Brent Budowsky: Hillary and progressives

Brent Budowsky: Hillary and progressives
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There is a great stirring throughout the progressive base of the Democratic Party, a powerful sense that history is on our side, a profound spirit of a mission to achieve great deeds, and a new sense of confidence grounded in the fact — and it is a fact — that so many progressive ideals are the majority opinions of American voters.

Through brilliant talent, indescribably hard work and passionate commitment, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump can save Republicans and restore sanity to California in 2018 Breitbart News denies readership drop, alt-right label Mellman: The next war MORE has shattered forever every glass ceiling at the apex of American politics and government.

Never again will it be asked whether America is ready for a female president, and because of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaRivals and consumers will rein in Facebook, not regulation Obamas send handwritten note to Parkland students: 'We will be there for you' Water has experienced a decade of bipartisan success MORE’s presidential victory in 2008, never again will it be asked whether America is ready for a black president. Men as well as women, whites as well as blacks, indeed, every American should rejoice in the triumph of this great progressive dream, from the abolitionists to the suffragettes, long opposed by the segregationists and sexists usually found on the radical right.

In the third century of our great nation, every American child can grow up knowing that he — or she — can someday be president!

The history of American success, from British mercantilism to American independence, from slavery to abolition, from Gilded Age corruptions to the reforms of Teddy Roosevelt, from the greed that caused the 1929 crash to the New Deal of FDR, from the lethargy of the 1950s to Martin Luther King Jr., and the New Frontier of JFK that catapulted civil rights to a vision for all Americans, has been the triumph of progressive populist movements and ideas over Tories, rightists, racists, sexists and reactionaries.

I wrote here several years ago that the world has entered The Female Century. The great truth of our times is even larger. From Pope Francis to President Obama, there are calls for a new day of economic equality that will lift all men and women in a more just world.

The progressive populist causes that summon us again are supported by strong majorities of Americans who support far more aggressive programs to create jobs, combat inequality of income, raise the minimum wage, enact full pay equity for women, pass strong immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, enact a public option to reduce both the deficit and healthcare costs, defend Social Security and Medicare from rightist attacks, tamp down excessive speculation in the financial markets, and take America back from the corruption of money, and abuses against voting rights furthered by heinous Supreme Court decisions and Republican attempts to attack the right to vote.

Throughout the nation, among the poor and the middle class, there is widespread support for the progressive populist case that America must end the great wrong that, far too often in our socially unjust era, the game is fixed, the bid is rigged and the deck is stacked against them by powerful forces that keep them down.

My advice to Clinton: Be their voice. Be the change candidate of progressive populist reform, in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. Be bold. Be daring. Be clear. Be forceful. Be courageous. Champion the muscular progressive populist patriotism that has been the hallmark of great Democratic presidents.

And: Ignore “Democratic” pretenders such as Third Way, whose board is dominated by male Wall Streeters, whose leaders wrote this week on The Wall Street Journal opinion page that “economic populism is a dead end for Democrats.”

Champion instead the wisdom of the pope, who calls for economic equality, systemic financial reform, lifting the poor and supporting political leaders who advance these causes.

This week, Rush Limbaugh attacked Francis, while Third Way leaders attacked Democratic progressives such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDems offering bill aimed at curbing stock buybacks Lessons from Dan Lipinski’s victory Michael Moore: Russia, Stormy Daniels stories are 'shiny keys to distract us' MORE (D-Mass.) and New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. Limbaugh and Third Way are both dead wrong, for both political parties, in a nation that chose the more progressive way in elections in 2006, 2008 and again in 2012.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at

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