• Larry

    “Do the Democrats have a moral agenda for 2016?”

    Do the Republicans?

    They have an agenda, the claim it has to do with “morals”. But there is nothing moral about it.

    It all boils down to attacking the civil liberties of others and pretending it has any resemblance to their sectarian religious belief. It really comes down to white fundamentalist christian males claiming they are more important than anyone else in the nation.

  • Bernardo

    The agenda of the Democrats basically comes down to supporting the pro-choice/pro-abortion voters in this country as they are now the largest voting bloc in the country. With these voters, the Republicans have no chance in winning the presidency. In 2016, for example, there will be anywhere between 60-90 million such voters (both female and their male counterparts) who have had abortions sometime since 1973, the year of the R vs W decision. And most of these abortions could have been prevented if the members of this voting bloc had remembered to take the daily Pill and/or had used the condom that was in their pocket. How very sad and disturbing that the presidency has become a matter of irresponsible humans!!!

  • Jack

    The problem with Gushee’s idea is that the social justice tradition is most associated with liberal mainline Protestantism, which has been dying a slow death for nearly a half-century.

    Evangelical groups are now importing that tradition, but mostly among the groups which are losing adherents by the millions.

    The other problem is deeper:

    Those with adult minds aren’t going to support failed policies…..and there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that the policies of economic redistribution have succeeded, and abundant evidence that the policies of economic growth have succeeded.

    The late Jack Kemp put it best when he said: “The problem in the world is not an unequal distribution of wealth and income; it’s an unequal distribution of capitalism.”

    He also said, “We fought a War on Poverty and the poor lost.”

    I wish David Gushee would read the opposite side before posting his side. He sounds like he is stuck in a 1970s mindset on so many things.

  • Bernardo

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/183449/abortion-edges-important-voting-issue-americans.aspx

    “The percentage of Americans who say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion has been edging up over the past seven years. The 21% who currently say this is, by one percentage point, the highest Gallup has found in its 19-year history of asking the question. :

    “Most of the rest (46%) say that abortion is one of many important factors they will take into account.”

  • Larry

    It sounds like you have been reading too many missives from the GOP from the early 80’s.

    “and there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that the policies of economic redistribution have succeeded”

    Right, the policies of redistributing national resources upwards to the ultra-wealthy to trickle down has been a miserable failure. 35 years of erosion of the middle class.

    Economic growth based on creating short term bubbles resulting in destruction wealth of middle and working class. Knee jerk deregulation and privatization schemes have been a miserable failure as well. Taking out levels of accountability for the actions of large corporations and wealthy has undermined the free market. Every recession in the last 30 years (we have had 5 since 1980) has been the result of unregulated markets going awry and bending over middle class investors in favor of insiders.

  • Jack

    In other words, nearly 80% of Americans would be willing to vote for a candidate who does not share their views on abortion.

    This is my point. An overwhelming majority of the electorate prioritizes other issues.

  • Jack

    Larry, don’t be silly. Focusing on redistribution is a great way to ruin an economy. It creates all the wrong incentives and disincentives — penalizing success & rewarding failure. It produces nothing, grows nothing, achieves nothing. It’s regressive & medieval, ignorantly viewing wealth as finite & economics as a zero-sum game where if one person has more, others have less.

    Humanity’s biggest advances, from history’s greatest technology revolution (producing record growth with permanently lower inflation due to higher productivity) to the dramatic declines in destitution worldwide, stem from the US & other nations becoming more, not less, free economically. India alone, since it embraced free-market policies, has lifted hundreds of millions from abject poverty to the middle class.

    It’s time to toss socialism onto history’s ash heap where it belongs, along with such things as belief in werewolves, wizards, and unicorns.

  • Larry

    Jack, you are taking slogans and pretending they are facts. Calling social welfare programs “redistribution” is extremely dishonest here. As if the most wealthy were entitled to avoid contributing to the rest of the nation through their taxation. As if taxation was a form of theft. The analogy of such things to communist style command economies and thinking is ridiculous hyperbole. Ayn Rand is a fantasist not an economist.

    The greatest advances in technology have not come from the market economy at all. Most came from the most command form of economy we know, the military.

    The US is not a predominately industrial nation anymore. Outside of agriculture, America no longer leads in industrial production in most markets. Economic Growth is not linked to productivity in the same way anymore. It is linked to moving money and information around. Markets subject to manipulation and monopolization without regulation. Laissez faire policies do not produce free markets.

  • Nope

    Yeah….history is going to destroy your socialist redistribution rhetoric every time. Capitalism may not be perfect, but it has shown that it can provide wealth and prosperity to millions for centuries while communistic/socialist approaches only tend to last a few decades before major upheaval. As Margaret Thatcher quipped, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

  • Larry

    What people in the US call socialist is usually hyperbole. Anything short of laissez-faire policies or consideration for people other than large corporations is labeled as “socialist”. Even such policies cannot be considered Capitalism. De-regulation and privatization doesn’t create free markets. It skews towards oligarchic economic control, just as rigid and arbitrary as any Politburo’s dictates.

