Article by Howard Zinn • The Progressive • March 2000

Every day, as the soggy rhetoric of the presidential candidates accumulates into an enormous pile of solid waste, we get more and more evidence of the failure of the American political system. The candidates for the job of leader of the most powerful country in the world have nothing important to say. On domestic issues, they offer platitudes about healthcare and Social Security and taxes, which are meaningless given the record of both political parties. And on foreign policy, utter silence.

That silence is what I want to talk about.

In domestic policy, there are enough slight differences among the candidates to make some liberals and progressives—desperate for hopeful signs—seize upon the most feeble of promises. Al Gore and Bill Bradley
take wobbly steps toward covering some fraction of the forty-four million uninsured, but no candidate proposes universal, nonprofit, government-guaranteed health care.

John McCain and George W. Bush mutter unintelligibly about one or another tax plan, but no Republican or Democrat talks about taxing the wealth and income of the super-rich in such a way as to make several trillion dollars available for housing, health, jobs, education.

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