Progressive Narrative

A Liberal Translation       

How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign 

Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate and Control?  

What Defines a Meme? 

Competition among memes in a world with limited attention

Articulating the Future for Progressivism

Conspiracy World — Editorial New York Times

America’s Duopoly of Money in Politics and Manipulation of Public Opinion

What to Watch for in the Presidential Debates by George Lakoff on Octo­ber 2, 2012 in Cog­ni­tive Pol­icy Works

Myth and Its Dangers

The Fascinating Story of How Shameless Right-Wing Lies Came to Rule Our Politics By Rick Perlstein

** Obama Returns to His Moral Vision: Democrats Read Carefully! by George Lakoff,, April 17, 2011 - Cognitive linguist and expert on messaging analyzes Obama’s spech on vision and values -
The policy topic happened to be the budget, but he called it “The Country We Believe In” for a reason. The real topic was how the progressive moral system defines the democratic ideals America was founded on, and how those ideals apply to specific issues. Obama’s moral vision, which he applied to the budget, is more general: it applies to every issue.
All politics is moral. Political leaders put forth proposals on the assumption that their proposals are the right things to do, not the wrong things to do. But progressives and radical conservatives have very different ideas of right and wrong.
The basic idea is this: Democracy is based on empathy, that is, on citizens caring about each other and acting on that care, taking responsibility not just for themselves but for their families, communities, and their nation. The role of government is to carry out this principle in two ways: protection and empowerment.

** The Country We Believe In by President Barack Obama, The White House,Office of the Press Secretary, April 13, 2011

** Mocking the Right’s ‘Free Market’ Agenda Is Almost Too Easy — A Real Problem Is That the Dems Don’t Challenge It By Elizabeth DiNovella and Thomas Frank

** The Biggest Idea in Obama’s Speech: A Common Good by David Callahan,, January 26, 2012

** The Constitution is inherently progressive by John Podesta and John Halpin,, October 10, 2011

** This is Your Story – The Progressive Story of America. Pass It On by Bill Moyers, Text of speech to the Take Back America conference  June 4, 2003 sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future, Published on June 10, 2003 by

The New Vision — The speech I want the Democratic nominee to give By Theodore C. Sorensen

The Mess We’re In: The Challenge of Melodramocracy by Wim Wenders,, March 8,  2010

More Poetry, Please by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, November 1, 2009


Progressive Movement

Our Invisible Revolution by Chris Hedges,, October 28, 2013

Anger Can Be Power

The Rise of the New New Left

Cynicism Is Corporate America’s Greatest Weapon. Disarm It. Richard (RJ) Eskow, Campaign for America’s Future, 08/20/2013

Don’t Wait for the Revolution — ‘Be the Change’ and Live It By Andrew Boyd, YES! Magazine August 6, 2013 

Movements Without Leaders — What to Make of Change on an Overheating Planet by Bill McKibben, Cross-posted with, 8/18/2013  

We Can’t Give in to the Culture of Fear and Apathy — Channel Your Discontent into Positive Action by Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, AlterNet, August 16, 2013

Get Apocalyptic — The Case for the New Radical By Robert Jensen, YES! Magazine,, May 28, 2013  - Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? … Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic. We are staring down multiple cascading ecological crises, struggling with political and economic institutions that are unable even to acknowledge, let alone cope with, the threats to the human family and the larger living world… A deep grief over what we are losing—and have already lost, perhaps never to be recovered—is appropriate. Instead of repressing these emotions we can confront them, not as isolated individuals but collectively, not only for our own mental health but to increase the effectiveness of our organizing for the social justice and ecological sustainability still within our grasp. Once we’ve sorted through those reactions, we can get apocalyptic and get down to our real work…The task for those with critical sensibilities is not just to resist oppressive social norms and illegitimate authority, but to speak a simple truth that almost no one wants to acknowledge: The high-energy/high-technology life of affluent societies is a dead end… to get apocalyptic means seeing clearly and recommitting to core values…we must affirm the value of our work for justice and sustainability…Mainstream politicians will continue to protect existing systems of power, corporate executives will continue to maximize profit without concern, and the majority of people will continue to avoid these questions. It’s the job of people with critical sensibilities—those who consistently speak out for justice and sustainability, even when it’s difficult—not to back away just because the world has grown more ominous…To adopt an apocalyptic worldview is not to abandon hope but to affirm life…By avoiding the stark reality of our moment in history we don’t make ourselves safe, we undermine the potential of struggles for justice and sustainability.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin

Chris Hayes: Bring on the upper-middle-class revolution! By David Daley,, Jun 25, 2013

