The Progressive side of the conversation

After watching the President’s State of the Union speech and the Republican clown show that followed, you might be wondering if there’s any room for a forthright, full-throated defense of progressivism in American politics these days. It certainly doesn’t seem to be much in fashion — the conversation revolves around an axis of centrism, conservatism and inane, far right nuttiness. There aren’t many voices speaking for our philosophy (at least that anyone in the media cares to notice.)

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. Blue America’s first endorsee for 2012 is an unabashed progressive who knows how to talk the talk and he does it very well. Nicholas Ruiz III has already announced that he will be running against right wing Republican Sandy Adams in Florida’ 24th, and he has something to say, something you’ll want to listen to — and something America needs to hear. Here is an excerpt from Nicholas’s response to the President’s State of the Union address last night:

If Obama is in need of some regulations to reasonably review, Democrats can help. For example, let’s review the stifling minimum wage regulation. The minimum wage, unreasonably and unrealistically, remains untethered to the consumer price index. Therefore, it almost never goes up. But market prices sure do. And that’s why the buying power of the average American today pales in comparison to the buying power senior citizens had when they were young. Deregulate the minimum wage by tethering it to the market via the consumer price index. Republicans, whose charms and favor Obama seems too eager to court, will be happy, too: it has the word ‘market’ in it.

The country is in the midst of a Great Debate about its future. The political elites are only representing one side of that discussion and are simply fighting over the details (while the Tea Party dances around them both with burning torches in their hands.) Nicholas is speaking for the rest of us. And when you hear it, you realize just how lopsided our politics have become.

We have invited Nicholas to join us this Saturday for our first Blue America chat of 2011 to start a new conversation among progressives about what is to be done. If you are available at 11a PST/2p EST this Saturday, we invite you to join us at Crooks and Liars.

And we urge you to help get Nicholas’s campaign started by donating what you can, here.

Thanks for doing what you can,

digby, John, Howie and the Blue America team


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