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Intro: "It's not merely Republicans versus Democrats, or conservatives versus liberals. The larger battle is between regressives and progressives."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

The Real Battle in 2012 and Beyond

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

12 July 12

t’s not merely Republicans versus Democrats, or conservatives versus liberals. The larger battle is between regressives and progressives.

Regressives want to take this nation backward — to before Social Security, unemployment insurance, and Medicare; before civil rights and voting rights; before regulations designed to protect the environment, workers, consumers, and investors. They want to sabotage much of what this nation has achieved over the last century. And they’re out to do it by making the rich far richer, turning Americans against one another in competition for a smaller and smaller slice of the pie, substituting private morality for public morality, and opening the floodgates to big money in politics.

Progressives are determined to take this nation forward — toward equal opportunity, tolerance and openness, adequate protection against corporate and Wall Street abuses, and an economy and democracy that are working for all of us.

The upcoming election is critical but it’s not the end of this contest. It will go on for years. It will require that you understand what’s at stake. And that you energize, mobilize, and organize others.

Please take a look at the accompanying video — and share it.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "Locked in the Cabinet," "Reason," "Supercapitalism," "Aftershock," and his latest e-book, "Beyond Outrage." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on and iTunes. your social media marketing partner


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+43 # JFS48 2012-07-12 09:29
This piece is such a great relief - finally, someone is speaking the truth about the looming battle this election represents. Your piece is a sadly accurate portrait of what for me is the incomprehensibl e regressive urge to undo so much that makes me proud to be an American. It is thrilling to see all the political jargon stripped away and the truth finally told. The soul of the nation is on the line and the real question is, do we take seriously the dream creating a nation that values freedom and equality or do we not? At the end of the day the question is, do we believe in democracy or do we believe in the tyranny of special interests? This is, honestly, a question both presidential candidates need to answer.
-78 # phantomww 2012-07-12 09:56
this election is not about regressives v progressives but about those who believe in INDIVIDUAL freedom v those who believe in the Collective.

Individuals versus Statists.
+12 # bmiluski 2012-07-12 10:22
I keep hearing all this noise about individual freedom....What does that mean as regards to what President Obama is trying to accomplish?
-19 # John Locke 2012-07-12 10:45
bmiluski: Primarily because Obama has been against individual freedom! He had Homeland security put down OWS, has authorized drone surveillance over the US, had inserted in the NDAA indefinite imprisonment of US Citizens, get the picture?
+28 # pernsey 2012-07-12 11:53
Quoting bmiluski:
I keep hearing all this noise about individual freedom....What does that mean as regards to what President Obama is trying to accomplish?

Thats just Fox News made up talking points, it means nothing, and nothing is actually happening. Its just something to rile up people who got no other reason to vote for the GOP = Greedy One Percent! We lost more freedom under the Bushwhacker then any other presidency but you didnt hear a peep out of the right wing then. Its all just propaganda!
+34 # engelbach 2012-07-12 10:39
Yes. It's about those who believe in every man for himself vs. those who believe in a society.

The United States is a society, and progressives want to preserve it.
+25 # tabonsell 2012-07-12 13:48
Where is that individual freedom:

When it comes to a woman making her own decisions on continuing an unwanted pregnancy?

When the speech of that woman, her advisors or health care providers is dictated by government?

When a woman must submit to having an intrusive instrument inserted into her against her wishes?

When it comes to a person selecting his/her own lover of spouse?

When it comes to a person using his personal private property (such as a flag) to make a political statement of protest?

When a religious statement is forced on a schoolchild saying the Pledge of Allegiance?

When a government representative (a teacher) is required to force children into stating an allegiance to government?

When a gravely ill person tries to make the decision on end of life?

When movement across state or national limes is dictated by local or state government?

When "visitors" to this nation are subjected by harassing "where's your papers" demands from police in spite of the US Constitution supposedly guaranteeing equal treatment and rights for ALL PERSONS, not just citizens?

Please do not talk about "individual freedoms" when "freedom lovers" try to eliminate freedoms of others.
-12 # phantomww 2012-07-13 09:16
"When it comes to a woman making her own decisions on continuing an unwanted pregnancy?" Where is the freedom of life for the baby?

