Yes, we can

Imagine what would be possible with Obama and an engaged citizenry, suggests a member of Salon's community, Table Talk.

Published February 22, 2008 5:10PM (EST)

White House

Eyes on the Prize: The 2008 Presidential Race Continues

Ken Erfourth -- 02:07 pm Pacific Time -- Feb 21, 2008 -- #7503 of 7525

Senator Obama said this week that he is open to supporting private school vouchers if research shows they work.

I would support abstinence-only education if the research showed that worked.

It doesn't. So I think it would be crazy to do it.

But if I say to an abstinence-only supporter, "It's wrong, it won't work and I won't consider it," then the discussion is cut off.

So when I come back and say, "Hey, let's fully fund Head Start," the abstinence-only supporter is going to look at me and say, "It's wrong, it won't work and I won't consider it." Conversation over. Impasse reached. Progress stymied.

If instead, I allow as I might consider it if research shows that it works, and the abstinence-only supporter agrees to consider Head Start if the research backs it up, we can move forward.

Imagine how much of the Reagan crap might be removed if we switched to a standard of using good research to decide whether or not programs should be expanded or eliminated. Imagine what such an intelligent standard could do if applied to decades of stupidity.

Instead of being scared because Obama is proposing that we bring reason back into political discussions, why not be excited because Obama is proposing we bring reason back into political discussions?

Combine that with thumping congressional majorities, and an active, engaged population of citizens, and imagine what is possible.

Why, you might even be able to start feeling proud of your country again!

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

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