Doesn’t happen that often, unseemly taken with my own wordsmithing as I am, but I ran into an essay that caused me to have one of those W!IWICWLT! moments.
Wow! I wish I could write like that!
Bernie Horn, whose writing I don’t remember seeing before, has laid out an inspiring message for those of us of the liberal persuasion who have felt positively tongue-tied when attempting to articulate our most deeply held beliefs about the morass our nation is in now, and what we should be saying to get out from under the reactionary boot.
Three Words Progressives Can Use to Win Elections
By Bernie Horn, Berrett-Koehler Publishing. Posted March 27, 2008.
The American dream is not about a society where government secures the greatest good for the greatest number. Our dream is personal. It’s about a poor child delivering newspapers and one day ending up as the publisher. It’s about an unskilled worker attending night school and becoming a successful manager. It’s about individuals and families practicing their religion without interference, getting ahead through hard work, and being able to retire in security and comfort. The American dream is a prayer, a vision, a fervent hope that every individual may be given a fair chance to build a successful life.
The progressive-liberal-Democratic base of voters would gladly accept a communitarian philosophy. I, too, wish that American culture were more oriented toward altruism and community. But it isn’t. A realistic progressive philosophy is one that accepts our national culture of individualism and — nevertheless — seeks to make the American dream accessible to all. How can we envision such a philosophy?
The true and original meanings of those three words: freedom, opportunity and security, have been suborned by the noisy and all too persuasive extremists of the right for too long.
After years of warrantless wiretapping, illegal imprisonments, and torture, we should all be saying the F-word with regularity. No, no, I mean freedom. Why do progressives seem allergic to this word?
Our mission is clear. It is to guarantee that all Americans are able to realize their goals through education, hard work, and fair pay. We must provide every person, not just the privileged few, with an equal opportunity to pursue a better life — equal access to the American dream.
In every important way, the right wing has made our country less secure. So let’s keep the upper hand in this debate. Whether we’re talking about Iraq or drug-related crime, progressives are for commonsense policies that will make Americans safer.
Read on, please.
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
When the extremists stole the vocabulary, they also stole the fact. Words have the power to destroy. Let’s take back those words, and use them to reassemble the nation the Founders established, Lincoln and FDR defended to the death, but that now no longer lights the way for the world.
Freedom. Opportunity. Security.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
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