Let’s get back to the basics

There’s been a lot of talk about the direction of the Democratic Party, what it believes in. I can tell you that what I believe in is Democratic Capitalism.

The word “Capitalism”, makes some younger people cringe. In their lives, they’ve pretty much only seen the harsh version, even the predatory version of capitalism. I’m old enough to remember when we did Capitalism right. When we got Democratic Capitalism right.

A long time ago, our country reached a compromise. We stuck with the free market, because it does work better and produce more wealth. But we used the power of government to moderate the free market, to make sure the benefits were shared by everyone and that everyone had a chance to participate. Sometimes we forget - the Progressive movement wasn’t started to end capitalism, it was to save capitalism, to protect against its worst tendencies while making sure that workers got their slice of the pie too.

And it worked – Democratic Capitalism worked. We supported public schools and colleges, and made sure people had a chance to get in the game. 40 hour work weeks, minimum wage laws, protection for unions, all helped to put money in workers’ pockets.

We have slipped away from Democratic Capitalism. We have slipped away from support for unions and public education. We have slipped away from even the basics, like maintaining our roads. We have slipped away from our commitment to Equality of Opportunity.

We need to get back to it. There’s no mystery about what we need to do. It’s the basics. We need to take care of We the People. We need to hold our elected officials accountable to us. We need to get back to Democratic Capitalism.