The Obama Majority By Harold Meyerson, Washington Post, January 22, 2013…There is an Obama majority in American politics…whose existence is both the consequence of profound changes to our nation’s composition and values and the cause of changes yet to come. That majority…would not exist but for Americans’ struggles to expand our foundational belief in the equality of all men. The drive to expand equality, [President Obama] said in his speech’s most historically resonant line, “is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall.” Our history, Obama argued, is one of adapting our ideals to a changing world. His speech…reclaimed U.S. history from the misrepresentations of both constitutional originalists and libertarian fantasists…the moral and practical arc of U.S. history bends toward equality..The president closed his speech by asking his supporters to join him to help “shape the debates of our time.”..The Obama Majority — its existence and mobilization — is what enabled the president to deliver so ideological an address. No such inaugural speech has been delivered since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, demanding the curtailment of government programs and secure in the knowledge that much of the white working class had shifted its allegiance away from the Democrats and supported his attack on the public sector and minority rights. On Monday, Obama, secure in the knowledge that the nation’s minorities had joined with other liberal constituencies to form a new governing coalition, voiced their demands to ensure equality and to preserve and expand the government’s efforts to meet the nation’s challenges

Overview of the Occupy Movement

Our Progressive Populism by Robert Kuttner,, September 2, 2010   Populism comes in two varieties — progressive and reactionary…distressed voters who are seduced by the right on social issues must be mobilized by progressives on economic ones…
This is a kind of class politics, but not one of facile slogans or easy scapegoats. It is hardly demagoguery to point out that concentrated wealth has too much political power. There is a class war, billionaire Warren Buffett once quipped, and my class is winning…
Populism, however, comes in two varieties, progressive and reactionary. Right-wing populism is an ugly brew of know-nothing resentments — of government, bankers, cosmopolitans, minorities and immigrants — that nonetheless taps into genuine economic anxiety. Without effective progressive populism, the reactionary variety gains ground…
good populism rallies economically distressed voters to elect progressives who legislate structural reforms…
With the right taking no prisoners, how do we restore civility? …How do we use politics to rebuild competent government?…
Paul Krugman…concluded, “What will it take to break the hold of this cruel cult on the minds of the policy elite?” The answer, surely, is a politics that rallies regular people against the stranglehold of economic royalists — a progressive populism.

A Checkerboard Strategy for Regaining the Progressive Initiative 

Group Challenges Corporate Power, Government Secrecy With Crowd-Funded Transparency 

Introduction to Community Organizing: Choosing an Issue 

New Year, New Era for Progressives and Obama 

The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics 

The Obama Majority   

A Global Convergence of Social Movements?

A Liberal Moment

Liberalism’s Glass Jaw

Power Shift: How the Youth Climate Movement is Changing the Game by Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine, posted on, April 27, 2011

Where The 99 Percent Get Their Power – Why is this protest spreading when others have fizzled? by Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine, Oct 07, 2011

Power and the Progressive Movement by Mike Lux,, April 13, 2010

Whatever Happened to the American Left? By Michael Kazin

A Politics for the 99 Percent by Katrina vanden Heuvel and Robert L. Borosage, The Nation – posted June 6, 2012

6 People You Need to Start a Revolution By Sara Robinson AlterNet, April 12, 2012

New Rules for Radicals: 10 Ways To Spark Change in a Post-Occupy World By Sara Robinson, AlterNet, February 1, 2012

Progressivism Goes Mainstream by John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira, The Prospect, April 20, 2009



In America Today, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower Would Be Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate,

Democrats up the ante on GOP’s poor hand

Ignore the Spin: This Debt Ceiling Crisis is Not Politics as Usual

Permanent Republican minority  

The Moderates Who Lighted the Fuse

Obama isn’t as ‘lawless’ as the GOP alleges By Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, August 20, 2013

Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Political GoldmineBy Ruy Teixeira, Guest Blogger on, August 23, 2013

The Nudge Debate By DAVID BROOKS , New York Times, August 8, 2013

Why Republicans Are Disciplined and Democrats Aren’t By Robert Reich 07/24/2013

The Rise of the Regressive Right and the Reawakening of America by Robert Reich – A fundamental war has been waged in this nation since its founding, between progressive forces pushing us forward and regressive forces pulling us backward. We are going to battle once again. Progressives believe in openness, equal opportunity, and tolerance. Progressives assume we’re all in it together…Regressives take the opposite positions…today’s Republican right aren’t really conservatives. Their goal isn’t to conserve what we have. It’s to take us backwards…Yet the great arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, the nation eventually rallies and moves forward….

