Join Prof. Harvey J Kaye at Sunday’s Progressive Town Hall For A Discussion About the 21st-Century Economic Bill of Rights Project
Given what has transpired in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives since Tuesday, we must recognize that we’re at a very significant moment in the history of our constitutional republic. We can have no illusions. The attack on the Capitol two weeks before President Biden’s inauguration was not a black swan. The authoritarian threat to American democracy was not vanquished with Trump’s defeat. Indeed, that movement has reconfigured itself and has successfully shut down half of the legislative branch of the U.S. government since Tuesday.
This moment is made all-the-more dangerous because, unlike two years ago, Congress has been shuttered without violence or the breaking of laws. Also, much like with Trump in 2016, the “political establishment” still seems incapable of taking their antagonists seriously (in this case, the 20 “dissenters” from the Freedom Caucus). Consequently, no one anticipated that the dissenters would be so brazen and uncompromising, allowing them to blindside the entire American political establishment. Therefore, the House of Representatives will be closed for business until somehow, someone gets elected Speaker. Indeed, the insurrectionists/dissenters have picked up right where they left off in January 2021. They are hellbent on disrupting the operations of the U.S. government, with the long-term goal of destroying confidence in the non-military public sector.
Going forward, it is absolutely essential that progressives take a leading role in opposing this far-right uprising, and in defending our democracy and Democratic institutions. But it is just as important that we go on the offense. We have to make clear to the American people the stark contrast between the progressive platform and the goals of the far right. Every one of PDA’s domestic policy positions addresses the issues of greatest concern facing the vast majority of American households in ways that will directly improve their lives. Whereas, almost the exact opposite is true of the Freedom Caucus. I kid you not. They don’t care one iota that people are having a hard time making ends meet; they intend to cut social programs. That’s right, they are advocating for austerity. In fact, one of the main reasons they oppose Kevin McCartthy with such ferocity is that he is reluctant to change a procedural rule that would make it easier to cut social security payments.
So, at Sunday’s Town Hall, along with discussing the current crisis on Capitol Hill, we’re going to focus on why the 21st-Century Economic Bill of Rights, as outlined in three articles by Prof. Kaye and myself, represents a vision for an America no longer in crisis, but rather imbued with a sense of social cohesion in which we are building a better, healthier, happier, and more prosperous world together.
Hope to see you!
Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team