imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Kerry attacks Bush on 'communitarian' grounds

by E.J. Dionne, Jr. Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 3:06 PM

The core divide in American politics now is not between liberals and conservatives, or between capitalists and socialists. It is between libertarians and commun-itarians.

Kerry's call to service - Massachusetts senator attacks Bush on 'communitarian' grounds

E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post Writers Group, 05.20.03

WASHINGTON -- Democrats are so obsessed with telling people who they aren't that few voters know who they are.

For two decades, Democrats have spent much of their time running away from ghosts. No, the Democrats would say, we're not tax-and-spend liberals, we're not weak on defense, we're not soft on crime, we're not feckless on family values.

Face it: the Democrats have real image problems -- witness their three presidential losses in the 1980s. Without strategic corrections and a little blurring of the past, they never would have won the White House in 1992 or 1996. But the costs of fuzziness have become plain in the face of a Bush White House determined to bull ahead with one tax cut after another. As the poet suggested, passionate intensity defeats the lack of all conviction almost every time.

A New York Times/CBS News Poll last week captured the Democrats' problem: While 53 percent of Americans said that Republicans had a clear vision of where to lead the country, only 40 percent said that of Democrats. The standard response at this point is a call on Democrats to move sharply leftward and offer voters "a choice, not an echo." That was Republican Barry Goldwater's battle cry in 1964. You may recall that Goldwater moved his party to the right, captured all of six states and lost in a landslide. The Democrats' problem is not about ideological positioning -- an insider game, anyway -- but about conviction. It's about picking the right fights, and drawing the right lines.

That's what made Sen. John Kerry's Monday speech about service and citizenship so interesting. Of course, no one can be against national service or patriotism. President Bush speaks often about these subjects and has appointed some good people to lead his service effort. He could have killed the AmeriCorps program, President Clinton's creation. Instead, he morphed it into his USA Freedom Corps.

True enough. But Kerry gave the service idea a new twist. Drawing from fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain's rhetoric -- Americans, Kerry said, "think elected officials no longer ask them to serve a cause larger than themselves" -- the Democratic presidential candidate cast patriotism and community-mindedness as the opposites of "get-mine and get-out rhetoric" and of "a creed of greed." These he associated with the Bush overall approach to domestic policy.

Linking patriotism with an ethic of public responsibility allowed Kerry to launch a critique of the administration's tax policies -- "for the first time in this nation's history, the most privileged among us get enormous tax breaks during a time of war." It also opened the way for assaults on Enron, polluters and corporate lobbyists. As McCain has shown, populist sentiments have a broader reach when they are rooted in the national interest and the common good than when they are simply a lead-in to a catalogue of economic complaints.

Kerry backed up his patriotic populism with serious service initiatives. His Service for College plan would give young people who gave two years of service four-year scholarships, set at the tuition rate of the public universities in the volunteer's state. He'd make a service commitment and serious civics instruction requirements for high school graduation. He proposes Summers of Service for high school students, and an Older Americans in Service program that would allow seniors to earn tuition credits for their grandchildren, or for any child they chose to help.

Kerry's speech underscores that the core divide in American politics now is not between liberals and conservatives, or between capitalists and socialists. It is between libertarians and communitarians.

Libertarians believe that tax cuts are always better than government programs, that private striving and self-improvement are the central acts of American citizenship, and that where the government and the market are concerned, the government should almost always get out of the way. Communitarians also see the market as useful and private striving as essential. But they insist that preserving the individual freedom that makes both possible is a cooperative endeavor. Self-rule in a democracy demands not just private creativity, but public commitment. Government needs to assert itself when private markets fail, and when markets fail to serve the common good.

Bush is not a pure libertarian, as critics of his Justice Department would note. But his tax policies are consciously aimed at so depleting the federal Treasury that the government's capacity to act will be constrained for a generation. If the boldness of Bush's vision does not call forth a comparable boldness from those with communitarian commitments, Bush will win by default. Kerry's call to service is a useful start in redefining the terms of the battle ahead.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy