2 4 5
6 7 p3
Bill Bradley, a man of
equally high character, also by his voting record a centrist, is
the only announced challenger. But if we imagine his Administration,
what is this insurgency of a centrist against a centrist all about?
If this is about differences in personality, is it justified? If
it's about real differences on issues, we haven't heard them yet.
Or are we left to decipher the slight differences in the middle
of the road voting records of their mutual pasts or continue to
wait and do nothing and hope the contest will be settled on grounds
more substantial than a macarena contest or a game of one-on-one?
Although I think ethanol
subsidies are goofy, and playing around with vouchers is dangerous
for public education, and of course we ought to recognize Cuba;
none of which he thinks -- in the past few weeks Bill Bradley has
made some statements which, while not bursting with specificity,
hint at progressive sentiments and I hope that whatever it is that's
motivating those hints will encourage other Progressives to speak
up and move him more specifically in a liberal direction.
But how can we not have
heard from either Democratic candidate a serious objection to the
hypocrisy of the Democratic party proudly advertising our economic
expansion as a "boom of unparalleled prosperity for the nation"
when 60% of our people are doing no better in 1999 than they were
doing in 1989?
How can we gloat about
prosperity when the poverty level hasn't changed at all?
Or when child poverty
is four times that of Western Europe?
And extreme child poverty
has gone up 26% in the past year?
And in the richest city
in the country, outside the doors of this hotel, one out of three
children lives in poverty, and homicide is still the largest single
cause of death for children under 18?
And according to the
officials of 30 other major cities, "The strong economy has
had very little positive impact on hunger and homelessness"?
And the poorest fifth
of families headed by a single woman lost $577 a year in income
and benefits between '95 and '97?
And there were 56% more
layoffs in '98 than in the year before?
A study of 4 Northwestern
states shows half of the available jobs don't pay a livable wage,
while the pay of the average corporate chief executive officer has
gone from 42 times to 419 times as much as the worker?
The disparity of wealth
between the rich and the poor is higher than ever, and the poorest
fifth of Americans have less than they had in 1977 and the richest
have 43% more?
The richest 2,700,000
Americans have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 100 million?
Do we have a party that
quietly shoves this stuff under the rug and says -- quote -- "most
things are going right for America" -- unquote?
Or is this still the
party that your founder Hubert Humphrey said has as its mission
"to take care of those in the dawn of life and in the shadows
of life and in the twilight of life"? What would Hubert Humphrey
say today? Is there no protest anymore?
Have we come to the point
where the Democratic Party needs to have a Republican President
before it finds its voice again? "A rising tide" isn't
"lifting all boats." If the Democratic Party doesn't raise
its voice about it, who will?
Page Previous Page