This piece is part of the Prospect's series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years. To read the introduction, click here.
The right wing has been stunningly successful in creating a new normal. The idea of labor unions and the role they play in providing middle--class wages and a middle-class lifestyle, the idea of defined pensions and benefits—these are, according to the new normal, all so 20th--century and no longer appropriate.
“The Death of Environmentalism” has stimulated a lot of debate, and not just at tables where environmentalists gather. It asks questions that are legitimate and necessary to consider: how to fight Wal-Mart, how to win universal health care, how to create a world of limitless opportunity instead of widespread hunger and disease. It suggests the need for a completely new approach to combating global warming -- an approach that must reach across the planet to address megacorporate power, economic interests, cultural differences, and individual expectations.
Given his lack of mandate, one might have expected moderation and caution from George W. Bush. Instead, Bush moved aggressively to reframe the basic dialogue of American politics and restructure the institutions of American government.
What has Bush to teach John Kerry? Bush adhered consistently to three core principles: