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December 13, 2006

The Blog | George Lakoff: Building on the Progressive Victory | The Huffington Post

Re: The Blog | George Lakoff: Building on the Progressive Victory | The Huffington Post:

Take the 100-hour agenda. It breaks into two parts, for the two aspects of progressive values, empathy and responsibility. The minimum wage, college loan interest, prescription drug prices, and stem cell research are all empathy issues: they are about caring about working people, young people, old people, and those with debilitating diseases. Lobbying reform, pay-as-you-go budgeting, and enacting the 9-11 Commission recommendations are all responsibility issues. What the progressives, blue dogs, and centrists can agree on are all instances of progressive values.
Democratic winners didn't shrink from pointing to those traumas, nor did they soft-pedal their progressive views. They created a narrative of good guys who care and bad guys who don't; good guys who use government to get things done for people and bad guys who are out to destroy government and don't get things done.

In the process they have started a new progressive populism. Not a mere economic populism, but a thoroughgoing progressive populism. It was not just about economic issues. It was also about renewable energy and global warming, about honest government, about a government to count on in case of disaster, about not getting people killed in Iraq day after day, about keeping good jobs here and creating more of them, and about the importance of science in fighting disease. In short, it was about government that cares about its citizens and acts responsibly toward them and toward others in the world. And as with a real populism, there was a handy oppressor -- radical conservatives in Washington who were lying to the citizenry; taking bribes; outsourcing jobs; getting our troops killed; letting a beloved city die; and all the while getting rich on no-bid contracts. If that isn't rot at the top, I don't know what is.

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