Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang is the author of the forthcoming Who We Be: The Colorization of America.

Recent Articles

Culture Before Politics

In freeing creativity, progressives can once again capture and carry forward our national imagination.

Al Gore, left, and Davis Guggenheim pose with the Oscar for best documentary feature for the film "An Inconvenient Truth" (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
On Nov. 3, progressives awoke to find that they had returned to 2004. Despite important legislative victories, Democrats had been outflanked. Republicans had successfully sold themselves as the party of economic growth, the party of the angry out-of-work American, and, most dissonantly, the party of change. They owned the narrative and won big. It wasn't supposed to be like this. In the dark days following George W. Bush's re-election, frustrated progressives set out to build an enduring movement that would effectively advance and communicate their ideas, policies, and values. Funders and strategists created new institutions and scaled up existing ones, including think tanks, civic-engagement organizations, and media-watchdog groups. These institutions played a key role in the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress, the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, and the passage of parts of the Obama platform in 2009 and 2010. Yet as progressives watched Democrats suffer the worst election...