| Home | Press Release | Declaration | Progressive Agenda |

      Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Progressive Agenda

                                                                                                          Earth Manifesto Insights

                                                                                                              Dr. Tiffany B. Twain  

                                                                                                                  June 2005

(1)  VISIONARY VALUES.   Survival, reproduction, and the protection of our offspring are arguably the most profound and authentic drives of human beings.  We must consider long-term perspective in all of our political decision-making.  We must acknowledge and try to understand the impact of today's actions on our children and their descendents.  We must not allow our political system to pander to powerful vested interests at the expense of the general welfare.  We must not allow the land and natural resources of the Earth to be shortsightedly and unsustainably damaged and depleted.  We must not allow giant Corporations to pollute rivers, lakes, oceans and the atmosphere without mitigating the harm that these legacies will inflict on future generations.  We must learn to respect the values that make humanity great -- fairness, honesty, openness, integrity, compassion, and the courage to build better communities, and to create a sense of shared security amongst all nations.  We must be hopeful and optimistic, but we cannot be foolishly faithful to misguided political leadership when our reason and intuition tells us that our trust is being betrayed.

(2) LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.  Fairness is the cornerstone of our democracy, so we cannot allow the influence of Big Money and Vested Interests and the Right Wing to dominate our government at the expense of the fair representation of the best interests of the majority of citizens.  Honesty and truth are the critical facets of our democracy.  Unfortunately, clever marketing, deception, secrecy, and fear have been used to confuse and manipulate American citizens with both subtle and blatant propagandas.  We must not let the corruption of crony capitalism enrich the wealthy unjustly at the expense of the common good.  We must not let legislation be written so as to benefit industry instead of people.  We must not allow American corporations to evade taxes by having offshore tax shelters.  We must not cripple State and local government budgets by significantly underfunding Federal mandates.  We must fight wars only as the last resort.  We must not allow conflicts of interest and egregious war profiteering by such companies like Halliburton.  We must respect the Geneva Conventions and not torture prisoners.  And we must not allow the government to dramatically reduce the civil liberties of Americans in the name of "Homeland Security" and the "War on Terror."

(3) FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.   We must begin to balance our revenues and spending.  We cannot continue to allow aggressive borrowing from the future.  We cannot let the easy expediency of deficit spending erode the financial health of the United States.  Deficit spending cannot be allowed to finance tax breaks for the Wealthy and to provide unwise subsidies to powerful Big Businesses and to fight wars that unfairly advance corporate interests and U.S. hegemony around the world.  Fiscally responsible Pay-As-You-Go policies must be enacted.  Pork Barrel spending and monetary waste must be reigned in.  We cannot continue to allow the National Debt to increase rapidly, as it has from $845 billion when Ronald Reagan took office to more than $7.75 trillion in March 2005.  And we must be honest about the need to redesign the Social Security system to be more fiscally sound, doing so in a way that does not involve borrowing trillions of dollars to "fix it."

(4) SMALLER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.  Our brilliant American Constitutional system of checks and balances was designed to prevent abuses of governmental power.  The 21st Century is witnessing rapid growth in government power and intrusiveness.  Today's corruption and expanded Orwellian Big Brother power of the federal government must not be allowed to transform itself into greater control and domination.  We risk a tsunami of social conflict if we allow lifetime appointments of extreme conservatives to federal courts and the Supreme Court, following the distinct power grab by conservatives in the executive and legislative branches.  Fairer and less discriminatory laws must be enacted to support the civil rights and protections of workers and women and gay people.  The Civil Rights assurances in the Bill of Rights should not allowed to be further eroded.  One exception to this involves the Second Amendment right to bear arms, which has already expanded too much, so that it now includes the right for people to irresponsibly buy very dangerous assault weapons.

(5) INTELLIGENT ENERGY POLICY.  We must begin to wean ourselves from our critical dependence on fossil fuels.  We cannot allow our leaders to be "good old boys" beholden to Big Oil at the expense of public health and ecological well-being. We must courageously pursue conservation programs, and commit ourselves to supporting efficiency, innovation, and renewable alternative energy sources.  We cannot continue to subsidize and stimulate our addiction to wasteful usages of limited oil and natural gas resources.  We cannot continue to shortsightedly gamble with our future by ignoring the great risks of global warming and potential abrupt climate changes and increased extremes in storms and flooding and desertification, and higher sea levels that are probable with industry-friendly policies which oppose the mitigation of billions of tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions.  And we must begin immediately to slow the depletion of fossil fuels worldwide, because the exhaustion of these vital resources could lead to the collapse of human civilization.