"When the speech of that woman, her advisors or health care providers is dictated by government?" Agree repeal ACA and govt control

"When it comes to a person selecting his/her own lover of spouse?" they can but marriage is still 1 man/1 women.

"When it comes to a person using his personal private property (such as a flag) to make a political statement of protest?" It is still legal to burn a flag so what are you complaining about? BTW, I agree

"When a religious statement is forced on a schoolchild saying the Pledge of Allegiance?" They are not required to say that.

"When a government representative (a teacher) is required to force children into stating an allegiance to government?" So employers can't have job requirements?

"When a gravely ill person tries to make the decision on end of life?" I agree

"When movement across state or national limes is dictated by local or state government?" What about fed govt dictates? OK with that?

"When "visitors" to this nation are subjected by harassing "where's your papers" demands from police in spite of the US Constitution supposedly guaranteeing equal treatment and rights for ALL PERSONS, not just citizens?"
ROFLMAO, so a nation has no right to decide who can "visit"? OMG get a clue!
+8 # tabonsell 2012-07-13 12:12
The United States Constitution applies to "persons born" and "we the people" not to the unborn or nonpeople.

The ACA doesn't apply to speech and there is no government control.

The Constitution says nothing about government control of marriages. And marriages are contracts that are governed by contract law (common law established by practice, not by government). There's nothing in contract law that denies gays from making a contract with each other.

They are required by force of peer pressure. When Jehovah Witnesses children refused to participate, they were punished by being expelled from school giving rise to landmark SCOTUS decisions you obviously know nothing about.

Government "agents" leading children in patriotic utterance are too much like totalitarian regimes and has been ruled unconstitutiona l by SCOTUS. (see reference to rulings, above.)

Federal government has power top to regulate interstate commerce which means the channels in which commerce is conducted. States and towns do not.

The nation can decide who visits, States and towns cannot. (See reference to interstate commerce, above.)

Have all the clues and knowledge needed.
-6 # phantomww 2012-07-13 16:11
If laws don't apply to unborn then why are some people in jail for killing both the mother and the unborn child?

The govt will determine what is acceptable insurnace so they will have control.

I agree that gays can enter into a contract with all the benefits of "marriage". But the term "marriage" is 1 man and 1 women.

So you admit that the SCOTUS has dealt with these issues so that would mean they are not issues anymore. Kind of like complaining about slavery now. It does not exist.

BTW, why can't the children decide to lead themselves or do you not support that individual freedom?

I agree that interstate commerce is the purvue of the federal govt. What states and towns are trying to regulate it?

Oh, you must be thinking of AZ. The federal govt also has the responsibilty to enforce the laws it passes, if not then get rid of the law. BTW, a state does have a right to defend it's borders under the constitution. Look it up.
+1 # John Locke 2012-07-15 10:13
phantomww: "If laws don't apply to unborn then why are some people in jail for killing both the mother and the unborn child?"

Those are state laws defining homocide! The States retained the right to determine their own criminal laws. But The constitution is silent on the unborn! Some states still have capital punishment while others do not!

The Supreme Court was also wrong when it ruled that African Americans were property! Read the Dred Scott decision!

The right of the Mother is paramount to that of any unborn child! Except in religion, the Catholic Church would have the mother die in birth to further the child...That simply is arcane and wrong!
0 # phantomww 2012-07-15 19:26
tabonsell and I were discussing the constitution and not state laws. The thread was me putting a comment about individual freedom, he coming back with a statement about a womens right to choose. I replied what about the right of the baby and he brought in that the constitution applies to "persons born" or "we the people" and not to the unborn. I asked about why people are convicted of murder when killing an unborn baby. He did not answer.
Now you claim the constitution is silent.
So which of you is correct? Is it silent or does it not apply to the unborn.

I have read Dred Scott and while it was a terrible decision, according to the Constitution slaves were not people but property (rather disgusting but a fact). they were not even "full" people. We corrected this by passing the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to solve a couple of ugly issues.

thanks for joining the thread cuz I am having fun.

Hint about my questions: one of the things that is taught in law school is never ask a question that you don't know the answer to already.
0 # John Locke 2012-07-16 07:51
phantomww As a layer you know that the amendments to the constitution retain rights to the states and to the people, when discussing the Constitition are we not also discussing the bill of rights?

