Monday, August 5, 2019

The Democratic Presidential Candidates Need To Unite Behind Common Principles

Viewers watching the recent network-sponsored debates, with the focus on spectacle and conflict, could be forgiven for failing to absorb a key point missing from most of the coverage:  The Democrats generally agree on the goals for the United States that align with the majority of Americans, although they may not fully agree on how to reach them.  But it is the Republican Party and their leader who are dangerously out of touch.  It is they who are embracing white nationalism, condoning the separation of families at the border, reversing efforts to combat climate change and failing to reckon with the Russian attack on our elections.

There is plenty of time for the Democratic candidates to highlight their differences and challenge each other's policies and vision.  But not now.  These are not normal times and this is not a normal election.  We are facing an existential crisis and the Democrats need to unite to demonstrate, collectively, what is at stake.  They should sign a statement of common principles in order to illustrate the stark differences between the two parties on fundamental principles that often get muddied in the daily discourse.  Such a document would demonstrate why the 2020 election is so critical.

Perhaps something like this:

1.  We condemn white nationalism, and Trump's rhetoric that has emboldened a white nationalist movement.  We support common sense gun control reform, including mandatory background checks and banning assault-style weapons.  

2.  We believe in the urgency of addressing global climate change and the irrefutable science that warns of the dire consequences of inaction.  We support rejoining the Paris Climate Accords immediately, and taking meaningful and substantial steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption in the United States.

3.  We are horrified by the cruelty of Trump's immigration policies which have led -- and continue to lead -- to the needless and tragic separation of families at our southern border, and have imposed extreme hardship and trauma on those seeking escape from violence and injustice in their home countries.  We support immigration reform that will protect our borders while ensuring that those seeking political asylum and refugee status are provided with a safe, fair and timely process.

4.  We believe in a woman's right to decide what to do with her own body, including the right to have an abortion.  We strongly oppose efforts by Republican lawmakers at the state and federal level to undermine Roe v. Wade, and place obstacles in the way of women -- particularly poor women -- seeking abortions.   We will pursue policies to ensure full access to abortion rights and reproductive health for all women. 

5.  We may differ on the details, but we believe that health care is a human right and oppose Republican attempts to sabotage Obamacare, including their pursuit of a federal lawsuit that would eliminate insurance for pre-existing conditions.  We all believe in policies aimed at expanding, not reducing, health care coverage for all Americans.

6.  United States intelligence agencies and the Mueller investigation have documented Russia's interference in our elections, which we consider an attack on our country.  Special Counsel Mueller has warned in his recent testimony that this remains a serious threat for 2020.  Yet, the president refuses to acknowledge it and the Senate Majority Leader refuses to allow bills on election integrity and security to come to the Senate floor for a vote.  We believe it is urgent to safeguard democracy by implementing immediately the measures that passed the House of Representatives.  In addition, we support efforts to stop voter suppression schemes, gerrymandering, and the proliferation of dark money that have undermined the time-honored principle of one person, one vote.

7.  The President of the United States has committed several documented instances of obstruction of justice that impeded the Special Counsel's investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 election.  He was not indicted because of a Department of Justice policy that bars indictment of a sitting president.  That policy must be re-examined.  He also has refused to release his tax returns or divest from his many business entanglements with private and foreign interests. He and his administration are stone-walling legitimate attempts at Congressional oversight.   Trump's conduct is rife with conflicts of interest and he has lied to the American people over 10,000 times, according to a study by the Washington Post.  There has never been a more corrupt president and we believe it is far past time to restore dignity and the rule of law to the presidency.


Elizabeth said...

Superb, Andy. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Suggest edit above in point 6 to 2020?

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

Where is Biden?

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

Where is Biden?

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