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Recovering the Middle

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: progressive issues, sabotage )

- 1604 days ago -
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TomCat S (129)
Friday January 3, 2014, 1:14 am
Once upon a time, I considered myself a Centrist. I often voted for Republicans, and would vote for those individuals again, because they were more progressive than many Democrats at that time. However, over the years, the entire political spectrum in the US has shifted so far to the right, that what used to be the middle has become the far left. The Republican Party has purged their progressive and moderate candidates. We need a strong progressive movement to shift the spectrum back far enough to recover the middle.

Alan Lambert (91)
Friday January 3, 2014, 1:28 am
Senator Warren may or may not be the person to lead the Progressive left, but most of the true center has been so turned off by politics as to be apathetic.

John B (185)
Friday January 3, 2014, 2:29 am
Good morning Tom and TGIF to you. Another fine post. What would you say to a Warren/Sanders ticket in 2016?
Read and noted.

Gloria picchetti (304)
Friday January 3, 2014, 3:41 am
Sometimes I wonder why I vote. But you go rain, sleet, or snow.


Edwin M (346)
Friday January 3, 2014, 4:24 am
Gloria I too have reached the point of frustration and wondered why I bother to vote sometimes but then I think of what the consequences would be if those of us that do vote with our heads and research the issues instead of relying on television and radio talk shows to do our thinking for us and gladly go and cast my vote.

Carlene V (202)
Friday January 3, 2014, 6:49 am
Well if the Republicans face the wrath of the American voters they've no one to blame but themselves for letting the crazy right-wing-nut-religious fanatics run the show. When they shed themselves of these bible thumpers they may have a chance but until then they'll keep moving further right until they are in a corner they can't box their way out of.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday January 3, 2014, 6:52 am
Whether or not we feel our voice is being heard at this time or not one still needs to exercise the right to vote. If it shows few people care to vote that right may also be taken away, as it is, that right to vote is being made harder to do for more people all the time. Too many people fought too hard to gain the right to vote, laid their lives on the a woman I'm obligated to my female ancestors who didn't have the right to vote in this Country until it was 1921. That is less than 100 years ago. I owe it to them alone to vote.

Women Stand Up For Your Rights and Remember Your Grandmothers
Good video if you haven't seen it.......done to a modern song but reminds us all.

It has been a slow but with much effort to destroy the liberal or the left, certainly the most progressive left has been eating the dust of policies set forth by ALEC, the Kochroaches, the Fundamentalist that use to stay out of politics but now have been used by the right for their gain, and other "nice" sounding names that mislead a lot of people like Alliance Defending Freedom or All Children Matter or Alliance for Worker Freedom, choke choke, it is sort of the nice sounding "Patriot Act"......most understand that one.

Oh the right got real scared things like the New Deal Programs, Civil Rights, Women's Movement, the lower in the economic classes actually did have a chance to move up in mobility from the crap jobs of their parents to be a Lawyer or Doctor, that these people might have to compete against the Elites children for jobs......

stop that one........hell no.......then those Dr's children might end up sitting next to "our" children in the Elites little insulated world. They might want to be paid a living wage, all of these children growing up to learn and THINK!

Nope no to stop that. So as with anything, they hire on the best and brightest "thinkers" those in the propaganda of the advertisement field that make you think you can't live without such and such. Get those people to start thinking in ways that will slash their own throats. Little at a time.....over the years.

Well the disguise is off and it's more than clear with anyone who is paying attention at all what is going on. So we have choices to make. Those of us up in do we finish our lives and for those of us with some children and grandchildren what can we do while we can still do so to help them not have to live under such a terrible repression, oppression, and nightmare life.

Remember what they'd like is to go back to the 1800's.......guns and shooting Indians or anyone else they did not like. The rich being educated the poor, well go figure it out for yourselves. The rich will build and do as it benefits them: but don't look to them for any type of contribution. They'll hire private Fire and Police protection you are on your own. They'll pay the extra tolls to drive on better roads you get to drive in the crumbling road ways and bridges falling down. After all they can always fly out and live in some Elite's paradise someplace.

