Stewart Acuff

May 10

How Do We Drive Long-term Change in America?

As we all know our economy is in serious trouble and unless we change things, that trouble will last at least several more years.

Instead of reacting to the paralysis in Washington, how do we today drive the kind of change needed for a more just America and a better quality of life?

I don’t have a road map, but I do have a few ideas:

Articulate our values. The radical right makes a major effort to claim the mantle of values. They talk incessantly of “family values,” “moral values,” “traditional values.” The truth is that unions and progressives own the real traditional values and fundamental human values. Keeping workers in poverty wage jobs is not a family value. Destroying good jobs is not a moral value. Denying other human beings of rights other Americans have is not a moral value.

We need to articulate the fundamental human values and real traditional values that can allow us to claim and hold the moral high ground and form the foundation of our politics and policy. Values like a good day’s work for a good day’s pay. A country is its people. A strong society cares about all its people. Family values have nothing to do with hatred. Family values arise from love. Every family should be built of love and surrounded by love. Poverty has nothing to do with good values. We believe a job should pay enough to raise a family in dignity and comfort.

I will write more in the near future in this space about values. My friend John Case who hosts a 7:00 am radio show on the Shepherdstown University radio station and I have been discussing this question of values on the air. We will continue to use his radio show that is streamed globally.

Our newsletter on Monday will have concrete steps that you can take in the course of your daily life to help us all get there.

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