13
   

Moderate Democrats (also liberals)

 
 
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2019 04:24 pm
I label myself as a Democrat. A moderate democrat if pressed further. I also call myself a neoliberal.

Here is a thread where I intend to group some of the best thoughts/articles/etc in support of modern moderate democratic thinking.

At the core of my beliefs is that neither side is completely right or completely wrong on most issues. That in this world there are many shades of grey and very little is black and white.

I believe in incremental changes and the benefits of compromise.
I believe that the perfect is the enemy of the good.
I believe that I'd rather have half an apple than no apple.
I believe that over years incremental changes and improvements can add up to make drastic improvements in society.
I believe that the government can do good things.
I believe that the government can also overreach.
I believe in capitalism, though better regulated.
I believe that both rich and poor people can be good people and good neighbors.
I look for efficiency in everything and clear goals and measurable results.




I'm stealing this article from the "Progressives" thread.
Quote:
The Loneliness of the Moderate Democrat

Quote:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — I did it. I found a significantly accomplished, defensibly qualified Democratic officeholder who isn’t flirting with — and hasn’t fantasized about — a presidential run in 2020. I had to take the train to Rhode Island, where we talked over pizza and eggplant parmigiana. We drank wine, too. It helps these days.

Her name is Gina Raimondo. She’s the governor of this state. She just began her second term after being re-elected by a margin of more than 15 percentage points, and you would think that this commanding victory plus her youth (she’s 47), her working-class background, her educational pedigree (Harvard, Rhodes scholar, Yale Law), her role as the chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association and her situation far from the nation’s swampy and unpopular capital would start chatter about a move there. But no. Crickets.

The most obvious reason? Her relationship to the Democratic Party of the moment. Both stylistically and substantively, she’s out of sync with it.

She can’t tweet worth a damn and the same goes for Instagram. She winces at talk of a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent and cringes at the growing use of “corporatist” as a slur against Democratic politicians deemed too cozy with business interests. She thinks that big companies often need to be prodded forcefully to do right by their employees, but that it’s bad policy and bad politics to paint them as the enemy.

She recalled an exchange with college students not long ago. One of them said: “I get who you are. You’re one of those spineless centrists.”

“And I was like, ‘Excuse me?’,” she said. “It takes a lot of spine to be a centrist in America today. You get whacked from the left and whacked from the right. That’s my life. I get whacked.”

Moderate Democrats have certainly had their day and their sway. In fact the passions of the left arise in part from how much compromise there has been — and here we are stuck with Donald Trump. The rage of less moderate Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is earned and righteous. And Raimondo said precisely that to me.

But Ocasio-Cortez is by no means the whole of the Democratic Party. And is the leftward lurch that she personifies the best and safest bet for 2020? I worry, because there’s no political priority higher than limiting Trump to one term. Raimondo also worries — a lot.

“So many Democrats just assume we’re going to win,” she said. “They underestimate how hard it’s going to be.” And it might be a serious tactical mistake, she added, to nominate any candidate who seems to be at war with capitalism itself or entertains the idea of a guaranteed minimum income.

“We have become the party that is anti-business,” she told me. “We need to be the party of work.”

She acknowledged that “the system we have today is totally broken.” She cited grotesque income inequality. She noted that too many Americans have no economic security and no prospects for achieving it.

“But I fall in the camp of: Let’s fix it,” she said. “Let’s embrace business to come to the table. Someone needs to make the case that it’s in the best interest of businesses and wealthy people to be better corporate citizens. Pay for health care. Help people get their college degree. Pay for job training.”

Along those lines, she recently proposed that companies doing business in Rhode Island be taxed up to $1,500 annually for every employee who is enrolled in Medicaid because he or she can’t get health insurance through a company-sponsored plan. “I hope that they’re embarrassed,” she said.

But, she added, “Where I think we are at risk is if all we do is beat up and crap on businesses.”

That’s an exaggeration of where the party is, but I take her point. And I’m fascinated by her unflashy example and the questions it raises about how we currently accord importance to politicians and how much that really relates to their impact.

Journalists obsess over the most camera-ready emissaries and provocative assertions, and we often outsource our judgment to social media. To go viral is to be relevant. “In the future,” the Politico media columnist Jack Shafer wrote a few days ago, “your news source of choice will contain only stories about Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” Shafer forgot Beto O’Rourke, which is funny, because he once wrote an excellent broadside about how political reporters can’t forget him.

