Joan Walsh

 

Joan Walsh is editor-at-large at Salon and an MSNBC political analyst.

 

Recent Articles

Our Battle Scars

The Cause tells how liberals gave America the best of the 20th century. So why is it so hard to be one?

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I t’s taken me almost my entire life to come out of the closet as a liberal. In college at the end of the 1970s, I was no revolutionary, but I thought of myself as a radical. Working at “the independent socialist newspaper” In These Times in the 1980s, I tried on actual socialism, with some relief at having a name for what I thought I believed. Later I became a progressive, when that term came to stand for the Paul Wellstone-Howard Dean “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” In middle age, I’ve belatedly found solace and realism in calling myself a liberal. Eric Alterman and Kevin Mattson’s The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama explains why. The book also makes clear why it took me so long to come to terms with my sober, modest, occasionally enervating political identity. Alterman and Mattson remind us how much liberalism has accomplished over the past 75 years: protecting workers; advancing civil and economic rights for black people...