Robert Reich: When we give up on democracy, the 1 percent ‘run everything and they get everything’
Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich produced a short “2014 Year in Review” video in which he reminded progressives of just how quickly change can occur — so long as they participate in the democratic process.
“As we head into 2015, it’s important to remember how quickly progressive change that seems radical — if not a pipe-dream — at one point in time, becomes feasible if enough people make a ruckus,” he began.
“A few years ago, no one thought that by now 35 states would have supported equal marriage rites,” Reich continued. “Or that a $15 minimum wage would be implemented in some parts of the country and be gaining ground elsewhere. Or that the Keystone XL pipeline would have been stopped — so far.”
“After a tipping point” of sustained protests by activists, “politicians are willing to say that their thinking has ‘evolved’ on an issue, and they’re willing to take a stand.”
“We’re doing it together,” Reich said. “People of color at the center of the fight for racial justice and against police brutality. Women standing up to sexual assault and holding on to their right to decide when and whether to have a child. Young people demanding immigration reform.”
“Most people want an economy that spreads the benefits of prosperity instead of sending it all to the top,” he said. “Most never again want to bail out Wall Street. Most want big money out of politics and don’t believe corporations are people.”
“And yet, many people have become deeply cynical about politics — voter turnout in the midterm elections was the lowest it’s been in 70 years,” Reich added. “But let me tell you something — if we join together, we can continue to make change.”
“But if we give up on politics, we give up on our democracy,” he concluded. “And if we give up on democracy, we don’t stand a chance.”
“That’s what the moneyed interests want — it’s been their intention all along. Then they run everything, and they get everything.”
Watch Robert Reich’s 2014 year in review on YouTube below.