I'm quite sure I don't agree with Joe Klein on everything, and indeed, I don't agree with his whole Time article, but I'd so I'm on board for most of it.
Frankly, it's the most intelligent center-progressive agenda I've seen from anyone in the US that I can think of. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by someone, somewhere, writing something sensical about the election, but there you have it.
...a Presidential election would seem a perfect moment for laying out an ambitious new goal or two, especially at a moment when 70% of the public thinks the country is moving in the wrong direction. The problem is, politicians hate having to talk about anything remotely adventurous in the midst of an campaign. They prefer safe recitations of conventional wisdom... The candidates owe us answers, whether they want to give them or not... you can learn a lot from the character of their evasions—how their minds work, how much they know, what their basic principles are. Occasionally, they might even say something courageous. And very occasionally, there comes an election where the ability to be courageous, to tell the public things it may not want to hear, is the most important quality we need in a leader. I suspect 2008 will be that sort of election. [Ok, good luck with that one, Joe-boy -- J] The public has come to understand what market-tested political blather sounds like, and it may be ready to reward a politician who tells some inconvenient truths, to coin a phrase, who asks for the sort of sacrifices, in pursuit of specific goals, that President Bush refused to do. But which sacrifices, which goals?
Universal health insurance.
Mandatory national service.
Solutions are possible, but they will require drastic changes in the way we go to school, get our health care, serve our country, live our lives. No politician with any sense would attempt to join all these battles, all at once, in the midst of a presidential campaign. But in 2008 a candidate who refuses to show some courage on at least one of these issues probably lacks the character to be President.
True enough, man.
Go, please, read this.