Vote smart, mobilize, educate others, bring those educated to the polls, help them get the necessary ID's they will need, talk to the youth, speak to the Elders, use any talents you may have, sign petitions, call and keep all of your Representatives feet to the fire or let the idiots know you will work hard to vote them out. But it's all of us in this together or it's going to be hell if the extremist keep going. I don't want to see what living in "that" life is all about.

Vivian B (169)
Friday January 3, 2014, 7:53 am
Get out and VOTE! DAMN IT! This year! Vote you choice for what you want, but VOTE. Ya can't gripe, if ya don't take part. Some how!

Kit B (276)
Friday January 3, 2014, 8:24 am

From what I have heard to date, neither Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders have no desire to toss their hats into the presidential battle field. Which does not mean there are not very good people out there ready to step up and take the risk. I'm thinking about Andrew Coumo, but there are others.

While it is true that the loudest noise out there is the right wing and most particularly the right wing nut gallery. The left is quietly growing stronger, the younger people are more left than most of us. That may be a reaction to displayed desires of many on the right to suppress voting and strip women of their own choice for health care, even now trying to block the ACA, all the issues of gay rights, along with using the issues of immigration, SNAP, unemployment benefits, student loans and the growing gap between the very wealthy and the mass majority. All of that is completely understandable. If one is in favor of equal and human rights the above issues would force ideas of many to lean more left than center. Far too many of the endlessly repeating voices of the right are telling us things we do not, as Americans accept.

Much of what has come about has been a bitter and unrelenting hate of the president. For some this may be a race issue, for others just the idea of supporting a moderate and Obama is rather moderate, is just beyond the pale. For those of us that hear and see the repeated comments about the legally and rightfully elected man in the White House, this has become intolerable. This country has been damn near destroyed by this religious and archaic political ideology. The president has tried, valiantly to persuade, cajole, reason with these strident voices to put aside ideology in favor of the betterment of this country, to no avail.

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, l952-----

So much has changed since Ike, but not the need to care for and provide a proper and comfortable retirement for our elders.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
--- Dwight D. Eisenhower

The poor are not "Welfare Queens" though we see this repeated, not just a dislike of offering aid and trying to offer a more equal opportunity. No, we see real contempt toward those who were once middle or lower middle class that have been hardest hit by this financial scam. We hear and see a vile attitude that offering food for children, the elderly and families in true need is some how akin to an apocalyptic destruction of American life.

Has compassion and empathy been out lawed by the republican party?

Thanks TC - I fear I ranted all over your page but, somethings need to be said.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Friday January 3, 2014, 8:30 am
Even what our strongest Progressives are now saying used to be the middle. What are Elizabeth and Jeff and Bernie Sanders and Alan Grayson saying that Eisenhower didn't say? "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." (1954) "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." (1953) "I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." (date not provided) “The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.” (date not provided)

Today's right is making it so difficult to vote that we need to go beyond cheerleading and actually HELP people to vote. Help them get IDs in states which require them,. Help them get time and transportation or if that's not feasible mail ballots.

Jason R (67)
Friday January 3, 2014, 9:08 am
A Warren/Sanders ticket might make the non progressive right so sick that they might enact secession proceedings.
They want to be a 3rd world so bad, they should get what they want. All by themselves.

pam w (139)
Friday January 3, 2014, 9:10 am
She may not be interested now....but I have high hopes for Elizabeth Warren.

Kamia T (89)
Friday January 3, 2014, 9:40 am
I have to be honest. I've been so turned off by the corruption, wishy-washy changing ethics of just about everyone I've voted for, that politics is completely repugnant to me now. In our small county, there is an old boy's network that seems unstoppable, and I'm not sure that isn't the case the further up the line you go. But still I vote.

JL A (281)
Friday January 3, 2014, 10:08 am
I remember Mark Hatfield and him saying that it only took 10 letters a week on an issue to sway an undecided was a time when both parties listened to constituents both when they agreed and when they disagreed and money seemed to make less of a difference. I live amongst people who vote a straight GOP ticket no matter what the positions and backgrounds of the candidates are--I think some would elect convicted criminals if that party was next to their name.
Now to get the media to not impose the right wing context on every issue as they report it.

Terrie Williams (798)
Friday January 3, 2014, 10:25 am
I agree, Pam!

