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Posts Tagged ‘Center-Left’

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Source: The Aspen Institute– Columnist David Brooks

Source: The New Democrat

If you just arrived on Planet Earth yesterday and were an adult and two of the first things you observed were supposed to be what it means to be a Conservative and Liberal and what conservatism and liberalism are supposed to be, you would probably think Conservatives are simply bigots who hate anyone who isn’t of European especially Anglo-Saxon background, who isn’t a Christian especially a Protestant and who isn’t male. That conservatism is simply an authoritarian bigoted political philosophy that is about conserving everything in society for Europeans especially English-Europeans in America and especially Protestant males.

And that Liberals are simply statists. In some cases democratic, but in many other cases communist who believe European-Americans are all bigots, unless they come from the Northeast or West Coast and were educated there as well. Who hate European-Americans again unless they come from one of the coasts and were raised there. The Northeast and West Coast, that is and believe the role of government is to take care of non-Europeans in America and to punish Europeans for being successful.

That Liberals are supposed to be people who believe that anyone who doesn’t look at the world as they do are basically idiots who need to be babysat by government. That freedom is dangerous and it only gives people the freedom to make mistakes. That free speech is only the freedom to offend non-Europeans. That capitalism and property rights are selfish. That even education and self-inprovent are dangerous things, because it means that people would be able to obtain the power and freedom to live independently and be able to think and act for themselves.

Now, I just gave you a pretty good idea about what conservatism and liberalism aren’t. What it doesn’t mean to a Conservative and what it doesn’t mean to be a Liberal. The anti-conservative views when it comes to conservatism and the illiberal views when it comes to liberalism. Now, how about what it actually means to be a Conservative and what conservatism actually is and what it means to be a Liberal and what liberalism actually is.

I agree with David Brooks about one thing which seems to be a common theme when I hear him speak, at least about public policy and philosophy. That conservatism is about conserving tradition and a certain way of life in America. Which is different from saying that the role of government is force a way of life on the rest of the country and force everybody to basically live as straight fundamentalist Protestant Evangelicals. Which is what Christian-Conservatives who today are basically Christian-Nationalists believe, that the problem with the America is personal freedom and individualism and that Americans shouldn’t have the freedom to live their own lives and have their own lifestyles.

My personal view of what it means to be a Conservative in the political sense, comes from Mr. Conservative Senator the late Barry Goldwater. Who said that he wanted big government out of our wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms, and classrooms. He wanted big government out of our personal and economic affairs. He believed in limited government and federalism and that the role of government was to protect Americans from predators both foreign and domestic, but not try to protect Americans from themselves and punish Americans for their own personal decisions. And that a big role of government was to conserve the U.S. Constitutional and our constitutional rights. Not conserve some fundamentalist Protestant Christian way of life and to force everybody to live under the same religious and cultural values.

For me as a Liberal, defining Liberal and liberalism is very easy for me. A Liberal is someone who believes in liberal democracy what some people might call classical liberalism, but what I just call liberalism and liberal democracy. That government should be limited and there to defend our constitutional rights and civil liberties, including our property rights. That everyone in America is the same at least in the sense that no one is better simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender and that everyone has the same civil rights and are all entitled to the same equal and constitutional rights. Liberals believe in limited government, the U.S. Constitution, civil liberties, individual rights. A safety net for people who truly need it, but not having a government big enough to manage people’s lives and to force everyone to live equally from an economic standpoint. Socialists believe in forcing equality on everyone. Liberals believes in quality opportunity for everyone, which is different.

Now, if you just watch Fox News and MSNBC, you might think Conservatives are from Mars and Liberals are from Saturn. Two completely different planets with very little if anything in common. Thousands if not millions of miles way ideologically. But if you look at the American political spectrum Conservatives are on the center-right and Liberals are on the center-left. Ideologically they’re political opponents ( not enemies ) but have the most in common ideologically of any two political factions on the American political spectrum. With the Socialists ( both democratic and communist ) and the Christian-Nationalists, having the least in common. Conservatives and Liberals both believe in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, our federal form of limited government. But differ when it comes to government’s role in the economy and national security. But don’t live in two on two different planets ideologically. As much as Fox News and MSNBC may disagree with this.

The Aspen Institute: David Brooks- On Conservative and Liberal Values

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Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

In this long PBS style fundraiser marathon of a speech that Robert Reich gave in Washington about his book The Common Good, I got the sense that he was talking about what’s called the social contract. This idea that Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists and some Progressives push that government is there to make sure everyone is taken care and has what they need to live well in society. And Reich is probably using the New Deal from the 1930s and the Great Society from the 1960s, as his idea of what the social contract or the common good is.

