On a trip to Cuba recently, it was clear to me that change is in the air. It wasn't just that President Obama and Raúl Castro had agreed to see if relations could be normalized, nor was it an admission that communism had failed. Rather, it seems to be an understanding that some form of capitalism is sorely needed to breathe life into the Cuban economy.
On the heels of the President calling on Congress during the State of the Union to grant him trade promotion authority "to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren't just free, but fair," it is worth noting a fascinating study released recently on global connectedness.
Either Obama will be the president whose initiatives to address income inequality and wage stagnation helped rebuild America's middle class, or he will prioritize a trade agenda that will offshore more good-paying jobs, destroy what is left of the American manufacturing sector, increase income inequality and speed the demise of America's middle class.
The key to breaking the climate and energy policy logjam in Washington, D.C., Naomi Klein contends in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, is the building of a powerful social movement. Citizens can then put leaders into office who are willing to take decisive action to protect the climate.
We have to encourage our gay friends and each other to value ourselves more, not to succumb to the easy temptation of quick, cheap ego boosts that will actually set us back socially, for we are not just satisfying sexual cravings when we indulge down-low men but committing self-betrayal and hypocrisy.