I know I am now a field from the point! But I was explaining why an unborn may be killed today and someone tried for Homocide! It is nice to have a peer debate!

Also the constitution as I recall does not discuss slaves, until the Civil War era Amendments...

I understand that at the time slaves were considered property! And the Dred Scott decision was based on the reasoning at the time...I think the question that was never asked or decided was HOW does a man become property? If all men were created equal how can some be slaves and others own them?
0 # phantomww 2012-07-16 09:11
John, first it looks like tabonsell's response where he insulted me and my replies have been removed. I guess I complained in my 3rd reply that his was allowed and mine was not. Too bad because it was an interesting point until he called names.

Yes, when I discuss the constitution, I include the bill of rights normally, unles the discussion is about the passage of the constitution.

While it does not mention slaves it does mention in art 1 sec 2 apportionment being of free persons, Indians and 3/5 of other persons. I think that most people agree that they were talking about slaves. Also, in art 1 sec 9 it mentions importing "of such persons as any of the states now existing..." which applies to slaves.

Finally, the simple fact of history is that slaves have existed throughout history. So while our founders/framer s said that all men are created equal, the reality is that slavery was very common. As an aside, until recently in the US, women and children were considered the "property" of their husbands and fathers. In some current cultures, it is still the same.
+1 # tabonsell 2012-07-16 12:31
I will try to illustrate for you. If a man attacks a woman and mutilates her, as one California monster did when he cut off the ams of his rape victim, he can be jailed for that mutilation. But if she has a surgeon remove an arm for any reason, such as major deformity, there is no crime.

Now if a man kills a pregnant woman he can be jailed for murder of the woman and jailed for the mutilation of the unborn fetus, which is an extension of the woman just as an arm is. There doesn't need to be a murder charge on the death of the unborn. So when a woman ends a pregnancy through surgical means she is doing nothing more than if removing a badly infected or deformed arm.

Where the Constitution is silent on an issue is the same as not applying. That silence constitutes an "immunity" under federal jurisdiction and the 14th Amendment says states may not intrude onto that immunity.

All the discussion about the Dred Scott case is ill-informed. The case wasn't about property, it was about citizenship. The decision was bad for Mr. Scott, it was good for the nation. There is not enough space available to demonstrate, but think about it, because it led to removing citizenship determinations from states that refused to apply citizenship to blacks and put it with the federal government that recognizes citizenship for all persons born in the nation regardless of race, religion, sex, or other matters. It also led to keeping the nation whole.
-1 # phantomww 2012-07-17 09:41
In CA there was a case where the husband killed his wife who was 8 months pregnant (I don't think she thought it was a defomity or badly infected limb but I digress) and he was convicted of 2 murders. NOT 1 murder and 1 mutilation.

What if find truly interesting is that this "thing" can be destroyed for whatever reason by one person and it be legal and yet if this "thing" is destroyed by another then it is illegal. That would seem to mean that the "thing" is the property of one.
Seems like reversing back to Dred Scott where the court did in fact rule that slaves were property (chattels) and could not be removed from their owners withoug due process.

I also find it interesting that since it is a medical fact that a fetus no longer needs the mother at 8 months that the mother still has the right to kill it just because she feels like it. (or 7 months or even 6).
0 # tabonsell 2012-07-17 13:20
Chief Justice Taney made it abundantly clear in the first two paragraphs of the Dred Scott decision that the matter under consideration was the citizenship, or lack of citizenship, of Scott that was the question to be decided by the Court.

Then in the law textbook "Constitutional Law" by Noel T. Dowling the Dred Scott decision leads off Chapter 14 entitled "Citizenship; Section 1. Acquisition and Loss."

