The Democrats Can Lower Hurdles and Move Starting Blocks Forward

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Recent polls show democrats support to throw Bush out of office is growing fast. I suspect with the Patriot Act and Attorney General Ashcroft's threatening civil liberties granted us by our founding fathers, the Libertarians may desire to lean toward the Democrats in 2004. In addition The Natural Law Party members may also have a stake in seeing Bush unseated from the presidency and the Senate based on their anti-debt and deficit sentiments. Without doubt, the Green party members would prefer Democrats in 2004 for environmental and corporate greed reasons. These are the Democrat's starting blocks. And they may well prove to give the Democrats a competitive edge against Republican fund raising which will grossly outdo Democrats.

The hurdles for the squad of Democratic candidates and the party as a whole are many. The Democrats have become a divisive party. That is their greatest hurdle. If the Democrats will adopt a Gingrich type strategy the bar can be lowered considerably. Specifically, if the Democrats would seek their common ground with constituents without abandoning core values, they could drop the hurdles to easy strides.

1) The Democrats should abandon gun control endeavors in 2004. This divisive issue crosses every category of American citizens. Drop it. Stop it. And move on.

2) If the Democrats would adopt a unified War on Terrorism stance and vow to take the ball from President Bush and continue the leadership role in the world in the fight against terrorism, they would alleviate members concerns in this area and reopen the door to Democrat support on domestic issues. Highlighting reestablishment of a non-first stike policy against foreign nations unless in defense of potential imminent threat will win voters by elevating world opinion toward the US and avoiding wanton squandering of American military personnel.

3) The Democrats must take a subdued position on Roe V. Wade, stating they would not attempt to overturn it - enough said. They should not attempt to overturn the ban on partial birth abortions. It is simply to costly an issue to deal with in 2004. In no way should this issue be a banner issue.

4) The Democrats have the public trust on domestic issues, and they should capitalize on that by taking a somewhat conservative approach on deficits and the national debt and champion this cause in the name of reducing future interest rates for consumers and reducing the taxes on future generations by not passing such huge debt to the next generations of tax payers. Voters are watching out for their children's futures and they don't like the economic picture being painted by the Bush administration's policy of paying back republican supporters with tax decreases while passing the debt on to wage earners in our children's working lives. Need I say it? The Democrats should NOT propose raising taxes for any reason.

5) Cut spending. Eliminate spending on WWII type conventional weapons spending. Rope in American companies avoiding American taxes. Eliminate estate taxes on individuals and family businesses up to a cap of total business capital assets and the best 5 years of net profit. Reinstate estate taxes on all inheritance above that level. In so doing the Democrats will champion free enterprise, the small businesses which generate so many jobs, and facilitate the handing down of viable small businesses from generation to generation. And yet, retain a sizeable portion of estate taxes as revenue for funding programs like Headstart, education and homeland defense.

6) Rescue, the Social Security system for all who have paid into it and take the trust fund out of the federal revenues not to be touched for anything other than paying Social Security benefits or national emergency. In addition, the Democrats should champion offering everyone under 31 years of age the elective option of transferring their Social Security earnings to privatized FDIC insured accounts. If given the choice between assuming risk for lifetime retirement earnings or guaranteed retirement safety net, working people will overwhelming choose the guaranteed safety net. In addition the Democrats must advocate for additional retirement savings by workers through current tax incentives as now offered by IRA's and other 401K plans.

7) Democrats must make a banner issue the concept of divorcing government contracting with any American companies who avoid taxes by headquartering overseas. They should also investigate ways of creating disincentives for American companies avoiding the tax system.

8) The Democrats must stand against school vouchers. This imminent threat to the public education system of America is a cause which the Democrats can wield mightily against the Republicans. In addition, the Democrats must champion the Establishment clause in the Constitution and restore separation of church and state issues. Voluntary moments of silence should present no obstacle for democrats and they should resolve to leave such decisions up to local school authorities. But, the Democrats must stand tough on enforcing the Establishment clause bringing the weight of federal law enforcement down upon the heads of any who would use our public schools as a forum for promoting their own style and denomination of religion upon the children of tax payers.

9) The Democrats can easily present the case to the American people that by establishing a leadership role in the UN and championing support for NATO and making NATO more inclusive and demanding that the UN become proactive in the war on terrorism, famine and civil strife, the US can grossly reduce federal spending and thus avoid increasing taxes by tapering back the global police role President Bush has established huge deficits building.

10) Finally, the Democrats should, though, dicey, sponsor the gradual end of the immensely expensive and lost war on drugs. They should make it clear that they have no desire to legalize harmful drugs or foster their proliferation on the streets of America. Instead, they should introduce the concept that drug abuse is a social illness and begin the transfer of funding from the war on drugs to the treatment of drug abusers. Take user offenders out of the jails and place them into court ordered treatment and vocational educational facilities. Take career drug traffickers and promote maximum court discretionary sentences.

By eliminating the divisive issues which cut across party and intra-party lines, and championing core values which support working people and their children's futures, the Democrats can have a viable opportunity to take the presidency and the Senate back in 2004. The mistrust of the Republican party and President Bush's foreign and domestic agendas is growing. The Democrats, if they wish to regain the trust and confidence of the majority of voters must consolidate their platform around non-divisive issues and hammer home the set of common sense working class values that will secure the economic and civil liberties of current and future generations of working people.

David Remer, June 16, 2003

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on June 16, 2003 3:03 AM.

High Crimes and Misdemeanor impeachment hearings for President Bush? was the previous entry in this blog.

Americans Owe Some Frightening Debt is the next entry in this blog.

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