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Sun Jan 26, 2014, 08:15 PM

Two Questions on the Great Divide

A couple of questions, to which there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. What I would appreciate, and what might lead to a worthwhile discussion, is your opinion.

We have important elections in 2014, which will set the stage for significant elections in 2016. I consider elections at all levels – local, state, and national – important each and every time they are held. But I do believe there is an urgency involved in the upcoming contests, that demands our full attention.

In my opinion, there are two general groups that have the potential to make meaningful advances in 2014 and ’16. Included are the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Left. The party includes progressives, liberals, moderates, and conservative democrats. The left includes progressive democrats, and those to the left of the party.

For sake of discussion, liberals tend to think that “the system” needs fine-tuning, in order to make it more capable of providing social justice. Progressives tend to believe the system needs a major overhaul. Thus, for example, while I am a life-long registered democrat, on the majority of important issues, I am convinced we need revolutionary change. I do not believe that anything less bodes well for our nation, or species.

The entirety of “the system” is so complex, that some of the dynamics and issues involved are relatively well-defined, while others are definitely not. For example, our opposition includes republicans (who may be relatives or neighbors), corporations, the numerous “-isms” that are entrenched (racism, sexism, dollarism, etc), and class warfare.

It also seems that the fact we can best confront these social ills by having a united front that includes the Democratic Party and the Democratic Left. Our opposition will apply as much pressure as possible to those areas where there has traditionally been splits between the two groups. More importantly, at least in my opinion, is that both the Democratic Party and the Democratic Left have proven fully capable of dividing themselves into factions incapable of exercising their full political potential. (DU discussions on the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 illustrate this quite clearly.)
Hence, my two questions:

First, what issue (or issues) provide the firmest regions for us to find “common ground”?

Second, what issue (or issues) provide the greatest area of disagreement, which could serve to divide us?

Again, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Your thoughts and contributions are most appreciated. Thank you!

H2O Man

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Two Questions on the Great Divide (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2014 OP
KoKo Jan 2014 #1
Octafish Jan 2014 #2
H2O Man Jan 2014 #4
Octafish Jan 2014 #8
NYC_SKP Jan 2014 #3
H2O Man Jan 2014 #5
snooper2 Jan 2014 #6
Armstead Jan 2014 #7

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 26, 2014, 09:48 PM

2. Great idea, H20 Man.

These three areas, or issues, could appeal to all voters:

1.) New New Deal for the 21st Century: New Jobs to Meet the Challenges and Problems facing the nation and the planet.

2.) Peace for Profit, rather than Wars for Profit.

3.) Equal Justice for All: Warmongers and Banksters no longer walk free.

Each issue is contentious, as each represents longstanding and deeply vested interests that have ruled the roost since when Nixon, Kissinger and Madame Chennault were on the phone to Saigon.

The thing is, IMO: Republicans, Independents, and Democrats of all varieties I've spoken with -- from Kansas to Maryland and from Michigan to Tennessee -- know the nation needs to institute them to avoid disaster, let alone to move forward.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 27, 2014, 10:33 AM

4. Right.

I think that most people know that our nation is in a bad way, and that "business as usual" politics is a large part of the problem.

I also think that environmental issues can provide areas of common ground. They can, of course, be divisive -- for example, the hydrofracking issue appeals to people's fears and greed. But there is always negative potentials that are roughly equal to the positive potentials of these issues.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 27, 2014, 01:44 PM

8. When President Obama campaigned in 2008, he talked of an Apollo Program for energy...

...once in office, he fell back for the same-old, same-old from the good people in the fossil fuels and nuclear fission industries. While incredibly profitable for Wall Street, these place the biggest burdens on the People, the nation and the planet.

People understand the problems involved are major. Only by thinking big and doing big things will we solve them. Only the federal government has the power and wherewithal to meet them. And if we take the Democratic and democratic perspectives, we can make the nation and world better places, giving everyone who needs one a good job doing meaningful work in the process.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 26, 2014, 09:50 PM

3. Just off the top of my head:



While not necessarily "firm", I think the greatest potential for finding common ground might be in the area of economics:

I think it would be hard for any honest mainstream Democratic leader to deny the destruction of the middle class due to decisions made by members of both parties and all branches of government over the past thirty years. Further, if challenged to commit to policies that long term sustainability rather than short term profit, to prove how any particular decision will have a positive impact on the next generation or two instead of the next quarter, we might have make progress.

Military policy is one area where I think there might be the greatest disagreement. Our culture seems to have become increasingly war-like, and the MIC is so closely tied to local economics that it seems to be a hard habit to quit for Democrats and Republicans alike.

I wish the two groups weren't so split on these matters, and I don't understand the early popularity of certain candidates who, in my opinion, haven't been very good mainstream Democrats much less progressive, so maybe there's not much common ground worth mentioning.

One can hope, I reckon.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 27, 2014, 10:42 AM

5. Interesting.

Good points. Thanks.

It is important that you point out the substantial overlap between economics and the MIC. We witnessed how the nation can be lied into war, with a majority of people supporting the Bush-Cheney aggression in Iraq. As time passed, the nation came to understand that there were no ties between Saddam and 9/11, nor a WMD threat posed by Iraq. Yet the damage done to our nation by that episode remains unaddressed, and the MIC is, if anything, more entrenched.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 27, 2014, 10:48 AM

6. I don't know what this has to do with the Great Divide..


But I thought liberal/progressive were pretty much the same thing...

Somebody taking their word back or something?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 27, 2014, 11:02 AM

7. I used to think there were straightforward answers


But every day I sense that there are core issues that are impossible to unify around.

In my opinion, in terms of what COULD help to spark a big win would be the issue of Economic Justice. That would mean taming the Monster Corporations, restoring reasonable minimum wage and other worker protections, bring back reasonable financial regulations, etc.

But frankly, too many of what you call the mainstream Democratic Party have bought into the same shit as the GOP and right wing. They're afraid to push for anti-trust laws, financial regulation, etc.

Perhaps the social issues, women's rights, gay rights, etc. But those are divisive in a different way and have helped to feed the GFOP beast over the years.

The only possible "bright" spot is that as things get worse, more and more rank and file Democrats and others are realizing the real solutions will have to be different than business as usual corporate politics. Tghayt may force the Democratic leadership to be more open and supportive of actual liberal and progressive policies again.

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