Now’s not the time to think small, absolutely. I don’t think 1996 was the time to think small, either, is where Oliver and I differ, because frankly, thinking small and thinking achievable and thinking what can be done as opposed to what must be done is the cause of most of the perpetuating misery in this country and in the world, but especially, especially, now is not the time to think small.
(Nor electable. I’ve said it before, I’ll keep saying it until it works its way up the food chain of Democratic thought: the only people who are electable are those who win, and nobody really knows who that is until election day, so can we please stop hamstringing ourselves in advance and sparing Republicans the bother?)
Thinking small is what gets us in trouble. Thinking small is what leads people to say they don’t know what Democrats stand for. Thinking small is what makes people think that hey, Bush may be a demi-evil moron who picks his teeth at state dinners but you know, he says what he means. Thinking small is exactly what got us where we are: in a divided country that votes against what’s good for it because they just yell louder than we do.
Let’s think big. Let’s think about what we really want. Let’s pretend for a moment that the only thing standing in our way is our criminally low expectations of ourselves. What do we really want? I know what I want. An end to this war and burial of the doctrine of pre-emptive war in general. Real efforts to make peace in the Middle East backed up by more than just our guns and bravado. Support for human rights around the world. Justice for every single prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, the innocent but especially the guilty, with emphasis on the fact that if the worst of us are not safe from injustice the best of us are not safe either. An accounting, a final and open accounting, of every single underhanded dirty un-American bastardization of national purpose under this administration and the firing and fair trials of everyone involved.
Let’s think big. Health care that is absolutely wildly expensive to the government and utterly free to whoever needs it. Public education that is the same. I’ll pay my taxes as I do now, only put the money where it’ll actually make our lives better. I want our cities rebuilt, as of all people Dennis Kucinich said, with America’s steel. Give us your tired, your poor, and they will have jobs and their children will grow up proud and strong. Enough cops to enforce the laws and enough courts to try the accused. Enough public defenders to defend the poor. Enough prosecutors to put away the guilty.
Let’s think big. Restoration of the fairness doctrine. Calling out of hatred and bigotry on the public airwaves for what it is, so that our leaders state clearly what is and is not approved of by them and by us. If ignoring the petty bullies of broadcasting was gonna make them go away they’d have gone. It’s time to make it unpopular to do what they do. It’s time to make them accountable for what they say.
Let’s think big. Let’s stop settling. Let’s talk about what we really want instead of what we think we can get if we’re nice quiet children who play with decorum and don’t raise our voices. Let’s think about what we’ve done in the past and can do again. Let’s think about the National Recovery Act equivalent we’re gonna need to get out of this mess, and then, instead of sighing and saying it’s all just too hard, let’s do it already, and quit screwing around.
Not. One. Inch.