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   EDITORIAL: There'll Be No Joy In Saying "I Told You So"


The Problem with the Democrats

Well, the election is over, and Democrats are making moan. If only they’d look in the mirror: they’d see they bear a lot of responsibility for the sorry shape their party is in, not to mention this nation.

But so far, Democrats have no unifying vision for social progress in a fiscally sensible way. Democrats need to use the best thinkers to develop a new societal vision and plan, making use of best practices in the best run countries. And they need to use War College (and Maciavellian) methods to successfully compete with Republicans, organizing their efforts like the RNC and Heritage Foundation 'networks' do so well.

The “vision thing” needs to include healthcare's out-of-control costs and the uninsured. Highest-profit, un-regulated healthcare that Republicans want is definitely NOT the answer. So Democrats vision thing needs to include socialized healthcare, but with controls limiting malpractice liability as well as limiting health and insurance industry profits.

Plus the vision thing must include much better regulating of all interstate "infrastructures" to avoid boom-bust business cycles. Recent telecom over-building resulted in huge debt and bankruptcies that have seriously damaged our economy, trashing retirement investments of millions of people in the process.

To call this "creative destruction" and be proud of it is the hallmark of stupid capitalism. (Note that, by comparison, the partially socialized countries in Europe and Asia avoided similar debt, and more of their citizens have broadband Internet at half the cost!)

Democrats also need to get a grip on "Free Trade" before we import ourselves into ever-greater unemployment. Two billion low-wage people in Asia (a third of the world's population) suddenly began competing with the US for jobs. Now we have to manage job transition to protect domestic employment levels in well-chosen business sectors.

And let's not forget the rapidly growing crisis of pollution and the environment, and the wrong-headed oil-centric Bush-Cheney 'plan'. We have to plan our way away from oil use! Our priorities should be conservation through greater efficiency of vehicles and electric motors, renewable energy, and alternative energy for combustion engines - including hydrogen. Europe has recognized these as their focus for the future, and we should too.

Instead of strategizing and communicating the most important problems and solutions to the public, the Democrats have ceded issues and discussion to Republicans. Democrats just say “me too” to the Republicans and to the public. This is a huge strategic error.

Yes, the election of 2002 is a wake-up call. But remember: 80% of those eligible to vote in this election did not vote for Republicans. A whole lot of people are dissatisfied with both major parties.

There’s plenty of outreach and fence-mending to be done, but there’s potential for positive change and growth in public involvement. And if it doesn’t come from the disappointing Democrats, and doesn’t come from the Bush neoliberal Republicans, it just may come from other sources: the Greens, Constitution Party, Libertarians, Democratic Socialists of America, Natural Law Party, Reform Party, or (horrors!) Communist Party.

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on November 9, 2002.
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