Creating jobs and making education beyond K-12 affordable go hand in hand. Public education has always been the great economic equalizer. Most of the changes listed above regarding affordability apply here as well. However, there are several realities that exist that should be considered. The unemployment and underemployment rates are higher among Millennials of color, especially those in the inner cities, and young white Millennials in rural areas. Jobs are not going to be created for these areas without a significant re-prioritizing of public and private spending. The following are several realities that need to be addressed by those expecting to receive support from Millennials in 2018.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
From the Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776.
The genius of our founding fathers and its most gifted author put together the foundations of the grand vision of democracy embodied in essential values of our republic. There were no guarantees it would be successful. It would require the overthrow of the British monarchy and a threat to all monarchies and despots of the known world. This form of government, a government founded by common men and women who would receive their governing authority from the governed was unheard of at the time. Yet through countless trials and tribulations, conflicts both foreign and domestic, civil rights denied, and justice affirmed, the nation still stands some 240 years later.
Jefferson felt that every generation, we the people, would advance and evolve towards that “more perfect union.” That has been the hope of each generation for the next. In the main that has been the experience of the American people and the nation. Jefferson also thought that every few decades the people needed to shake up the government of the people. Corruption, the undue interests of “financial institutions and corporations” , deceit and deception for personal or political gain, and activities that undermined the well-being of the nation by the people’s representatives were to be expected and needed to be rooted out. For as Jefferson cautioned “the people are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty, but the only security of all is in a free press, the force of public opinion cannot be resisted, when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary to keep the waters pure.” It is clear to me that time has come again. There is only one way to accomplish that given the current political climate in Washington. We the people must take back our government.
The recent elections in Virginia, Alabama, and New Jersey have shown us the way to make this happen. The resistance to this Congress and the Trump administration must go forward with a new agenda. A new agenda not only of progressive Democrats but also moderate Republicans, Independents and those who claim no particular political affiliation. A new coalition of the center-left. A true movement of people from the bottom up not the top down. A grass-roots revolution envisioned by Jefferson those many years ago.
Key to this resistance and revolution is a New Agenda of the People. Elements of this new agenda must be more than lip service. Trite sound bites with no specifics or passion will fall on deaf ears. If you are a person working for or a candidate seeking a seat in the Congress of the United States, a Governorship, or a member of a state legislature, the following constituencies you must engage with in a meaningful way. Over the next two weeks I will suggest what are the meaningful ways that candidates and their supporters can engage with Millennials, Women, Persons of Color, Veterans, Blue Collar Men and Women, Senior Citizens, and other important groups. The time to be a real patriot is now!
The pundits are right about one thing. The current occupant of the White House is a lightening rod of anger with most in The Resistance. There are not enough adjectives to describe this malignant cancer at the helm of our nation. Suffice to say that he is the epitome of narcissism, self-aggrandizement, and total incompetence.
Here are my 10 suggestions to keep in mind initially when considering running for elected office as a Democrat. Some of this may seem pretty elementary and not new information to you. But I will guarantee, you will find several things you haven’t thought of, if this is your first run for elected office.
The Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, has been instructed by Trump to study an additional 27 national monuments for closures or reduced acreage. To this point 10 have been recommended. Which ones are being studied or recommended for presidential action have not been identified. This only leads to speculation and concern for what may in store for our national monuments.
Everyone knows Trump hated the idea of imposing more sanctions on Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. Besides, Trump, after meeting with Putin several times during the recent Asian grand tour, had been assured by the Russian dictator that Russia never meddled in the election! How can the greatest dealmaker in history continue to seemingly get conned at every turn by Putin?
Senator McConnell said. “My preference on tax reform is that it be revenue neutral.” The old deficit hawk expressed his distaste for any further swelling of the national debt. “What I hope we will clearly avoid, and I’m confident we will, is a trillion-dollar stimulus,” It was clearly obvious to almost anyone that there was no need for a trillion dollar stimulus. Under the Obama administration the economy was on the rebound, the American auto industry had been pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy, the Dodd-Frank banking act had added tough new regulations that insured the shenanigans of the Wall Street banks would not plunge the country into monetary crisis again. The day before the election in 2016 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,259. The unemployment rate was at 4.6% when President Obama left office, down from a high-water mark of 9.7 in? 2010. Despite McConnell’s sentiments on deficit spending, that is what the Senate Republicans did last night, a $1 trillion unfunded “stimulus” package.
This is not tax reform. It is not a jobs plan. It certainly isn’t a “middle-class miracle”. It is a purely political gambit by Trump and the Republicans to reward their donor base at the expense of everyday, ordinary people. Haven’t we had enough of this? Send a message in 2018. If this bill passes, which is likely, take the names of those who voted for it and let them know you are coming to cast your vote against them. Join the Resistance today!
The lessons of the 2017 elections reminded us of something the Party learned over 40 years ago. To rephrase a 1992 Clinton campaign adage “Its the grass-roots stupid”. Democrats win elections when they focus their efforts on grass-roots organization.
If you or someone you know has ever considered running for office, this is the year. You don’t need the approval of the county party. While many of these folks have labored in the trenches for years and are decent people, continuing to field the same old candidates with the same old message will result in the same old results. Nothing will change. We need new people of all races, ethnicities, ages, progressive causes and lifestyle preferences who will bring fresh ideas on public policy and governance. People who have the energy, commitment and passion to communicate them to our constituencies.