March 07, 2004

What Should Our 'Great Goals' Be? has created an interesting new forum asking for participants' ideas on what ought to be our country's "Great Goals" in the coming years. The forum itself is a bit unwieldy, and posters are wandering off point more often than not, but the high level of participation points in a very positive direction: i.e., beginnning to talk about the goals progressives want to set for ourselves beyond the obvious -- getting rid of Bush -- as we look toward the future. Conservatives always have something of an advantage when it comes to talking about goals because, in a very fundamental way, they don't really have any goals beyond protecting the status quo, and they can couch their arguments against change in simplistic terms that are easy to transmit via Neanderthals like Rush at the same time that they frighten people away from new ideas with their vivid, apocalyptic language of anxiety, fear and hatred. The progressive list of great goals is often more complex and harder to communicate in our sound-bite society: it takes more time to explain to someone how incremental steps in energy conservation can reduce our dependence on foreign oil more quickly, efficiently, and permanently (and create jobs in the process) than putting up a few drilling rigs in the arctic. So it strikes me that talking about our "Great Goals" ought to include a discussion not just of what those goals are, but also of the kinds of arguments we need to make to the other half of America that will be compelling enough to make them listen. -- Dan Cabaniss

March 7, 2004 in Progressive Politics | Permalink | Comments (10)