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Nation Conversations: Jesse Jackson on Progressive Politics in the Obama Era | The Nation

Nation Conversations: Jesse Jackson on Progressive Politics in the Obama Era

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If you're disappointed with Obama, Rev. Jesse Jackson has a reminder for you: American presidents haven't done many great things without a mass movement pushing them every step of the way.

In this Nation Conversation, Jackson lays out the contours of the movement we need today: one that builds momentum on addressing the burden of poverty on a growing number of Americans, and that puts human rights for all human beings at its core.

"We must apply pressure to Washington," Jackson says. "Roosevelt did not come in with a plan for Reconstruction.... Truman did not mean to desegregate the military, but people put pressure on him and he did the right thing." 

According to Jackson, "if we are acting, we can have the President make the right choices."

Listen for more on how history informs Jackson's contemporary understanding of what's missing from today's activism, and the remaining possibilities for real change under the Obama administration.

Read The Nation's 1988 endorsement of Jesse Jackson for president.

Read more about Jesse Jackson's legacy.

—Braden Goyette

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