Post #265: Voting for the Human Interest: An Invitation to Readers

We’re in a new and dangerous era now, described by Stephen Heintz, CEO of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as one in which capitalism, the nation-state, and representative democracy have all become obsolete ( Whatever takes their place is going to have to confront multiple immediate crises: public health, racial justice, climate change, and employment. The progressive mission must go beyond ridding the nation of Trump and his cronies.

Our job as voters is to see that office holders at every level of government are people dedicated to protecting and promoting the human interest. In a nutshell, that means to me identifying candidates who, in values as much as in policy,

• give priority to planetary well being, the needs of the least fortunate, and respect for human diversity;
• believe in community, nonviolence, and peace—service, community, decency, openness, truthfulness—and reject discrimination, hate, and violence;
• are open to ideas from across the political and social spectrum that advance those beliefs; and
• embrace practical idealism, not false realism. Ideals are the drivers of change, especially in the face of profound pessimism about the future, but they must not be divorced from the practical problems of implementation. Realism, on the other hand, is often a trap; it becomes an argument for least-common-denominator approaches to problem solving.

I invite you to share with me and all readers the names of candidates for office in November—city, state, or federal—who you believe reflect humane values. I’ll start a list for everyone to see and consider supporting. Include their state, the office they seek, and a line or two about their strengths. I suggest focusing on candidates who are likely to be in tough races where every vote and dollar counts.

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  1. In accepting your “invitation to share…”: I’d like to submit the names of our two federal Senators Ron Wyden and, especially, Jeff Merkely. Merkely is progressive to a fault and is the prime target for right-wingers. While he doesn’t face re-election this time around; I’d like to lift up his name nevertheless. He just squeeked by his first election bid, and I am sure members of the radical right are lining up to take a shot at Jeff Merkely.

  2. Good statement. My only addition would be to line 2, adding empathy/compassion—important in this time when many are suffering physically and/or economically.

    The only politician who comes to mind at the moment is Andrew Cuomo, who is not running for anything this fall. My wife and I watch his press conference every day.

    Any viable Democrat candidate for the Senate will do (being practically ideal); the Dems must win the Senate, as well as WH and House, to get anything done. And if they do, a lot may be done.

    Question: why so little attention to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals? Hardly mentioned anywhere, esp. in US. Worth a blog? Too idealistic?

    Too big a mouthful? And what about the concept of Green Growth (e.g. promulgated by the Green Growth Institute, etc.)? I know that it offends the anti-growth folks, but it’s

    politically viable and breaks out of the simplistic industrial-era “growth” poorly measured by GDP. Akin to this is Green Capitalism, a.k.a. triple-bottom line, etc.,

    which also hasn’t taken off.

    – Mike

  3. This is a really wonderful proactive concept, Mel. Thank you for your refreshingly hopeful attitude.

    As for November, each day lately Trump seems to be failing evermore. Just maybe the election process won’t be too badly gamed and we will see a good man in office next year. Just maybe…


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