Speaking with us today at Left Ahead, Alan Khazei remains astonishingly energized and optimistic. He is convinced that as a nation we shall find our way out of the economic and political messes we are in today. He does think that doing so means that “people as a whole have to rise up.”
Shortly after stepping back from the contest for the Democratic nomination for the MA U.S. Senate seat up in 2012, he is not into self-pity nor anger. Instead, he is again reexamining how he might accomplish his deep, wide, specific set of goals. Some have been part of his social entrepreneur history and the whole set made it to his campaign site.
He has not endorsed anyone yet in the Democratic race. He did say he would campaign for the eventually nominee if asked. For the other side, we can be sure he is not looking to the Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown. Of him, Khazei said, “I hold Scott Brown personally responsible.” That is, Brown arrived in Washington after his upset to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy as “a national figure overnight.” He was the 41st GOP vote and the 60th Democratic vote in one. Khazei said, “He could have done anything.” Instead, Brown has done nothing. In particular, Brown was in the perfect position to form a bipartisan caucus to go after the big, hard issues. He could have delivered what Khazei said Americans have been crying out for — “game-changing leadership.”
Click the player below to hear Khazei’s half-hour show. He elaborates on how we can deal with unemployment and a dreadful economy. Among other tacks, he calls for modern versions of the FDR plans, like the NRA, WPA and CCC, to simultaneously employ Americans and repair our infrastructure. New wrinkles might be retrofitting schools with solar panels to add an environmental and green-company boost too.
His vision would require state and federal government action, coupled with a citizens’ movement. He said to fix the dysfunctional political system “people as a whole have to rise up.”
Related to that, he decried the Citizens United/corporations as people/money as free speech aspects of current politics. In addition, he disdains the efforts for voter ID and other tactics to minimize the number of voters. Instead, he wants same-day registration, election day as a national holiday and other efforts to enfranchise more voters. He sees a greater number of voters as leading to a government that reflects those who participate.
Even with our massive current problems, Khazei figures we are at a tipping point as a nation. This is, as he put it, “a very interesting time historically.” He believes that Americans are ready to demand these essential changes. Of course, he said he’s ready to do everything he can to see that happens.