Home | About | Donate

It Takes a Movement


It Takes a Movement

Robert Reich

In 2008, when then-Senator Barack Obama promised progressive change if elected President, his primary opponent, then-Senator Hillary Clinton, derided him.


Great, on point article. Spread this around.


When the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court it was a huge setback. Everyone including members of Congress know the political system has been corrupted by money. Congress has been working on this issue for years. There has been some progress in stopping the revolving door, requiring people to wait a period before taking jobs in the industries they are overseeing. What we need is ideas on how to get campaign finance reform. What is to be done about Citizens United? Democrats and Republicans have worked together on this issue and hopefully whomever is elected president an attempt will be made to address it again. . After years of talking about this and even some legislation that passed we do need more to reduce the corruption in our political system.


In short, “the real world we’re living in” right now won’t allow fundamental change of the sort we need. It takes a movement.

Reich is spot on.

Bernie Sanders quoted Fredrick Douglas’ observation that:

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. . . Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Sanders is correct in noting that a political revolution is needed in the US. It won’t end with Bernie Sanders, but we can take a bigger step in that direction if he is elected.


"Spread this around" but note Reich's revisionist history:

1) The income tax started under Woodrow Wilson, not Teddy Roosevelt. There was an entire Taft Administration in between the two, and

2) Obama signed away public financing and started the big money flow as soon as he beat Clinton in the primary in June 2008, not 2012.

Reich wants us to think that Obama was derailed at some point while non-revisionist history clearly shows that Obama was far from progressive during all of his time in elected offices.


Yes, Reich has it dead on here. Had Elizabeth Warren run this wouldn't have been even close! She chose not too for her own reasons and the mantle of the "movement" fell to Bernie. I don't think he'd have minded if Warren had decided to run instead. He should reach out to her now and say, Elizabeth run with me and let's change the World. That would make her Bernie's heir and my guess he would probably only run this one time. The future is with Warren and the other young people of the party and they clearly want REAL CHANGE NOW!


It may be that Warren or another qualified woman of integrity will/would accept the VP slot should Sanders win the nomination, or massively enhance his chances to do so, by a promise of a woman running-mate prior to the Dem Convention. That woman would become the heir apparent and gain 4 years of name recognition and experience - some of Warren's recent public statements might lead some to believe that might be possible.
A woman put forward as Sanders' intended running-mate prior to the convention (if allowed) would radically change the gender-gap between Sanders and Hillary. The older demographic and some women that have so-far bought-into Hill's message would perhaps change their allegiance and vision of what IS actually possible in American politics rather than remain mired in "the best we can get" charade and continued representation and rule by and for the 1%..........just thinkin.....


("A personal note: A few years ago OFA wanted to screen around America the movie Jake Kornbluth and I did about widening inequality, called “Inequality for All” – but only on condition we delete two minutes identifying big Democratic donors. We refused. They wouldn’t show it.")

This sums up in a nutshell why Obama wasn't willing to deliver on his promise of progressive change. This also illustrates the vital necessity of choosing Sanders over Clinton -- she has no interest in getting money and corporate influence out of politics.


I think she's afraid to alienate the Democratic Party machinery even though she's an important proponent for more honest economics and related channels of accountability.


We're thinking along parallel lines. Your strategy is right-on, and I "endorse this message." (LOL)


Hi Wicklund,

In my interactions with Elizabeth Warren, I've found her to be far too supportive of the present militaristically driven approach to foreign policy. She has not even voiced opposition to the US practice of crowd killing.

I understand your sentiment of demoralization. We need a great deal of change in order to bring about a just, equitable, sustainable, and peaceful nation and world. We will be a step close if Bernie is elected, but we will still have far to go, well beyond his potential time in office. Bernie Sanders has advocated a movement that will bring about a political revolution. Regardless of who gets elected, it will be an important advance if we are able to move forward in building such a movement.


Thanks again to Robert Reich for clarity regarding the main issue at stake, what is actually going on, and how that applies to presidential politics. Appreciate the comments too whether pro or con! What is occurring is a very big change. It involves a change of worldview from the Enlightenment (and pre-) mechanistic empiricism and the materialism (physicalism) of the 19th-20th c. Ultimately it is the recognition that all things are connected, which means that the "individual" is only a somewhat useful fiction, not the basis of society; and that there are energies, forces in the world far beyond those studied by physics.


i wonder if she promised HRC that she wouldn't run, even as VP. 'twould be a shame.


I'm so glad to hear this message being repeated and fleshed out. I would gladly accept Hillary as president if we could also get the progressive "revolution" that Bernie (and Reich and Warren and others) have been calling for, pressuring her (and Congress) from the outside for REAL progressive change. This real change will take MASSIVE involvement by many millions of people BEYOND those who are already showing up to support Bernie. That means reaching out to and getting on board people across the political spectrum (yes, including religious conservatives and Tea Party types)

I am a big supporter of Bernie, but even if we elect him, if we believing that he, or other people will just go ahead and make all the changes, WITHOUT getting engaged ourselves and without reaching out to mobilize non-traditional allies, would predictably disappoint us all. If we learned absolutely nothing else from the past 8 years, it is this:

Electing a great candidate for President, then congratulating ourselves, and going home to wait for the change he promised us, is not a likely path to the change we want.


You can't help but wonder about that? Maybe there might also be some extortion involved... not some deep secret Lizzie the Vamp Warren (:innocent: lol) tidbit but that the Clinton machine would do their best to ruin her chances if she ran?

Who knows but it makes you wonder?


The Constitution was amended to provide for an income tax when Wilson was president. The Constitution had to be amended because the very conservative Supreme Court always ruled an income tax unconstitutional.

When Teddy ran as a Progressive in the 1912 election he proposed steeply graduated income and inheritance taxes to redistribute the wealth. Wilson signed the income tax into law, but we still don't have a graduated inheritance tax. This means wealth concentrates in families because children inherit the wealth of their parents.

Obama rejected public financing because this would have limited how much he was raising privately. He is not a fool, unless nobody can raise money privately, it is foolish to refuse to raise money privately to finance your campaign.


I want Hillary to choose Warren as her VP. Hillary will win the nomination because the powers in the party will insure this. After all, we used to let powerful people in smoke-filled rooms pick the nominee of the party. Democrats want to win and they think Hillary has a better chance than Sanders in the general election because Sanders is a socialist.

If Hillary wins, the Republican-controlled House will vote to impeach her for mishandling classified documents (a misdemeanor) and the Republican-controlled Senate will convict her. Hillary will be out and Warren will be president.


you are verbalizing my greatest fear. i could be a lot more informed on sanders than i am. do you have a quickie primer that i could use to bring me up to speed on your points? i support his domestic platform and am thrilled to see the energy behind him. but his garbage on israel and the f-35 have always bothered me. perpetual war and killing the planet are my top two concerns; everything else is subsumed under those two topics, for me. alas...... thx.


agreed about hillary the lying chameleon and hawk. i do have strong reservations about warren b/c i think she's not willing to step out of the democratic party box. lee has impressed me although admittedly, i know little about her. at this point, i don't see anyone else "in the party" whom i'd be willing to support. very depressing.


I'm not convinced that the politicians, particularly the Republicans, want much change in Campaign Finance. Sorry.