It’s decision time for progressives again.
I’m familiar with it, but have never really have gotten used to it. Those are the compromises every pol has to make when his man loses -pardon the gender references.
I supported Fred Harris in 1976. That was the year fat cats got cut down to size with a tough new post-Watergate campaign finance law. It was said that they couldn’t buy that election. It gave people like us a fighting chance in presidential politics, and it put a premium on small contributions.
Well, it sort of worked out for Jimmy Carter, but before long the powers-that-be began destroying his agenda and his reputation. I compromised on Carter in 1980, but in retrospect, Ted Kennedy probably would have been better than the Reagan Revolution.
Then there was Tom Harkin against Bill Clinton in 1992.
Harkin wanted to break the back of the international oil cartel and bring down oil company profits. He spoke about full economic and legal justice for all Americans who suffered from discrimination. He wanted tax equity, jobs creation and national health care.
He lost and I compromised with Bill Clinton. We got NAFTA, but, the total administration agenda was better than a continuation of the Bush “New World Order.”
So you see I’ve done this before. As in those earlier eras, I have to decide if my aspirations for affordable access to education, a decent paying job and health care for average folk needs to take a back seat, again.
I mean, it could be worse. After all, any Democrat is better than the Republican alternative, right. As tepid as that may appear, that’s the way Republican pols see it too – ergo the nomination of Donald Trump.
But, we’ve never come closer to a progressive agenda than this election year. We had a champion who not only advanced ideas, but made them credible. Millions of people who have never participated in the political process got involved.
So now, I endorse Hillary Clinton for president. But what I also do is support the progressive agenda that Bernie Sanders so adeptly advanced and encourage young and old progressives to seek political office on the local and state level.
We don’t have to live with the “New Hampshire Tax Advantage.”
The university system does not have to stay alive by recruiting out-of-state students.
We don’t need to poison our environment in order to create jobs.
We can create an environment in Keene and New Hampshire that attracts young people and encourages them to start businesses here and to raise their families here.
There has never been a better opportunity for progressives to convince people that the “same old, same old” systems of taxation and job creation don’t work and new ideas need to be advanced.
We only get these chances every so often. Let’s not leave the bitter taste of “coulda, woulda, shoulda” in our children’s mouths.