Nudging Obama back to the true middle ground

Progressive voters are petitioning Barack Obama to stick to the principles he stood by during the primaries. I have been very concerned about his support for unrestricted wiretapping by the executive branch, though his willingness to compromise on some energy issues is understandable to me. The Nation has a copy of the letter you can sign and send to Senator Obama. This isn’t an issue of flip-flopping, rather it is characteristic of the general election, when candidates reach out for votes. Sometimes, however, candidates need to be reminded what matters to their base.

The ideas below are critical to restoring the balanced character of American government after a period of grotesque mistreatment of the Constitution and the idea that government power is a potentially positive thing. We don’t just want change, we want our country back.

Change *We* Can Believe In:
Here are key positions you have embraced that we believe are essential to sustaining this movement:

§?Withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable.

§?A response to the current economic crisis that reduces the gap between the rich and the rest of us through a more progressive financial and welfare system; public investment to create jobs and repair the country’s collapsing infrastructure; fair trade policies; restoration of the freedom to organize unions; and meaningful government enforcement of labor laws and regulation of industry.

§?Universal healthcare.

§?An environmental policy that transforms the economy by shifting billions of dollars from the consumption of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, creating millions of green jobs.

§?An end to the regime of torture, abuse of civil liberties and unchecked executive power that has flourished in the Bush era.

§?A commitment to the rights of women, including the right to choose abortion and improved access to abortion and reproductive health services.

§?A commitment to improving conditions in urban communities and ending racial inequality, including disparities in education through reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and other measures.

§?An immigration system that treats humanely those attempting to enter the country and provides a path to citizenship for those already here.

§?Reform of the drug laws that incarcerate hundreds of thousands who need help, not jail.

§?Reform of the political process that reduces the influence of money and corporate lobbyists and amplifies the voices of ordinary people.

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Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.