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EDITOR’S NOTE

A TIME TO FIGHT

Despite the familiar chaos and horrific violence that marks the end of the Trump presidency, the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the nation’s forty-sixth President and forty-ninth Vice President, respectively, represents a tremendous opportunity for the progressive movement and The Progressive magazine.

For the first time in what seems like an eternity, there is a chance to move the needle in the direction of a fairer, safer, and saner world. Our input and our advocacy matter more than ever.

That is why, in this issue, we turn our attention to asking what the new administration can accomplish, and how political progressives can help make that happen.

change, Marisa Endicott on housing policy, Brian Gilmore on racism, Diane Ravitch on education, and James Goodman on immigration.

We also proudly present an excerpt from the excellent new book Work Won’t Love You Back, by frequent contributor Sarah Jaffe, and a new piece of writing from our longtime friend Wendell Berry.

Elsewhere in this issue (on page 37), we make an appeal for your financial support, which I hope you will consider. It’s true that this magazine has always depended on reader contributions, beyond subscriptions, to sustain itself. But I am asking here for something else. I am asking you to help spread the word about the vital work we’re doing.

Our good friend John Nichols spells out, with crystal clarity, why retreating from progressive ideals would be a grave mistake for the new administration—similar to the mistakes that other Democratic administrations have made in the past:

“If Biden and Congressional Democrats do not reset their course quickly, a toxic mix of centrist messaging and policy compromises will prove to be a recipe for political disaster,” he writes. “It will cost the party control of the House and Senate in 2022 and the presidency in 2024. It will also fail the American people at a time when there is a pressing, desperate need for bold responses to COVID-19, mass unemployment, the climate crisis, and the unanswered cries for racial justice.”

Be a part of that work by telling those you know that this is a magazine worth subscribing to. Buy them gift subscriptions. Sign up for our free newsletter, which highlights what we are doing online. And talk up our website, which offers not just timely and important pieces from diverse writers but also a welcome respite from the constant interruption, hectoring, and ad bombardment of other websites. It is a refuge in an increasingly gnarly Internet wilderness.

Our stiff-spined founder, Fighting Bob La Follette.

With this issue, The Progressive marks its 112th birthday. The first issue rolled off the presses on January 9, 1909. We believe the life of this magazine is a thing worth fighting for. Our founder would undoubtedly agree.

The Reverend William J. Barber II gives his prescriptions for concrete steps that the country can take to address the problems of economic disparity. As he puts it, “We cannot afford the extreme inequality that is crippling American democracy.”

Other writers sound similar calls to action, zeroing in on how Biden and Harris can, by being pushed from the left, deliver meaningful and systemic progressive reform. Sam Pizzigati looks at how a President who wasn’t primarily interested in making the rich richer could reduce extreme economic inequity. Sharon Johnson explores the potential for curbing gun violence, at the federal level and in cities and states across the country. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies see the possibility of a foreign policy that isn’t driven by the Military-Industrial Complex.

Plus, there are pieces by Natalie Shure on the fight against COVID-19, Tina Gerhardt on various ways to combat climate

Bill Lueders Editor

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