Political platforms

Even Robert Novak says the Misleader is trying to shove a platform down the GOP’s throat (with almost half the first draft dedicated to “prais[ing] Bush as a war leader.”) And as might be expected, while keeping them off the main stage at the convention, Bush is more interested in playing to the religious right than traditional conservatives.

While platforms frequently aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, if not re-defeated, Bush will no doubt do his best to shove a religious right agenda down our throats. (And Thune will be more than happy to assist in imposing those views on us).

What would I put in a platform? I’ve blogged before about Ted Rall and his excellent book, Wake Up, You’re Liberal! The book opens with a personal credo whose ideas would be an excellent basis for a political platform. Some excerpts:

Each human being is morally obligated to work as hard as possible to make life as good as possible for himself and his fellow human beings, not in that order.

The burden of the effort to improve life should fall most heavily on those in the best position to do so, beginning with the wealthy, powerful, educated, healthy, grandfathered, and otherwise privileged. This is unfair, yet necessary. If not on them, whom?

Any society that can afford it should guarantee its citizens the basic essentials of life: food, housing and medical care. Despite occasional arguments to the contrary, the United States of America is such a society.

The United States of America is a grand experiment whose laws and rhetoric are unsurpassed by any in history. All too often, we fail to live up to our ideals. The gap between what we say and what we do — not jealousy, or reverse nationalism, or religion — is the root cause of anti-Americanism around the world.

As citizens of the wealthiest and most powerful nation to have ever existed in the history of our species, there is no excuse for our shortcomings. We Americans can accomplish anything we decide to do. When we fail, it is almost always because we have never truly tried.

The American people are fundamentally good, but are more often than not misled by thugs and charlatans.

It is true that, in the United States, most poor people live better than many middle-class people do in the third world. So what? That fact doesn’t vindicate neglecting the relative poverty in our midst.

Anyone who is concerned about what kind of sex [consenting adults] have or who they have it with needs to shut the fuck up.

We need a separation between church and state because the state is stupid enough as it is.

This certainly is not the be all and end all of political theory. But it is a good start and certainly a better reflection of an America that reflects American ideals than the Bush-Repugnican vision.

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