I haven’t done a lot about the election on this show. I’ve been talking more about the foundational issues that underlie the situation we find ourselves in — an age of very imperfect politics, government, finance, and business. Our democracy and our governance are dominated by a handful of billionaires, and a number of multimillionaires and their corporations who do not share the interests of the larger society.
But In early September I read a piece by Tom Hayden at Truthout.com. Over the next several days, it appeared all over the progressive blogosphere – Saving Obama, Saving Ourselves. I immediately contacted Tom to come on and talk about the election.
Among other things, he reminds us of the accomplishments of the first Obama administration in light of the actual political and economic circumstances he faced. He also looks at history of previous social movements. How did they interact with the political process in pursuit of their goals? And what did they gain and sacrifice in the process?
HAYDEN: “History will show that the first term was better than most progressives now think…By their nature, the achievements of social movements are lesser versions of original visions…If Obama loses, it will be unfair to blame the left, but they will be blamed nonetheless. As a consequence they will become more marginal, far less able to connect with the progressive constituencies and mass movements with vital stakes in Obama’s re-election.”