But what have we won?
- Huge numbers of people have lost their homes.
- Unemployment, though improving, is still high, and most new jobs pay less than the jobs they replace.
- The degradation of the environment of human culture and of the earth's ecosystem continues.
- The wars and the expansion of the national security state continue.
What have we won?
Gay rights, black rights, women's rights. The right to have our votes counted, though the Republicans are still trying to take that away. Not small things, no, but these rights will not return any people to their homes, or get people jobs. In these things, we have won only the right to keep fighting.
What remains to be won?
The security of elections from big money
After two billion spent on the Presidential election, about a billion from both sides, the Democrats and the Republicans fought to a standstill, or perhaps the Obama campaign's superior computer campaigning won the day. But in state and local elections, it's entirely another story. A sufficiently well-heeled outsider can buy most state and local elections.
A non-partisan judiciary
On Friday, the DC Circuit rendered a ruling that invalidates not just many of Obama's recess appointments. The immediate results are that the National Labor Relations Board is shut down, probably indefinitely, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may never begin operations. But the decision is very broad, and probably nothing like the original intent of the Framers. Reasoning like Christian fundamentalists, the Court rendered a decision which invalidates executive and judicial appointments throughout the 20th century. Stare decisis much? The willingness of "conservatives" to tear down long-standing governmental structures to achieve short-term political goals is an awesome thing.
At this point, I'm finding ideas coming faster than I have time to flesh them out. So I'm going to outline them, and maybe I'll return to them later.
A representative government
Reform the Senate, the Electoral College, and the campaign finance system. We don't have representative democracy any more; we have something else, something run by money and media, and it's killing us.
Reality-based economic policy
Keynes was right, Hayek was wrong. It's time to admit it and act on it.
Health care for all
The right to negotiate working conditions and wages as equals with management.