When I checked social media during Raimondo’s re-election campaign, I mostly saw people bashing her, and she wasn’t bothering to engage with that hate. I assumed she was in trouble.

But she won her primary against a progressive rival by more than 20 points, then trounced her Republican opponent in the general election, 52.8 percent to 37.3 percent. (Third-party candidates received the remainder of the vote.) She had ample support in the end. It just didn’t show up on Twitter, where an overwhelming majority of Americans still spend no time at all.

And that support undoubtedly reflects the concrete difference that Raimondo has made over the past four years. With aggressive tax incentives, she persuaded some two dozen companies to expand or establish operations in Rhode Island, creating what The Times’s Katharine Seelye described as a “frenzy of economic and job development.” For most of the year before she took office, the state’s unemployment rate was well above the nation’s; at the end of last month, it was the same — 3.9 percent.

Thanks to her advocacy, Rhode Island is among a minority of states in which community college is free. And thanks to a tax that she levied on large commercial trucks, its awful infrastructure is receiving desperately needed repairs and upgrades.

K-through-12 public education, however, remains a mess. And Raimondo has stains on her record, including the botched rollout of a $650 million public-assistance computer system that wasn’t ready, wreaking epic havoc. To get re-elected, she raised — and spent — significantly more money than her opponents. And many Democrats fairly question whether her corporate giveaways had to be as generous as they were.

But some of them obviously backed her anyway. “At the end of the day,” Raimondo said, “people want a decent job, and I think they thought that I was the candidate who was going to bring that to them and their families.”

And that’s a political reality — and a glimpse into the electorate — that shouldn’t be forgotten as Democrats plot their course. The media attention to full-throttle progressives among newly elected House Democrats is disproportionate to their numbers, and it sometimes obscures a sizable, practical middle. Besides, their more moderate peers are the ones who wrested seats from Republicans in districts that, like America, aren’t deep red or emphatically blue.

“I don’t think the lefties can win a general election,” Raimondo said. But, she conceded, “Who knows? I’m not running in 2020. I could have missed the boat.”
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 4,477 • Replies: 208

 
Real Music
 
  9  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2019 02:02 am
@maporsche,
I am a democrat. I am also registered as a democrat.

1. I believe the super wealthy should pay a lot more in taxes than they have been.
2. I also believe that the low and middle class should be paying less taxes.
3. I believe in strong regulations and enforcement for consumer protections.
4. I believe in strong regulations and enforcement for consumer rights.
5. I believe in strong regulations and enforcement for labor rights.
6. I believe in strong labor Unions.
7. I believe in strong regulations and enforcement for public health.
8. I believe in strong regulation and enforcement for public safety.
9. I believe in strong regulation and enforcement for environmental protections.
10. I believe in strong regulations and enforcement to keep harmful pollutants out of our ground, air, and water.
11. I believe in the preservation of our rivers, lakes, oceans, beaches, mountains, forest, and other forms of nature.
12. I believe in maintaining the cleanliness and pureness of our rivers, lakes, oceans, beaches, mountains, forest, and other forms of nature.
13. I believe in single payer/Medicare-for-all.
14. I also believe in incremental steps that would some day evolve into Medicare-for-all.
15. I also believe in a strong public education, because the children are our future.
16. I am against cutting entitlements that helps the poor, because I believe the super wealthy should be paying more in taxes to help fund those programs.
17. I believe in making laws that would increase voter turn out.
18. I believe in giving voters the option of voting early.
19. I believe in opening many more locations for early voting.
20. I believe that all voting machines should have a paper trail back up, just in case there is a need for a manual recount.

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maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2019 06:25 am
@Real Music,
I believe in just about all of that too (my list wasn’t meant to be comprehensive (and I didn’t state a single policy position), but rather to differentiate between what I consider more moderate democratic operating principles versus progressive principles that I’ve seen expresssdd here - usually “my way or no way” or purely black/white stances” . Welcome.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  4  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2019 02:27 pm
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/23/18183636/congress-2019-new-members-moderates

The silent majority of Democratic House freshmen
Most of the new Democrats in the House are more moderate than you think.

Quote:
“Most of the freshmen come from swing districts,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), who beat four-term incumbent Republican Leonard Lance by 5 points in 2018. “We come from places where voters want us to focus on getting things done that can actually be achieved.”