Dowling was the Harlan Fiske Stone professor of Constitutional law at Columbia University, so he might have known something of the issue. The editorial board of the publisher were professors of law at such places as Vanderbilt, Stanford Harvard, U of California, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Virginia, Northwestern, Yale and Utah. So, if Dowling didn't know what he was talking about, one or two of those professors might have noticed.
0 # phantomww 2012-07-17 18:01
OK we agree that Taney ruled about citizenship but that was to state that Dred Scott did not have standing to bring the case. He tried to end the debate over slavery but failed. Then, if I remember correctly (it has been a long time since I read the decision) the court then went on to deal with 2 other issues, 1 being due process (making slaves property) and the other overturning the Missouri Compromise.
+1 # tabonsell 2012-07-16 15:57
I have looked it up, and that Constitutional statement applies only to a situation in which a state is militarily attacked by the forces of another nation, it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

That discussion was about free movement by individuals in America. Such as a person in Colorado wishing to travel to Missouri (for some unknown reason) has to be allowed free access to cross the borders of Kansas, the people of Kansas cannot claim their are "defending" their borders by closing them to that Coloradan. Once again, read the 1941 SCOTUS decision of Edwards v. California to see that argument is nonsense.

And the "defending" the borders argument doesn't apply to a foreign national who comes into a territory to pick tomatoes for your dinner table, and that is the situation in Alabama, that is finding its silly law is creating havoc for its tomato farmers.
-1 # phantomww 2012-07-17 09:31
welcome to art 1 sec 10. I nonconcur with your assertion that it only applies when a state is militarily attacked by forces of another nation or that it doesn't apply to a foreign national who comes to pick tomatoes.
If 5000 armed members of a drug gang cross the border and continue to raid the area, that is an invasion and the state can defend their border. Also, when a person crosses the border illegally just how do YOU know if that person is a fruit picker or a terrorist?

One can not equate the free movement of CITIZENS with the illegal act of coming into a nation. They are just not the same. Edwards v CA was about a US Citizen having the right to move freely. It was also decided on Art 1 sec 8 comerce clause and not an immigration power clause.
At least you have stopped calling me names.
+1 # tabonsell 2012-07-17 12:56
A situation in which "5000 armed members of a drug gang cross the border and continue to raid the area" is a simple matter of crime. Raiding the area is the crime, not crossing the border, so it is a matter a state's police power being used. The same power that is available to use against the street gangs, made up of US citizens, in Los Angeles.

Article I, section 10, specifically says, "No state shall... engage in War, unless actually invaded ..." You are wrong again, and you were never called "names."
0 # phantomww 2012-07-17 17:42
Hopefully this won't be deleted but if you did not call me a name then why was your post and my reply (using the same words that you used) removed?
I am not calling name here but you did call me an "ignorant ass"

ok, how about 50,000 armed people? IS there ANY law enforcement agency capable of stopping that?

Next, how do the police stop the crime if they don't stop the people? Is not stopping people coming across the border a federal job (I think that is what the SCOTUS said)?

How do the police know the people are armed so why would they stop them?

How do the police know that the people are not in fact members of a foreign military without stopping them?

Also, Sec 10 states "or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay." So that means an actual invasion does not have to actually happen.
Thus back to my first comment that a state can protect their border. I was right.
0 # ellenandron 2012-08-12 08:38
Hear, hear!!!!
+10 # Gevurah 2012-07-12 23:03
Quoting phantomww:
this election is not about regressives v progressives but about those who believe in INDIVIDUAL freedom v those who believe in the Collective.

Individuals versus Statists.

(Chuckle) It always boils down to individual freedom for Our Corporate Masters and their lackeys in Congress to make unlimited money, despoil our environment, convert our children into ignorant, uneducated peons, -- in short,
take what is left of our democracy and sell it to the reigning plutocracy.

Individual freedom for poor children to grow up malnourished and badly schooled.
Individual freedom for poor women to take three busses to a shit-paying job while their own children are left uncared-for.

Individual freedom for students leaving college with staggering student loans to get jobs flipping burgers rather than contributing their expertise to enrich the nation.