As a Liberal I’m all in favor of a public safety net for people who truly need it. And if we’re going to continue to have a public safety net for people who are uneducated and under skilled, than that safety net should be used to empower people so they can get a good enough job to become economically self-sufficient and no longer need public assistance at all. Instead of just giving low-skilled workers and non-workers money that is produced by people who work hard for a living and don’t qualify for public assistance.

I’m all if favor of requiring people to who are on Welfare to go to work and even take the first job that opens up for them that they’re qualified for. As well as giving them child care assistance so they can go to work, if they have kids. As well as education assistance so they can go back to school and further and finish their education, so again they can get themselves a good job. That programs like Medicaid and Food Assistance, to use as examples, Public Housing would be another one, would be for low-income workers, instead of non-workers.

My idea of a safety net ( which I prefer over social contract or welfare state ) is a public social insurance system. There for people who can’t survive even in the short-term without that financial assistance. But also there to help those people get on their feet economically. Similar to auto insurance, or property insurance. You don’t use those insurances to pay your bills. You use them when your car is in an accident, or your house is on fire or gets flooded.

A safety net should be for people who lose their jobs, don’t have a good education, can’t afford health insurance, don’t make enough money to feed themselves, can’t afford housing. Not for people who simply don’t want to work in America.

Politics and Prose: Robert Reich- ‘The Common Good’

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Source: The Independent Institute

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Libertarian Economist Walter Williams once said something that I actually agree with. He was talking about property rights and extended them to one’s self and one’s body. That the individual has complete control of their own body and therefor gets to decide what’s done with their body. What they can eat, what they can drink, what they can smoke, even who they can have consensually have sex with. Even if the sex is homosexual sex, taking money to have sex with someone else in a consensual way.

How we can spend our own money short of using our money to have someone beat up or murdered, or spending our money in order to have something stolen from someone else. And that includes spending our money to gamble even at casinos or private card games, to use as examples. That private property rights just doesn’t cover one’s home, or car, or personal possessions, like a business that they may own. But ourselves as individuals and our own bodies. Short of hurting an innocent person with our body or other property like money.

This is really the main difference between a liberal democracy like America with guaranteed constitutional and individual rights that include property rights as I just mentioned and living in a Marxist-Communist state like North Korea (to use as an example) where individualism is essentially outlawed. Where the state (meaning the national government) owns everything in society. Including where the people live and work, even shop.

Even social democracies like Britain that are very socialist as far as how their national government and economy works, have a high degree of property rights in their country. They just aren’t guaranteed especially under a constitutional system which is what we have in America. Property rights are the rights for individuals to control and operate what they actually own including their own bodies.

Our property rights are guaranteed in America under both the Fourth and Fifth amendment’s in the Constitution. That can’t be interfered with by the state (meaning government) without probable cause. That the state views what someone is doing as a threat to bodily harm or financial harm to an innocent person. Not talking about an anarcho state (meaning anarchy) where everyone can essentially do whatever they want including hurting innocent people. And then it’s left up to the victim to decide what should happen to their predator and left up to the victim to inflict whatever consequences on their predator.

But talking about a federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy where property rights including to one’s self are guaranteed short of hurting innocent people with our property. As much as so-called Progressives in America today (Socialists in reality) complain about property rights, private property, and individualism in America and that too much in their view is left up to the individual to decide how they should live, they take advantage of our property rights and free speech everyday. And you can say the same thing about the Christian-Right in America but their complaints about our property rights tend to be more about our personal freedom and our freedom to make our own lifestyle choices, instead of our economic freedom.

But that’s just one thing that is great about America that one doesn’t even have to believe in property rights and either personal or economic freedoms, or either of them in order to take advantage of them and live with them. People who don’t believe in free speech (just one property right) can use their First Amendment rights to make the case why censorship is necessary to outlaw speech that they disagree with and that offends them.

Because the censors whether they are political correctness warriors or Christian-Conservatives who are offended by certain forms of entertainment, have the same free speech rights as people who believe in free speech. Who are free speech nuts like myself, to borrow a phrase from Kirsten Powers and Jeffrey Lord. (Two political analysts at CNN) Just as long as we’re not using our free speech rights to incite violence or irresponsibly libel innocent people. That property rights extend to everyone including people who don’t believe in them.

The Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Private Property Rights

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Source: The Independent Institute 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

According to Wikipedia the definition of social justice is, “justice in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.”

