For all the frantic, often chaotic political engagement swirling about us these days involving taxes, gun rights, religious liberty and foreign policy, Americans may well be overlooking an even bigger problem: Have we unconsciously consigned the American Dream to the proverbial dustbin?
Several evaluations of black and white wealth in America have surfaced over the past several months. Yet, these tools only tell part of the economic story. To truly understand the difference in economic access, you must look at the top of American wealth, and be honest about what you find.
Some political observers believe that if we only had competitive elections throughout the country -- if most congressional districts weren't gerrymandered -- then we would have more moderates in Congress and, therefore, less polarization. Think again. Polarization is the new normal.
The only way for our nation to regain its economic and democratic vitality in the years to come is to acknowledge the inherent poverty of America's new prosperity -- a prosperity for only the very few that is inherently anti-democratic and insidious. We can do much better.
Our new economic era is characterized by the supremacy of financial capital which vacuums up the productive wealth of the nation, and then uses the nation's wealth as an insurance policy to pay for its inevitable losses.
The underlying message in the 1 percent's latest public relations blitz seems to be that the rest of us have it all wrong and whatever we think is going on is nothing more than a bunch of rumors coming from a few misguided loud mouths.
We can rehabilitate a Social Contract that connects us. With a restored self-image, we can reverse Citizens United, rebalance our political process, and find trade policies that serve society as a whole.
Please, Mr. President: no grand bargains with the defeated. No toleration of their scorched-earth policies. Stop inviting Republicans to dinner. Start eating them for lunch. Democratic charm-offensives focused on Republican lawmakers can come at too high a price.
At this stage of the campaign, it no longer even makes sense to try judging Romney's candidacy by his views. He has too many irreconcilable differences with the truth for that -- and it's those differences that disqualify him from holding the highest elected office in the land.
I'm perpetually annoyed by the blind reverence and adulation African Americans seem to shower on our president despite the fact that few of them can name a single thing he's done, other than get himself elected, to help them.
Common sense solutions like these, while painfully obvious, are entirely inadmissible within mainstream political dialogue. Why is that? Why can't common sense be applied to our defense expenditures, which now are almost equal to the rest of the world combined?