Robert Reich on the rhetoric of right and wrong:

George W. Bush spoke about right and wrong in moral terms — as matters of righteousness and faith. John Kerry spoke of right and wrong in pragmatic terms — for example, saying he had the right way to get the economy moving again or to fight al-Qaeda, and George Bush was going the wrong way…perhaps Democrats need somewhat fewer plans and policies, and a bit more moral conviction. They also need to talk more about faith — faith in what this great nation can accomplish if we work together.

Democrats used to talk in moral terms — about fighting for civil rights, for example. What could Democrats say now and in the future? That it’s morally wrong to give huge tax cuts to the rich while cutting social programs for the poor and working class — especially when the gap between the rich and everyone else is wider than it’s been in more than a century. That we have a moral obligation to give every American child a good education and decent health care. That it’s morally wrong that millions of Americans who work full time don’t earn enough to keep their families out of poverty. My faith — and yes, it is a matter of faith, a great leap of faith — is that in all these respects, and many more, this nation can become a more just society.


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