I Just went to the Benton Co. town hall meeting with Senator Ron Wyden. I am reflecting on why it left me vaguely dissatisfied, despite the fact that Ron has been pretty much as good a politician as possible these days and I am proud of him for fighting hard for all of our rights. I think that the dissatisfaction comes from something that seems clear to me now after listening to his answers to so many troubling questions: where the Democratic party has failed us, is, it has failed to identify and boldly and vigorously address the very root of the problem. The biggest root, I would say the tap-root, being income inequality: the broadening of the base of poverty, and the concentrating of the point of extreme wealth. This is what is underlying issues of race, of health, of crime, of mental illness, and of discrimination. Where income inequality is high, so is 1)social immobility, 2)distrust of our fellow human, 3)ill health, 4)crime, 5)mental illness. See Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land, for references to income inequality and its relations to the above.
The Occupy Movement addressed this and was ignored way too much. By Democrats.