A Responsible, Progressive Agenda For The Here & Now
By. Raimondo Graziano
The American People are hurting. The current crisis aside, there are numerous challenges facing the people of this country from the costs of healthcare, to childcare and simply putting food on the table. The American People are in great need of a revival of their potential and of their capacity to both believe in themselves and act upon that belief. The vast majority of the people of this country are not seeking a fundamental revolution of our culture and ways and means of doing things. What they are concerned with is their potential, and their ability or lack thereof to provide a better future for their children. I am not saying that radical reforms are not needed, I am saying that how we get there will not be through ideological, political hardball. How we get there will be through pragmatism, through recognizing beliefs that differ from our own. By coming together to put aside differences and work for the needs of the American people. We in this country have allowed everything to become politicized; from governance, to the news, the media, and even the minute details of everyday life. People will always have their differences. Understanding and working with one another does not mean that, well, we must accept as well, ideas of hate and discrimination – No.
Pragmatism does not mean capitulation. Compromise does not mean a surrendering of one’s ideals. It is the bedrock principle of a statesmen. One political party, whether it be Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, does not hold a monopoly on the truth or morality. However, we as a country must put an end to the idea that Progressivism is the sole property of the most liberal wing of the Democratic party. Lets look at that word, progressive. The definition is as follows; “happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.” What does it mean? Continuing, continuous, increasing, growing, developing, ongoing, intensifying, accelerating, escalating, gradual, step by step, cumulative. Such is the very course of history. The story of progress. We are all progressives, striving for a better and more prosperous tomorrow. Whether or not you are Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, we are all striving to progress our aims and agendas because we believe that our version of progress is the right and true path.
Our problem is this – we often have a child’s mentality. No one has told the vast majority of adults in the proverbial room that not getting your way, is in fact, not the end of the world. Learning to live with loss is the characteristic of a rational adult. Stomping your foot on the ground and admonishing others because you feel that the world is not conforming to your own narrow worldview – whatever the idea – is a prime characteristic of a selfish child. Learning to bring together ideas and compromise on your proposals and thoughts for the greater good, not to satisfy yourself or the cries of those who share your beliefs alone, are the signs of a statesmen. The signs of a person who thinks not of their own people, but who thinks and acts for all. We can have a progressive agenda for the American people. One that cares for the American worker; from the East to the West Coast, from the Rust Belt to the South and from the warehouse worker to the postal worker. We can have an agenda which progresses the nation forward, boldly, into the 21st century, while bringing together any idea whose aim is to benefit the American people. If the policy is good for people, then it is good for the country. We need not accept this era of the supremacy of a singular idea that trumps all, we can resoundingly reject this politics of division and exclusion. We can bring about progress and allow the supremacy of this country’s’ ideals, and its people dictate the agenda – not the media and not political parties or the establishment. There is a way forward, a responsible embrace of progress for the people.