Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Progressive Revolution: Interview with author Mike Lux

Last month I attended a blogger meeting with Mike Lux, author of The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to be.

Lux was in Des Moines to speak at the ICAN 30th Anniversary Celebration. Lux said he was excited to be back in the state because he got to see some old friends and he loves the politics of Iowa because it is the classic Midwest swing state.

Lux worked as executive director of ICAN in the 1980's before taking a leave to work on Biden's 1st prescidential campaign. He later worked for the Clinton campaign and recently was part of the Obama transition team. Lux currently blogs at Open Left.

The Progressive Revolution focuses on how the progressive movement has produced many of the great changes in American history.

The book develops a coherent, compelling narrative about the historic battle between progressive and conservative thinking, and makes the case that when our side has won the day, the big changes that happened moved America forward and built a country we can be proud of: the Bill of Rights, the abolition of slavery, the national park system, women's suffrage, the New Deal, the civil rights movement, the New Deal, the civil rights movement -- all part of a progressive heritage that is the best of America.
A lot of the talk centered around how he marketed his book, blogging, and the progressive movement in general.

Lux used his blogging connections to help market this book because he had a very small budget from his publisher. Blogs are donating ad space and writing reviews. So far, 21 blogs gave free ad space including Iowa's Bleeding Heartland. As they were marketing the book they emphasized building a progressive movement and be putting book profits will go back to building the progressive movement.

They viewed the book tour as a movement building tour by speaking at independent book stores, contacting local bloggers and community organizing groups. Lux said that he participated in book discussions at Firedog Lake and Crooks and Liars and the following each one they saw a jump of sales on Amazon. This shows there is a market out their for progressive ideas and it's just a matter of reaching that market.
Through this book tour we are learning a great deal about books. We want to help other progressive authors and even progressive musicians to help build a progressive media.
Lux stated that this movement building is important because progressives have been the leaders in American history. Progressives have been the ones to produce the change we have seen and will continue to do so.

I asked him about what the progressive solution to health care crisis is and if there was any chance to for a single-payer health care system.

He said that it is a 2 step process. First, we must prohibit insurance companies from denying care for pre-existing conditions. Then we must offer a public alternative to private insurance. Tell the American that if you like your plans and love your insurance companies, then stick with your current plan. If not, here's a public plan that will be same as Congress's. The public plan can compete with private insurance and the market can decide which one is better. He said Republicans will fight this because they know the private, for profit health care plans will lose to the public plans. Once this plays out then maybe in a few years it will be politically possible to pass a single-payer health care system.

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