Alan Khazei somehow manages to be simultaneously smart, politically experienced and optimistic. Speaking with us today of the dreadful economic and employment problems as well as awful political forces, he still is confident we’ll get through it as a nation and thrive.
Doing so will require both strong governmental action and popular uprising to correct the problems. Click the player below to hear him describe the problems and solutions.
The highly accomplished social entrepreneur is not about to relax after withdrawing from the race for the Democratic U.S. Senate seat nomination. He proposed the widest ranging and most specific platform of issues with sub-issues in the race. Many of these are progressive goals he has worked for over the past several decades. He intends to find ways to accomplish them.
In case there is any doubt, he does not see the incumbent Sen. Scott Brown as a possible champion of what’s necessary for the nation. Toward the end of our half hour, he notes that Brown came in with a perfect opportunity to form a bipartisan caucus. “He could have done anything,” Khazei said. Instead, Brown has not been the game-changing leader people need and expected.
He spoke to us of the travesties of the Citizens United decision and the codification of corporations as people and money as free speech. Instead of these and such regressive moves as states requiring voter ID and otherwise limiting election participation, he wants same-day registration and other moves to open the process to more Americans. The greater the number of voters with access determines who’s elected and the quality of government, he said. To fix the dysfunctional political system requires people to rise up and demand it.
For the economic and employment side, he sees the need for state and national government to do all possible to get more Americans back to work. In the process, that can mean modern equivalents of the NRA, WPA and CCC. With that could come repairing the nation’s infrastructure and modern benefits like retrofitting green building features. The larger process would put more of us to work and more money and growth in the economy. Listen in as he describes the role national service and similar efforts can play.
Again and again, he returned to the point that “ultimately, it’s going to take a citizen movement” to implement these actions. In that vein, he said early on that far too many politicians and bureaucrats in Washington are “stuck in the Beltway.” Many are not aware that “there are a lot of great answers” beyond.
By the bye, he did not endorse anyone for the Senate race, but did say that he would campaign for the eventual nominee if asked.