Those of us still mid-tantrum have work to do. Despite the horrific catalyst, the Armageddon in the Gulf may also bear an Angel of Mercy for the opportunity it has provided.
The door is open.
Seven Steps to 2006
- We will end the war. I'm not talking about the war in Iraq. I'm talking about the biggest, best-funded war that the Republicans have been waging for more than a decade: the war on reason. We will be the party that supports facts, not fantasy. We will deal with the truth as we find it, not as we want it to be. We will not only call for education, but respect the fruits of education. We will not attack those who are learned as elite, we will celebrate them, turn to them, use them to solve our nation's problems. We will put scientists into roles where they can advance science and protect the environment and the nation's future.
- We will be the pro-education party. By that, we don't mean the "pro-whatever makes the NEA happy" party, and neither will we be the "screw the NEA at every opportunity party." Sometimes the teaching unions have great ideas, sometimes they're defenders of the status quo, even where that status quo is inimical to actually cramming facts into the heads of kids. That's okay. Their job is to support their union members. The government's job is to educate the public. We should recognize that on some occasions those two things will be at odds. As with everything else, we will move forward with those ideas we know to work: small class sizes, good teacher to student ratios, sound administrative practices. When we see that some other nation is beating us in some area of education, we will not gnash our teeth. Instead, we will look at how they beat us. And then we'll do it better.
- We will be the party of real economics. We will not forget the past and reinvent economics on every third Tuesday. We will not pretend that there once existed some perfect free market utopia, or pretend that government control would solve everything. We will not try to foist theories that have failed again and again, just because they line the pockets of those willing to toss some change our way. We will protect the interests of American corporations, but we will not put the interests of any corporation, even the largest, above the rights of a single American citizen.
- We will celebrate religion as a vital part of the social fabric of this nation. We will zealously defend the barriers that protect both state, and church, from the damage that occurs when to two become intertwined. We will rejoice in the family, the individual, and the community -- and we will recognize that all three have both rights and responsibilities.
- We will put in place an energy policy that looks to the future, not the past, and which actually helps to free our nation from the chains of blood and oil that keep us from acting with justice. We will make steps both reasonable and radical to change the way energy is made and used in America, because no other issue is so connected to everything else we do.
- We will not treat the world like a giant ant farm on which we are free to conduct experiments like sadistic five year olds with magnifying lenses. We'll conduct foreign policy to the best interest of the nation by acting the way we've always pretended we act: with honor, dignity, consistency, and respect for human rights.
- We will grateful for the trust of the people, and never forget that we have to earn that trust anew every single day.