Block Voting - I believe that if we have a mini-democracy here, we would multiply our influence greatly by voting as a block for chosen candidates, if we can get everyone to pledge to go along. The "Cuban Mafia" in Miami is able to hold politicians feet to the fire by voting in a block, after collectively deciding on their candidate. I feel that Kos members could use this strategy to increase power. Of course, as elections are mostly statewide, we'd need to organize that way.
Next, I think we learned about early money, which allows EMILY's List to be effective (EMILY's stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast - makes the bread rise.) This would have increased our help to Ciro, but we live and we learn.
Now I'd like to shift to our priorities. We cannot go after every issue, or it will dilute our effectiveness. My top six are:
1) Health Care
3) Campaign Finance
4) Debt Reduction
6) Cabinet members
Health Care - This is one of the two most vital economic priorities for the (disappearing) middle and lower classes of our country. Last year, health care spending absorbed 16% of our GDP, and did not come close to covering everyone. At some point, we must address the fact that our wages will never grow as the nations wealth is funnelled through the health care system (to investors), holding wages down. For me, a single-payer system, with bargaining leverage, is the only way to address the problem.
Trade - This is the other vital economic priority. I would suggest the book [i]The Global Class War[/i], written by the former President of EPI (epinet.org). The effect of NAFTA and other trade agreements has led directly to the WalMart problem, "China price", and so on. Shipping out middle class jobs and adding lousy jobs, shipping out agricultural products and importing manufactured goods is a third world growth strategy. We can and should do better. It is probably the toughest of fights, but we will lose without addressing it.
Real Campaign Finance - Real reform here is a no-brainer. Corruption is rampant, as we've all seen. We cannot have a democracy where votes are based on $$$$'s.
Debt Reduction - We will have to address the reckless fiscal policies in this country. We should demand that Democrats balance the budget on the backs of those who took our nation's wealth in the past 8 years. That means stopping the cycle of Republicans diverting all taxes into the military system, only to have Democrats balance the budget by cutting social programs, which happen to be so popular that the only way to cut them (politically) is to run us into financial ruin.
Iraq - I think we should be careful here. We all want out. However, if we vote only on Iraq, we will end up with a CEO type that will hurt us in the long run, and probably betray us on Iraq anyway.
Cabinet Members - We should also demand that our Democratic nominees do not fill their cabinets with exec's. Robert Rubin was a disaster for the working people in this country. Yes, he is brilliant, but his priorities were all wrong. The Labor Dept. has not been run by a labor appointee since JFK, I believe. This is not acceptable anymore. We must play the Dem nominees off one another to get reasonable people into these vital positions. After all, the Dem's are supposed to be the party of the workers!
Thanks for reading to the end, hope it helps generate some discussion and ideas on the topics mentioned.
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