And on and on. Poor, pitiful Libertarians or Ayn Rand-ites, whichever shoe fits. Our Corporate Masters have taught you to bend over and beg for more.
+4 # rockieball 2012-07-13 07:23
It's about giving loyalty to the Corporation. It's about the everyday people saying "We won't take it any more," or saying "We don't care how bad off we are as long as the Corporations and their CEO's live in comfort." It's about do we live in reality or do we we living in the mythology of the lilly white always perfect "Leave it to Beaver." world. Do we move forward or do we move back to the 19th century.
0 # ellenandron 2012-08-12 08:49
Well done!
And the whole personal freedom" question as well. The regressives march for personal freedom, but would take away voter's rights,women's rights,free speech rights, public education rights, marriage rights,end of life decisions,and even the right not to be harrassed on the street for papers.
This election is so important to our personal freedoms.
I'm sure we've all noticed that the regressive movement accuses the progressives of just those things of which they themselves are guilty.
+15 # jlohman 2012-07-12 09:30
Mr. Reich, what is it about money do you not understand? We have a "cash" political system. A few have it and most do not. This is an upper-class versus lower-class war, and the the top 1% are winning because they own the politicians.
-10 # John Locke 2012-07-12 10:46
jlohman: We need to pull our collective resources and buy our own politicians!
-1 # John Locke 2012-07-12 14:38
Honestly folks they don't cost all that much!
+37 # giraffee2012 2012-07-12 09:39
First order of business is to re-elect President Obama and get rid of the R(oberts) A(lito) T(homas) S(calia) and make sure no other such politically funded/married by ALEC Supreme is ever again appointed to the Supreme Court. Stop allowing those big $$ buying our government.

Looks like 2012 is a deciding elections. If the Mitt gets in + the ALEC funded GOP/TP get into Congress ==== good bye USA and Democracy. They will insure we are all paupers scratching for a piece of bread.

VOTE for NO GOP/TP at any level. IF all you have is a GOP/TP or a Blue Dog == still try the blue and pray.

Turn off FAUX/Rush, etc. THINK of vouchers for medical services, no Social Security (even if you paid into it for 30+ years or more) and on and on.

GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!
+1 # mdhome 2012-07-15 18:51
The GOP (Greedy One Percenters) will have us eating sh^t sandwiches and feel glad that things are not worse. Unbelievable we got to this point that Obama is an old time republican and no democrats are running for president, but Mitt RoMoney is so far out in right field we need a telescope to see him unless you see old clips of what he stood for a few years ago.
+15 # anarchteacher 2012-07-12 09:58
What we are fighting against is the corroded, diseased vestige of reactionary ideas of two centuries ago, ideas which have brought untold death, destruction, and misery to millions.

We must never fail to point out to our adversaries this central fact.

Never concede, never retreat, never surrender.
+13 # NeoGeo 2012-07-12 10:02
Uh, hate to say it, but where are the "progressive" choices? If all we have is Obama, how is that "progressive"? Let's see, trillions in Wall St. bailouts, no prosecution of the Banksters by Dept. of Justice, but plenty of prosecution of those producing medicinal marijuana in states that have legalized its use. An intensified regimen of spying on American citizens, use of drones to summarily murder targets and "collateral" individuals without a hint of due process (including American citizens), the phony tax break rhetoric coming from the President who signed the bill to extend the tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy, new, covert wars starting all over the globe without a single consultation with Congress, perhaps the most hawkish Secretary of State in a century, and so-called health care "reform" that puts the insurance industry directly between patients and their medical care, perhaps permanently.

Where's the progressivity here, folks?

Both major political parties continue to be in thrall to the same tiny percentage of the populace that control the wealth and hence, the power.

There's a reason more people consider themselves political Independents now than ascribe to either the Republicans or the Democrats -- because both parties have failed to move the country forward.

Reich's heart and soul are in the right place. But I'm sorry to say we don't have a progressive horse to ride in 2012's elections.
-16 # bmiluski 2012-07-12 10:26
Please tell me what covert wars all over the globe are you talking about. Although I double I'll get an answer.
+4 # NeoGeo 2012-07-12 10:58
Here's a start for you. Then add Somalia, Iran, and a host of others. But this will give you an idea of what I was referring to.

