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A Challenge

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' A major challenge for progressives is whether it is possible forge consensus on vision and program [or as consultants call it, narrative]. Obama is re-emphasizing an emphasis on economic inequality, framed as a choice between being on your own or all in this together. That’s a start for Democrats, and a welcome echo of Occupy Wall Street. The same theme accounts for the exceptional rise of Warren and De Blasio. But it is a fuzzy and incomplete vision, a blended blur of the New Deal (“expand Social Security”) and the New Economy (“Facebook and Google will set us free”). The faulty vision reflects fault lines in the underlying coalition. Balancing the contradictions is the key to building a winning majority coalition electorally; too far in either direction can result in splits which favor the Republican strategy of divide-to-rule.'

Tom Hayden, longtime activist
and former California state senator