DMI’s Andrea Batista Schlesinger Speaks at Take Back America: “Not in Our Nature”
On Monday morning, the Take Back America conference kicked off with a panel titled, "Our Time Has Come." The point of the panel was to drive this home: conservatism has definitively failed America and it's time for progressives to lead. DMI's Executive Director Andrea Batista Schlesinger spoke at this opening plenary about the best way for progressives to get this job done.
To watch Andrea in action, check out this video clip of Andrea's speech, titled "Not in Our Nature," on the Albany Project blog.
The transcript of Andrea's speech was published by TomPaine yesterday. Here's my favorite part:
I've been thinking a lot about the nature versus nurture conversation. Maybe it's the conversation about gays in the military again. Maybe it's the talk about women in science. Larry Summers isn't here, is he? I've been thinking about nature versus nurture as a debate that's really true and relevant when it comes to our economy. For the Right—our economy, it's nature. Globalization—it's nature. The world is flat, after all. More millionaires than ever—nature. Concentration of wealth at the top—nature. Exorbitant CEO pay—that's just what happens. Only 12% of Americans in labor unions—nature. Forty-seven million without health insurance. The share of GDP going to wages and salaries—the smallest in the 77 years since they've started collecting the data. That's just nature.
But it's not nature is it?
We know that fact that the social contract has been obliterated, and that more and more risk is being borne by us. Exit polling in the mid-term election showed that more and more Americans do not believe that their children will do as well as they have done. That's not nature. We have a choice. Public policy can make our nation fairer. Or it won't. But it's a choice.
For more of Andrea's analysis on what sets the left apart from the right - and what progressives should do about it - click here for her interview on the Take Back America blog:
"Progressives have the answers here. The response of Democrats shouldn't be to pick a Chinese/Greek diner (pick your cuisine) menu of public policies to advance. We did that during the Clinton years. The result was that people loved Clinton himself, but didn't understand that the improvement in their living standards was the result of a philosophy: government is a good thing, a positive thing, not the enemy, not something that should shrink until it's small enough for Grover Norquist to drown in a bathtub."