    Even “Libertarian” political stances skew towards treating corporations as people with rights, but not actual live people. Replacing might makes right with responsible government.

    “As Margaret Thatcher quipped, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.””

    Said the person who ran the middle and working class of the UK into the ground.

  • The Great God Pan

    “India alone, since it embraced free-market policies, has lifted hundreds of millions from abject poverty to the middle class.”

    I must admit that the plucky Indians have devised a novel solution to the problem of mass layoffs, without aid of government regulation! Perhaps we could use a dose of such forward thinking here in the US.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/04/india.manager.burned/

  • Bernardo

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/183449/abortion-edges-important-voting-issue-americans.aspx.#sthash.MOT6pJmr.dpuf

    21% of the voters deem abortion to be the most important issue. 46% of rest of the voters deem abortion to be an important factor in their decision i.e. 67% of the electorate consider the abortion issue to be very important. Unfortunately, Pew and Gallup pools do not ask abortees ( A pregnant woman who has an abortion) how they vote. Probably too sensitive a question to ask but to say the least the sample size is huge. (60-83 million if you include the necessary male part of the abortee equation). One assumes, however, that abortees would be pro-choice in their political beliefs. And again, these abortees are one if not the largest voting bloc in the USA.

  • Marylyn Huff

    I am a Christian because I believe Jesus is Lord of all of my life. I take very seriously his command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor and yourself.” This means to me all that I do with my money, relationships, work, recreation, civic engagement I do to God; and that I care for others, want them to do well, and do not disparage, demean, oppress, or take advantage of others. It means when I care for “the least of these,” I am caring for Christ. I want the United States to have a fair justice system; to have an economic system where everyone has the opportunity to do well; to have communities that feel safe; to have policies that care for the planet so it will be here to sustain our great grandchildren; to care for all of its children – their health, their education, their safety; that has good paying jobs; and safe infrastructure.
    The Democratic Party best expresses my values.

  • Pr Chris

    Bernardo: Yes, you can say that women who don’t want to get pregnant ought to “remembered to take the daily Pill and/or had used the condom that was in their pocket.”

    The only problem is the holes in this argument: The availability of the “daily pill” and the “condom in your pocket”. The daily pill costs a great deal of money to poor people. $50 or more may not seem like much, but when a family of 4 spends less than $300 on groceries, $50 is a large amount in the budget. Those who want to decrease the number of abortions ought to be lobbying hard to make contraceptives free…and yet, many have fought against getting free contraceptives to women who need them. Even more, other long term methods of contraception, long term hormone implants, etc. are even more expensive. With the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups apposed to contraceptives at all. What are women to do? (And who is supposed to have the condom? Women or men? Who’s responsible?

    Pr…

  • Pr Chris

    Jack The problem is that we never DID fight the “war on poverty” Every time we tried to get something organized, anti-distribution members of Congress ensured it would never see the light of day. It IS a fact that if kids have food, a good school, medical access, and someone who cares about them, they CAN succeed, and then they grow up to do great things. When we cut, for example, Meals on Wheels, arguing that everyone should help themselves by getting jobs, they obviously have NO idea who benefits from MoW. Mostly they are retirees in their 80s, and even 90s, who can barely get to the front door to let the MoW delivery person–perhaps the only person they see that day. There IS a great deal that can be done, if we only had THE WILL. And a leadership which can see that those in need are Americans in need. The character of a nation, as stated by Hubert Humphrey is still one of the most powerful standards to grade with…and a searing indictment of many of our…

  • Pr Chris

    Jack: Have you ever visited any of the Northern European countries, esp. in Scandinavia or The Netherlands, or Germany? There is no sense that people are lazy and just not working. To the contrary: When people don’t have to worry about their kids getting an education based solely on their one abilities, or that the next illness won’t cause bankruptcy, etc., gives people a sense of well-being, and that generates energy, enthusiasm and all sorts of other emotions which makes people productive, and encourages them to be the best they can.

    When people are hungry, when they are cold or sick, they have a difficult time getting motivated to even getting out of bed in the morning. Making sure that people have the basics of life, and the resources to live their dreams, they are much more likely to accomplish great things. THAT’s why redistribution works (aside from the MORAL belief that we are all equal: One each, human being. No one has more moral claim than another.

    Pr…

  • Pr Chris

    Bernardo: I’m not a great supporter of abortion…but I also know that the single greatest factor toward abortion is economic: When a woman, who may already have more children than they can afford, is faced with another child; when a spouse is abusive or the woman is subject to rape or other non-consensual sex gets pregnant; when a woman, who can’t obtain contraceptives ends up pregnant, in all these cases, it is the reality of another child and the consequences that will follow that drives most abortions. (That is also why most abortions will still occur even if the woman has to go to a “back alley abortionist” to get an abortion.)

    Putting an economic floor will do more to stem abortion than almost anything else. So anyone who rants against abortion, and yet also rants against the sort of financial assistance that will help the woman and her family, tells me they aren’t to be taken seriously. If you want to end abortions…solve the problems you can first.

    Pr Chris