I vote and have voted on every occasion possible. I do it now...just to piss off the Rethug/Baggers. Long ago, it was to piss off/prove a woman could and would vote. Long ago, it was to piss off/thwart bad legislation and bad candidates. Long ago, it was to piss off/prove that when a candidate so abuses his/her office there are consequences. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. I am still fighting the same crap I have fought against, or for, all my voting life.

Now when I go to vote I have to prove I am who I am, I have to prove I live in this state and I have to prove I am an American Citizen. All because I am a woman. Nothing has changed, it has just been made more difficult to place my vote....but I still do an act of defiance. They will have to kill me to keep me from voting. And to keep me from voting LEFT (yeah, I know, there are no true Left candidates, in my state, or who will go up for Prez)....Too bad Bernie isn't 20 years younger, he is True Left.

(Yes, when I say 'True Left' I am meaning Socialist) there is no longer a half-way mark. The millionaires have seen to it that there is none. The days of being center-line are gone and I doubt it will ever come again in our lifetimes.

Gene J (290)
Friday January 3, 2014, 10:39 am
"Consider what this means in practice. Obamacare is not a left-wing program, no matter how often conservatives might say it is. Its structure is based on conservative ideas. The individual mandate was the conservatives’ alternative to a mandate on employers. The health care exchanges are an alternative to government-provided medicine on the Medicare model."

Tom, I hear you. There was a time when I considered myself a Centrist too. But those were the days when we had statespersons in office, people who could, and did, look down the road 50 years and enact policies by compromise that would benefit the entire country - even though doing so would be of no help to them in the their next election. Those people are gone. If we had what we have now then, there'd be no interstate freeway system, hell, they'd never have built a cross country railroad, nor an electrical grid, nor impose standards for safety in the workplace, let alone equity there too. What we have now are a pale imitation of what a political leader used to be. And we, the people, are paying a heavy price for that. What happens when our electrical grid fails? It will, you know, it is held together by bailing wire now. What happens when the sewer and water systems fail en masse? They were built to last 50 years and are now 80 to 150 years old.

I'd love to see Elizabeth Warren as our first female president, but her voice is SO important in the Senate, there simply is no better place for her right now, she is exactly what we need in that body. Well, and many more like her. Some day, but for now, I think she is right to stay the course there for a while. I'm no communist, I never was, but that is the epithet slung the way of centrists, progressives these days.

The republicans have redefined the word liberal to be a profanity when it simply means a willingness to live and let live, to work together toward the long term benefit of all. People who represent less than 10% of Americans, the wealthiest, have no right to set the terms for any debate. Their base is shrinking so rapidly, that soon all that will be left are the 1% and the rabid religious right. They'll make noise, perhaps trouble too, but they will never again command a majority at the national level, nor in many states as we grow increasingly diverse over the next two decades. Their day is nearly done, which doesn't mean we can relax, because they have the resources to wreak havoc in their death throes. And we shan't let them.

Elle B (84)
Friday January 3, 2014, 10:57 am
Ty Tom ... agreed ... the constant war of words has resulted in so much misinformation that most people are confused to some extent ... it's quite the task to get good information out. On that note could someone let John McCain and strange conglomerate affiliates know that his self-announced "hero" Teddy Roosevelt [became US President because McKinnley--bought and owned by Robber Barons/financiers of the day was shot and killed while in office] --LEFT the republican party who he found to be just "using" him and started a progressive movement nicknamed "The Bull Moose Party" . . .