Quote:
Whatever you call it, these members are less interested in a 70 percent top tax rate or a Green New Deal than they are in passing targeted fixes to protect the Affordable Care Act and lower the cost of health care, promoting renewable energy, and maybe looking for an infrastructure deal to fix crumbling roads and boost rural broadband to speed up slow internet in their districts. They’re happy to discuss the more ambitious policy ideas animating the left, like Medicare-for-all, but they still have serious reservations.


Quote:
“I came here on a mission to help fix our health care system,” Underwood said. She’s urging a funding injection to increase competition in the ACA’s markets and, as a former nurse, she wants to focus on building out America’s health care workforce.


Quote:
What about a Green New Deal? a reporter asked her. Underwood shrugged.

“I don’t know that much about it,” she said. “I’ve just seen hashtags.”
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2019 02:35 pm
Irritable intolerance appears to be a fairly common trait among the left wing Democrats here.

My sympathies are with maporsche.
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2019 05:12 pm
@georgeob1,
I’d expect you to sympathize with the one who more closely shares your views. I wasn’t irritable or intolerant as I made that post.

I just looked at these items

I believe in incremental changes and the benefits of compromise.
I believe that the perfect is the enemy of the good.
I believe that I'd rather have half an apple than no apple.
I believe that over years incremental changes and improvements can add up to make drastic improvements in society.
I believe that the government can do good things.
I believe that the government can also overreach.
I believe in capitalism, though better regulated.
I believe that both rich and poor people can be good people and good neighbors.
I look for efficiency in everything and clear goals and measurable results.

...and thought how very conservative (and some, avoidant) they sounded.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Mon 4 Feb, 2019 11:55 am
@Lash,
Well the list you provided is only a little conservative, however I found it to be a lot better than the alternatives presented by the progressives here. I believe, with our founders, that less government is generally better than more and that government's chief role is to limit the excesses of human nature in its citizens, but definitely not in directing how they should live. That, after all, is what we call freedom.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Mon 4 Feb, 2019 10:02 pm
Conservatives bleat about government interference in people's lives--that is, of course, until it comes to abortion, birth control, school prayer . . . and a host of matters which have to do with what they are pleased to call "values."
georgeob1
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 06:05 am
@Setanta,
Cultural Values do indeed exist, and they have been a major factor in the rise and fall of many civilizations and cultures throughout history. Ours are changing now, and there is indeed an ongoing struggle about whose values will dominate. Formerly the killing of a viable infant was considered murder: now many argue it is a woman's right to extinguish it's life. Both sides are trying to codify their positions in law, and arguably elements of both are going too far. - which is the way things usually turn out in such human conflicts.

The new emerging secular religion is turning out to be even more intolerant than were its Christian predecessors ( at least in the modern era - I'm leaving out the suppression of the Cathars and the Thirty Years War).
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 07:53 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Formerly the killing of a viable infant was considered murder: now many argue it is a woman's right to extinguish it's life.

Cultural values evolve, however. Modern medicine has altered the context in which these decisions are made. Not that long ago severely damaged, deformed, or diseased infants were expected to die. Now prospective parents can make a choice as to whether they wish to bring the infant to term and seek a medical cure or decide that the odds of the infant living a normal life are too slim and choose to end the pregnancy.

The viability factor you mention is another case where medicine has altered the parameters of choice to a significant degree. Abortion opponents like to lay out gruesome hypothetical situations regarding late term abortions in the attempt to get proponents to defend the procedure. The best solution to these situations is better prenatal health services and screening so that these decisions can be made earlier. Now, there will always be unexpected developments and discoveries which will lead some women to choose a late term abortion. But it's not a casual matter where a mother endures 8½ months of pregnancy and then simply decides to kill her viable fetus. These are tragic cases where parents must make personal decisions of the most personal nature and government input is decidedly unnecessary and unwelcome.

Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks
Olivier5
 
  4  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 08:00 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Formerly the killing of a viable infant was considered murder: now many argue it is a woman's right to extinguish it's life.

I never heard anyone arguing that women should have some right to kill 'infants', i.e. born babies... You are usually more precise than that.

