the left, I think doing so is folly and an unnecessary disadvantage.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And by the way, I do call myself a (0+ / 0-)

      socialist. I just "came out" to my parents actually (in that regard; I came out to them before the year prior, haha).

      I don't think I would call myself a nationalist normally, though, although in this instance I would be supportive of a one who aligned the country more closely to our agenda, as I call for in the diary. I identify too closely with the song Imagine by John Lennon to believe that strongly in national identity, let alone national pride or especially destiny.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:45:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Progressive Reality (0+ / 0-)

    We don't HAVE any truly progressive politicians. Not in office, not in any position to run for office, all we have are politicians whose only claim to progressivism or a liberal agenda is due to the conservative right's having dragged public discourse so far toward their side that a true centrist might be worried about being called a socialist.

    In fact, that is what is happening.

    When "progressive" State attorneys-general like New York's Eric Schneiderman and California's Kamala Harris get co-opted so cheaply into signing on to the banking bailout settlement, what do we have to look forward to?

    It is crystal clear now that Democracy, always the black sheep cousin of our Republic, went for cheap on Ebay years ago.

    Time we started putting on our paper money the pictures of the real powers in America, J.P. Morgan, Jamie Dillon, and the Koch brothers. "In Mammon We Trust".

  •  The word you are looking for is NARRATIVE (0+ / 0-)

    and here is a book that is even better than Lakoff at both describing the problem and providing solutions.  It is a must read for every progressive!

    Counter-Narrative: How Progressive Academics Can Challenge Extremists and Promote Social Justice by H. L. Goodall, who as it turns out is a DKos contributor.  

    http://www.amazon.com/...

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