Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barack Obama: What the Left Expects of Him as President

The Nation, one of the oldest left-wing publications in the US, recently published an open letter to Barack Obama, stating what they consider to be essential policy positions that he must embrace for their continued support. I suspect that they are beginning to become concerned about his level of support for their agenda, given his recent drift to the political ‘middle’.

Below are the policies to which they expect him to commit his unwavering support, lest he risk losing theirs:

  • Withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable.

  • A response to the current economic crisis that reduces the gap between the rich and the rest of us through a more progressive financial and welfare system; public investment to create jobs and repair the country's collapsing infrastructure; fair trade policies; restoration of the freedom to organize unions; and meaningful government enforcement of labor laws and regulation of industry.

  • Universal healthcare.

  • An environmental policy that transforms the economy by shifting billions of dollars from the consumption of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, creating millions of green jobs.

  • An end to the regime of torture, abuse of civil liberties and unchecked executive power that has flourished in the Bush era.

  • A commitment to the rights of women, including the right to choose abortion and improved access to abortion and reproductive health services.

  • A commitment to improving conditions in urban communities and ending racial inequality, including disparities in education through reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and other measures.

  • An immigration system that treats humanely those attempting to enter the country and provides a path to citizenship for those already here.

  • Reform of the drug laws that incarcerate hundreds of thousands who need help, not jail.

  • Reform of the political process that reduces the influence of money and corporate lobbyists and amplifies the voices of ordinary people.

Are the above positions ones which you support? If not, you should not vote for Obama.

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