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Sat Jan 12, 2019, 02:44 PM

Trees, fruit and the Democratic party - musings on Joe Lieberman's recent comment.

I'm going to have to say that I think AOC, or at least her ideas and her platform ARE the future of the Democratic party.

What I have found is that, with judging any politician (or anyone else), you are on much more solid ground with looking at what they DO first, and then comparing that with what they SAY. Iíve gotten tired, over the six decades Iíve lived, of politicians who come and tell me whatever it takes to get my vote.

Truth is, my grandchildren NEED AOCís Green New Deal. NOW. The environment has become so fouled that species are going extinct at a rapid, human-caused rate, and the planet may become uninhabitable for humankind. This is an existential crisis and we must address it right away - not soon, not in a couple decades, not with 'all deliberate speed' (remember that?), but NOW. We need to address it NOW.

Our country needs to reverse the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations passed in 2017 and adopt AOCís graduated rates. We need our government to provide public services, and to my mind we need to expand the concept of 'public good' to include health care, and de-privatize a bunch of things where the profit motive creates conflicts, such as prisons. We have far too many infrastructure needs to waste public monies on things like a space force (I mean, how is THAT better for us than healthcare?), and we certainly cannot afford to route yet more money to these billionaires through unnecessary tax cuts.

I'll tell you as an economist that most of our problems ó with wealth inequality, with environmental degradation, the human-caused climate change, huge and unsustainable national and consumer debt, comes to us as a direct result of the PRIMACY OF THE SHAREHOLDER. You've heard me talk about this before, and few of you comment, but it is the truth.

The CEO of a publicly held company has only one responsibility, and this has been tested to the Supreme Court:

- A CEO's ONLY responsibility is to increase earnings for shareholders. Thatís it. So that CEO will bust unions, drive labor costs down, dilute benefits, gobble up pensions because on Wall Street, labor is considered a liability.

- That CEO will put consumer interests on the back burner too, and implement planned obsolescence in products - water them down, decrease the size of the package while at the same time raising the price. Or, if it is a financial service, will adopt predatory lending practices. This is all because the corporate charter says shareholders are more important than the consumer of the good or service.

- Finally, that CEO and his/her other C-Suite officers will foul the environment to whatever degree they can get away with (the capitalist euphemism for this is Ďexternalityí). In other words, as long as they don't have to pay for the damage to the environment or the people in that environment, the accountants and Wall Street consider this positive because it doesn't affect shareholder earnings. So guess who has to pay to mitigate environmental problems. That's right, us, the taxpayers.

To that end, Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which expands the fiduciary responsibility of CEOs to include the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. WE NEED THAT.

In addition, across the USA, states are trying to pass the National Popular Vote Compact, which will force Electoral College members to vote the same way the national popular vote went, in effect replacing the elitist Electoral College with democracy. If enough states had passed this prior to 2016, Clinton would be in the White House actually acting like a president, instead of the petulant emotional five-year-old we have now.

We also must get rid of Citizens United because corporations are NOT people and dollars are NOT free speech. That is un-American.

The truth is that many politicians that have been voted into office over the last few decades would pay lip service to these things, but then, somehow, mysteriously, nothing would ever really happen. And the media won't EVER tell you what I just told you about the primacy of the shareholder. Why? Because nearly all our media outlets, including MSNBC, are corporate-owned and subject to that very same primacy of the shareholder. This is why they love Citizens United - the super pacs are cash cows for them and they gobble up billions in profits every time there's an election.

Thatís the pabulum weíve been fed for DECADES now, and Iím quite sick of it. So, yes, Iím a big AOC fan, and am not fond of the so-called Third Way Democrats because they donít do much for me. To make my life better. To help me and my family and my grandchildren. To use our tax money for stuff that actually benefits us instead of corporate donors and the MIC. THAT should be the job of those we elect, should it not?

What? Wait? Slow down? Proceed with 'all deliberate speed?' Nope. As Obama said, there is a 'fierce urgency of NOW.'

I'll end with few words from the great Martin Luther King that echo to us through time from the Birmingham Jail:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."


