The fact that the Democratic Party now controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate, has interjected a glimmer of hope into this otherwise dark period of American history. For the last six years, the monumental incompetence of President George W. Bush and his Administration has led this country into a needless and illegal war that has managed to fragment our society, drain our economic resources and alienate much of the world’s population.
We currently have a leadership that is driven by ideological constructs that fail to conform even in the most rudimentary way with the political realities of the modern world. Unfortunately, the man who has declared himself as the “decider” not only lacks a working knowledge of the dimension and complexity of the human experience, he also seems to lack the intelligence required to acknowledge or appreciate the enormity of the problems that face us as a nation and as a member of the world community.
The Republican-led Congress has failed so abysmally at its fundamental responsibility of oversight and providing the necessary constraints to executive power, that it lost all credibility in regards to the American population. Both its total failure to address the basic and gnawing concerns of the American people and its hubris as reflected in mean-spirited and self-serving pronouncements, has precipitated the stunning defeat of all those associated with the President and his Party.
Democrats are now faced with a daunting task and a formidable responsibility. For this reason, I have outlined what I believe is now expected of Democrats:
• Reinstitution of vigorous oversight. This oversight necessarily must include full and open investigations into the actions of this Administration, especially in regard to the incitement to war, the conduct of the war and the domestic policies that were implemented in supposed response to the war and national security.
• Begin the process of engaging the government and the general population in a rigorous debate regarding the conduct of the war with the purpose of ending this debacle and with the goal of helping to bring a legitimate peace to the Middle East.
• Acknowledge the undisputed reality of Global Warming and its threat to the world population. This is a necessary first step that must be followed by the creation and implementation of policies that would genuinely address this issue. In addition, the law makers of this country need to embrace the efficacy and importance of the science in the modern world. A good starting point would be reasoned and thoughtful policies regarding stem cell research. We have seen how a government held hostage by extremist views can be inimical to the interests of the nation and its people.
• Implementation of a domestic agenda that has as its fundamental goal addressing the many concerns of the American people that have gone unheeded for so long. These problems include: health care, prescription drug prices, the minimum wage, outsourcing of well paying jobs, domestic infrastructure, corporate greed and excessive tax breaks for corporations and the affluent class.
• Meaningful campaign finance reform. This is particularly crucial if we ever hope to return to truly representative government. Corporate interests currently have too much control of the legislative agenda primarily through the influence they exert by financing candidates for public office.
Democrats need to act decisively and quickly to help rebuild the confidence of the American people and the world for that matter in government and ultimately the rule of law.