From the Editor

The Return of Progressive Democracy

The first issue of Progressive Democracy for 2014 was to be out on January 1.  It was ready to go when our web-master was diagnosed with a very serious medical condition that prevented him from doing the work.

We kept putting off the date of publication hoping that he would be well enough soon to proceed.  It didn’t work out that way.  By the time we realized that he was not going to be in condition to continue and then to find someone with the technical expertise to replace him, the entire quarter has slipped away.

So this issue will still kick off the new year but will be appearing at the beginning of the second quarter of the year.  However, what is published here is, with a few additions, what would have been published on January 1.

In the time between the previous issue and this, the Institute has produced two quite different forums.  In October 2013 we ran a forum (the program for the event can be found in the Archives) on implementing the Affordable Care Act (itself enacted after, though not because of, our sponsoring a large forum on achieving universal health care.)  Though now playing catch up, the first two items published here hark back to that event:  a letter to the editor (of a newspaper) praising the forum followed by a report on what transpired there.

Then in March we had a hugely successful forum on water issues in the coming century.  It was unusual in that it brought together academics and water professionals as well as an activist about water issues.  Peter Gleick, the foremost authority on matters of water policy in the U.S. was the keynote speaker.  (The program for the forum is to be found under Water Conference in the left hand column.)  There will soon be available a video of all the presentations there and a book containing those same talks is being prepared.  Announcements of both will be made later.  The third item published here is a report on the talks given at the water forum.

This issue is the second since our shift to being a quarterly journal.  One consequence is that there are a significantly larger number of essays, than in the old monthly format.  Of course few readers are likely to be equally interested in every piece published here.  But there is a lot of interesting material with a progressive outlook included in this issue.  There is a book review and a scholarly essay on the Muslim family in the U.S; there are longer essays and short pungent pieces.

Since our previous webmaster, Roger Humes, was also a poet and editor of a poetry journal we shall not be able to publish any of the poetry that had been a feature of the journal.  We have no idea at present whether and how we shall resurrect that feature – or replace it with something else.

One last matter:  I am including a link to a spectacular visual account of what Americans think an ideal distribution of wealth in the country would be, what they think it is at present and what the actual distribution is.  Let me just say that Americans need to have their perceptions corrected – and in doing so the progressive movement in American thought and politics will be remarkably strengthened.  Please show this material to all of your friends, concentrating on the vast gap between belief and fact.