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7 Exciting, Inspiring -- and Overlooked -- Lessons From the "99 Percent" Election

By       Message Richard Eskow     Permalink
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And while Florida hasn't been called as of this writing, it's in play because the president strengthened Medicare, while his opponents tried to destroy it with their voucher proposal, and because Republicans attacked Social Security with a privatization scheme.

6. Unions and progressives matter.

Unions turned out for the president, providing invaluable help in key states like Ohio. Progressive organizations and individuals contributed their time, money, energy and ideas. That helps explain progressive victories around the country, as well as the president's national win.

Progressives also contributed heavily to races like that of Alan Grayson, who scored an historic comeback win in a Republican-leaning district, and nearly helped unseat Michele Bachmann.

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The power and contribution of these movements should be remembered in the weeks and months to come.

7. The "new America" needs bold action.

There's a lot of talk about the "new America" that contributed to this victory: women (who are a rising political force, even if they're hardly new!), the growing Hispanic population and young people.

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These constituencies need the same things the country as a whole needs: Hispanics are struggling with low wages and high unemployment, so they need action for jobs and economic growth. Health issues are critical to women, which means we need more and deeper reform of our health sector. Young people need more investment in education, job creation and an equitable society with opportunity for all.

Welcome to the "New America." In many ways it's just like the old one, especially in what matters most: We're still all in this together.

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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