Thursday, May 26, 2011

Radical Means Rooted

When we hear the word, "radical" we imagine 1960s hippies, Greenpeace boats or suicide bombers in burkhas. It is sad that this important word has been historically hijacked and used for extremism and fringe movements. The etymology of this word is "radix" or "rooted." For something to be radical not only implies change, but change that is deeply rooted in unwavering principles. As we begin the marathon to the 2012 elections, I propose that candidates must be radical - that is, rooted in values and vision that can imagine a better future. Why should the crazies on the far right and far left steal a word that may be our best hope? It is tragic to listen to the inane commentary in all media. If someone is pro-life, they are part of the "Radical Right." If someone (like me) speaks at a Tea Party gathering, I am pandering to "radicals." If someone wants federal health care, they must be "radical left." If someone voted for Obama (in a year that no Republican had a chance), they are unwittingly part of the "Radical Left."

Let me unequivocally state that their are "radicals" on the Right and Left that subvert common values and imagine and America and the world in totalitarian terms. I am deeply disturbed by the policies and principles of the Obama administration and I will work tirelessly to see another President elected in 2012. I want local, state and national leaders that share my principles to be in office. I am also weary of libertarian extremists that think that no government regulation is needed and that the "magic" of market economies will solve all our problems.

What we need is radical change - action rooted in values and vision that are not trendy, but truthful; actions rooted in values and vision that inspire moral and spiritual transformation. Here are some "radical" ideas for a 2012 platform:

  • Let's live within our means.

  • Politicians must have term limits and pay into the same pensions all Americans invest in.

  • Let's have an effective, nimble military. We can cut waste and lessen the hold of the "military-industrial complex" on our Congress.

  • Let's make sure health care is available to all and that there is ethical oversight. BUT - this is best delivered locally by the private sector.

  • Let's welcome all legal immigrants, deport all undocumented prisoners and hold businesses, schools and all agencies accountable for who they admit and hire.

  • Let's welcome people of all faiths or none - and refuse special accommodation for any one religion.

  • Let's deport any leader who desires the destruction of the USA and advocates jihad for a sharia future. The same severity is also applied to any domestic left or right-wing groups undermining the Constitution.

  • Let's affirm the results of anthropology, biology, history, psychology, sociology, and common sense and affirm that the family ideal is a man and woman in lifetime marriage nurturing the next generation. Other adult consensual relationships can be recognized, but they are not marriage.

  • Let's fund our public schools well, stop merely teaching to tests and remember that all education centers on students actually learning from teachers that know their subjects.

  • Let's rebuild our infrastructure with public-private partnerships that are well-supervised, but free from backroom deal makers who add cost and foster corruption.

  • Let's have real transparency in government - why do we need secrets, apart from sensitive intelligence and personnel issues? "Open covenants openly arrived at" needs to be our motto again.

  • Let's bring together local and regional educational, business, religious and social service leadership, remove the media from the room, roll up our sleeves and create new ways to combat that tangible problems we face.

  • Let's remain friends with Israel, and offer full support to a Palestinian leader willing to unequivocally abide by the accords penned in 1978, 1992 and 2002...everyone is served by democracy, bilateral economic friendship and a region at peace.

  • Let's believe in the Constitution. It is neither the Bible nor a "living document" - it is the foundation for the greatest experiment in freedom the world has ever seen.

No matter what policies we advocate, our hearts and minds must be united in common moral virtues that affirm both individual liberty and love for neighbor. We must celebrate common goods and well as personal achievements. We must rid ourselves of narcissism and reaffirm reverence for God and respect all humans who are made in the image of God.

Let's be radical!

1 comment:

Dr. Ernie said...

All hail the Radical Center! :-)