Let us Democrats move forward now as the party of social, economic and environmental justice. THAT is the future.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trees, fruit and the Democratic party - musings on Joe Lieberman's recent comment. (Original post)
PatrickforO Jan 12 OP
MLAA Jan 12 #1
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #2
elocs Jan 12 #4
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #11
elocs Jan 12 #14
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #17
elocs Jan 12 #18
marylandblue Jan 12 #5
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #10
shanny Jan 12 #6
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #9
shanny Jan 12 #12
Voltaire2 Jan 12 #7
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #8
Voltaire2 Jan 12 #15
Demsrule86 Jan 12 #16
Power 2 the People Jan 12 #3
Hortensis Jan 12 #13

Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 02:51 PM

1. Right on.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 03:18 PM

2. We won moderate districts in order to take back the house and without moderates we have no

chance to take the Senate...look at it realistically. AOC is remarkable and her views have a place that is the big tent Democratic Party. We must have big tent or we have no majority and now power. I hear folks talking about 'moving the Democratic Party left. We need to move the country left first or it will end in disaster for our party and the country.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:01 PM

4. Yet there is a segment of the Left who would love to purge the party of moderates or conservatives,

looking down their noses and branding anyone less liberal than themselves as DINOs or Republican Lite. Yeah, try and win national elections or those outside of solid blue states without the help of Democrats who consider themselves to be conservatives or moderates.
As each party, each tribe retreats to the opposite ends of the political spectrum, where does that leave those in the middle?

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Response to elocs (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:37 PM

11. Well Republicans will vote for Republicans despite almost anything but, Democrats will lose as we

will put up candidates like McGovern, Humphrey and Dukakis who can't win.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:36 PM

14. Been there, done that. In fact, McGovern was my first vote at age 20.

We didn't believe he could lose because, after all, how could anybody vote for someone like Nixon.
But I remember reading that if Humphrey had received just 1 more vote in every precinct he would have beaten Nixon.

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Response to elocs (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 08:45 PM

17. Nixon was slime...a precursor to traitor Trump

In the next few years we need to win...the country will move left with Democrats in charge ...no other way to do it. We were dealt a blow with the election of Trump.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 08:49 PM

18. Trump was and probably still is a Nixon admirer. n/t

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:02 PM

5. It's all about the Overton window

That's the range of views that are politically acceptable. It's been moving steadily rightward since the 1980s. So now white supremacy is acceptable, and a "moderate" is someone who thinks both sides are equally bad. AOC has helped moved the window back to the left. We will not have a 70% tax rate anytime soon. But by using her national megaphone to go out that far, a smaller but still needed increase may become the moderate position, and therefore more likely to happen.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:35 PM

10. I do understand the Overton window. And it is my opinion we have a right wing president like Reagan,

Bush II and now Trump, the country is moved to the right. And we must win and only by winning can we drag it back to the left.

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Response to shanny (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:33 PM

9. Really well using population when we don't govern that way...is foolish...look at the Senate. There

no way a progressive candidate will win WVA. Examine the Senate. It will be disaster if at the first taste of power, we think we don't have to consider the nature of the electorate...the big tent is the only way the Democrats have ever gotten power and retained power...ignore history at your own peril.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:35 PM

12. Excuse me, but should we tailor our message, candidates and party across our already-left country

to who can win WEST VIRGINIA?

jaysus H

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:25 PM

7. That strategy has failed.

Timeís up.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:31 PM

8. No it did not...it worked wonderfully well in the midterm...we need a 50 state strategy

in order to win ...what evidence do you have of the 'times up'....seems to me in 16...some refused to vote for the Democratic nominee and we are now in a world of hurt because of it.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 08:04 PM

15. What worked was widespread disgust

with Trump.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 08:43 PM

16. It sure didn't hurt...but the right candidates ran.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 03:25 PM

3. Absolutely beautiful and prescient.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:40 PM

13. Lieberman opposed universal healthcare and expansion of Medicare

and is a right-wing warmonger. Every time I hear his name I'm disappointed to realize he isn't drooling in a wheelchair yet.

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