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The Left is Moving Right. What to do?

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The left has been moving further and further right and it has to stop. Here are some thoughts. 

Australian    Salvatore Babones has written a thought provoking article, There Is no American Left. He writes,
"Over the past forty years America has become much more politically correct with regard to gender and sexually...  
On every other issue America -- or at least American politics -- has swung violently to the right. The more social class is involved, the further to the right America has swung. Poverty was once a social disease to be cured; it is now an individual crime to be punished. Put it down to individualism, conservatism, neoliberalism, or whatever -ism you want, America is now the world's greatest reactionary force.
Unfortunately, all the evidence is that the rest of the world is following America down the road to perdition. Nowhere are national health-insurance schemes, access to free education, and old-age pensions being expanded. Nowhere is the world moving forward. Everywhere the social gains of the twentieth century are either being eroded or destroyed."
Babones is correct. American is sliding, and dragging the rest of the world, into a corporatist pit that puts corporations before people-- which looks sort of like conservatism, but is really a collection of lures and attractions that move the remaining voters-- since so many have been lulled and disgusted into non-voting-- to vote against their own self interest. 

People keep voting in Democrats who, ten or twenty or thirty years ago would have been to the right  of the average Republican. 

And the two party system is also a big part of the problem, of course. It offers up next to no choice. The last election was a prime example. The GOP  presidency was basically sold to the highest bidder. Fortunately he, Romney, was a loser. And the Democratic party is run by a handful of the most powerful. Obama beating Hillary was an anomaly, but now, things are back to normal-- no Democracy, no decisions made by the people.

There was talk, close to ten years ago, of the need for progressive think tanks like the right has-- organizations that support progressives when they are out of power, that feed the echo chamber and generate policy ideas and strategies that support ideology. The answer was the Center for American Progress (CAP.) it had Soros backing and a more than $10 million budget. CAP's problem was it was headed by DLC John Podesta, former Bill Clinton Chief of Staff. CAP does some good work, but it is a purely pro-democrat, Democrat enabling org that does not challenge or push the Democrats. We still, ten years later, need a truly progressive organization-- a policy promotion tank, not a think tank-- pseudo-progressive liberals have plenty of THEM.  

So we are almost on our own. 

I'd like to hear your thoughts on solutions-- on what we need to do to turn things around. 

I have a few thoughts. 
1- call a spade a spade-- people like Rahm Emanuel are fascists, not liberals or progressives. The Democratic party is one of two corporatist parties. Liberals are enablers of Democrats who are enablers of corporatists. 

2-Find some serious money, committed for the long haul, to create a true progressive policy envisioning and promotion organization, like there are dozens of on the right. Surely there must be a few Billionaires  and very wealthy millionaires who are not right wing sociopaths and who can see that what the left has is not even close to enough. 

3- define a vision of a progressive future, something that we can aim for-- and we should aim high, so high that people call us unrealistic, because there are always compromises along the way. 

And think outside the box-- coming up with ideas that people call crazy and unrealistic, because the best ideas are described that way until they are discovered to be brilliant, revolutionary and life changing. 

For example:
-single payer healthcare for all

-free college education for all

-end corporate personhood. Establish death penalties for corporations. Establish laws that lead to prosecution and incarceration of corporate leaders who violate laws.

-equal rights and equal pay for women and all minorities

-marital rights for all

-legalize Marijuana and stop release all marijuana related prisoners from jail with a clean record.

-protect the commons in all aspects-- make privatization much harder and more costly to do, with no profit motive.

-teach activism in schools, at all grade levels. Establish university departments that study and support activism, like the arts and science are supported. 

-fund protests. Yes. Protests keep democracy healthy. Invest in supporting all kinds of protest. And protect protesters-- from police, homeland security. 

-Fund investigative journalism-- at least $100 billion-- and develop a way to do it so those funded are not unduly influenced by those who provide the funds. 

-end lifelong appointments to the supreme court

-end gerrymandering and make congressional districts as compact and uniform in size as possible. 

-end the Fed

-public banking for every state, for the federal government and major cities and counties.

-Shrink the most out of control part of big government-- Cut the US military budget by 70%

-withdraw troops from 80% of the locations we now have them based.

-shut down and end our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan NOW.

-Re-assess all aspects of government and cut it in half-- while beefing up regulation of corporations and support for citizens. 

-include the costs of damage to the environment in all products

-publicly finance elections-- take all money out of politics

-pass strong whistleblower protection laws that reward and support whistleblowers

-destroy all electronic voting machines and require recountable paper ballots. Re-establish the US voting and election system as the gold standard for the world.

-allow on-site voting registration for all elections

-criminalize vote corruption, criminalize intentional voter disenfranchisement

-make it so it costs more to live if people don't vote. Charge higher taxes to those who pay taxes. Give less social security or medicare or medicaid or VA aid, or food stamps to those who don't pay taxes-- with reasonable outs for those with health excuses.

-re-instate bank regulations like Glass Steagall and others. Support local banks over centralized ones. 

