From Conservative Failure to Progressive Action

The Take Back America session was titled “How Conservatism Has Failed,” but with the strong desire for positive change, discussion quickly moved to how to turn that failure into progressive action.

Our own Rick Perlstein succinctly summed up why conservatism failed, because “the conservative movement is about nothing.” Civil rights attorney Connie Rice furthered the point, that because conservatives are about “deconstructing” and not “creating,” then “every single policy becomes part of the problem.”

But Rice also challenged progressives not to get “stuck on stupid,” and flog ideas that haven’t worked to lift up the underclass. And American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson observed that it’s a “challenge for those in the Democratic orbit” how to reconcile progressive ideals with the forces of globalization.

Center for American Progress’ Melody Barnes ended on a hopeful note, putting forth her organization’s comprehensive strategy to cut poverty in half by 2020, showing how a progressive vision can actually do something, where conservatism has done nothing.


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