Robert Reich looks at why there is no revolution or massive progressive reform in the US. I think this is a great list of large, systemic problems weighted against active progressive politics. But it's also missing what we're missing: chickening out on describing where liberals are failing when we could perhaps be succeeding.
Economic elites win when they create a sense of separation between ordinary people. We no longer divide according to "all politics is local," where we fight for our district, or for our economic class. Instead we separate by our psychology into groups that feel good together. One of the biggest issues has been the success of conservatives in pulling the proud, working poor into their camp: Democrats do not give underpaid workers dignity in our rhetoric.
As we consider launching missiles into Syria, perhaps sacrificing American troops in another Middle East war, perhaps letting the world see chemical weapons get used successfully without repercussions, there aren't easy answers. But one thing we can do, one thing we owe the Syrian civilians and US troops, is to engage in a serious conversation that is about the real situation in Syria and not just our political habits -- not fall into habitual liberal and conservative patterns.
Without suggesting a particular course of action, what would improve the debate?