Want to end partisan politics? Here’s what won’t work — and what will. By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Washington Post, May 17, 2012 -… Washington is broken, that our political system can’t grapple with the nation’s big, long-term problems. So what can be done about it? … #4 Expanding the electorate…In the United States, such near-universal voting could eliminate the parties’ incentive to diminish the turnout of their opponents’ supporters and to mobilize the ideological extremes. Boosting overall turnout would help tilt the balance back toward where most Americans actually are: closer to the middle.

Politics is the great divider in United States by Dan Balz, Washington Post, June 4, 2012 … the most significant divisions are no longer based on race, class or sex but on political identity… the average partisan gap has nearly doubled over this 25-year period — from 10 percent in 1987 to 18 percent in the new study…the changes began to accelerate during George W. Bush’s presidency. Barack Obama’s presidency, the report says, has received “the most extreme partisan reaction to government in the past 25 years. Republicans are far more negative toward government than at any previous point, while Democrats feel far more positive.”…Some of the most significant differences — and the areas where the divisions have increased the most — were on core issues of the 2012 campaign: the role and scope of government and the social safety net.

Why sane bargaining looks strange

No Wonder So Many Are Disillusioned by Our Politics — We’ve Got an 18th Century Political System

Why We Love Politics By David Brooks, New York Times, November 22, 2012b…We live in an anti-political moment, when many people — young people especially — think politics is a low, nasty, corrupt and usually fruitless business…“Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Tony Kushner… portrays the nobility of politics in exactly the right way. It shows that you can do more good in politics than in any other sphere…The challenge of politics lies precisely in the marriage of high vision and low cunning…Politics is noble because it involves personal compromise for the public good.…

Applause for the Numbers Machine

Beware the Smart Campaign

Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort

The Five Reasons Why Romney/Ryan Must be Defeated in 2012 – And Why Conservatives Should Hope They Are

The Story of Power by John Meacham, Newsweek, December 19, 2008

The conservative grip on power By Linda Hirshman,, Saturday, Mar 31, 2012

Political Ideology of the Millennial Generation by John Halpin, Karl Agne, The Center for American Progress, May 13, 2009

The Last Bipartisan By BILL KELLER

Libertarians in 2013: The Even Whiter, Wealthier, WASPier Bastion of Republican Party By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet, October 29, 2013 …Libertarians make up a small but enduring slice of the Right.. libertarians line up with Republicans most of the time. They are the economic conservatives and privacy rights adherents that existed before the Tea Party emerged in 2010…they split with the religious right on regulating morality, and they are not always Tea Party fans.… “committed libertarians”—who comprise seven percent of all voters, with another 15 percent leaning their way—have an out-sized influence. Libertarians feel that there is almost nothing good that government can do for them personally or for society, PRRI reports. In contrast, the GOP’s evangelical wing wants government to ban abortion, reject same-sex marriage and bar assisted suicide for the terminally ill. a room full of libertarians would be overwhemingly young, male and white…or religious agnostics (27 percent). It would one thing to dismiss libertarians as a fringe movement, as “only 12 percent of self-identified Republicans are libertarians, compared to 20 percent of Republicans who identify with the Tea Party, [or] 33 percent who identify with the religious right.” But with benefactors such as the Koch brothers channeling [6] more than $250 million into the 2012 election for campaigns targeting Democrats and unions—and continuing today by leading attacks on Obamacare and trying to discredit [6] climate change—it is important to know what they believe and how they differ from others on the Right. On economic issues and social safety nets, PRRI reports they are old-school economic conservatives…Economic and religious conservatives have always occupied conflicting corners of the GOP—and that continues, as libertarians disagree with the religious right on culture war issues…libertarians dislike Democrats more fervently than they like RepublicansWhen it comes to Democrats, 89 percent “have an unfavorable view” and 64 percent “have a very unfavorable opinion of the party.”  Libertarians name Sen. Rand Paul as their first choice for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee, with Tea Party darlings Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan following in descending order. Libertarians tend to register to vote at a slightly higher rate (80 percent) than the national average (76 percent) “Libertarians are much more likely than Americans overall to pay attention to what is going on in government and politics,” it said. “Fewer than four-in-ten (38 percent) Americans report paying attention… Among libertarians, a majority (56 percent) report that they pay attention to politics always or most of the time.” Americans who identify as firm libertarians might only be seven percent of the electorate, but with some of the deepest pockets in America backing their beliefs—particularly on economic issues and the role of government—they remain an outsized political force. They certainly are an enduring part of the Republican Party, even if they have been eclipsed by Tea Partiers—such as during the recent government shutdown.

We Need a Second Party by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, February 11, 2012