U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes ...
Jun 8, 2011 – WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the ...
0 # rockieball 2012-07-13 07:31
Let's add Yemen, and Niger to the list. Let's not forget the past covert wars Iran, Laos, Thailand, Congo, Chile. Since the end of WWII this country has covertly put into power any penny anti dictator that said "Hey I'm on your side." Then the people cry how did this happen when their is revolt and that dictators atrocities and our CIA's involvement comes out. Like Corporations and their CEO's playing monopoly with real people. The CIA and leaders of from IKE to today have been playing the game of Risk with real people
+15 # Regina 2012-07-12 10:36
Try a little "relativity" -- relative to Romney and the Grover Norquist Congress, Obama and Democrats are progressive. The alternative is so much worse that recovery would become impossible -- the ultra-regressiv es would have won, locked up the country, and thrown away all the keys. We can't afford the luxury of arguing whether Obama et al are "truly" progressive by any abstract definition -- they're our only hope at this point in time.
-12 # NeoGeo 2012-07-12 11:06
We can't afford the "luxury" of arguing whether Obama et al are truly progressive? Give me a break...remembe r President Bush? IF the Republicans were going to take over the country, they surely would have done so and Obama wouldn't have been elected in 2008. But the reality is that he was elected -- on a platform of "hope and change." Well now, we got neither hope nor change. Maybe you ought to read Jeffrey St. Clair's new book "Hopeless: Obama and the politics of illusion." It'll open your eyes to just how little change there's been since Obama took office in the direction of progressive policies.

What will happen if and when Romney wins the election is that we can finally all stand together against his policies and raise holy hell. Right now, the Obama apologists and their pals in the Demo party are, in fact, splitting our ability to fight for progressive policies for exactly the reason you wrote -- the choice we're given is the "lesser of two weasels" and really, true progressives have no choice whatsoever.

If Obama's brand of corporatocracy appeals to you, fine, vote for him. But it's no sin nor crime to leave ballot choices blank -- or write in someone -- when we are offered NO progressive alternatives.
+1 # ecoforestree 2012-07-12 13:56
We have a progressive alternative, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President and former Governor of New Mexico. Gary Johnson opposes US wars and intervention, opposes the corrupt War on Drugs, opposes the Patriot act and government violation of civil rights and supports a fair tax system and auditing the Federal Reserve.
+6 # John Locke 2012-07-12 10:49
NeoGeo: Throughout history the monied class have controlled governments, the only thing that will change that is what France did in 1789...
+8 # NeoGeo 2012-07-12 11:07
That would be "Storm the Bastille." And how right you are!
+6 # colvictoria 2012-07-12 15:23
John Locke,
Great idea but how do we get our dumbed down masses to revolt?
Fox news, Clear Channel radio, the Christian Right, and SHOPPING have created a culture of apathetic sloths.
Will never happen here in the USA.
+1 # John Locke 2012-07-13 08:33
We can get attention and publicity by erecting a large guillotine by congress, or by Wall Street, that will make people think! We can call it art …
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-07-12 12:26
Yea -- neither Republicans nor Democrats are progressive. So is Reich recommending voting for alternative candidates and parties (socialist or green), or is he trying to slicker people into thinking Democrats are progressive?

Why does it seem that most everyone speaks with a forked tongue instead of saying plainly what they mean, or have so little regard for what is true?
+15 # samoking1 2012-07-12 14:41
I agree with all your comments about Obama and his non-progressive Policies.
You got to give him credit for Obamacare
though. It is not what we need which is obviously a Singe Payer Universal Health Care Bill- something along the line of extendng Medicae to everyone not just for people over 65 years old. But it is a good start and will in time cover most of the 40 million or so now uninsured, although at enormous cost and blackmail to the private insurance and Hospital and drug companies. All previous attempts to obtain this insurance from Truman to Obama had failed so we owe Obama plenty for this. We have to vote for Obama (perhaps holding our nose) because Romney is so much worse. He is actually one of the people who caused our economic downfall -that is a Vulture Capitalist banker. Obama at least pays lip service to the 99 percent while surrounding himself with revolving door bankers to manage the economy. Obama is likely to nominate better people to the Supreme Court than Romney. One Romney appointment and all hope is lost as far as the Supreme Court is concerned for many years.
I agree we have no Progressive Horse to ride in the 2012 election but Obama on a lame donkey moving forwards is still better than Romney on an Elephant going backwards.
+22 # Dumbledorf 2012-07-12 10:04
"Regressives want to take this nation backward...."
Doesn't Mr. Reich realize that America is a virtual police state right now -- that there has been no real advancement in civilization since the 1960's and that everything positive that happened has been long undone by the neocons, including Obama?

