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A Progressive Wish List for 2020

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/30/progressive-wish-list-2020

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I agree with 5-1/2 of the six things mentioned to work toward so I can assume I am a progressive… I do wish we would put more emphasis on dealing with people and not so much on gun restriction. Just think about how our military and police forces have turned into police state operations in many places.
If we were to ever to depend on an underground force to retake our peoples rights we are sorely under armed. Virtually no heavy weaponry, no supply chain, and presently no organization.
Throwing can of soup, and pitchforks won’t do.
Removing trump is a necessary first step.


“Republicans (not Trump) are intent on making this problem worse, while scientists say the most ambitious measures embraced will not be enough to prevent devastating climate catastrophe. We need a commitment to a green economy as sweeping as anything this nation has ever seen. It would create millions of good jobs and could restore US status of the once world leading technological innovator.”

The quote here is meant to emphasize the GND issue placed First on the list. Then ban the bomb, healthcare for all, pick the progressive. Then rid the world of Trumpism (or whatever this worldwide environmental destruction madness is) next to last because gun control discussion should occur yes, but not divisively. I know too many progressives who still THINK hyperloop self-driving cars and Big Battery Trucks by fnDaimler is the silver bullet waiting for the big tech breakthrough. Confident Progressives are easily misled completely by conservative business players with a good spiel. Wherever there’s been a Ted Talk, sadly yes, a LOT of BS there too. Oh believe in yourself, oh become an entrepreneur, oh this tech, that tech, blah blah.

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You serious? Heavy weaponry? What should we advocate for, legalization and sale of heavy machine guns, RPG’s, etc. for the “peoples militia”? A rabble that would be up against trained troops backed by tanks, aircraft, virtually unlimited firepower? You don’t need to retake the “right” to commit suicide for no good purpose whatsoever, it’s available to you anytime you like. Me thinks somebody been reading a bit too much prepper-doomer tripe.


Nothing wrong with wishing but I’ll lay odds that come 2021, the first two won’t have come to pass and the rest will remain as distant from achieving as they are now.

It’s a personal issue, like which genre of music you prefer.
I would agree with your take if I could be sure trump would be going in at most five more years.
I like to have options though.

Trump or no Trump isn’t going to make much difference since our evolving police state has been a bi-partisan affair long in the making. I have nothing against prepping, do it myself for the odd natural disaster or some such, but I don’t fool myself that my preps ( or anyone elses ) would stand up to the government’s forces. We’re not talking taking on “Redcoats” here, the world has changed, a lot. Want a present day example to give you some idea of how that would turn out, look at Syria. It would even be worse than that. The rebels had significant outside backing(from the US and others), including lots of heavy weapons, and still got their asses kicked.
Now if you personally want to retreat to some backwoods hideout that’s certainly doable, for a while anyway, but that’s a world of difference from armed insurrection to “retake our peoples rights”.

An interesting thing about this article is the authors’ presumption in speaking for progressives along with a lack of any sort of consensus towards the stated program anywhere to be seen.

The only candidates that Leuders mentions are Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren, but neither agree with his goals. Warren has backed off of Medicare for All and has expressed no antiwar agenda. Unless some coherent program can be concocted that includes both military overspending to extend empire to monopolize hydrocarbon markets and maintain petrodollars and, on the other hand, some realistic response to climate change and all the rest of the ongoing ecological catastrophe, any claims to a green program have to be regarded as vapor. Put shortly, a pro-war candidate cannot be pro-green in any effective way.

