Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Progressive Solutions Can Solve Nation's Problems

Published in the Morning Call, Allentown, PA  6:17 a.m. EST, February 25, 2013

I've been thinking for a while about Bill White's Jan. 22 column praising U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent and the No Labels group, calling for "more moderation" in congressional politics.

You can certainly make an argument for less bitter partisanship in Washington. The public is rightly fed up with a Congress so paralyzed by partisan bickering that it doesn't seem to solve any of the problems facing us. No Labels' call to "Tell the full truth" and "Govern for the future" is admirable. Indeed, if these proved to be more than rhetorical slogans, they would be complete novelties in American politics of the last 35 years.

However, the key flaw in Bill White's argument is that more centrist or moderate policies in Congress won't do anything to solve the critical, deepening problems we face as a nation. The public wants less bickering in Washington so that the problems we face may be constructively resolved.

White sets up his call for moderation with a false polarization in Congress between what he calls the "far right" and the "far left." For starters, there is no real left in Congress, unless it is personified by Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose ringing oratory against the distorted priorities and manufactured crises of both Democratic and Republican leaders are largely ignored by the mainstream media. Morning Call readers might check out some of Sanders' speeches online to hear someone who has consistently spoken out for policies that actually meet the needs of the American people, not the 1 percent.

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