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Can the Rising Progressive Tide Lift All Ships? | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Can the Rising Progressive Tide Lift All Ships?


Barack Obama campaigns in 2012. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak.)

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

The growing progressive coalition that helped elect President Obama has emerged at the end of a failed and exhausted conservative era. The media now chronicle the flailings of Republican leaders slowly awakening to the weaknesses of a stale, pale and predominantly male party in today’s America.

But the central challenge to this progressive coalition is not dispatching the old but rather defining what comes next. Will it be able to address the central challenge facing America at this time and reclaim the American Dream from an extreme and corrosive economic inequality?

In his inaugural address, President Obama spoke powerfully to this rising American electorate—single women, minorities, the young—by summarizing the progressive contribution to building a more perfect union from “Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall.” He reminded all that greater social equality in America has been driven by independent movements, willing to confront the lies and limits of the conventional consensus.

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

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