Can We At Least Agree That We Share A Common Goal?
Are you with us so far? Good! Now, can we stop the name calling and begin to discuss the role government should play, if any, in attaining our shared goal?
Howard Dean, National Democrat Party Chairman, hasn’t gotten word yet of our “no name calling” suggestion, as a way of bringing people together to constructively debate solutions, but we remain hopeful.
During a recent trip to Arkansas, Dean had this to say:
"We need to talk about Christian values and how they're Democratic values," Dean said. "Jesus taught to help the least among us. He spent his life reaching out to the disenfranchised. The Democratic Party is the party of that value, not the Republican Party."We were with Dean until the last line, so we’ll just ignore that bit about Republicans and work with him. Perhaps Christian values can provide some guiding principles and point us in the right direction. How can we best go about helping others?
Jon Corzine has strongly articulated his belief that a progressive, activist government is the way to get us there:
The critical point to be made by progressives in our national debate is this: While there are programs that have failed and should be reformed or eliminated, proactive government has often succeeded. An activist government was a driving force in the prosperity of the 1990s, as well as in providing our historic safety net, including Social Security, Medicare and Head Start.Pope John Paul II in his an encyclical "Centesimus Annus” wrote about the role and effectiveness of government in achieving our objective and concludes:
Most of the progressive agenda-- reflects the values and the ideals of the majority of our people. They will vote for our agenda if we present it in practical terms and fight for it.
In recent years the range of such interventions has vastly expanded to the point of creating a new type of state, the so-called "welfare state"... Malfunctions and defects in the social-assistance state are the result of an inadequate understanding of the task proper to the state.We don’t have to agree on whether or not the Pope is infallible, but can we agree that John Paul II does reflect a Christian point of view and that he just might be right?
By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the social-assistance state leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.