What does the America of 2012 really stand for? TSA agents who sexually molest children and passengers? Endless wars? Torture? Open boarders? Militarized local police departments? FEMA camps? Surveillence cameras everywhere? Endless wall-street bailouts? Endless home foreclosures? 22% unemployment? Corporate owned and controlled politicians? 30,000 drones flying overhead? Remote controlled drone killings in foreign lands. MONSANTO?

Let's get real!We are not living in a land of opportunity. We are are living in a corporate controlled oligarchy. We are already in the dark ages. Our country is ruined and we have to take it back!
+10 # John Locke 2012-07-12 10:57
YES! I can not agree more!
It's time to openly declare the truth this is a civil and class war... the banks and their government enablers are against the people, the 99%! they have taken control of the US Government and are now oppressing us!

They want it all at our peril! not only our wealth, but the blood of our children! Wars are their game play, and we are all expendible...
+11 # Feral Dogz 2012-07-12 10:06
Thank you again, Robert Reich, for stating clearly and succinctly the importance of participating in democratic process (voting) and choosing progress over regression. The forces of evil are formidable but we, the people vastly outnumber them and will prevail in the end, hopefully sooner than later, without the harsh lessons of the past.
+13 # reiverpacific 2012-07-12 10:33
This is almost a "duh" for most readers of RSN and engaged progressives -But not the once-every-four -year couch-potato activists who ignore the issues for three and 2/3rds years and then tune in to the owner-media, including Fox and PBS for "Guidance" leading up to the election. They are the "Swing" demographic who are subject to sound-byte politics, which is how the "Regressives" (I call them "Medievalists") like it and play divide and conquer, spy-vs.-spy, slave making, flag-waving jingoistic faux-patriotism , military-worshi p and "Panem et Circenses" with a barely or non-educated mass; -and they are closer to complete control than ever before.
What is really scary is that it's not just the US but it's effect on the rest of the world, many long-time allies and neighbors still deluded enough to look on this country as the land of opportunity, which indeed I found it to be when I first came here (not to make bug bucks but to work with some pioneering artists and architects of the mid seventies and beyond).
I really don't know what to do about it, as I have a five-year plan to accomplish a new business goal then leave and I don't get to vote anyway. But I'd suggest that, like my wife, y'all give Obama another chance and hold his feet closely to the Progressive fire until they singe.
The alternative hardly bears contemplation, not just the for US (and it's credibility) but for the planet also.
+11 # SearchingfortruthSarah 2012-07-12 12:08
I totally agree with this advice:
Quoting reiverpacific:
y'all give Obama another chance and hold his feet closely to the Progressive fire until they singe.
The alternative hardly bears contemplation, not just the for US (and it's credibility) but for the planet also.

There are many I know who won't vote for Obama because they think he isn't strong enough, or because they think the opposition is so against him personally that they would rather see him fail than see the US succeed, but the alternative is so much bigger than that!
Do we really want to go BACKWARDS????
-11 # John Locke 2012-07-12 14:40
Searchingfortru thSarah: WE already have gone backward, we have less civil rights today then when Obama was elected!
0 # pernsey 2012-07-15 20:02
They may even be prejudice and all that other stuff is just excuses...just a thought.
+6 # Salty 2012-07-12 10:47
As I see the political struggle today there are numerous greedy, self-centered groups motivating and funding the Republican Party, and weakening the Democratic Party. All these groups want to control America for money and power. These groups include the ultra rich of the world, the criminal (including various global crime syndicates), investment bankers, the military industrial syndicate, most of the major corporations, and all the racist elements that formerly until the Civil Rights Movement were Southern Democrats. These groups oppose those, especially those in the Democratic Party, who believe in one person one vote, and who believe that government is intended to relieve the suffering of the governed. It is rich and wannabe rich versus the middle class and the poor.
We fought for freedom and democracy in World War II. Why should any of us fight to support the vile state the Rich and Criminal are imposing on us? If we can't reduce the influence of money on politics, then we should reduce the number of the Rich. The Rich controlling our society are not even Americans. We know who they are.
Democracy has been perverted by the Rich to mean Capitalism. There is little difference between True Democracy and True Socialism. One percent of the richest part of our population controlling 40% of our wealth is DISGUSTING. We have to do more than write angry letters about it, and more than march. What we do is up to each person.
+5 # chrisconnolly 2012-07-12 10:54
It does seem like its too late but it is good to hear that someone of intellect and credibility is sounding off so simply about what and who is stealing our democracy. We have got to vote Democrat this time and tell anybody in very civil tones that these are issues too important to just take Faux (not) news' word for anything. WE are losing the battles but we will hopefully stand up in time to win the war that is being waged against we the little people, the 99%.
+13 # Salty 2012-07-12 10:58
A major issue in this election is control of Congress. Citizens United allows massive inputs of money from all over the world to flow into each district. Most of this money will be given to Republicans. Most governors and state assemblies are already Republican. Even if we have a Democratic President he will be unable to move or breathe. I can barely imagine what it will take to bring America back to Democracy, one person one vote. We are a strangled Democracy now, ruled by Money!
+7 # SearchingfortruthSarah 2012-07-12 11:45
I think this is spot on. The war on all things we have come so far to achieve. They even want to go backwards with regards to public education! So many developing countries are still struggling to even get education opportunities for all, and we have people in this country wanting to go backwards! Dont understand it.
+3 # Feral Dogz 2012-07-13 09:52
Quoting SearchingfortruthSarah:
I think this is spot on. The war on all things we have come so far to achieve. They even want to go backwards with regards to public education! So many developing countries are still struggling to even get education opportunities for all, and we have people in this country wanting to go backwards! Dont understand it.

