Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Party of New Ideas

Sometimes I think that idea that America’s liberals have new idea and comservative have old idea is, itself, the oldest idea in the book. Some things do, in fact change, but much remains constant.

From the 1972 Democratic Party Platform:

Energy Resources

The earth’s natural resources, once in abundant and seemingly unlimited supply, can no longer be taken for granted. In particular, the United States is facing major changes in the pattern of energy supply that will force us to reassess traditional policies. By 1980, we may well have to depend on imports from the Eastern Hemisphere for as much as 30 to 50 percent of our oil supplies. At the same time, new forms of energy supply—such as nuclear, solar or geothermal power—lag far behind in research and development.

The Environment

The problem we face is to choose the most efficient, effective and equitable techniques for solving each new environmental problem. We cannot afford to waste resources while doing the job, any more than we can afford to leave the job undone.

We must enforce the strict emission requirements on all pollution sources set under the 1970 Clean Air Act.

We must support the establishment of a policy of no harmful discharge into our waters by 1985.

We must have adequate staffing and funding of all regulatory and enforcement agencies and departments to implement laws, programs and regulations protecting the environment, vigorous prosecution of violators and a Justice Department committed to enforcement of environmental law.

We must fully support laws to assure citizens’ standing in federal environmental court suits.

Strict interstate environmental standards must be formulated and enforced to prevent pollution from high-density population areas being dumped into low-density population areas for the purpose of evasion of strict pollution enforcement.

The National Environmental Policy Act should be broadened to include major private as well as public projects, and a genuine commitment must be made to making the Act work.

Our environment is most threatened when the natural balance of an area’s ecology is drastically altered for the sole purpose of profits. Such practices as "clear cut" logging, strip mining, the indiscriminate destruction of whole species, creation of select ocean crops at the expense of other species and the unregulated use of persistent pesticides cannot be justified when they threaten our ability to maintain a stable environment.

Where appropriate, taxes need to be levied on pollution, to provide industry with an incentive to clean up.

We also need to develop new public agencies that can act to abate pollution-act on a scale commensurate with the size of the problem and the technology of pollution control.

Expanded federal funding is required to assist local governments with both the capital and operating expenses of water pollution control and solid waste management.

[Health Care]

"Good health is the least this society should promise its citizens. The state of health services in this country indicates the failure of government to respond to this fundamental need. Costs skyrocket while the availability of services for all but the rich steadily declines.

We endorse the principle that good health is a right of all Americans. America has a responsibility to offer to every American family the best in health care whenever they need it, regardless of income or where they live or any other factor.

To achieve this goal the next Democratic Administration should:

Establish a system of universal National Health Insurance which covers all Americans with a comprehensive set of benefits including preventive medicine, mental and emotional disorders, and complete protection against catastrophic costs, and in which the rule of free choice for both provider and consumer is protected. The program should be federally-financed and federally-administered. Every American must know he can afford the cost of health care whether given in a hospital or a doctor’s office;"

[Other Rights listed in 1972]
The right to a decent job and an adequate income, with dignity;

The right to quality, accessibility and sufficient quantity in tax-supported services and amenities —including educational opportunity, health care, housing and transportation;

The right to quality, safety and the lowest possible cost on goods and services purchased in the market place.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Do you think that we might get the same kind of election results this time around as in 1972?

I voted for that platform in '72 and thought it could have gone further. Don't ask me how.

It reminds me of a supermarket ad that used to run in the local paper. This market ad showed a pile of ground beef on the usual styrofoam tray; like a banner over it was the phrase, "Ground Fresh Daily." I knew what that meant, but the picture in my head was of the butcher putting the same pile of meat through his grinder, freshly, every day. In the same way...

The section on energy resources is pretty conservative; it's too bad you don't see that. We should have listened; we might not be witnessing our President begging the Saudis to throw us a bone. Sometimes old ideas have a way of becoming fresh - when we're forced to acknowledge their wisdom.

In the meantime... I'd say it's the GOP has the bigger problem with tired old ideas, if they can be called ideas at all. Oh, unless we consider those new, exciting, fresh ideas of Newt Gingrich, like overhauling the census and putting air traffic on GPS. Yea, those are election winners right there....

And, if we were allowed to build more refineries, drill off the coast of the U.S. like China is doing today, drill in other parts of the U.S. like Anwar, and develop more coal powered plants then we wouldn't be as dependent as we are today.

Not long ago, there was major power hiccup in Texas. It was blamed on the 'green' energy, wind power, I believe. At the time, the explanation goes, there was not enough wind generating power and since more of our power was dependent on it, outages occured.

Like everything, going 'green' is has its own set of issues.

1: Kate, I'm afraid not. The American people are not what they were in 1972.
Obama is running for McGovern's first term, and he may well get there.

David Frisk, for one thing, most of us who voted for McGovern are still alive, while the Moral Majority is dying off.

Why settle for reality when you can buy a dream?

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