Skip to main content

Some of us progressives despair of the shortcomings of the Obama Administration and corporatist leanings and mistakes in the Affordable Care Act. In this column and other forums I have argued that American history has been made by average American people struggling collectively for more justice and more freedom. Of course, that has never been a straight line and progress has always been uneven, but great change has been made throughout our history in what was once called the experiment of democracy.

Perhaps the single greatest example of that change in spite of overwhelming obstacles was the sea change that occurred in the first half of the 19th century in American attitudes toward slavery culminating in a gigantic civil war that took the lives of 650,000 people — more than all the lives lost in every other war the US engaged in combined. In about 50 years, slavery went from being a horrendous fact of American life to people sacrificing all they had in a war to destroy it.

There is no place for despair among American progressives and the American Left.

We can never be sure when the culmination of activism, agitation, direct action and political action turns into an unstoppable movement, when as if by direction thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of Americans begin to move collectively.

Referring again to Foner’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, The Fiery Trial, Foner writes, “[Lincoln] came to see himself as part of a long struggle against slavery that stretched back to the eighteenth century and might, he said, continue for another hundred years. Lincoln had found life’s purpose… ‘I am proud to contribute an humble mite to that glorious consummation, which my own poor eyes may not last to see.’ There was no mistaking the consummation Lincoln envisioned was the eventual eradication of slavery.”

There is no place for despair on the American Left.

Photo source: Will O’Neill on Flickr via a Creative Commons Attribution License

Get Stewart's new mini eBook Change is Coming for FREE NOW!

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site