People let’s say on the farther left (Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists) take the definition to mean that there should be distribution of wealth in society. That wealth should be distributed based on what people need to live well. Not based on what people earn. And of course the central government usually a unitarian government in most social democracies (one large government for the entire country) will collect most of the wealth in the country and dish it back out in the form of welfare state payments to the people based on what the government believes people need to live well in society.

So the people not just living above poverty, but living somewhat comfortably, but short of being wealthy and perhaps even upper middle class. Socialists (democratic and otherwise) don’t believe in rich or poor. They want equality of outcomes where no one is wealthy or poor, but able to live well. This type of economic system is how Scandinavia operates and the states there and to a certain extent even in Britain. (Even when the Conservatives are in charge)

The libertarian notion of social justice is to put it in plain terms is that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours, is yours. To paraphrase Libertarian Economist Walter Williams. Meaning what the people make for themselves is exactly that. And shouldn’t be subjected to taxation especially to help pay for the people who don’t have much to live on and are in living in poverty as a result.

To go back to the Wikipedia definition of social justice. Liberals (in the real and classical sense) concentrate on the opportunities portion of social justice. Liberals believe in an opportunity society. Where everyone has the ability to make a good life for themselves. Where everyone has access to a quality education even if they live in poverty. And if they live in poverty that their parents or parent, has the ability to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and make a good living.

Get off of public assistance, buy a nice home and live in a nice community where they don’t have to worry about being physically harmed when they go to the grocery store, or are coming back or going to school. Where they have a basic fundamental sense and reality when it comes to their own economic and physical security. And then what the people make for themselves financially, they’re able to keep most of that and pay back in taxes what it takes for the government to function effectively and to do only what we need for government to do well for us, that is also consistent with strong economic and job growth so people are encouraged to be productive and make a good living for themselves and their families.

And yes you need an effective government to invest in what makes economies strong so as many people can benefit from capitalism and private enterprise as possible. Not to run the economy or to run business’s, or tax and regulate private business so much that the government essentially owns and runs those companies.

But to see that everyone can get a good education. Where kids aren’t sent to school simply because of where they live, but what’s the best school for them even if that might mean a charter school or private school all together.

Where economic development is encouraged so you don’t have ghost towns essentially where the only people who live there are people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. Where gangs and organize criminals run the communities.

Where you have an modern infrastructure system so companies can get their products to market (to use an old phrase) and also to encourage more private economic development.

A responsible regulatory state to protect consumers from predators and worker from abusive employers.

And a limited effective safety net (not welfare state) that serves an economic insurance system for people who are out-of-work, or lack basic skills to get themselves a good job. But also empowers low-skilled individuals to get themselves on their feet by finishing and furthering their education and learning a trade so they can get themselves a good job.

Where Liberals separate from Socialists has to do with government’s involvement in the economy. Socialists want government to take most of the national income and dish it back out based on what they believe people need to do well. Where Liberals differ with Libertarians is that Liberals believe that the people should be able to to keep most of what they earn. But that Liberals believe there is a real role for government even in a free society and that being part of a free society is like being part of a club. Where you end up paying for the services that you consume and even some of the services that don’t personally benefit you.

Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

As far as Martin O’Malley beating Hillary Clinton next year, no one is expecting him to do that. But plenty of upsets have happened inside of the Democratic Party during presidential years in the past. And all the Democratic nominees coming out of nowhere were all serious intelligent candidates, who were successful in their current and previous jobs. Who were great politicians and communicators, who very likable and spoke very well to the Democratic base. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. All current or former President’s of the United States. Martin O’Malley is just as good as a politician as Jimmy Carter at least and perhaps Barack Obama.

As far as the NCAA. Why should just student athletes not be able to earn money while at college either though their field or outside of their field? Why should athletes suffer, while law students, medical students and everyone else are not only allowed to work their way through college, but earn money while at college. And a lot of these athletes come from lower-middle class to low-income families. Where their parents can’t afford to pay for their cost of living and send them money while they’re at college. They don’t have to worry about their schooling, but they have to be able to pay their other bills while their at school.

As far as Carly Fiorina, she is less accomplished than Mitt Romney as a politician. Which is sort of the death knell for a potential serious presidential candidate. Had she defeated Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010, then maybe she would be a serious candidate right now. Because she could say that she’s one statewide in one of the bluest states in the country. And now has foreign policy experience on the Foreign Relations Committee or Armed Services Committee. She has business experience and was a successful business executive and everything else. But that didn’t happen and now she looks like someone who is just trying to get any big job and get her name in the public eye.
Eleanor Clift

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Governor Bill Clinton

New Democrat


Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I’m a Liberal Democrat and a New Democrat and yes those are the same things. Except I might be more liberal than New Democrats today on some social issues, especially civil liberties. Especially since 9/11 where I believe we can’t have security without liberty. That they need each other and New Democrats today since 9/11 tend to side more on security than liberty. Hillary Clinton would be a perfect example of that. But the New Democrats are the Liberals in the Democratic Party and I’m going to explain that.

