On July 15, 1960, John F. Kennedy said the following words in his acceptance speech: “If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I'm proud to say I'm a “Liberal.””
I watched a program last night entitled The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. He was a producer, director, writer and performer in the wonderful TV series The West Wing.
He had recently been called too conservative by someone on the left and a socialist by someone on the right.
In his own defense, he played a clip from The West Wing which he wrote. In it, the Democratic Party presidential candidate responded in a debate to his Republican opponent’s accusation of being afraid to be called “liberal”. The Democrat’s response sounded an awful lot like what Kennedy said in 1960.
When’s the last time we heard any Democrat say words that were even close to what Kennedy said?
Kucinich ran for president in 2004 on a personal platform so diametrically opposed to most of the other Democratic candidates, especially John Kerry, that, until he lost the nomination, one could only assume he’d choose to run an independent campaign if he did lose.
When he lost the nomination, he stepped up and supported Kerry! Kerry was talking about a “surge” in Iraq before Bush did it. He’s enamored of so called “Free Trade” and, if he had been elected, I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear him quote Clinton and say, “The era of big government is over.”
Just as Ron Paul will not pull the trigger and move, permanently, from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party, Kucinich knows that, if he takes his millions and moves to the Green Party or even the Socialist Party of the United States, he’d lose for sure.
Or would he?
I think he’d be a hero.
What made the Tea Party candidates so popular was that they said exactly what that group of people wanted to hear. They weren’t afraid to express their views, no matter how far they might be from “mainstream” America.
I submit that the Democratic Party will withhold any support from anyone who speaks the way Kennedy did. If I’m right, it will prove that the Democratic Party is too stupid to know that is what many, maybe most, Americans want to hear.
At the end of his show last night, Lawrence O’Donnell admitted that he is a socialist, at least in the sense that he utilizes the Post Office, supports Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He displayed a Time Magazine cover which read We’re All Socialists Now.
We need candidates who don’t run away from they are. We need candidates who say that they are proud of the help the government has given the people since the days of FDR and that help is absolutely constitutional. More government help, like universal health care, is also within the bounds of the kinds of programs that The Constitution allows Congress to pass and the president to implement. It would be ethically, morally and politically courageous to run on the transparent truth of one’s convictions.
I’m of the opinion that, if we got money out of the system, a Socialist, the kind of Socialist one finds in Scandinavia, could win the White House and Democratic Socialists could win Congress. However, they would have to campaign on what their true intentions were and not mince words. They’d need to debunk every stupidity that was shot at them from the right or the fake left. And they could do it, too.
The media would have to turn truly fair and give such candidates the air time it gives to Ds and Rs. Most importantly, the media would have to include these candidates in televised debates.
These “big spenders” would come closer to balancing the budget than Democrats or Republicans. Clinton supposedly handed Bush a surplus, but too many Americans had to pay for it the hard way.
Democratic Socialists would balance the budget without cutting “entitlements” to working class Americans. They’d do it by cutting “entitlements” to wealthy Americans, corporate America and military America.
“A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual.” – Sigmund Freud
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