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“I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion,  and  in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas.”   John F. Kennedy,  September 14, 1960 speech in New York City.

Progressives believe in the dignity of every human being and will rebuild our country from the bottom up. Healthy, educated people can take care of themselves and, when given the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, will create new technologies and business opportunities for themselves and others. A society, just like a tall building, needs a firm foundation or it will crumble.

Progressives believe that strong families and communities are intrinsically valuable, not just for the emotional rewards people feel from belonging to a caring society, but for the stability a strong community provides for economic innovation and advancement toward prosperity.

Progressives believe that the benefits of economic production should be shared by those who actually do the work and produce the wealth, not just by shareholders and top executives.

Progressives believe that the moral mission of government includes the protection and empowerment of citizens.  Protection includes education of all of its citizens,  defense against inhumane working conditions, medical care when needed,  access to safe food, air and water,  and a national defense and intelligence infrastructure commensurate with changing world conditions.

Conservatives and progressives operate from very different world views and with different cognitive mazeways.  Conservatives operate from an authoritarian belief system that stresses following orders rather than following our individual dreams.  They stress  punishment rather than rehabilitation.  They demand accountability from teachers but not from hedge fund managers.  They reject progress toward a sustainable environment because they would rather shift the cost of pollution onto the citizens than make the polluters pay.  They believe that government has no business helping individuals stay healthy or even to have a roof over their heads.

Conservatives, especially the Corpublicans running the country at this point in time believe that empowering a tiny portion of the citizens at the top of the income scale by shifting wealth up to them from the working and middle class will create jobs. There is no evidence that a CEO making $11 million a year plus stock options and bonuses creates jobs. In fact, from what we have seen over the last two  years, the incentive is just the opposite. Corporations and business owners have cut jobs to improve their bottom line despite sitting on mountains of cash and enjoying high profits. In the conservative worldview, workers are just one more expense to cut any way possible.

When people are treated like trash and thrown out in the street, they lose self-respect and faith in the future.  Poverty, homelessness, medical emergencies cause stress on the entire society, but those suffering foreclosure and joblessness pay the highest price.  This is not fair.  The current recession was caused by greedy, reckless money managers who gambled with our life savings.  Now the Corpublicans say we all need to share the pain of reducing the national deficit.  They played and we paid. Like vultures, they circle in the air waiting to suck the lifeblood out of the American people and pick what tiny shreds of dignity we still have.  They won’t be happy until America is a third world nation and we will beg them for any job at any salary just to stay alive.   Corporations have no national loyalty.  Their goal is infinite profit for a few at the expense of the many.    Progressives are rallying to the defense of the defenseless.   We can do better and we deserve better.

Since it is popular these days to reference the U.S. Constitution, let’s remember the Preamble we all learned in grade school.   WE are “the people,” not the corporations.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Progressive Democrats of St. Louis

January 7, 2011