Thursday, June 30, 2011

Student Conference in Washington, July 6 & 7 -- Any consequences?

It is the summer of 2011, and Campus Progress is coming to Washington July 6 and 7! Should any one care?

The U.S. is at war in Afghanistan -- the longest war in U.S. history. In our newest "not war," the U.S. is bombing Libya under the flag of NATO (but the President says this is not "hostilities" because there are no American forces on the ground and only few casualties). And the U.S. is sending drones to attack targets in Pakistan, Yemen and the Somalia. Is this conforming to an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution that provides that Congress declares war? (Query: Could Japan have said that there were no hostilities when it bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 because it had no troops on the ground and only 55 casualties?)

The national rate of unemployment remains at levels comparable to those last seen in the Reagan recession of 1981-82 -- thirty years ago!

American families have lost about $9 trillion in their wealth -- value of their investments such as their home, their pension fund, their savings.

June has been one of the hottest in history. Floods ravage the American heartland. The evidence of global climate change, abetted by human activity, smacks us in the face.

America is the home to one-quarter of all the world's prisoners -- not China, not Russia, not Iran, not Cuba.

America wields its drug policy like a scythe among young people of color -- imprisoning them and imposing life long criminal records by the hundreds of thousands that stop the opportunities of higher education, of lawful employment, of credit, of housing, of advancement, of creating opportunities for family and children, and deny the right to vote!

The Congress is in a state of partisan gridlock. Accomplishing the most basic tasks seems to require a Herculean effort -- to confirm the President's nominees to run government agencies, to adopt a budget, to appropriate the funds for government programs and agencies, to oversee the activities of the government.

Fortunately, what in modern decades has been America's most politically dynamic class -- its progressive students -- are meeting in Washington on July 6 and 7 under the auspices of Campus Progress.

Are the students poised to adopt a resolution, on behalf of America's youth or the families that sent them, that sets forth their demands for economic, political and social reform?

Will these political savvy and aware students present, debate and adopt a manifesto outlining their vision of a vital America: a nation moving toward to a sustainable future, protecting civil liberties and human dignity, and balancing opening opportunities for entrepreneurs with assuring that private and public resources are adequately devoted to care for those who have handicaps, illness, and who are unable to have their needs met by their own hard work and savings?

Here's a link to the agenda of Campus Progress.
Does this look like healthy debate or preaching to the choir?
Does this look like an opportunity to stand for something or for the off-spring of the affluent to add to their resumes in support of becoming apparatchiks for the professional progressives?

On the conference program there is no congress of students.
On the program, there is no opportunity for students to adopt an agenda for action.

Does this look like an occasion for progress? Or does the agenda read like a festival for the passive absorption of the assorted wit, outrage, cant, and self-congratulation by a few bright lights of the progressive left?

Can these students breakout of the straight jacket of the agenda? Can they tap the outrage of our current condition? Or are they lining up to get autographs, distribute resumes, and to out-hustle one another for a job?

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