Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Coming from the grassroots

Sarah van Gelder, writing for Yes! Magazine, lists six trends of 2015 that she suggests could be at a turning point in America and in the world.

* Leadership in the health of the climate is coming from the grassroots – activists resisting dirty infrastructure projects, such as mines and pipelines, and state and local ordinances for carbon taxes and against fossil fuel infrastructure. It helps that the drop in oil prices means it isn't such a good investment and that there has been a boom in renewables.

* Black Lives Matter is changing hearts.

* Bernie Sanders has forced the power of Wall Street and inequality into the national debate.

* The politics of vilifying and scapegoating people is running out of people to vilify. Gay people? Mormons march in the Utah Pride. Black folks? South Carolina took down the Confederate flag. Immigrants? Political advisors warn both parties that the Latino vote is critical. Muslims? Beyond the GOP extreme Americans are standing with their Muslim neighbors. Who does that leave? Women. Sigh.

* Yeah, American actions made a mess of the Middle East, but Americans now see it as a quagmire. That prompts a much bigger conversation. What is the global role of the US military? What happens when we reduce our use of fossil fuels and no longer rely in Saudi Arabia? It is a discussion worth having.

* America is turning away from the prison state. Both Dems and GOP are looking for ways to reduce and avoid incarceration.

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