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Thu Aug 24, 2017, 06:22 PM

What are the top three issues should the we talk about moving forward?

I am stuck in a hotel room today and have been watching MSNBC for an extended period of time and reading posts on DU. The TV is mostly prepping for the next political horse race and DU, to my dismay seems hell bent on blame for the last election. While I do enjoy political races more than the next person and I do believe in not making the same mistakes more times than necessary (as opposed to assigning blame) I am convinced that politics should be about systemic problem solving. What three issues should we focus on to get out of the horse race/blame cycle and move our country forward?

1. Election integrity. Call out the people suppressing the vote. Demand elections that can be audited. Paper ballots. We're supposed to believe that the Russians went full force the the edge of election system and didn't hack the actual vote? I don't think it's too much for us to have aa election system that encourages people to vote, makes it easy to vote and can be audited. This issue involves race, social and economic justice and true belief in the democratic process.

2. Demand an audit of the Defense Department. We won two wars in a matter of weeks but we have been involved in two occupations that are encouraging the military industrial complex that FDR and Eisenhower warned us about. It's time that we stop trying to right our fiscal house by attacking programs that are about us helping other Americans. This issue brings in foreign policy, budget and social justice.

3. Global climate change. I know that the Goddess that Paul Ryan kneels to believes that altruism is a character defect, but most scientists and the scientific process is, by nature, altruistic. It's really hard for people who believe that unobstructed profit is the answer to all the worlds problems to believe that there are people who pursue things in life just because they are curious or concerned about our common welfare. But it's true! This issue pulls in economics, education and the role of money in politics.

This is my first attempt at starting a thread after years of visiting this site and only occasionally commenting. I have been concerned about the Hillary vs Bernie fight that keeps reoccurring here at DU. When I hear about the Russian's interference in our democratic discourse and I see posts chronically devolve on that level, I really want to see this community move past that conflict and start talking about where we go from here. Here being Trumpville.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply What are the top three issues should the we talk about moving forward? (Original post)
mjvpi Aug 2017 OP
planetc Aug 2017 #1
mjvpi Aug 2017 #3
pat_k Aug 2017 #5
planetc Aug 2017 #15
democrank Aug 2017 #2
mjvpi Aug 2017 #9
spicysista Aug 2017 #4
mjvpi Aug 2017 #10
HopeAgain Aug 2017 #6
mjvpi Aug 2017 #11
Cicada Aug 2017 #7
mjvpi Aug 2017 #12
pat_k Aug 2017 #8
mjvpi Aug 2017 #13
pat_k Aug 2017 #14
NCDem777 Aug 2017 #16

Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 06:24 PM

1. 1. Election integrity.

2. Election integrity.

3. Election integrity.

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Response to planetc (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 06:53 PM

3. Yes

This is the basic construct of democracy. It opens up all kinds of questions about America today. You can start with the fact that as an old white guy, I have never had to wait for more than 20 minutes to vote in my lifetime. How come exit polls work everywhere in the world except in the US since the implementation of electronic voting machines. I can go pretty far down the rabbit hole and feel pretty sure that it's no conspiracy theory. Interstate Cross Check? No way to audit provably hackable machines?

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Response to planetc (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:03 PM

5. And this must include...

... restoring the right to vote to felons.

About 4 million nationwide (not a trivial number) are denied the right to vote by virtue of a past felony conviction. With the mass incarceration of people who lack the resources to negotiate our "justice" system, which includes a staggering proportion of African American men, the number of disenfranchised is intolerable. In some states, like Alabama and Mississippi, about 30% of the AA male population are disenfranchised.

There are so many things that need to be addressed, but at the top of my list is putting an end to lines. The systematic under allocation of resources in "certain areas" must be ended. I'm not sure how to go about it, but I think there need to be stiff penalties for jurisdictions that have long waits. Penalties big enough to make SOS's think twice about cutting resources to save money.

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Response to pat_k (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 06:55 AM

15. Second the motion to restore voting rights to ex-felons.

I don't personally see why someone who's been convicted, sentenced, and served his or her sentence doesn't automatically have their voting rights restored automatically. This is another example of governments acting as though it's their responsibility to save our souls, rather than simply keep our streets safe. People who've served their sentences should be resumed to have rehabilitated themselves, and we should welcome them back into the ranks of citizens. Denial of voting rights assumes that these people are tainted for life. It's a Puritan notion that needs to be trashed.

