parties one in the same
is a presidential election coming up and, as usual,
there are no progressive candidates with a chance of
winning. What a joke it is that the white boys going
for the Democratic Party nomination are branded as liberals
as if that were an insult.
Whats insulting is that these political wimps,
whose ideology are described as centrist at best, can
be called liberal with a straight face.
The terms liberal and progressive
are often used interchangeably. Some liberals dont
like the word liberal because it can be considered an
insult. I dont find the term insulting, but I
prefer progressive because its more descriptive.
Progressives want progress.
On the other hand, people who want to keep things the
same or go back to how things used to be are conservatives.
They want to conserve the established order. With this
in mind, take a look at the top runners for the Democratic
Well start with Gen. Wesley Clark. I dont
think its possible for a general in the U.S. military,
or anyone in the U.S. military for that matter, to be
Clark supports this theory as well as anyone. This guy
used to be the NATO Supreme Allied Commander. The good
general, who is now retired, had an active role in the
bombing of areas that were densely populated in Yugoslavia
in 1999. He even wanted a more aggressive attack and
permission to launch a ground attack if the air strikes
Clark also commanded forces in the Vietnam War, the
first Gulf War and Latin America in the 1990s. Lack
of military restraint is clearly a trademark of conservatives,
because it upholds U.S. military dominance and aggression.
Next we have Sen. John Kerry, who used his senatorial
vote to support the invasion of Iraq in October of 2002.
Those not outraged at that act of aggression dont
deserve to be labeled liberals.
Kerry also supported the Welfare Reform Law of 1996,
which Norman Solomon has rightly called a "class
war against low-income mothers."
Howard Dean, who many seem to consider the most liberal
of the group, also supported this law. Dean recently
told the Wall Street Journal, "I've always considered
myself a centrist" and "I am pro-business."
The Journal then reported about Dean's family roots
on Wall Street and history of being pro-business.
All of these candidates are critical of how the Bush
administration has invaded Iraq; if they weren't, there
would be no reason for them to belong to a different
political party, but their criticisms are lacking.
You never hear any of them mention the thousands of
civilian casualties whose blood is on the hands of Bush
and the rest of this country (at least 8,000-10,000
now, they have put a stop to official counting). They
rightly criticize the current administration for lying
to Americans to build support for an act of aggression,
but they don't criticize the spread of U.S. imperialism.
This is a disturbing excuse for democracy. This two-party
system that might as well be a one-party system is not
democracy. There are more than two sides to almost every
issue. The people can't possibly be represented properly
by two parties that are so alike.
Blevins is a columnist for the Sidelines at Middle Tennessee
State University. This column was distributed by U-Wire.