-apply bottom up, non-hierarchical, de-centralized approaches to as many aspects of government and funding as possible. Use the Cash for Clunkers project as an example of how to spend large amounts of money from the bottom up. Require big money contracts to be bottom up-- with disbursement to local, decentralized recipients, not directly to top-down organizations.


-cancellation of legislation making it a crime to protest

-legislation that makes it a crime to treat or characterize protesters as terrorists. 

-elimination of homeland security and other funding that has encouraged turning police into robo-cops and a police state


-cancellation of legislation making it legal to spy on citizens without cause.

-return to a tax system like we had under Eisenhower 

-make it illegal for billionaires to exist

-tax exotic purchases at the 50% 95% level-- homes over $2 million, art over $2 million, cars over $100,000, pleasure boats over $50,000, dresses and suits over $2000, shoes over $500, cosmetic surgery that is not medically necessary, exotic travel, private jets, 

-make it illegal for corporations to get too big to fail

-eliminate all corporate welfare

-fund research and development that supports finding ways to keep companies small. 

-make it illegal for any corporate executive to make more than 10 times what any worker makes-- base policies on Mondragon... or tax corporations that pay executives massive salaries.

-give tax breaks to genuine worker owned cooperatives.

-fund research and development on how to bring neighborhoods and communities back to life

-eliminate the policy of measuring economic health based on growth and consumption and switch to one based on sustainability

-take aggressive steps to reverse global warming

-lower the retirement age, reduce hours worked per day and week, increase weeks of vacation-- all to open up more jobs so more people can find meaningful work.

-tax digital outsourcing.

-require all companies outsource work outside the US to declare the contracts visibly and in easy to see and find ways.
-invest heavily in diagnosing and treating the mentally ill, including identifying causes like violence in media and games, pharmaceuticals that create dangerous patients.

-Ban automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Limit magazines to six rounds. 

-put liberal arts back into the school curriculum-- art, music, dance.

-bring back media ownership restrictions that we used to have that prevented massive media conglomerations
from forming. 

-End all existing global trade agreements-- they are designed for multinational corporations, not people. 

-require competition for drug pricing for medicare

-require the educational system to build compassion, so Americans embrace the value that we are as good as the way we care for the weakest and most vulnerable-- that could include showing how Ayn Rand's ideas are very wrong for America. 

-re-write the  history books ala Howard Zinn and describe how pre-literate tribal people are just as good and wholesome and natural and maybe more so than those of us in the "civilized"world. Teach the values of tribal culture as a way of seeing how people in real communities treat each other and function with integrity.

-research and devise ways to change our economic model so it optimizes work opportunities for all, rather than profits for corporations. 

-add measure of intelligence that reflect Howard Gardners model of multiple intelligences... and add one for awareness of the world-- not delusions like Fox News produces-- but actual awareness of facts. 


I'll stop there. I'm leaving a lot out. Some of the ideas are far outside the box. Please add to the list in your comments. Dream big. We really need it now. 


