People ask what sets progressives apart from the Democrats and Republicans. Take a gander at the United Progressives platform:
We oppose war as an instrument of foreign policy and believe in the immediate but responsible withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq AND Afghanistan.
We believe in holding our leaders accountable to the American people and to Congress through all necessary means, including the impeachment process, when constitutionally justified.
We believe in a fair and just immigration policy that opens a path to legal status for those working in and contributing to the American society.
We oppose the further development and/or use of all nuclear weapons.
We believe in treating illegal drug use as a public health issue.
We oppose capital punishment and believe that the right to life is fundamental and cannot be taken from any man or woman by law, by edict or by the particular will or convenience of any court or legislature to right any wrong.
We believe in the right for all women to make decisions about their reproductive health.
We believe in the rights of the people to access to the commons, such as natural resources, public airwaves, and the technology of the internet, free from interference by corporate agendas.
We believe in guaranteed, high quality, public education for all from Pre-K through four years of college.
We believe in single-payer, not-for-profit, universal health care.
We believe in limiting political campaigns and elections to public control and financing.
We believe in public control and financing of social security.
We believe in equality under the law for all minorities and same sex couples.
We believe in repealing or improving NAFTA to require the enforcement of human and environmental rights, working conditions and pay scales for workers in all countries.
We believe in the pursuit of stem cell research.
We support research and investment in renewable energy which effectively uses natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat, and which may be naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and biofuels for transportation.
we believe in a sustainable future for our planet, our nation and our community, of holding a policy of respect for nature and maintaining an ecological balance between the interests of man and nature.
We believe in the Precautionary Principle. We believe that products and services must be shown to be sufficiently safe for the general public before any person or corporation can market them. Sufficient testing and time to ensure product or service safety must be required.
We support the Charter of the United Nations and its “Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man.”
We believe that nature has rights. The fundamental human rights on which human survival depends are nature’s rights, and it is time we safeguarded them.
More specifically, we believe in the following:
An immediate end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
A repeal of the Patriot Act.
An end to torture, rendition and the maintenance of prisons or other similar facilities outside U.S. borders by the U.S. military, the CIA or any other agency of the U.S. government, including foreign governments acting in our behalf, that deny individuals fair and just constitutional protections under U.S. law or the Geneva Conventions.
A repeal of the Military Commissions Act which suspends rights to a speedy trial, rules out the use of the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights, denies the right of habeas corpus, and contains other provisions which violate the U.S. Constitution and international human rights standards.
We oppose the unitary executive doctrine which advocates almost unlimited executive power through the use of signing statements by the President, and believe it to be a violation of the principle of separation of powers through three branches of government.
We support the impeachment and/or prosecution of any member, or past member, of the current administration or Congress who knowingly lied to the American people about the threat of Saddam Hussein and the country of Iraq in order to provide reasons to attack that country.
We support not-for-profit universal health care for all citizens.
We favor publicly-supported education through a four-year college.
We support an aggressive national policy on global warming.
We favor public financing of campaigns and public control of all media used to present the views of candidates for public office via debates or advertisements through the designation of a public television channel exclusively for this purpose. We also support in principle the Fairness Doctrine and favor legislation that would replace the FCC doctrine with law, which would also meet Supreme Court concerns about the need to enhance public debate.
We believe that a woman’s right-to-choose must be protected as essential to personal privacy and gender equality. We also believe that only those who agree to uphold Roe v. Wade should be nominated for the Supreme Court.
We strongly favor an end to capital punishment and an end to the proposition that an “eye for an eye” is just punishment.
We support complete equality for lesbians and gays throughout society, including in marriage.
We oppose all automatic deportation of people crossing the border illegally from Mexico, and favor processing them as refugees of a failed economic system through a series of steps that legitimize their residence in the U.S.
We should end the appeal of outsourcing by revisiting NAFTA and WTO and requiring all companies importing goods to the U.S. to pay wages comparable to living standards in our country and to support international environmental standards.
We should outlaw oil commodities speculation which is artificially driving up the price of oil.
End oil dependence through investment in renewable energy resources.
We support the fundamental ideals established in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights which have made equal opportunity, social justice and government accountability the foundation of a democracy.
Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney is on record as being totally in agreement with this list of UP party planks, as is her running mate Rosa Clemente. Can the same be said for John McCain and Sarah Palin? How about Barack Obama and Joe Biden?
I do believe the Democrat duo are better than the scary-dangerous GOPper pair; they are indeed the pragmatic choice, the lesser of those two evils. However, both of their parties are bought and paid for by the same corporate interests — and both are all too invested in the unacceptable status quo.
So. If you label yourself a progressive and believe in the UP platform planks, forget about “electability” for a sec and tell yourself the truth:
Which candidates represent true progressive values?
Which candidates have the ideas to bring about real, substantive change to this country and the world and will put the power where it belongs, in the hands of the people?
Which party is about doing what’s right because it’s the right thing to do?
What should you do?