Thank you for visiting the Progressive Values website. My intent is to present an overview of the crisis and opportunity in American democracy by posting selected articles that provide pieces of the puzzle. I think of this as participating in a national conversation by highlighting information and perspectives of others and adding my own.
Ten years ago when the Bush administration lied to the American people to justify preemptive war with Iraq, I became determined to discover how this horrible action could have happened. I began gathering facts and opinion and posting highlights on my website.
One thing kept leading to another and the trickle of relevant information grew into a flood. I found many of the most important factors hidden beneath the surface. Searching for the roots led to the discovery of a pattern of right wing extremism and liberal ineptitude that goes back to before 1970. So I just kept digging, sorting, posting, excerpting, prioritizing and reprioritizing as new information became available.
It is fascinating! Now change is coming so fast for many reasons. One is constant communication through new media and 24/7 news. Another is a recent Supreme Court decision that has allowed massive infusions of money into the political process with little or no accountability. Those associated with the Republican Party are raising and spending far more than Democrats. This money is being used not just to back candidates at election time but more immediately and importantly to influence public opinion.
Another major purpose for promoting turmoil and divisiveness is to obfuscate issues so citizens can’t see the forest (big picture) for the trees (scandal du jour). Our elected representatives can’t work on big issues that affect the common good thereby preserving the status quo is that favors the wealthy elite. Conservative extremists are obstructing the government from serving its purpose which is to represent all the people.
To organize this data I created a framework so every component would have a place within the big picture. It’s organized generally by topics grouped into categories. Since everything ultimately is connected to everything else, sorting criteria is necessarily subjective.
It’s essential that we, the people, become better informed and directly involved in the political process and formation of government policy. I want the body of knowledge I’ve assembled to be available to everyone to support a vigorous public dialogue so am posting highlights to my website – www.ProgressiveValues.org — in the spirit of open-sourcing.
The material generated by others is their property. The framework, concept and compilations are my intellectual property. I’m enabling the website to accept contributions from those who appreciate this body of knowledge and ideas. I’ve been doing this on my own for these past twelve years and will appreciate financial support.
If any organization wants to more fully utilize this project or have a more involved working relationship, I can be contacted at Phyllis@progressivevalues.org and we can explore opportunities.
One idea for a collaborative project is for a respected non-profit progressive organization with resources will use this project as the basis for a public education project using peer review and proven teaching processes. One target group seriously in need of education about the contrast between Republican and Democratic perspectives is the main stream media.
The important thing is to broaden and deepen the dialogue and keep it flowing. Your active participation in democracy is critically important. It’s only through honest, sincere sharing of opinions and beliefs that we’ll come to a genuine national consensus so we can move forward.
With audacious faith, Phyllis Stenerson
“We must move forward in the days ahead with audacious faith. The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Democracy doesn’t work without citizen activism and participation, starting at the community…What’s right and good doesn’t come naturally. You have to stand up and fight for it – as if the cause depends on you, because it does.” Bill Moyers
“What the American people want is very simple. They want a country as good as its promise.” Barbara Jordan