My friend Bryan Norcross here recalls the moon launch as a (very young) part of the NASA family. (If you don’t subscribe to the Washington Post, you can find it on Facebook. But why would you not subscribe? “Democracy dies in darkness.”)
My fellow classmate James Mann discovered this short, incredibly eloquent speech William Safire wrote that Nixon, thankfully, never had to deliver.
These were days when people believed government could do great things (and presidential “eloquence” was not unheard of).
Which brings us to . . .
Nathaniel Frank: “Regarding your argument that Democrats stand for ‘fairness,’ I don’t think the focus on ‘fairness’ is the best approach. Research shows that conservatives feel that they stand for fairness, just as we feel that we do (it’s not fair that people cut in line to enter our country illegally; that people who earn lots of money have so much taxed away; that non-whites get chosen for jobs and colleges over others, and get government handouts they didn’t earn, etc.). Most of these may be myths, but that doesn’t make them any less resonant, and in fact I’d argue that resentment about perceived unfairness was a major reason Trump won and the GOP retains so much power.
“I think our best message is one that genuinely distinguishes us from them, rather than one that allows both sides to claim we are all for things that most humans say they value. So what do I think we stand for?
“Evan Wolfson and I argue here in Slate that Democrats are the party of robust government working for regular people, a government that provides equal opportunity, protects the most vulnerable (including the planet), and ensures a functioning democracy that checks corruption and concentration of power by the wealthy and well-connected. [It’s an important read, for those who have the time; ending with a timely quote from (Republican) Teddy Roosevelt. — A.T.]
“No, I wouldn’t advise every candidate to identify as the party of ‘big’ government today and tomorrow; but articulating a defense of this principle over time is crucial. Progressives need a long-term strategy that tells our story, describes what we stand for, and explains why folks should join us. Being honest and unapologetic about our support for active government (or call it ‘good government’) is critical to the future of progressivism and the Democratic party.
“Progressives want to rescue our democracy from the powerful interests that place themselves above everyone else. Our nation and the world face enormous challenges that the current regime is bent on exacerbating through divisiveness, self-enrichment and deception. But united, a coalition of the decent can put progressives back in power to enact policies that solve our problems — including these five:
1. Dangerously high economic inequality. Progressives endorse policies that grow the economy by creating and sustaining jobs (including investments in infrastructure, renewable energy and retraining); that make quality education affordable and accessible; that create a tax code in which the most fortunate are asked to contribute more to help their country thrive.
2. Access to health care. Progressives embrace the Affordable Care Act’s success in expanding health insurance coverage to reach over 90 percent of Americans, and will work to rectify its shortcomings and ensure universal, quality health care to all Americans.
3. Prejudice. Progressives endorse policies known to reduce prejudice (such as bias training among law enforcement, educators and others) and to mitigate its ongoing harms (including criminal justice reform; investment in early childhood education; the protection of women’s health and reproductive freedom; and legislation banning anti-LGBT discrimination).
4. Perversions of democracy. Progressives seek to end partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the concentration of money in politics.
5. Climate. Progressives embrace policies that restrict carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, and incentivize research, development and business practices that contribute to reversing the warming of the planet.”