For this descendant of Cuban-Americans and product of Harvard, the United States of 1999 is his reference year. He strives, thoughtfully, to interpret current realities through that lens. For someone like me who believes that engaged political struggle -- inside and/or outside the existing frame -- is how a human society fulfills itself, Yglesias' picture seems all too bland ... and yet, we, the political obsessives, need to honor that other human impulse simply to be allowed to live.
My political baseline year remains 1968. Although we've seen horrors in plenty, nothing since has quite compared for apocalyptic, painful, and hopeful potential. Having been there, immersed in politics of several sorts, I've put in a lifetime of looking for the sort of radical break in conventional constraints on freedom and justice that I once took to be a norm. I sure was disappointed, for a long time.
Writing from the Democratic National Convention:
Now that's new -- and old -- because it locates leadership where it belongs, among people whose history has painfully molded them to carry us all forward. Yes indeed, I still think 1968 was a very good year.