Whatever you think about the platform of the Democratic Party, it could be scarier.
The Nation magazine asked some leading liberals to tell what plank they’d like to see added to the platform.
In the ho hum category, Ho Ho Dean wants universal healthcare; retired CBS anchor Walter Cronkite would like a Secretary for the Environment, and hip hop author Bakiri Kitwana suggests eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.
But there were a few showstoppers:
From former presidential candidate George McGovern, who believes that the terrorist threat “isn’t a military one”:
“Since we were promised a peace dividend once the cold war ended,” writes McGovern, “since no country is now threatening us and since the terrorist threat is not a military one, the present $400 billion military budget should be cut in half, to be achieved with 5 percent annual reductions over the next ten years.”
From Lani Guinier, the rejected Clinton nominee to head up the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice:
“Never has it been clearer that Democrats must promote a national conversation about what it means to be a multiracial democracy. Republicans’ right-wing turn, Democrats’ ongoing tendency to take their base for granted and the sharp decline in competitive Congressional districts create an urgent need to rebuild democracy at home. The United States maintains a whole host of antidemocratic practices, from disenfranchising nearly 5 million citizens because of felony convictions to voter registration procedures that leave a third of adults unregistered. But winner-take-all elections play a particular role in the steady decline in voter participation among core Democratic constituencies, underrepresentation of women and people of color and the general failure of politics to mobilize, inform and inspire.”
What, pray tell, is a winner-take-all election? Are there other kinds of elections? Should we have election sharing–one guy gets to be president part of the time, and then the other guy gets his turn?