BTW, in ancient Rome it was considered A-okay to dump on some trash heap the babies you wouldn't want to raise. One of the hypotheses to explain why the Roman catacombs are full of baby skeletons is that some proto-Christians would supposedly collect the remains of dead babes in trash heaps and give them some sort of burial in their catacombs, even though the babies were not baptized.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 08:09 am
Who in his right mind "believes in incremental steps"?

That'd be like believing in pencils, or in sheet music, or in sunglasses.

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 09:50 am
@hightor,
Hightor, that article was fascinating.

IMO, in some ways, the denial was strong in this woman. I can get that though. When so many things start piling up, you just shut down. However, she had more than ample opportunity to make this decision much earlier. God, at the end when the fetus was getting the injection to stop its heart, and asks if the baby will feel the needle? She’s told “no” it can’t feel pain the same way. What a crock, like at that full term stage the idea of being inside or outside the uterus makes a difference. It was just a needle injection, but me goes to show how gone this woman’s common sense was.

So she spends $25,000 to get and injection which might take up to 4 hours to stop the heart, then when it does, the baby is painfully pulled out of her over hours and hours. I have to wonder if somehow she felt it was her “punishment”.

Amazing to me, since the fetus wasn’t viable, she just didn’t give birth, then let nature take its course outside the uterus, since the baby wasn’t going to be able to breathe.

I guess it doesn’t hurt people’s sensibilities so much to stop the baby’s heart and let it die out of sight, regardless of what the baby felt during that process , then to let what was going to happen, just happen.

hightor
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 09:59 am
@chai2,
It's all very muddled, isn't it? One thing for sure, the emotional sensationalism and ideological fervor that accompanies this topic makes serious discussion unproductive and unsatisfying.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  4  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 10:29 am
@hightor,
Is georgeob offering to care for all of these viable infants?
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 11:01 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
Formerly the killing of a viable infant was considered murder: now many argue it is a woman's right to extinguish it's life.

I never heard anyone arguing that women should have some right to kill 'infants', i.e. born babies... You are usually more precise than that.

BTW, in ancient Rome it was considered A-okay to dump on some trash heap the babies you wouldn't want to raise. One of the hypotheses to explain why the Roman catacombs are full of baby skeletons is that some proto-Christians would supposedly collect the remains of dead babes in trash heaps and give them some sort of burial in their catacombs, even though the babies were not baptized.

/quote]

Obviously not advocating throwing babies on a dung heap, just amazed how disconnected we are from death.

Today, the meat we eat comes in tidy rotisserie containers, or if raw wrapped in plastic, with non of the yucky entrails, blood, feathers, eyeballs etc to upset our sensibilities.

Now, every baby, regardless of how incompatable it is with life, is a miracle, a gift, has some sort of being infused with a special purpose.

Of course I'll catch hell from those that think I'm saying if a cleft palate is discovered in vitro, the child should die. Can't change those people minds, so whatever.

ehBeth
 
  6  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 11:20 am
https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/51304379_2295909507306388_124731919064629248_n.png?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=b99a3e411d1fc09bd3342eb654f41ca3&oe=5CB62C18
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 12:32 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
Now, every baby, regardless of how incompatable it is with life, is a miracle, a gift, has some sort of being infused with a special purpose.

Not really a "miracle" anymore — the entire process can be described down to the molecular level. Each individual is unique and obviously the rearing of young affords humans with many of our most beloved experiences and enduring memories but I don't see that purpose is infused within us, no matter how special we are.
Quote:
Of course I'll catch hell from those that think I'm saying if a cleft palate is discovered in vitro, the child should die.

You won't catch hell from me. But I think that allowing people to make the choice to terminate the pregnancy takes place before there is a "child". It's concern for the potential child which prompts some parents to abort the fetus to begin with. But honestly, if parents want to nurture and raise the most handicapped child imaginable fine for them and lucky for the child. For couples lacking that commitment and despairing their fate the alternative just seems more humane.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2019 12:49 pm
@hightor,
hightor wrote:
For couples lacking that commitment


and finances.

seeing it right now with a youngish couple I know in Kentucky. Their in utero infant has received 2 horrible diagnoses. If the child survives to birth, he will be extremely disabled. They are fundraising to get to the birth as they have quit their jobs to go to Ohio now to be at the hospital to wait for the birth. They have admitted they will not be able to financially care for him after birth - he will be entering 'the system' if he lives. Not sure I would make the decisions they have made, but they are their decisions to make.
 

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