Thursday, March 10, 2005
Cross-posted from a diary on Kos. Regular readers of my blog might note that my style is a bit different when I'm writing for Kos ...
In the past two days, tunesmith has led a charge to unite right and left blogistan against the bankruptcy bill. See here and here. This movement has been picked up by the right, including various well-known right-of-center bloggers (see the diary and Politology for more info). And the media is now taking notice as well.
Moreover, as tunesmith noted in comments in his or her second diary, "We can talk about left vs right until we're blue (or red) in the face, but there are plenty of matters where it's simply the politicians versus the public, and the blogosphere is on the side of the public."
This is so true. Ever since the election, I have been thinking about how polarized we are and how politicians take advantage of this to press their own interests. I've been wondering whether there might be fundamental bedrock principles that everyone, lefty and righty, can agree on. Surely there are many. If we can find and establish these bedrock principles, then we can perhaps do a better job of advancing the interests of the public as opposed to the interests of elites and politicians.
I suggest that we [as in the DailyKos community] put together a document that expresses such values, and we ask our counterparts on the right to vet the document. If there's anything in there that they don't agree with, we take it out, no questions asked. If they want to add anything, they can, so long as we agree with it as well.
In the end, we should have a (perhaps short) political document that we could use to judge legislation and policy. Since we'll have to stay so basic to keep agreement across party lines, it would be clear that anything that conflicted with this bipartisan document would likely be very bad, and could be judged accordingly. This would provide bloggers and citizens with ammunition to take to the media that could help to shoot down policies (like the bankruptcy bill) that favor interest groups against the greater public good.
I'd like this to be a collaborative effort, but here's my start at getting us going. I will try to alternate between topics that the left might advance and the right might advance to keep the document as balanced as possible.
- Regardless of our position on the Iraq war, we can all agree that coalition troops deserve our support.
- Regardless of our position on taxes, we can all agree that the poor should not bear a disproportionate tax burden.
- The United States is justified in using the military to fight Al Queda and other international terrorist groups.
- Running a very large deficit is bad unless there is no other choice; we should not impose obligations on future generations.
- The United States should try and prevent North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons.
- Regardless of our positions on personal or private accounts, Social Security should not be eliminated.
- Regardless of our position on the right to life or the right to choose, we would prefer to see a society with fewer, as opposed to more abortions.
- To the extent that we can improve the environment with minimal or no impact on business, this is a good thing and should be encouraged.
- Regardless of our position on governmental "establishment" of religion, we can agree that the government should not restrict any person's right to practice their religion.
- Consistent with national security, the Government should work to maximize citizens' civil liberties.