by Al Falafel
Is there a single progressive-minded person out there who regrets the election of Barack Obama over John McCain?
Ousting right-wing Repugnicans from the White House was THE major victory that progressives of every stripe fought for and achieved as a united and determined force.
Yet it is a maddening reality that the Obama administration has embraced a number of offensive and unacceptable policies--from serious backtracks on civil liberties to massive corporate-friendly bank bailouts to the escalation of war in Afghanistan.
Progressive principles don’t take a holiday when a Democrat is in the Oval Office. In no way do we side those brainless anti-American bigots who "want Obama to fail." But we must continue to work for such core agendas as defense of the Bill of Rights, economic justice, environmental protection, clean elections and guaranteed health care (not merely insurance policies) for all.
And--no matter how many people are opting for silence in the midst of what Martin Luther King Jr. described as “the madness of militarism”--true progressives WILL continue to work for peace.
Among the many organizations that were formed over the course of the bygone regressive Bush/Cheney years, the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is one that has effectively fought for progressive principles. They continue to do so without compromise.
PDA does not chase popularity. But it is significant that every year since PDA was born half a decade ago, they have grown stronger nationwide.
Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal in 2009: Expand progressive influence in Congress as we build on our 2008 electoral successes. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, and Lila Garrett.
Some folks seem to believe that integrity requires self-marginalization, perhaps with wooden rhetoric thrown in. Others have become so obsessed with winning that they’ve forgotten the ideals that made political work compelling in the first place.
PDA’s mission isn’t about such false choices. It’s about educating, organizing--and agitating. As PDA board member Jim Hightower observed many years ago: “What’s wrong with being an agitator? In a washer, the agitator gets the dirt out.”
In celebration of their fifth anniversary PDA has set a goal of signing up 500 new supporting partners who will strengthen our common efforts. Their program, "Change Makes Change" provides an easy way to join and help sustain this vital organization. I urge you to consider joining me in this program and help keep our elected leaders' feet to the fire in the face of the right-wing regressive backlash that has only just begun.
For more information about Progressive Democrats of America go to: http://pdamerica.org/index.php
Thanks for all you do.