Personal excerpt:
Yesterday, I learned from a very unhappy relative that her employer based health insurance premiums have gone up and so have her out of pocket costs. She took the time to do the research--the market option plans cost even more. She is disabled and works full time to the best of her current skills and capabilities. She was unaware that she is now getting more coverage but on her income the increased costs are straight out of the very small amount she is able to save. I explained that those of us who worked hard on the healthcare campaign before it was law were deeply disappointed and that news "commentators" are just that and not true journalists--ergo--the media is terrible at it's true job--the Affordable Health Care law is a perfect example...but even so we can't give up on our democracy. She said with utmost sincerity that it was OK for those who could and wanted to continue in that way but personally she and millions of others'--due to circumstances--had no way to do anything that would make any difference [she didn't vote until she was in her 50's... didn't gave up on THAT one for decades!] So yesterday as she spoke--a peon's personal epiphany popped up [peon is not used in any derogatory sense whatsoever... quite pleased to be one :) ] She likes to go to "the Casino's" for special occasions and went to one over the holidays. She is extremely frugal on the amount she takes. Then there was a light--so i said even though chances are slim that you will win at the casinos--you still take those chances when you can right? Well why not think that way about political matters that impact so greatly all of life on earth and every manner of survival? I then explained how many petitions and laws don't make it (like bets placed) -- but also shared those that surprisingly succeed and that if everyone would just do what they can and keep taking those little chances like they do in casinos--we could get so much more done and steered in a good direction. least we know we died trying! She still didn't think she had the time--so I offered to send a yearly pamphlet directory with elected officials' contact info and told her I will alert her on key issues, et al, so she can decide how much time she has--even if it's one phone call, petition or email here and there! She ended the conversation with ... so we stayed and we played . . . i said that's right! [this may seem simple or routine] ... the point is to never give up because we do not know when that right moment will suddenly be there. Oh... the epiphanies, serendipities and mysteries of life . . .wonders big and small never cease . . . and from a few who put thoughts to words so well . . .

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." ― Louisa May Alcott

"Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness." ―Thomas Huxley

"If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm." ―Mohandas K. Gandhi

"Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience." ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again."
―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Genius is the ability to renew one's emotions in daily experience." ―Paul Cezanne

"Even if I knew that the world were to collapse tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree today." ― Martin Luther King Jr.


Chris C (152)
Friday January 3, 2014, 11:31 am
Please FLAG Tonya Sharp at Friday January 3, 2014, 11:14 am - SPam.

Chris C (152)
Friday January 3, 2014, 11:44 am
Tom is right - we need our balance back. Gene is right - we need Eliz.Warren in Congress...for now! Can you imagine all that would get done for our country if we had women in both top spots? Of course, the scaredy-cat, "good ole boys" would try never to let that happen. So...women - ALL WOMEN - need to Vote! Decide for yourselves what you want - not what your husband wants!

David C (131)
Friday January 3, 2014, 12:33 pm
More Elizabeth Warrens needed.....spam flagged.

Birgit W (160)
Friday January 3, 2014, 2:44 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Dianna M (16)
Friday January 3, 2014, 3:33 pm
Thank you Dandelion G. for the link to that video. I'm not a Lady GaGa fan, but I LOVE the alternate lyrics to that song.

Yvonne White (229)
Friday January 3, 2014, 3:54 pm
I know Bernie & Elizabeth don't want to run as P/VP candidates, and I know they're more valuable as Congresspeople..but I am afraid the Dems will run Hillary & RepubliCONs will burn down the White House if another "centrist" makes it to the Presidency! I like Hillary, but she is an Obama replacement - I believe they are interchangable. and I want a Real Liberal! there are a few women who COULD be what Liberal/Progressives want out there. A couple are in Illinois, fighting Corporate Democraps & RepubliCONs. There are even a couple of RepubliCONs (gasp) in Illinois who know when to oppose a stupid Democratic Governor who seems hellbent on closing the Only Safe & Much Needed Institution in Southern Illinois (Murray's Center - my last line of defense for our Autistic son if something happens to my husband & myself)..

Winn A (179)
Friday January 3, 2014, 4:22 pm
As long as there is breath in my body I will vote in each and every election. People have died for the right to vote. I will most likely never vote for a republican or a tea bagger. The republicans I grew up with and around would be considered democrats today. I think it is very sad what some really sick and mentally ill people in that party have done to the republican party. We have to find the center of issues and ideas. It's the only way to get things done and all the tea baggers and republicans want to do is block important issues. Why the more intelligent and moderate republicans can't get the others to see what's happening to their party is beyond me. They are ruining this country.

Lona G (80)
Friday January 3, 2014, 5:34 pm
I agree with every one here that America (and most of the Western World) needs to recovere the Middle. This extreme shift to the right has been going on for too long everywhere. If it isn't countered by inspiring progresives and brought to a halt, Europe's 1930s are going to repeat themselves, the signs are already there, but this time it is also going to happen in America and the signs of that in some states are already abbundant too.

