Looking for a savvy, sassy and strategic agenda to counter the rightwing and take America back from the most extremist Administration of our lifetime? Pick up a copy of Taking Back America–And Taking Down the Radical Right, a new collection of articles which I co-edited with Campaign for America’s Future head Robert Borosage.
Featuring illuminating and inspiring contributions from Bill Moyers, Barbara Ehrenreich, Benjamin Barber, William Greider, Robert Reich, Danny Goldberg, Joel Rogers, Reps. Jesse L. Jackson and Jan Schakowsky and other leading scholars, thinkers and advocates, NationBooks’ Taking Back America offers positive alternatives to the reactionary policies of the Bush Administration.
It’s not hard for progressives (or any sane citizen, for that matter) to see that we’re in the fight of our lives. George Bush’s policies have ravaged our country. Since he took office, America has suffered a staggering decline, moving from prosperity to recession, from peace to war, from record budget surpluses to record deficits. This Administration’s legacy is one of preemptive strikes; de-stabilizing tax cuts; the rollback of protection for workers; consumers and the environment; an assault on the rights of women and minorities; and a crony,capitalist corruption devoid of shame.
Progressives have no choice but to rouse themselves, to build the arguments, movements, and institutions needed to turn this country around. It is time to take back America–and build a country that is safer, healthier, better educated, more secure and committed to shared prosperity and opportunity for all. But we must work in smart and coordinated ways. And while many translate this into electoral terms—and we must defeat Bush in 2004–it is also more than a matter of changing the occupants of the White House. The challenge requires a coherent critique of the conservative ideas that have dominated the past 25 years. It requires bold new vision and vast citizen mobilization to counter the entrenched and growing power of corporate lobbies and restore an America that lives up to its democratic promise. It is a journey not of a year but of a decade or more.
What is hopeful is that on fundamental questions, Bush and the Right are out of tune with the majority of Americans. In area after area, Americans prefer progressive alternatives to the failed policies of the conservative right—investment in health care and education over tax cuts, fair trade over free trade, corporate accountability over deregulation, environmental protection over laissez-faire oversight, defending Social Security and Medicare over privatizing them, public schools over vouchers, raising the minimum wage over eliminating it. Moreover, civilizing causes like civil rights, reproductive choice and environmental protection are now mainstream values.