Patriotism and Optimism

Invite: Wed, Dec 12th - NDN's "Patriotism, Optimism"

Over the past year or so Simon has been making a big argument about the past and future of the center-left in America.  Called "Patriotism and Optimism," it makes the case that America is not in decline and is in fact doing as well as it has in any point in its history. It is meant to be an explicit rebuttal to the core argument Trump is making about America and its decline, an argument which is malevolently selling America and its people short every day. 

This primary way this argument has made itself into the world is through a 45 minute long Powerpoint deck, which has been seen in dozens of showings over the web and live in person to policy makers here in Washington and around the country. Our next showing of the deck will be Wednesday, December 12th from 12:00pm to 1:15pm at our new offices at 800 Maine Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Lunch will be served. You can RSVP for the event and learn more here. For background before the showing, feel free to check out some related readings below.

Key Background Readings On "Patriotism and Optimism"

The Case for Optimism: Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism, Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 6/2/17. In an essay that originally was published on Medium, Simon argues that the great rationale of Trump's Presidency  –  that America is in decline – simply isn't true, and must be challenged more forcefully.  This is the piece that spurred the creation of the presentation. 

Chin Up, Democrats, Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 1/20/17. In his column Simon argues that Democrats should have pride in their historic accomplishments and optimism about the future of their politics. This one is very relevant to the presentation itself. 

A Center-Left Agenda for the Trump Era - Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 12/9/16.  In the early days after Trump's election Simon layed out a possible agenda for the Democrats centering on prosperity, security, shoring up the American led liberal order and ambitiious efforts to reform our political system. 

Additional Readings

Some Thoughts On the Caravan - By Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 10/24/18.  The Caravan, composed of 7,000 poor, unarmed, mostly Honduran Central Americans, poses no threat to the US, and illegal border crossings continue to be way down. Some thoughts on what Democrats should do to respond to Trump's farcical attacks and terrible policies.

Are We Better Off Under Trump? The Short Answer Is No - By Simon Rosenberg and Chris Taylor, NDN, 10/18/18.  Most measures of the US economy are worse today than when Trump took office. Worse still, the President’s policies have made it very challenging to manage the next recession or global economic downturn.

Challenging Trump's Tariffs - An Ongoing Series - By Chris Taylor, 10/17/18.  In a new series challenging Trump's tariffs, we argue that the President's trade policy is illegal, recklessly ignorant, damaging to the US economy, and historically unpopular. Congress must step up and rescind them in the coming months. 

Trump's Immigration Strategy Is Failing - By Simon Rosenberg, NBC News, 8/6/18.  Almost nothing the President has done on immigration and the border has worked; expect more extreme policies as the elections approach. 

Congress Must Debate The Weakening of Global Order - By Simon Rosenberg, NBC News, 5/10/18.  Few presidents have inherited a world or a nation in which more was going right. Trump seems determined to undo it all.

The Pernicious Politics of Oil - Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 12/16/16.  Petro-powers are challenging the global order, and the next president seems uninterested in stopping them.

An Enduring Legacy: The Democratic Party and Free and Open Trade - Simon Rosenberg, Huffington Post, 1/24/14.  The global system created by Presidents FDR and Truman has done more to create opportunity, reduce poverty and advance democracy than perhaps any other policies in history. 

Schedule for "On Patriotism and Optimism - Thoughts About the Future of America's Center-Left"

We have given dozens of showings of the presentation. The next showing is a lunchtime presentation scheduled for Wednesday, July 11th at 12:00 pm (EST). Please use this registration page to sign up for the upcoming webinars and the following registration page for the July 11th luncheon.

