Friday, August 05, 2005


Find the vision first, and the language will follow

Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners magazine, is the author of "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.". He has an editorial that appears here

To be specific, Jim Wallis offers five areas in which the Democrats should change their message and then their messaging. These are all religious concerns and should be presented as such.

1. Poverty
To oppose a government that habitually favors the wealthy over everyone else. New policies to offer the 36 million Americans, including 13 million children, who live below the poverty line, as well as the 9.8 million families one recent study identified as "working hard but falling short." They need proposals that combine to create a "living family income" for wage-earners, as well as a platform of "fair trade," as opposed to just free trade, in the global economy.

2. Environment
We have stewardship of God’s creation. Republicans consistently choose oil and gas interests over a cleaner world. We must insist that private interests should never obstruct our country's path to a cleaner and more efficient energy future

3. Abortion
This is a horror and government policy is responsible for it. More than 1 million abortions are performed every year in this country. We need to emphasize adoption reform, health care, and child care; combating teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse; improving poor and working women's incomes; and supporting reasonable restrictions on abortion, like parental notification for minors (with necessary legal protections against parental abuse).

4. The Family
As for "family values," We need to supporting parents in doing the most important and difficult job in America: raising children. We need to adopt serious pro-family policies, including some that defend children against Hollywood sleaze and Internet pornography. Rather than fighting over gay marriage, the we need to show that it is indeed possible to be "pro-family" and in favor of gay civil rights at the same time.

5. National security,
Democrats should argue that the safety of the United States depends on the credibility of its international leadership. In Iraq we should renounce any claim to oil or future military bases. We need stronger American leadership in reducing global poverty. We need true respect for global human rights.

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