 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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What if both the right and the left have already s... by Steven G. Erickson on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 1:47:38 PM
I agree the Independents have not done what they n... by Textynn N on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:49:04 PM
Check out citizensparty.org... by Charlene Richards on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 4:09:27 PM
Investigate the Warren Commission and the death of... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 8:05:52 AM
OUr only hope for a movement that is safe to parti... by Textynn N on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:38:09 PM
Ooops Rob,Now you're an enemy of the state.Drones ... by ronald stalling on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:14:25 PM
Norman Goldman frequently comments that the fight ... by K.J. McElrath on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:19:14 PM
I agree with you Ruth, our children have intention... by Deborah Dills on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 5:37:09 PM
not all families are able to think at all, some ar... by zon moy on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 2:17:41 AM
John Taylor Gatto, author Dumbing Us Down and Wea... by Rob Kall on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 8:35:41 PM
... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:40:33 PM
I would replace "universe" with "human race." I ... by Ceric on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:08:05 PM
There is but one item. Close 90% of all military i... by charles mcgee on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:39:52 PM
Good list of all the things we must do, but you le... by Patricia Gray on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:47:21 PM
that's kind of the problemWe didn't get where we a... by William Boardman on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:49:46 PM
When orgs like moveon and people like howard dean ... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 1:46:01 PM
The song "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" is my idea ... by William Boardman on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:29:15 PM
Great ideas.  One modification.  Single ... by Pam Ladds on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 3:33:28 PM
On Abiraterone from Wikipedia:Abiraterone is ... by BFalcon on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:00:59 PM
I understand that the NHS is not perfect but nor i... by Pam Ladds on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:08:59 PM
Want to have an option even if it is expensive. Th... by BFalcon on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:20:22 PM
I have worked in health care for the last 42 years... by Pam Ladds on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:36:35 PM
First, majority of people when they get to be (old... by BFalcon on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 5:29:09 PM
The middle range (and this includes kids of "middl... by Pam Ladds on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:36:49 PM
Access to health care with health insurance.And ev... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:45:23 AM
Not only old people get sick.  And thanks to ... by Textynn N on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:20:00 PM
Than trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousand... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:25:31 PM
Single-payer kicks out the insurance companies. It... by Ken Stevens on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 4:28:06 PM
Is one giant non profit insurance company run by t... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:28:01 PM
are brilliant, some are just crazy.Two questions t... by BFalcon on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 3:56:17 PM
need to replace corporations. Worker owned busines... by intotheabyss on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 3:57:40 PM
Add a minimum wage someone can live on.... by Daniel Vasey on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:43:04 PM
To get tax money all the US Government has to do i... by Lewis Yang on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 5:37:21 PM
--tighten bribery laws so that vio... by Herbert Calhoun on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:01:40 PM
open a real and independent investigation of 911.... by intotheabyss on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:12:09 PM
 "--either repeal the second amendment or es... by KurtB on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 5:40:56 PM
We can list all the goals we want, but until the o... by E. J. N. on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:12:35 PM
One of the saddest things to me is all the people ... by Textynn N on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:25:42 PM
What's wrong with them is that the egocentric pers... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:38:38 PM
Fact #1 United States is run completely by two kin... by Sherwin Steffin on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:36:23 PM
Sherwin, you certainly appear to have little optim... by Rob George on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 7:32:13 PM
I don't think that Sherwin Steffin is being pessim... by Amy Schreiner on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:06:46 PM
Well...I see that it's not just me that can see th... by Sister Begonia on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:50:13 PM
Our primary suggestion is the adoption of some fo... by Rob George on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 6:57:00 PM
"All property, indeed, except the savage's tempora... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 8:01:38 AM
Remember back at the Democratic Party's Convention... by Norman Harman on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 7:24:59 PM
Both Party conventions had their moments of truth ... by Textynn N on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:29:47 PM
Unfortunately, without a paper ballot, I don't thi... by Amy Schreiner on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:24:08 PM
Great ideas Rob, and I am in agreement with you. B... by Deborah Dills on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 7:30:47 PM
One of the many ways to regain influence on the Le... by Tom Madison on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 7:48:22 PM
Rob, your list reads like a handbook for good gove... by M.I. Lee on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 8:26:41 PM
Rob, I very strongly agree with this blog and the ... by Dr. Tom Baldwin on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 9:59:07 PM
In addition to your list,1.  A Public Option ... by Scott Baker on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:04:30 PM
Have an extensive public transportation system... by Ceric on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:29:33 PM
I'm completely blown away by the positive aspects ... by SwamperTom on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 1:15:12 AM
Oh, Geez! The "Left" is as far left as it's ever b... by FrankieC on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 6:40:19 AM
The planet of $5 trillion dollar wars on credit,&n... by William Boardman on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 11:16:57 AM
Your bio says that to most leftists you are consid... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 12:04:14 PM
Could you please be more specific and list at leas... by Amy Schreiner on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:43:15 PM
in that many of the items listed are first princip... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:30:29 AM
Oh Rob, the only voting that works is at the local... by shirley reese on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 8:06:13 AM
Draft Corporations, not People.  Make it ille... by Bob Stuart on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 8:22:03 AM
I voted the Green Party because of their progressi... by Philip Pease on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 11:06:19 AM
The agenda of truth is to prevail over falsehoods ... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 11:38:54 AM
Like all Democracies we have grow tired and compla... by kappie on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 1:03:58 PM
I would add to your list, Rob, that clean water, a... by sand fessler on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 1:22:59 PM
Are they okay or too right wing?... by Marta Steele on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:12:02 PM
Green Party candidate-Jill Stein was our family's ... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 7:11:21 PM
OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE!!A winning REVOLUTION that ... by Textynn N on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:12:35 PM
" that the single person who responded to my earli... by Sherwin Steffin on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:54:11 PM
Excellent article Rob.  An example of your ve... by Don Caldarazzo on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 3:56:56 PM
I've been thinking along these lines as well, and ... by SwamperTom on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 3:37:41 AM
 The first question:  How many of you Co... by terry smythe on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 4:37:30 PM
?... by Don Caldarazzo on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 4:50:47 PM
I've turned to the credit union, but I'm not sure ... by SwamperTom on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 2:53:06 AM
Our family has used a credit union for eons, and h... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 11:10:07 AM
that you try to define some limits to the sorts of... by Gentry L Rowsey on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 3:53:36 AM
Just for the record, I'm an American!  I've l... by Salvatore Babones on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:36:53 AM
How about if we get Churches together in Communiti... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 11:27:40 AM
Now we should consolidate our lists and then prior... by SwamperTom on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 12:02:20 PM
We need a simple platform: Tax the r... by frang on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:43:58 PM
The simpler and more succinct the platform is, the... by SwamperTom on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 1:23:59 AM
But how are you going to get that bell 'round the ... by mhenriday on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 2:21:54 PM
There's too much to say within the 2000 char limit... by Xavier Le Hericy on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 2:41:39 PM