As the presidential race enters its decisive phase, it’s time for voters to recognize the extent of the nation’s deep problems and to decide which candidate has the political grounding, independence, and knowledge to fix them.
Moderate Democratic candidates have been slow to act on these problems. Long-festering problems related to economics, (wage stagnation and wage inequality), political disenfranchisement, wars conducted with no purpose, corporate control over government and courts, and generations of indebted Americans have all worsened as moderate Democrats watched. These were problems top policymakers and politicians knew about, but avoided, as they headed to the shadows of re-election.
In some cases, veteran politicians aggravated these problems, or else enjoyed the benefits of their established political positions as the beneficiaries of corporate donations as these problems festered after decades of neglect.
These problems were visible to anyone, citizens or elected politicians, who wanted to see them.
Now, we have a long-awaited, and some say final, opportunity to make the fundamental political and leadership changes that can begin to solve them. That’s why we need a progressive presidential candidate in 2020.
As we reach this critical election, voters should consider their choices. They should ask: How would moderate Democratic presidential candidates begin to correct the following:
- The 400 richest Americans now pay a lower overall tax rate than any other group in the country.
- Executive compensation has increased by 940%, on average, since 1978, while the salaries of average workers have increased by 12%. This level of pay disparity that has not been seen since the 1920s.
- More wars and policing are being planned, even after debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, just as they were decades ago in Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Somalia, Nicaragua, Granada. What will stop this?
- Of the Americans born in the late-1980s, only 44% were in jobs with higher socioeconomic status than their parents when both were age 30. At the same time, 49% had positions of lower status, according to a study on millennials in the 2019 Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality Pathways Magazine.
Being a Progressive
Voting for a progressive political candidate in 2020 means you can be more progressive on some issues, such as the economy, the environment or social issues, and less progressive on others.
Progressives can be a member of any party. The original term “progressive” referred to Theodore Roosevelt (president from 1901 -1909), a Republican, whose Square Deal domestic program called for several progressive reforms.
You can be progressive as long as you share the philosophy that “Everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does his or her fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.” As stated in the e-book, Progressive Thinking: A Synthesis of American Progressive Values, Beliefs and Positions by The American Values Project and Think Progress, this political philosophy is based on values, beliefs, and a world view that society can benefit when there is egalitarian social and economic progress.
Being a progressive means, you are against special interests, greedy individuals and corporations, polluters and advocates of the superiority of one group over another.
Progressivism is Not New
Progressivism is a political philosophy with a long history in the U.S. and Europe. America’s Progressive era often cited as lasting from the 1890s to the 1920s and ascended again during the New Deal and the Sixties.
Progressivism is a political philosophy that has economic and social justice goals. Its successful implementation has always depended on adhering to key, core values of corporate accountability, active government intervention to correct social and economic problems from a leftist, pro-public position.
Progressivism differs from free-market capitalism and its rigid form, neoliberalism since it believes the markets are not all-knowing and should not have the dominant role in dictating social and economic policies.
As found on the site, www.theprogressiveinvestor.org, the progressive definition is weighted towards economic, social and financial inequality. This includes the wealth gap, income inequality, and all forms of schemes that impose undisclosed and excessive financial burdens on uninformed investors, 401k participants, and those without the resources to know when they are being victimized.
So, as voters consider the Democratic candidates, look at who has the political history and orientation to see the real problems and have the plans to fix them. Look at their records. Look at their history of personal commitments to policies that could make real change.
Pick candidates who know that today’s deep-rooted problems will never change from inside the political establishment. Pick a progressive.