The American Prospect Turns 20

| 8/18/2010 9:34:50 AM

AMCoversept2010The September issue of The American Prospect opens with an essay from Robert Kuttner, one of the magazines founders, analyzing the first two decades of the magazine’s existence. Kuttner sees “gains and losses to the liberal project” that is at the heart of the magazine.

In the win column for that project Kuttner lists the inclusion of minorities and women into more aspects of society, using the election of Barack Obama, as well as the ascension of Sarah Palin as examples of liberal gains in the politics of inclusion.

Still, Kuttner sees an area where the liberal project has failed.  “Since 1990,” he writes, “particular movements demanding inclusion made great gains, but the general movement to harness capitalism and broaden prosperity has suffered terrible losses.”

What to make of these gains and losses?  Kuttner takes three things away:

“First, the out-groups that won major gains did so as genuine and impolite social movements, not as supplicants.…

“Second, liberals in and out of government need to think bigger, not smaller.…

“Third, whether on the liberal left of the conservative right, the gains and losses of the era from Reagan to Obama began as battles of ideas.”

Kuttner rightly concludes: “Magazines like [The American Prospect] matter because ideas matter.”

Source: The American Prospect

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