The challenges we face as a people are daunting and nothing less than America’s very purpose and promise are at stake. We need to reinvigorate American economic life — not to increase Wall Street’s profits and bonuses, but to create good jobs and provide better wages for working people. We need to put people to work rebuilding and improving themselves, their communities, and the country’s deteriorating infrastructures. And we must address the nation’s staggering inequalities of wealth and power before they completely overwhelm what remains of American democracy.
However, the politics of the day afford little hope that we might do any of that. Two years ago, Americans surprised the world and put a black liberal Democrat into the White House and progressives seemed poised to address the disasters of the Bush administration and the devastations of thirty years of conservative governance and corporate greed. Today, rightwingers and reactionaries prevail in the nation’s public spaces, airwaves, and attentions (not to mention the Supreme Court). They are now also about to take control of the House of Representatives with ambitions of not simply obstructing new liberal initiatives but also undoing, first, the reforms of the past two years and, then, the most critical social-democratic development of the twentieth century, Social Security.
Have a nice day.