But Warren and Sanders should stay in congress where true power to change things lies. Americans are to smitten with the idea of a powerful president; 6 years of Obama and the way he has been put on a leash by the GOP (and I mean no offence to Obama, I admire the man). No, the power to speak out and change things lies in congress and both Warren and Sanders seem to be well aware of that.I hope they can find fresh candidates who will join them at this critical time to put s stop to the jerk to the right.

And mobilize your voters in the coming two years. As Joanne Dixon has mentioned above and I've also mentioned before, the right has made it almost impossible for a lot of voters to go out and make a difference. So try to get some funds together not only for candidates like Warren and Sanders but also to physically support people to get through the voting process. Get those young lefties inspired to go out and help people obtain the right ID's and take them down to the polling stations!

Mary Donnelly (47)
Friday January 3, 2014, 5:34 pm
Thanks; great post, better comments.

Lona G (80)
Friday January 3, 2014, 5:56 pm
Sorry, piece gone missing and makes no sense now.
Should be: Americans are to smitten with the idea of a powerful president; however, 6 years of Obama and the way he has been put on a leash by the GOP (and I mean no offense to Obama, I admire the man) should have shown Americans how easy it is to make a president almost powerles.

Mitchell D (87)
Friday January 3, 2014, 6:38 pm
TY, Tom; many good comments.this reminds me of the statement that "He who makes the definitions, has the power."
And, for much too long, with the medias help, the Repugs have been defining the political scene. Bullies have the emotional drive to force the spotlight onto themselves, and that is what has happened. the Repugs have the emotional drive, coupled with the obsessive need to have 'MORE;" at anyone's expense, even that of he society that enriches them.
I may be guilty of trying to read Pam's mind, but I hope that Warren is thinking of an eventual run for president.

Michael A (28)
Friday January 3, 2014, 7:19 pm

Robert O (12)
Friday January 3, 2014, 8:16 pm
I see it as recovering the political middle but also in doing so we can save what's left of another middle...the now shrinking middle class since without them this country has no future or a very bleak one. I also think the world of Elizabeth Warren and see her as a shining star (one of several) amidst the darkness of the gloom this country has been seeing for far too long. Thanks Tom.

James Maynard (84)
Friday January 3, 2014, 8:42 pm
I'm all for a FULL pendulum swing to
the left if that's what it takes to get to
a rational "Middle."

Katie and Bill D (107)
Friday January 3, 2014, 9:54 pm
We need someone like Elizabeth!
thank you TomCat!

TomCat S (129)
Friday January 3, 2014, 11:52 pm
Thanks everyone. Kudos to Sheryl, Kitty, Joanne, JL, Terrie, Gene, Elle, Yvonne, Lona, and Mitch!

If Bernie and/or Liz were to run for the Democratic Nomination in 2016, I would support them, but I don't expect them to or think it's a good idea, for now. But I fully expect to see President Warren elected in 2020 or 2024. For now, I would like to see a more progressive alternative to Hillary, as I believe she tapped Obama's inexperience to influence him further to the right than he might have been, had he kept his own advisers instead of adopting hers.

Yvonne White (229)
Saturday January 4, 2014, 2:22 pm
The only welfare Cheats I know were Part of the System, only they had the expertise & access to Know HOW to really Cheat the system!

TomCat S (129)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 1:17 am
Thanks Yvonne.

Yvonne White (229)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 1:27 pm
Illinois produces excellent cheats..I'm just not up to par!;)

Robert B (60)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 1:35 pm
What we need in office are RATIONAL, REASONABLE, PRAGMATIC and above all COMPASSIONATE public servants who instead of seeking fortune and glory, seek to HELP all of the people of this country. There is no reason we can't solve our problems and at the same time remain fiscally responsible. What's lacking is the proper will and attitude. We need a hell of a lot more people like Warren and Sanders.

Yvonne White (229)
Monday January 6, 2014, 2:53 pm
I agree, but you gotta wonder why Anybody would subject themselves (their families) to the muck-rakers & crazies that crusts around political campaigns!
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