And I second your motion to remove lines from our voting lives. How about everybody votes by mail? The Post Office needs the business, we have a real live paper trail, and after we count the votes, we can audit the whole process if anything looks suspicious.

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Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 06:33 PM

2. Thanks for this, mjvpi.

1. Massive jobs programs for the neediest areas of the country, both rural and urban

2. Overhaul of the criminal justice system....including bail system

3. Public financing for elections

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Response to democrank (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:15 PM

9. I would take your three.

Economic injustice links all three of those. For profit criminal justice? That's right up there with for profit health care. We should be better than this. Elections should be when all Americans are equal..

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Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 06:53 PM

4. I'm also concerned about the fighting.

We have groups that seem ready to pounce on some of our more charismatic democrats already. I too fear that the same old divisions that gave us Bush and now Trump will rage on because we can/will not learn from our past.
Don't be dismayed about what is going on at DU. It may not seem valuable to you, but at least there's dialogue between the factions. People are still hurting over what they feel to be a betrayal. Passionate, even sometimes profanity laced, conversations are to be expected. DU seems like an extended family. This is the place, amongst our own, to hash out all of our differences so that we can come together when it counts.
I agree with your 1st and 3rd priorities. I think social justice should be next on the list. Actually, think it (social justice) runs through all of your priorities. Social justice is at the heart of voting rights and integrity. It's also at the heart of protecting our planet.
I look forward to seeing more posts from you!

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Response to spicysista (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:22 PM

10. Yes on social and economic justice.

I think that is the main chord struck by Senator Saunders.

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Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:03 PM

6. Something has to be done about the income disparity in this Country.

Unmitigated greed while others can't get a living wage. All the power is in the rich and the corporations... dealing with everything else is a band-aid.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:26 PM

11. Economic inequality, yes.

I live in Montana. When talking to Trump voters, that's something that most of them agree with me on. They are working their lives away and getting nowhere. Much to the Republicans dismay, this can be a unifying issue.

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Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:09 PM

7. All economic gains go only to the super rich

A rising tide used to lift all boats (JFK said that). Not in the past generation. We are being scammed by the really rich through their employees, the Republican elected officials.

Also we need to lower health care costs. People hate this truth: one thing we must do is fix many health costs. Almost all countries outlaw prices higher than certain amounts. We also can greatly improve efficiency.

We should cancel some student loans when incomes are too low to afford repayment. Maybe student loan repayment should be capped to x percent of taxable income per year with the percent lower for lower income.

And a bonus fourth proposal : tax breaks for businesses which set up apprentice programs for those in school. That can provide good jobs for working class people down the line and make our businesses more competitive.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:33 PM

12. Yes on all counts!

Universal Heath Care makes economic sense. How can our companies compete with companies who don't have that nut on their bottom line. Not to mention I love and respect everyone I meet! They deserve a healthy life! It's a synergetic decision. People undoubtedly make better decisions when they are healthy.

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Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:10 PM

8. Universal Health Care must be front and center too.

Making the case for Universal Health Care is not just about health care, it's about broader values. This makes it a lynch pin of sorts. The concept that you cannot have a functioning constitutional democracy if the people do not have equal access to a basic level of health care is a fundamental democratic -- little d and big D -- principle.

It is a given for most Americans that we cannot have a functioning constitutional democracy if the people do not have equal access to a basic level of education. Education is pretty irrelevant if you are dead. Access to a basic level of health care is every bit as fundamental as access to a basic level of education.

Universal Health Care must be front and center because it goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. Are we a nation committed to making sure each and every citizen has the basic building blocks to thrive? Yes. Isn't health one of those basic building blocks? Yes, of course it is. Doesn't it follow that we must provide equal access to a basic level of health care for EVERYONE? Of course it does. It is a simple concept.

Are we powerful enough to make it happen? Of course we are.

A nation that makes these types of commitments, and endeavors to fulfill those commitments, is a nation to be proud of.