(6) REASONABLE MILITARY SPENDING.  We must not allow escalating levels of spending on the Pentagon and the military to be primary tenets of our political and economic policies.  The U.S. spends more on armaments, ammunition, military personnel, and Weapons of Mass Destruction than all of the other countries of the world combined.  This emphasis treats military spending as a virtuous, necessary, and lofty goal.  Such doctrines and actions are wrongheaded.  Enormous military spending can more accurately be seen as a wasteful, dangerously aggressive, cost-maximizing, unjust, misguided, peace-upsetting, destabilizing, and unsustainable squandering of assets.  We must choose more honest leaders who are better statesmen and diplomats.  We must reject zealous hard-line ideologues and unilateralists and apologists for militarism in the service of the so-called Military/Industrial Complex.  Terrorism is driven by INJUSTICE.  The ruthless capitalistic drive to facilitate the increase in disparities between the rich and the poor makes inequities permanent, and increases social injustices and political instability.  This arguably makes us all less safe, so better balance is required!

(7) SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.  Our country was founded upon principles of limitations of the power of the Federal government.  Today's Neoconservative ideologies strive for domination, supremacy, and greater military and police power.  They eagerly suppress dissent.  They implement regressive tax and domestic policies.  They pursue a presumptuous and ethnocentric foreign policy, and pander to fundamentalist religious institutions in the United States.  We must have greater respect for the dignity of American citizens, for local and State governments, for workers and the middle class, for progressive legislation, for religious tolerance and ecumenical acceptance, for civil rights, for equal rights for men and women, and for the freedom of religion that is characterized by the separation of Church and State.  The Christian Right cannot be allowed to over-simplify morality and influence the government into making abortion illegal, or to discriminate against people because of their sexuality.  Religious extremism must not be used to allow us to ignore the moral implications of poverty, social unfairness, or unjust wars.

(8)  FAMILY PLANNING AND WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS WORLDWIDE.  Population growth is one of the greatest factors contributing to resource depletion and environmental degradation and conflicts between peoples.  We must be broadminded in supporting sex education and family planning programs and contraception and women's reproductive rights.  A primary focus on advocating abstinence from sexual intercourse is clearly an inadequate social policy to cope with one of the strongest of human drives!

(9) UNITY, NOT DIVISIVENESS.  Balance, moderation, inclusiveness, flexibility, consensus building, cooperation, trust, and "liberty and justice for all" are important ideals for our society.  We cannot allow deceptive rhetoric to deny and impede these concepts.  Reasonable means must be used to accomplish proper ends.  We must establish a framework in which there is less hypocrisy, discrimination, and denial of rational scientific understandings.  We cannot ruthlessly exploit "our-God-is-better-than-your-God" bigotry and divisiveness.  We must avoid humiliating people and arrogantly frustrating all those with opposing opinions.  We cannot let dogmas make our societies dysfunctional by espousing Strict Father absolutism and patriarchal supremacy and puritanism and reactionary religious fundamentalism.  We cannot allow our leadership to drive us steadfastly and resolutely towards greater social unrest and dividedness.

(10) CARING ABOUT PEOPLE AND THE INTEGRITY OF PLANET EARTH.  We must support strong protections for clean air, clean water, National Parks, National Forests, Wilderness Areas, Endangered Species, and Bureau of Land Management lands.  Also, we must give priority to sustainable development.  We should adequately fund public education and infrastructure improvements.  We should embrace smart and far-sighted spending priorities and balanced budgets.  We should try to ensure that there is equality of opportunity.  We should establish and protect women's rights and sensible worker prerogatives.  She should encourage people to be tolerant and open-minded and empathetic.  We should make a bold commitment to help the most vulnerable members of our societies.  This is of great importance to our public health and well-being.  Laissez-faire capitalism and immoderate consumerism, together with dogmatic opposition to sensible environmental regulations, represent a gamble that we will be able to continue to wreak havoc on the natural world with impunity.  The Office of Management and Budget has found that the costs of environmental regulations to business and government are five to seven times LESS than the cost to society of pollution, adverse healthcare costs and environmental cleanup.  So profits for Big Business must no longer be given primary importance, to the detriment of the general welfare and the health of the environment and the integrity of Earth's ecosystems.

Wake up, Americans!  This is a defining moment in our lives, a watershed event in history. The pendulum of power has been driven to an extreme that is too "conservative" with the elections of November 2004.  This leaves mainstream America and the world less secure and more vulnerable to social and environmental adversities.  Lifetime appointments of ultra-conservative judges to U.S. federal courts and the Supreme Court could now join the White House in its ruthless, Strict Father, anti-egalitarian, anti-democratic, harsh, privilege-oriented, God-obsessed, anti-environmental abuses of power.  We must protect our civil liberties, or else "justice for all" will suffer terrible harm on the face of the Earth.  

Our politicians are too often advancing policies that are inconsistent with our progressive roots and the founding principles of our democracy.  The fundamental principles of our civil rights are vitally important, as are our needs for honesty, fiscal responsibility, frugal and wise spending, accountability, and the growing necessity to achieve international cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution.  

Let us keep these things in mind in all future elections!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Tiffany Twain