This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
The New Democrats to me at least are the Liberal Democrats in the Democratic Party. There whole message is about growth, opportunity, freedom, responsibility, investment and that government has role in seeing that everyone can achieve these things, but through limited government. And these are the Democrats that represent especially under the current gerrymander political system for how we elect representatives, represent the difference in whether House Democrats are in the majority or the minority. When there’s a large New Democrat Coalition in the House, as well as Blue Dogs, Democrats tend to control the House. Because these two factions come from swing districts in the country.
And to me their message I believe is fairly simple and shouldn’t be wishy-washy muddy middle. And they could use JFK or Bill Clinton and even Barack Obama rhetoric in laying out their message. They should say, “we believe in growth, opportunity, freedom and responsibility, but for all Americans who do their part to achieve those things. That freedom in America shouldn’t be decided based on the income level of your parents and where you grew up. But based on one’s own talents, ability and character and what they produce. That quality education should be for everyone. Not just for people whose parents can afford private schools, or live in areas where there are good public schools. But for everyone with parents being able to decide the best public school for their child. Not the central office.”
And then lay out a real agenda with real concrete proposals.
When it comes to issues like energy that is about all the above American energy resources that uses all of American energy resources including oil and gas in the short-term to move to renewable sources long-term.
Comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders as best as possible. While bringing 10-15 illegal immigrants who aren’t criminals and work hard for a living out of the closet to pay a fine, any back taxes that they may own and to work towards legal status. That brings in well-qualified immigrants from other countries.
Infrastructure investment to rebuild America that is paid for by everyone since we all consume infrastructure. And something like a Nation Infrastructure Bank that brings in private investors to rebuild the country long-term.
Education reform that is about new investment in low-income low-performing school districts. But also investing in good teachers whose students actually learn and encouraging well-qualified adults to become educators, but teach in low-income districts. And public school choice so low-income students can go to good schools. With their parents making those decisions.
An anti-poverty agenda that is actually about moving Americans out of poverty. And not leaving them on public assistance with bigger Welfare checks. But about things like Welfare to Work, where people on Welfare can get the education and job training they need to get a good job and get out of poverty. Job training for low-income workers so they can get themselves a good job and become middle if not high-income workers.
What would really help New Democrats with young voters (such as myself, if I still qualify as young) would be taking strong stances against the War on Drugs. Being in favor of rehab over prison for drug users and addicts. People who successfully complete drug rehab at their own cost wouldn’t have a criminal record. Marijuana decriminalization and legalization for adults twenty-one and over that comes with taxation regulation.
Criminal justice reform where we’re not locking up so many non-violent offenders who don’t need to be incarcerated at all. And those who do we would be better off if they are in rehab or in a halfway house or even county jail doing short-term sentences. And for offenders who need to be in prison offer them opportunities to give up their criminal careers and become productive inmates. With educational and work opportunities so they can become productive citizens when they are out.
The difference between a New Democrat, Liberal really and a centrist is that the New Democrat has real policies based on things that work. The centrist tends to sound all over the place because that is where they are. And have a hard time taking hard stances because they tend to sound like they are talking out of two mouths. Democrats from the Far-Left to the Center-Left tend to believe in similar things. And the debate tends to come down to how big should government be.
New Democrats tend to believe in things that most Americans tend to believe in. Growth, opportunity, freedom and responsibility, but for all and not just the wealthy. That should be the message of New Democrat with an agenda that achieves all of those things. With a limited government, as well as the private sector involved. But where the individual plays the biggest part and does a lot of the work since it is their life. This is what our message should be.