The New Democratic philosophy is not Republican light or sounding more progressive or socialist. And moving past the New Deal and Great Society and creating a real welfare state in America. But is about building off the principles of the Founding Fathers in America. And that individual liberty is for everyone. And not just European-American men, but the entire country regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, family income. And using government to expand freedom and not government dependence.

The New Democratic philosophy is about individual liberty for everyone. It is not anti-government and having a government so small that it can’t help people in need. And let the market take care of the rest. Or a pro-big-government philosophy and using government to take care of everyone. But empowering everyone in need to be able to take care of themselves. And this blog covers a lot of different issues about what exactly that means. But New Democrats aren’t Social Democrats on the far-left or Moderate Conservatives on the center-right.

The New Democratic philosophy saved the Democratic Party and represents exactly how Bill Clinton won the White House in 1992. Because pre-1992 Democrats were seen as European Social Democrats who wanted to center most of the power in the country with a big government in Washington to take care of everyone. They were called Liberal Democrats even though the Democrats in charge who had most of the power in the Democratic Party were Social Democrats on the far-left and mainstream FDR New Deal Progressives. But they weren’t Liberals at least on economic policy and national security.

By the time Bill Clinton left the White House in early 2001, Democrats were now clearly beating Republicans on most of the economic issues. By the time George W. Bush left the White House in early 2001, Democrats were now even beating Republicans on fiscal responsibility and the federal budget. That is the legacy of the New Democratic Coalition that it saved the Democratic Party. And made them a governing party again

Politics and Prose: Al From- The New Democrats and The Return to Power

 

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Governor Martin O'Malley

Governor Martin O’Malley


The Daily Beast: Opinion: Jonathan Miller: For 2016, Take Martin O’Malley Seriously

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

It is way too early right now to be talking about 2016 for president especially since we are still three months away from the 2014 mid-term elections that will decide who controls Congress next year, or will Congress be divided again and who will control the majority of state governorships and state legislatures. But I wouldn’t be much of a political junky if I didn’t look ahead to elections down the road. And this is one thing that makes politics so interesting is that politicians and potential politicians do the same thing which gives of good stuff to write about.

I’m a native Marylander or Free Stater for those of you not familiar with Maryland, as well as a Democrat who voted twice for Martin O’Malley for Governor of Maryland. And I’m as proud of those two votes as any votes that I’ve ever cast. For several reasons, but here’s a few. He’s a hell of a great Governor who governs one of it not the wealthiest states in the union as far as quality of life, per-capita income and wealth. So of course he has a lot going for him as well as location being in the Mid-Atlantic. But it still takes a good leader to make those things work, or the state can lose ground to other great states in the region like New Jersey or Virginia.

We have the best public schools in the nation and those rankings came during his administration. Maryland doesn’t invest heavily in education, but we invest well and get solid results. During the Great Recession we always had an unemployment rate below the national average and never had serious debt or deficit issues unlike most of the rest of the country. If you want to look at the economy and freedom issues. Again with the great schools not just K-12 but we have a great state college system with Maryland University and others. We have great roads and other infrastructure as well.

The taxes both personal and on business are a little high compared with our competitors in the area. And I would like to see them come down especially since we now have legalized gambling and will probably legalize marijuana in the near future as well. But for the taxes we pay in this state and again a bit high the results that we get in return are pretty good. We are gaining business’s and tourists everyday. Maryland is a state where you have good skiing in the winter, good beaches in the summer on the Atlantic. Where you can gamble, smoke and posses marijuana without going to jail for it. Where gays can get married and where you are never more than two hours away from doing anything.

I believe the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries will not just be about a mushy-middle Centrist who’s afraid to take any solid positions on anything controversial in Hillary Clinton. Or a New Deal Progressive who will take the strongest positions possible perhaps even just to get to the Left of Hillary. I believe there is room for at least one more person who can run and say “I share the same Democratic and liberal values as you do. And I have a record of producing solid results. I’m not from Washington (even though I live next door to it) and I know how to govern”. Who will still be fairly young in 2016 who can appeal to other gen-xers and Millennial’s and that person could be Martin O’Malley.

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