What is the biggest challenge facing the democrats?

Matt Bai: Well I think the greatest challenge facing both parties is change – it’s fundamental change. Look you can live in a lot of moments in American history where the world you’re born into and the world you govern are not that vastly different. They’re always different. Thirty or 40 years pass, you know things are gonna change in a country. But . . . but that said, you know you can . . . if you were . . . If you were born at a certain point in the 20th century after . . . after the Great Depression and you were governing in the 1960s or 1970s, you know the world was . . . The economy was pretty much the economy it was supposed to be. It was run by an industrial engine. The world was still divvied up among states who did menace to each other only. Or you know signed treaties and didn’t menace each other. I mean the world was pretty much the one . . . You had telephones, and you had televisions. You had nicer televisions and you had cable TV; but people were still communicating with one another in much the same way. And they were still posting letters by hand and sending them in a mailbox, you know. And then you have a moment like this where . . . where the world is just vastly different than it was 30, 40 years ago. And in a sense we’re caught between moments, right? We’re caught between what was an industrial age and what comes next, because we still have vestiges – one foot in the past . . . one foot in the past . . . one foot there and one foot in the future. So the challenge for the Democratic party or any party is to lead the way into that future; it’s to articulate what . . . what government . . . what . . . and the economic engine, and foreign policy of a country are gonna look like in the era when none of those things are operable anymore; when the economy is not industrial driven; where people communicate with each other all over the world in a flash, right? Where people expect to have options and choices in their lives. Where the threats that affect the world are not necessarily states to states, but a bunch of people who can communicate on the Internet and do a great deal more damage than a general in some country can. You know this is a whole new landscape. And I’m coming around to the view that it’s too much to ask. It’s just too much to ask of a generation born into a different world to govern in this one. I think the baby boom generation has done what it can. I don’t . . . I don’t indict them as selfish, worthless people. I just think it’s too . . . It may have been just too much to ask a generation born in the 1950s to figure out how to govern in the year 2007 or 2008. And I’m not . . . I’m coming around to the view that leadership . . . real leadership, and real change, and real evolution of government will . . . will have to wait for another generation.

Recorded on: 12/13/07

 

Fundamental changes will challenge both parties.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less