These are the types of visions we must build and work to make real because these are the visions that engage hearts and minds. Once we define ourselves as a nation committed to providing every person to the building blocks needed to thrive, we must necessarily start looking at where we are achieving this goal, and where we are not. The overarching definition of what kind of nation we are drives us in the right direction.

Universal Health Care must be front and center for another reason. Discussion of Universal Health Care is also a discussion of the limits of the "free market." Health care is NOT a commodity, and "Free market forces" don't apply. You need the health care you need when you need it. We all need a certain amount of preventative care. Some of us get sick. When we do, we need more. It's not like buying a car, or other commodity. You don't wake up one morning and think "I'd like to start injecting myself with Enbrel, I know it's expensive, but I deserve it!"

We do NOT need to get into the mechanics until we have built consensus on what it is we need to commit to achieving. What constitutes a "basic level" of health care? Define that free of concerns about cost. Only when you have defined some basic parameters of what the goal is do you shift focus to design.

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Response to pat_k (Reply #8)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 07:36 PM

13. I agree with your post.

What better way to declare your love and respect for your brothers and sisters than to literally wish them well.

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Response to mjvpi (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 24, 2017, 09:22 PM

14. Spot on!

Until our party leadership and elected officials start doing a better job of turning their debates on policy into debates about who we are nation--and as individuals, I fear we will keep losing ground.

I could be dreaming, but I think that human beings have a basic need to be needed; to help. Who doesn't feel good when they see something they did make someone else's life a little better? Who doesn't feel good about wishing well for others? It's hard to imagine a person scowling when they see a positive effect of their actions. Those basic needs can be harnessed by helping people reconnect to the concept of "We the People" and take ownership of our government. When you see the government as OURs -- not some separate monster to be battled with -- you want to see it doing good things, because people like doing good. And believing in the power of US to get things done, is just an extension of self-efficacy -- another basic need.

We get stuck in the "weeds" way too fast. We are practical people, and that is good, but jumping straight to dollars and cents and mechanics before you have built some political will is putting the cart before the horse. Yes, put together bills that move us toward the goal, but the "debate" has to go beyond any specific bill, and must be taken to the electorate. It's got to be about the big goal, and about the power of us, as a people, as a government, to accomplish that goal.

How many organized, nationwide campaigns for change have been mounted by elected officials BETWEEN elections? I can't think of one in recent history. Politics isn't limited to elections. Just as we need to get in our representatives faces and lobby for action between elections, our elected officials should be getting in our faces, and enlisting people in making the things they ran on a reality. Any member of Congress who advocates Universal Health Care should be enlisting their colleagues in organized efforts to take the case to the people in a big way. (And that goes for anything else near and dear to their hearts.)

When interviewers start with the standard "but how will you do it," the correct answer is "let's define what we want to accomplish and why we, as a nation, need to commit to this.... (and then make the case for the big goal grounded in American values, moral imperatives... where there is a will, there is a way... we are a powerful nation, we can do this.). The answer to the assertion "You don't have enough support in Congress" is "Yes, we wouldn't get the votes today, but more and more people are calling for action. We're taking the case to the people (in blah blah tour campaign rallies). This is an idea whose time has come, and I'm confident that as my colleagues hear from more and more of their constituents, they will join us. We can make real progress this term by doing X (e.g., add pubic option), but that is just a first step (back to the big vision).

If wishes were horses and all that. I don't imagine we'll be seeing such a change in the standard "modus operandi" anytime soon, but a girl can dream... and keep lobbying, and keep asking "why aren't you out making the case to us?" As we keep losing ground, perhaps more of them will be open to rethinking how they "get things done."

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Response to mjvpi (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 02:48 PM

16. My three:

 

1. Getting back to being anti-war. You may not like hearing it but the elective wars in Libya and Syria drove anti-war voters to Third Parties. We sailed into Congressional Majorities in 2006 and into the Presidency in 2008 by galvanizing the anti-war movement. Then, the DNC ditched them entirely. In 2016, enough of them returned the favor to swing several states. Forget Russia. Forget Comey. Forget e-mails. Forget "identity politics." Ditching the anti-war vote is what cost the Dems.

We have to get back to that.

2. Universal healthcare.
3. Disability issues. Everyone's getting older. We need to do something to address, not only the elderly but the disabled kids who are growing up.

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