The trend toward willful ignorance (creationism taught in schools, no sex education, replacing history with conservative mythology, culturally biased standardized testing and a focus on serving a corrupt and failing economic system and away from critical thinking and questioning authority) will bring an end to what is left of democracy in America.
+2 # Irish Jack 2012-07-15 12:12
Willful ignorance! I love the expression! It fits well with my complaint that history is being rewritten to suit the speaker's position. Bill Clinton is turned into a member of the Tea Party, Nixon becomes FDR and let's see, whatever other fantasy can the talking head manufacture
+2 # jwb110 2012-07-12 13:03
I suppose a look at the early history of America could have some signposts for the LONG term direction of the country. The firing on the Veterans post WW! because they wanted the mustering out pay they had been promised; directive sent from General MacArthor and carried out by Eisenhower. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and miners trapped in collapse mines. This will be replaced with a Patriot Act that will be used not on Terrorists but on American Citizens. Fracking until there isn't a single glas of water, except in the filtered/revers e osmosis homes of the 1%, that will be worth drinking. And finally the backlash that gave us Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Ruther and Anarchy and the ultimate joke that the regressives who support the regressives are going to be under the same thumb of the regressives that the progressives will be under 'til it all changes.
+3 # thomachuck 2012-07-14 03:34
All this conflict because an unentitled member of a minority group was allowed to be elected president. How sad. The right has become unhinged and xenophobic and the left can tell the truth about history, economics and social justice until they are blue in the face and no one will believe them.
-1 # Innocent Victim 2012-07-14 17:36
Mr Reich, the story of America is BS. Who are the progressives? The Democrats? Barack Obama? What tripe! A Democrat cannot be a progressive, because party loyalty comes before ideology. Consider Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich: they broke their progressive pledges to vote NO on any health-care bill without a strong public option. They betrayed their pledge and voted yes on Obamacare for health insurers! Why? They explained that they did not want to undermine the President, BO.
Mr Reich, there are no progressives in Washington. If there are any at all, they are people like me who will not vote for a Republican or a Democrat.
0 # ellenandron 2012-08-12 08:57
Unfortunately, this year, even if you feel the Democrats are not progressive enough, and I can see your points on that, if you vote for an Independent, you are voting Republican. Protest on the street, but vote Democratic in November. Votes will be stolen, so every progressive needs to vote for the Democratic candidates. If they are back in the White house and can somehow get control again of the Congress, we can put pressure on them these next four years. But it will get infinitely worse if the regressives get even more power.
+3 # Irish Jack 2012-07-15 12:05
Mr. Reich is to be congratulated for straightening out the historical record this morning on Face the Nation. The gentleman from National Review was subtly and disingenuously distorting the aftermath of what call the Gingrich Affair. This distorting or downright lying about history is a malicious trend in what passes for discourse in the public forum. All to often the political media has cooperated and helped to perpetuate these distortion by not calling characters like Mr. National Review on his facts.

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