Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The glass is half full and we are moving FORWARD!

If you are old enough, think back to about 1970. If you are not old enough GET OFF MY LAWN! No, no. Come, pull up a chair and let an old guy talk a bit.

In 1970 the life expectancy for a newborn White boy in the USA was 67.94 years; White girl? 75.49 years. NonWhite boy? 65.63 years. NonWhite girl? 69.05 years. In 2011, all those rates were higher, by between 5 and 8 years.

In 1970, in the building where I lived in New York City, my mother had a Black friend visit. The doorman made her ride the service elevator (OH BOY did that doorman hear from my mom!).

In 1970, the Soviet Union still existed. Germany was still two countries. South Africa had apartheid. Today, none of those things is true (and they all happened without a major war).

In 1970, the idea of an openly homosexual person getting elected to Congress would have been strange. Homosexuality was still considered a psychiatric disorder (and listed as such in the DSM).

In 1970, it was illegal (in Chicago) for “deformed” people to show themselves on the streets.

In 1970 the Americans with Disabilities Act had not been passed. Today, many buildings are required to have ramps for wheelchair access and all children are entitled to a “free and appropriate education” in the “least restrictive environment”.

In 1970 Roe v. Wade was still in the future. Today, abortion is legal.

In 1970, “with all deliberate speed” was long on the deliberate and short on the speed. Today, an African-American is in the White House.

In 1970, there was no internet. In 1970, there were no personal computers.

In 1970, Edgar Ray Killen was still a free man. (Don’t know who he is? Go to the library! Oh, it’s 2013. You can Google).

It was in 1970 that the United States got its first female generals. In 2013, women were finally given combat status.

Are we done fighting? NO WAY.

Are things perfect now? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME

In all of the areas I outlined, there is work to be done. FORWARD!

Have we made progress? YES WE HAVE.

Can we make more? YES WE CAN!


  1. cassandracarolina

    We can’t let the fearmongers drag us backwards, or distract us from our Progressive mission by pitting us against one another while they wreak havoc. Great message!!

  2. HappyinVT

    The Tectonic Impact of Obama’s Re-Election

    Is it just me or are more people surprised by the snowballing impact of Obama’s re-election?

    It’s not just the return to Clinton tax rates for the very wealthy; it’s a real cultural shift as well. In the last week, we have seen the Boy Scouts back off a national policy of excluding openly gay scouts and scout-masters (which means the Mormon hierarchy must have not made too big a fuss);we have Tom Tancredo almost smoking a joint in public (don’t make a bet with him on anything in the future); we have Sean Hannity’s ratings plummeting; we see gay couples included in the president’s comprehensive immigration reform; we have Limbaugh edging ever-so-slightly toward Rubio on immigration; …

  3. we would all be starved to death by now.

    Before many Moose were even born.

    In 40 years, the share of malnourished people in the developing world has been more than halved (37% to 16%). The share of starving people has decreased even faster. This improvement is expected to continue in the future.

    World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase.

  4. Indeed, post war, MORE progress has been made than ever before, even during a period we actually gave up the idea of ‘progress’.

    Now I get the dangers of complacency, and if one didn’t talk about crime, illness, poverty, sexism – highlighting the injustices and failures – nothing might get done. But the danger of this way of thinking, to the reformist liberal mindset, is that we’re always focused on the failures, and overlook all the immense achievements, so well measured and recorded in Peter’s diary.

    So onward, and upward, with a glance back to see how things have been improved. Of course, we won’t change the human condition – that we’re mortal and live on a spec of dust on the edge of nowhere. We still want to be immortal and at the centre of the universe. That won’t be cured.  But a lot of misery, between times, can be mitigated.  

  5. bill d

    as their political platform.

    I like the direction that we are heading better than the direction they want us to go.

    In 1970 you could also fill your car up with leaded gas to go buy some DDT. Did I mention how I really like the direction we are on?

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