What might we better propoose? There are some distinctions between my own politics and those of most people who self-identify as progressive, but I think that I can shoot closer to agreement than what we have here. Someone can probably do better still, but if not, maybe progressives might try amending this:

  • Reduce military and paramilitary involvement
  • Reduce military and paramilitary spending
  • Call off black ops programs, particularly those including kidnapping and torture
  • Stop all so-called “regime change” operations, including coups and coup attempts
  • Rescind support for autocratic and racist states, including Israel
  • Institute simple and authentic single payer health care for all
  • Ban trade agreements that restrict local actions for ecological concerns and worker’s rights to organize
  • Reinstitute human rights in the US as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
    ---- Rescind the Patriot Act
    ---- Rescind the Espionage Act
    ---- Stop the persecution of journalists, including the false prosecution of journalists
    ---- Prosecute or otherwise render impossible
    ---- Ban universal surveillance as currently practiced by the NSA
    ---- Ban use by law enforcement of weaponry designed to eliminate or control public gathering. This should include water cannons, tear gas, capsaicin weapons, sound weapons, and facial surveillance software
  • Return popular elections
    ---- Overturn “citizens united”
    ---- Get rid of the electoral college
    ---- Cut back gerrymandering
    ---- Ban tit-for-tat and pay-for-play negotiations.

Institute effective and sweeping measures to move towards economic equality. We cannot afford to pretend that people like Jeff Bezos and the Koch bros really own so much of the world.

This will take more work, surely, and people won’t like one thing or another. But it really might be a good idea to set down a list of goals and to strike off as unacceptable people whose goals are not only different, but in flagrant contradiction.


So many billions and billions of dollars are being spent to try and stop these six things from happening. We have a long way to go, but that is by no means a reason to stop fighting for the interests of the human race.


Given short shrift or absent:

Undo-AUMF completely
Declare an end to all wars: they brutalize us as well as the recipients of our monstrous actions
Slash Pentagon spending a min. of 50% and used it for social improvements
Demolish Homeland Security dept
Enact a billionaire tax for the good of all
Raise the taxation lid for social security so that millionaires contribute beyond the $130k ceiling
Require congress members to recuse themselves from voting on any proposal that could have a direct affect on the market status of their major campaign contributors
Completely close the revolving door between government and lobbyists; create a lobbyist tax

Last but not least: Begin to prosecute those who defraud America such as banksters and defense department experts who counsel war and increase in weapons and armaments


Now this is a really progressive list. Easily equals the significance of the others on the short list offered in the article.


He (Leuders) has as much presumptive right as you do with your list. It was surprising that he left Sanders from mention, but that’s his choice. What candidate has expressed an “anti-war agenda”, none that I’m aware of. And because Warren may ( or may not ) have become lukewarm on pushing MfA she fails your “progressive” litmus test? Looking at your extensive laundry list, I see no major candidate that is pushing for even some of it(outside of MfA), but if your can provide evidence to the contrary I will stand corrected. So I would say this is just more “wish” listing most of which has very little if any chance of coming to fruition.

Since we are giving advice, I would suggest leaving politics alone. You seem to hate the whole thing.


Wonderful, comprehensive list that resores the rights of the people!


Try and then prosecute the leaders of our criminal wars. Bring down this god forsaken Empire.


Six ‘policies that will provide the foundation for a better world.’

But these things are just national issues about America, they mean nothing to me, so how do they represent progressives and improve the world? Oh, wait, I get it, in the mind of the author and probably 99.5% of his compatriots, America is the world! .Silly of me not to realise.

Let me help with that: America is the Big Bully of the world!

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So he’s endorsing Elizabeth Warren. As Wisconsin poet Ed Werstein writes in the new issue of the Blue Collar Review,


It is about time the US elected
a Black president, I thought,
in 2008. Naively thinking
that race mattered to those
running the show, that we were
being presented with a choice
for a change. Naively thinking
that anyone could achieve
a corporate party’s nomination
without first demonstrating
that they had slipped into
the stringed suit that is controlled
from above. Naively thinking
that he has slipped one over
on them, that they had fallen
for some slight of hand
some wizardry he possessed
over the higher powers I know exist.

Fifty-nine I was, and fooled
for the last time. Eight years
later and thinking, it is about time
the US elected a woman president,
I was not so naive. Lyrics from a song
by the Who were my daily earworm.

No, it isn’t my favorite subject but it’s hard to avoid and there’s a strange attraction for me.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

I know the feeling.