live chat today with russ @ 930am central
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I've decided on my candidate for the Presidency in 2008.
The only major difference I have with Russ Feingold, Senator from Wisconsin, is actually just a matter of degree. NAFTA and CAFTA and the WTO are absolute necessities if we are to continue as a progressive species. As currently implemented, they do obscure some issues of financial resource scarcity and make it quite a bit easier for Wealth to procure more wealth than for Quality of product/produce to be the sole determinant of economic success. That is the nature of Capitalism and, when left unregulated, it's what proliferates the deeply felt (and thus irrationally considered) class divisions across every strata of human societies.
Free trade is necessary for freedom, and restrictions on a juggernaut's right to expand and conquer new markets are no different. I would argue that such are literally no different from restrictions on individuals to become the supreme law of their own individual neighborhoods.
Take the stretch and see it in your own neighbors and yourself. Do I get to tell him when to eat or sleep or precisely what time he gets to cut his lawn? For whom she can vote for in our council ward? What type of car they can park in their own driveway?
See it in cases of murder and rape and beatings. Do I have the right to kill someone I think to be an abuser or cheater when the woman I desire chooses him over me? Or when he gets the job for which I was striving and equally well qualified? Or if he's gay or muslim or atheist and that offends me deeply? If a woman cheats in her marriage, does her husband have the right to kill or beat her?
An eye for an eye is in direct response to Might Makes Right or Winner Takes All. It says to a bigger aggressor, you may hurt me, but I'm gonna hurt you back at least as bad. The latter two concepts are assuredly the pinnacle of Truth in athletic and other non-lethal competitions. But economics is a deadly "game" when played by such rules. If we are to agree that no one has a right to take another's life, even if such is given freely (assisted suicide anyone?,) then we must agree that the holders of capital, no matter how hard and honestly earned it is, can not be given the right over another's ability to live up to those unforgiving standards*.
As a species, we are unquestionably still a long way off from an understanding of how to blend the concepts of individual and societal responsibility**. This immaturity is apparent in the stature of Psychology as a hard science. The dataset is simply of such a magnitude - 6.5 billion data points and climbing - that to merely collect a statistically significant number of samples, much less to make empirical and objective sense of it all, is currently beyond our abilities.
But we're getting there. Feingold has shown the integrity of true leadership in his stance against the abuse of governmental power and priviledge, and has also shown a good sense of conservative wisdom when choosing his battles on Capital Hill.
I know that it's still nearly a year before the campaigning begins in earnest, but I've found my candidate of choice: Russ Feingold for President in 2008
I found the link to the following petition on Ohioans for Russ Feingold. There is another variety of petition here as well. The latter site is by the blogger of Rhodian Attic, one of those sites I mentioned earlier, which I simply forgot to bookmark while I was there. That li'l slip has been rectified as well.
To: Senator Russ Feingold
Dear Senator Feingold,
For too long, Democrats have been told that they must abandon progressive priniciples and seek middle ground with an increasingly hostile and extremist Republican Party. I and my fellow co-signers do not share this view. We want government leaders who will work with both parties when they are right on the issues and will not be afraid to voice dissent and stand up for what is right when one or both parties are wrong.
You, Senator Feingold, have a proven record of doing just this. In the aftermath of 9-11, when no other Senator had the courage to stand up against a far-reaching security bill known as the PATRIOT Act that trampled on the constitutional rights of Americans, you showed strength and bravery by becoming its sole voice of opposition in the Senate. Furthermore, your votes in the senate have proven that you are a friend of the progressive community and the American people. From fighting against unfair trade agreements like CAFTA to fighting for government reform like the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and the newly introduced lobbying reform bill to cracking down on deficit spending, you have distinguished yourself as a Senator who will stand with the American people and do what is best for our government and country.
That is why, Senator, I and my fellow co-signators implore you to run for the office of President of the United States and pledge our full support toward your election to the highest office in the land.
* I've been through bankruptcy once in my life and appreciate the new changes in the laws which make it harder for individuals to avoid responsibility for their miscomprehension of - and yes, sometimes even disdain for - the laws concerning consumer credit.
There was nothing remotely life or death about my post-divorce spending spree. It was induced by depression and exhiliration of a certainty, but I was responsible for it, and can only be grateful that I got off so easily (though, trust me that it is still effecting me negatively.) The change in laws has renewed my desire to live with credit as the most specifically directed of my resources. Ie, for Health, Home and Education purposes almost exclusively.
** I say societal because I think that social responsibilities are quite evolved in smaller groups of tribes and clans and families. Whilst there are still obvious difficulties between folks even in these smaller groups, the sheer enormity of the numbers of individuals in a society of various social groups involves separate definitions for each term.