The American Conservative Union (not that kind of union) rates members of congress. The American Conservative Union tracks a wide range of issues before Congress to determine which issues and votes serve as a dividing line to help separate those Members of the U.S. House and Senate who protect liberty as conservatives and those who are truly liberal. Sherrod Brown got a score of zero from the ACU. This put Brown in some interesting company, including Barbara Boxer, Carl Levin, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and now famous Anthony Weiner.
Brown is obviously not a conservative. He is a Progressive. Some think that Progressives are just ordinary Democrats, if there is such a thing anymore. Sherrod Brown says that his political heroes include Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and Franlkin Delano Roosevelt. I am of the opinion that these three heroes would not agree with Sherrod Brown on his far left ideology.
So, what does it mean to be a progressive? You might be a progressive if:
- So who is a progressive? You might be one if ...You think health care is a basic human right, and that single-payer national health insurance is a worthwhile reform on our way toward creating a non-profit national health care service.
- You think that human rights ought always to trump property rights.
- You think U.S. military spending is an obscene waste of resources, and that the only freedom this spending protects is the freedom of economic elites to exploit working people all around the planet.
- You think political leaders who engage in "preemptive war" and invasions should be brought to trial for crimes against humanity and judged against the standards of international law established at Nuremberg after World War Two.
- You think public education should be free, not just from kindergarten through high school, but as far as a person is willing and able to go.
- You think that strengthening the rights of all workers to unionize and bargain collectively is a useful step toward full economic democracy.
- You think that as a society we have a collective obligation to provide everyone who is willing and able to work with a job that pays a living wage and offers dignity.
- You think that a class system which forces some people to do dirty, dangerous, boring work all the time, while others get to do clean, safe, interesting work all the time, can never deliver social justice.
- You think that regulating big corporations isn't enough, and that such corporations, if they are allowed to exist at all, must either serve the common good or be put into public receivership.
- You think that the legal doctrine granting corporations the same constitutional rights as natural persons is absurd and must be overturned.
- You think it's wrong to allow individuals to accumulate wealth without limits, and that the highest incomes should be capped well before they begin to threaten community and democracy.
- You think that wealth, not just income, should be taxed.
- You think it's crazy to use the Old Testament as a policy guide for the 21st century.
- You think that anyone who desires the reins of power that come with high political office should, by reason of that desire, be seen as unfit for the job.
- You are open to considering how the privileges you enjoy because of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and/or physical ability might come at the expense of others.
- You believe that voting every few years is a weak form of political participation, and that achieving social justice requires concerted effort before, during, and after elections.
- You think that, ideally, no one would have more wealth more than they need until everyone has at least as much as they need to live a safe, happy, decent life.
- You recognize that an economic system which requires continuous expansion, destroys the environment, relies on rapidly-depleting fossil fuels, exacerbates inequality, and leads to war after war is unsustainable and must be replaced.
My question to my fellow Ohioans, does Sherrod Brown share your political, economic and religious values? Again, like the President, you now know more about Brown that you did when you voted for him. If you feel that you do not want to be represented by someone who embraces these views, you'll get a "do over" in November 2012.