I continually receive emails from Move On urging support for the Obama platform on health or the stimulus package or whatever. The assumption of your emails is the Obama administration is leading the fight to create a progressive America. I cast my first vote in 1952 for Adlai Stevenson for president and in every subsequent election have voted for progressive, liberal candidates( I say proudly, I am a liberal). I cried when Obama was elected and believed it marked the beginning of a new era in American history. I regret to say, I was wrong. The Obama administration has failed on virtually every issue connected with liberal, humane policies.
The refusal of Barack Obama to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission insults the very meaning of American society. His clap trap about looking forward, not back, is ludicrous as an excuse. In the 1980s, the American Congress apologized for the Japanese American internment and voted compensation. Affirmative action is predicated on the need to look back in order to move forward. South Africa suffered X percent greater indignity to humans, but, despite an horrendous economy, Nelson Mandela believed it was important for the soul of his society to have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is time Barack Obama displayed courage and helped purge our society of the evil which transpired under Bush.
Barack Obama campaigned to end discrimination against gays and lesbians. Now, we hear this clap trap that since there is fighting, we can’t move too quickly. I helped write the integration plan in 1952 for the American Seventh Army. President Truman(who had more courage and integrity in his finger than Barack Obama has so far displayed) ordered integration while fighting raged in Korea. Truman was hated, but we integrated the armed forces. Over 12,000 gays and lesbians have been discharged since the 1990s. President Obama must immediately move to end discrimination against gays and lesbians. Now, Move On, how about a national campaign urging people to let the president know we want equal rights for gays and lesbians?
Barack Obama constantly refers back to Franklin Roosevelt. I believe FDR created more jobs in one month than Obama has created in six and unemployment constantly increases. Paul Krugman, who should have been appointed Secretary of the Treasury, warned in January the stimulus package was insufficient and Obama would have to return for another one in September. Who doubts now that Krugman was correct. As Krugman has pointed out, the Obama plan does NOTHING TO PROVIDE JOBS–NOW! How about Move On urging the following:
1. Creation of a National Teacher Corps paid by the Federal government which would offer school districts access to 200,000 dedicated young teachers at no cost to them?
2. How about taking a page from the old CCC and offering young people paid work to reconstruct our national forests?
3. How about a National Urban Reconstruction Corps to address the need for cleaning up urban disasters?
4. How about a National Early Childhood Corps which would offer business organizations, labor unions, schools, and government agencies people ready to establish mini-child care centers in a business organization or labor union, etc.. at no cost?
By the way, the above would cost one-tenth of what is being given banks and the stock exchange.
Those of us who have worked for progressive ideas understand the last thing this nation needs is another set of “bright young people” from the Ivy League to save us. I am disgusted by the Obama reaching out once again to the Ivy League. The last time those jokers got power, they gave us the Vietnam War. I thought Barack Obama would learn from FDR that he needs a brain trust composed of people who include those who DISAGREE WITH HIM! Instead of Bush’s Idiot Delight group, we now have the arrogant bright group.
A last word about Obama’s appointment of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. I have taught for 52 years and educated 15,000 teachers. So, who does Obama ask to lead education, a businessman who knows as much about education as I do about fixing a car. There is not a single intelligent idea emanating from Duncan who believes the solution to education’s problems is to create more and more tests! Here are some suggestions that Move On might support:
1. Ask Billy Gates to organize a commission that would first identify what are the components of education for twenty-first century life. There is not a single idea in the Obama administration to identify what is the problem in education.
2. Theodore Roosevelt once suggested transforming the Washington D.C. school system into a model of what modern education is all about. How about a similar attempt in Washington D.C. But, a new approach must be centered in FIRST IDENTIFYING WHAT IS THE BASIS OF 21st CENTURY EDUCATION– Not on raising test scores.
3. Justice Brandies once suggested having states develop interesting models. How about a NATIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE which would allow a group of teachers and administrators to create model schools based on 21st century ideas? These would be funded through Federal sources in order to free school boards from the burden of paying for new initiatives.
4. How about creating regional Education Experimental Laboratories? This approach was tried in the 1960s but allowed to die out too early.
I have given Move On some ideas for their emails. Enough of asking us to contact X or Y. How about asking us to contact the White House which currently is A major source of problems?