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A Positive Agenda: Healthy or Unhealthy for the Progressive Cause?

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Message Kathryn Smith

Of course, please know that I fully agree with you. Like so many of you, I too am really "yuck'd out" and tired of seeing politicians mudsling each other, drive out truly concerned Candidates from Campaigns, etc. Like you I am turned off, outraged and appalled by the immorality and the rampant "Uglies". Yes we need a positive agenda. Yes we need to get positively focused. Agreed.

But then again, I want to point out where our "positive" agenda can revert to a negative one. Very much so.

When I was a little kid, I used to think that at times boundaries were mean. Of course, time and maturity has taught me that boundaries are, in fact, a form of love. It is love which sometimes wields the searing sword of truth, saying "Look out, there is danger ahead" and "this is a no-no, because I care. I MEAN IT!!" Sometimes, love is exactly what glares its eyes at us and issues the sternest of all reprimands. The fire within is the very expression of love itself. And sometimes, even anger has a constructive mission, and can be a flipside of love. Sometimes anger is the best thing there is to get something very important accomplished.

It almost seems to be a spiritual principle: Every time I honor my boundaries, things work not only for me, but for all others involved. I have seen that in my life every time, almost without fail. And conversely, when I have not honored my boundaries, things have popped in my face and gone wrong. And further, it doesn't even work for the other people involved. It's almost as if Spirit is talking to us, saying "If you must love others, then you must love and be good to yourself too. That is the right way to go, the way which Spirit supports for you".

Let me get to the point about how boundaries may be lacking in Progressive politics, doing harm instead of good.

Rob Kall recently posted an article about an interview with a Democratic precinct concerning impeachment. Although 100% responded that Cheney had committed impeachable crimes, Rob estimated that as many as 30% of the Democratic constituents backed down and said "no" to impeachment, based in part on the concern about a "positive agenda".

"If a crime was being committed" said my husband "and a policeman was across the street but didn't see it, and witnesses failed to flag down the policeman, that would be analogous to what these Progressives are doing by blocking impeachment" he said. I interjected that the permission given to evil by opposing impeachment was not a deliberate deed, just a mental oversight based on misinformed good intentions. "Yes it is deliberate" objected my husband. "To oppose impeachment, that is deliberate". And while I think that these people do mean well, my husband also has a point. We must hold people responsible, regardless of intentions.  Mark Twain said it very well: "The highway to hell is paved with good intentions". 

 Witness: A President goes to war based on a lie, or better said (let's call it for what it really is) starts a mass murder ring. Needless to say, this is against Constitutional law. In fact, John Dean, former Senator/Nixon advisor/Watergate whistleblower, wrote in an article that the Constitution makes "leading our nation to unprovoked violence" an impeachable AND imprisonable offense.

And yet, just as the complicit Congress is blocking impeachment and continues to pass unconstitutional legislation in support of Bush's power-grabbing, so our very own Progressive compatriots who oppose impeachment in the name of a "positive agenda" are similarly (unwittingly, of course) supporting a work of rampant evil.

"Sometimes, the greatest evils are committed by the silence of good people" said Edmund Burk. Very well said.

Is it possible that these well-meaning people are thinking in the same way I did as a child, that boundaries are mean? Are they afraid of the very act of protecting the matters at stake? What's up with this blockading of impeachment, from the most Progressive cross-sector in the country? Short of fearing boundaries and one's own righteously angry shadow, I can't figure out what else would stand in the way of impeachment in these peoples' minds.

Time to rethink what our so-called "Positive Agenda" is doing to us. Because as Nancy Pelosi put it, if Democrats do *not* impeach Bush, then they will be able to take back the House in the next election. Is this her own way of "listening" to the will of the people, even if only out of selfish motives?  Could it be that the Progressive's cry for a "positive agenda" is fueling the Congressional refusal to impeach? After all, politicians must honor the will of the masses, because lacking that game-playing they will find themselves out of a Congressional seat.

To *not* impeach in order to maintain one's seat in office: What a crazy rationale. How backwards. If anything, my written insistence in petitions is that the House absolutely *must* impeach at this point, or they should get the heck out of office and we as citizens will exercise our public duty to get them out! (Is anybody on this forum or anybody you know of, ready to campaign for public office to challenge targeted Congressional seats? It might be the single most important thing anybody ever did in their life).

 How utterly wrong that our "positive" agenda as progressives may be encouraging the lack of checks and balances in Congress. At least, on some level and to some degree. We can't be blamed for Congress's own very bad intentions to convert us all to a dictatorship, but we sure can be responsible for supporting that attempt with our attitudes and collective will. And yes, Congress must listen to the voices of the masses, because otherwise they will lose their seat in office. And they know it. If only more Americans would pipe up, on a public level, in letters to the editor and other peaceful ways. One voice won't count, but floods of mass voices sure as heck will.

My sister tells me how she was driving by somewhere and a house was burning. She reported to me that neighbors were just standing by gawking,  saying "SOMEBODY call the fire department!" instead of doing it themselves. Are we doing something similar here by blocking impeachment? Our figurative house is on fire, yet nobody is grabbing a hose. After all, fighting a fire is perilous and melodramatic business. That's not a "positive" use of one's energy, is it. Or, is it?

In fact, another time my sister saw a fire beginning to light up a lawn and again people were just standing by watching. She hopped out of the car and stomped the fire out, although she was only wearing sandals. She tossed the sandals in the garbage afterward, sustaining a few minor burns to her feet in the process. Wowee, what a sacrifice (NOT!) "Some things you just don't even think about. You don't think about morality under the circumstances. You don't think about doing good or whatever. You just do it" my sister said to me. And though she was offered to be featured as a "Hero" in the local newspaper, she turned the opportunity down. She didn't want that kind of "Recongition" for her act which, after all, was merely a protective one. She was reacting based on instinct, protecting survival itself. That's not a moral act: It's only common sense and really the only thing ever to do.

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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)
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