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Democrats must articulate values

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The continuing moral and political collapse of the GOP makes it necessary to consider how we Democrats should to treat GOP voters disgusted with the corruption and incompetence of their current leadership. I cannot see how it is the duty of the Democratic Party to provide them a choice.

They are already telling each other that they have lost their way and need reforming.

They even have the reformer they need in former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

We Democrats have a different mission.

Our purpose is not to oppose the GOP; our mission is to build a durable center-left governing majority during the next decade.

This means that our inspiration, our ideals, our governing methods and our values will come from the left, but our numbers, financial support, rank and file and political clout will come from liberals and moderates who are sympathetic to us and for whom we advocate.

Our core constituencies will be working women; people of color, salary men and wage earners.

These are the people who need the protections and stabilizing influence that community and worker oriented government can provide.

These are the people who will be willing to reject market-oriented values in favor of community-oriented values.

With all their faults and weaknesses, the current leadership of the GOP have done a good job articulating their values, enacting market oriented policies, implementing a political strategy that has united and energized the entire conservative spectrum and defining the people who like their policies.

The people who like the GOP will never help the Democrats. They may try to use us in their factional power games, but they will never have our interests at heart.

Nevertheless, they have exhausted their ideas, and are intellectually bankrupt.

Their current disarray and corruption stem from the fact that their quiver of ideas was never all that impressive, was quickly exhausted and they have been holding power just to hold power for the past ten years.

Still the degeneracy of the right does not guarantee the resurgence of the left.

We Democrats need to show that we can articulate a left-center political agenda, build a coalition and defeat them electorally.

I believe that the left are the ones who are able to build a sustainable economy, bring a decent standard of living to the masses and provide decent opportunities for the future.
If we try to win the 08 election by taking on large numbers of conservatives, we will dilute our base, blunt our message and possibly never clarify the muddled message we Democrats are currently developing. Democrats should not be afraid to discuss issues and solutions for our problems from a leftist perspective. We should work on getting past the mere refutation of the right and be creative and forceful in articulating our worldview. I think the most powerful way to accomplish this is to elect progressives at all levels of government.

The experience of governing, the discipline of management and the responsibility of public service will provide the dialectic needed to devise effective policy. That, with a reflective and purposeful articulation of values from activists, thinkers and writers will empower us to develop a powerful, comprehensive and effective leftist governing philosophy for the 21st Century. We need everyone's efforts: we need politicians to run for and serve in office, and we need civil servants to implement their policies. But most of all, we need grass roots activists, thinkers and writers to help develop and disseminate the overarching agenda of the left.
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Robert Chapman is greatly interested in developing political awareness among as many people as possible.
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