There has been a lot of talk lately on the liberal left about the need for a new political narrative. We need a statement of what we stand for rather than protest against. A way forward rather than a look back. To be progressive in the broadest sense of the word.
I’m a storyteller and narrative is what we do. Storytellers build a world you can see and touch. We populate that world with characters to love or hate or maybe a little of both because the world is complex and people all the more so. A good storyteller creates characters with autonomy and agency: a freedom of movement driven by individual desires and needs. A good story is rarely about what happens to these characters but how they get there. A good story is about progress.
So here’s my plot, point for point, for a new narrative of progressive politics anno 2017.
Plot point #1
Guilt is a useless emotion and so is her ugly cousin, Blame. Finger-pointing never fixed a road or put food on the table. Progress is achieved through good ideas, hard work and a pooling of resources.
Plot point #2
Freedom of expression is a cop-out. Political correctness is, too. Stop broadcasting and listen instead. Tell me where you’re coming from and where you want to go. What does progress mean to you?
Plot point #3
Progressives are people of every nation, faith, age, socio-economic class, sexualy orientation, state of mind and body. We want equal rights, equal opportunity, respect for a hard day’s work whether that’s in a coal mine in Kentucky or a corner office on Wall Street. We want these things for everyone, progressive or not.
Plot point #4
Progressives are stingy. We recognize that our natural resources are finite. We want to conserve what we can and use only what we must.
Plot point #5
All lives matter.
Update 14.02.2021: I wish I had known, when I wrote this blog post, how hurtful the words "all lives matter" can be. I have considered deleting this post altogether or editing it. Instead, I will try to own my mistakes. I'm still learning.
Plot point #6
When our generation is dead and dust, we will have left behind good schools and a solid infrastructure and a modern economy that creates wealth for all. Our children will have an even better life than we did.
This is a simple narrative and one with a happy ending. I invite you to embellish on this progressive narrative. Add layers and texture and all the colors of the rainbow. Write yourself into this story. Then read it out loud for the whole world to hear.
Happy New Year and for many years to come.