Congressional Democrats are on notice. They must pass legislation in a few key areas quickly to keep their jobs. The anger shown by voters in defeating Republican incumbents will be turned on Democrats if they fail to address key issues.
Of course, we need to get out of Iraq. This issue has seen plenty of attention by other pundits and the mainstream media so this column will not cover it in depth.
We should increase the minimum wage and index future increases to inflation. The goal must be to have all American workers earn a living wage. The American nation needs to address the plight of the working poor.
Congress has to dramatically increase financial aid for college students in the form of scholarships and grants. We must reduce the debt burden faced by college students from student loans.
Democrats in Congress will have to pass legislation that requires broadcasters to conform to the Fairness Doctrine. They must reduce the ability of the FCC to exempt corporations from regulations concerning monopoly ownership in media markets. Laws need to be passed that encourage local media ownership, content diversity and minority ownership.
National standards for voting machines and uniform practices should be mandated by Congress. Verified voting procedures, with easy recounts in close races, must be required by law in every election. The right to have all votes counted should be formalized in law. Public officeholders whose actions deny voting rights to large groups of voters should face serious felony criminal charges and long sentences in prison
We must expand the healthcare rights of all citizens. We need to rapidly move toward single-payer, government provided universal healthcare under Medicare. It is a national disgrace that Americans spend so much of our national wealth on healthcare for such meager results. We are the last major industrialized nation on the planet not to have government provided universal healthcare.
Our national economy must reverse course on outsourcing of good paying American jobs. We must rebuild our industrial base or face a rapid decline of our international power. Our national security is being threatened by an insane trade policy. The self-interest of our nation must come before the profits of large international corporations.
America must move rapidly to expanded alternative and renewable energy sources. Our national energy policy cannot be designed by the oil industry. We need a national push for ethanol production, solar power, bio-diesel and wind power. Our tax codes should massively reward energy efficient building practices.
Stricter limits must be placed on the role of money in American politics. We must find a way to halt campaign money flowing from large corporations and corrupting our political system.
If Democrats move quickly to take action on these problems, we can dominant American politics for a generation or more. If not, we will have difficulty in retaining majority control of Congress.
Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com .) Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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