2018 Schedule

Friday, January 12th at 3:00 pm (EST)

Thursday, January 25th at noon (EST)

Thursday, February 8th at noon (EST)

Thursday, February 22nd at noon (EST)

Tuesday, March 13th at noon (EST)

Wednesday, March 21st at noon (EST)

Wednesday, April 11th at noon (EST)

Wednesday, May 2nd at noon (EST)

Thursday, June 7th at noon (EST)

Wednesday, July 11th at noon (EST)

Readings for Simon's Webinar/Presentation, "On Patriotism and Optimism - Not Pessimism"

We've developed a big picture webinar/presentation on patriotism, optimism and America. It is designed to be a rebuttal to President Trump's poisonous pessimism, and his false argument that this great country is in decline. We will be showing it weekly through this summer as it moves from beta to formal release this fall.

To learn more, see the schedule for future showings and to register go here. It will be worth your time – we promise! Below we've put together some of our work over the years that will provide more context and background for the presentation. We hope you find them helpful.

Patriotism and Optimism, Not Pessimism – Thoughts on the Future of America's Center-Left (Preview Slides), Simon Rosenberg and Chris Murphy, NDN.org, 3/13/18. Here are key slides from deck which demonstrate through various economic and societal data that America is not in decline and in fact doing as well as it has in any point in our history.

The Case for Optimism: Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism, Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 6/2/17. In an essay that originally was published on Medium, Simon argues that the great rationale of Trump's Presidency - that America is in decline - simply isn't true, and must be challenged more forcefully.  This is the piece that spurred the creation of the presentation. 

Trump's Iran deal withdrawal is an arrogant rejection of the post-war system America built, Simon Rosenberg, NBC News THINK, 5/10/18. Simon discusses how Trump is dangerously undermining the global order America imagined and built.

Rebutting Trump's Ridiculous Attacks on "Chuck and Nancy", Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 11/28/17. Contrary to the President's absurdly false claims, under President Obama crime rates and the flow of undocumented immigrants into US plummeted. The economy also grew, incomes rose, the stock market soared and the annual deficit dropped.

In A New Global Age, Democrats Have Been Far Better for the US Economy, Deficits, and Incomes, Simon Rosenberg and Chris Murphy, NDN.org, 2/27/17. In a new memo NDN finds that over the past generation of American politics Democrats have been far better for the economy, deficits and incomes.  Some of the most important graphs of the presentation come this from this study. 

Chin Up, Democrats, Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 1/20/17. In his column Simon argues that Democrats should have pride in their historic accomplishments and optimism about the future of their politics. This one is very relevant to the presentation itself. 

Rediscovering the Democrats' North Star, Simon Rosenberg, US News & World Report, 12/9/16. In his column Simon offers some thoughts on the path forward.

Patriotism and Optimism - Thoughts About The Future of America's Center-Left

This summer I began giving a presentation that has evolved into a new 30 minute deck called "On Patriotism and Optimism, Not Pessimism - Thoughts On The Future of America's Center-Left." The presentation, a lively talk with filled with nerdy charts and graphs, will attempt to make the case that America is not in decline and is in fact doing as well as it has in any point in our history. It is meant to be an implicit rebuttal to the core argument Trump is making about America and its decline, an argument which is malevolently selling America and its people short every day.

This deck, and the arguments within it, are my effort to help fashion a comprehensive response to the rise of Trump’s new politics. It has evolved over dozens of showings over the web and live in person to policy makers here in Washington and around the country.

There are several ways to tap into the thinking in this deck:

Watch – We show the deck live on the Internet a few times each month and do an in-person presentation once a month. Use this registration page to sign up for an upcoming webinar and this registration page for our July 11th luncheon. For additional showings, be sure to review the full schedule here.  All are welcome.

Read – We’ve put together some background reading for those who want to join us by diving into this space. It starts with the article I wrote on Medium this summer which got the ball behind “Patriotism and Optimism” going.

Review Core Slides – Below you can find some of the core slides in the deck, in PDF form. Take a look. Will give you a sense of where we are going with this, and of course leave you wanting more.

We have been pleased with the response the big arguments in this deck have received. Check it all out, and if you are interested in having me do a private showing for groups of 20 or more, please contact Chris Murphy here at NDN at cmurphy@ndn.org.

Best,
Simon

 

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