Can "Pool-Party Progressivism" Win?
The great climate writer Kate Aronoff had a long read in The New Republic called, “The Case for Pool Party Progressivism.”
The gist of her argument is this:
That so few people know what [the Inflation Reduction Act] is should be a wake-up call that green industrial policy alone isn’t a gateway drug to deep decarbonization, or, relatedly, reelection…
Why not give people something to enjoy about decarbonization…Call it Pool Party Progressivism: a politics recognizing that the unionized workers erecting all those wind turbines and solar panels might want to go sit by the water with their friends and family after work, grow zucchini next to their neighbors, or join a rec soccer league. That will mean finding ways to invest in things that companies won’t.
It’s basically an argument that policy is for nerds and winners make good vibes. I agree—nobody wants lames to be president. And I’d support more “leisure infrastructure.” Bread-and-circus can be good politics, and if it builds associational connective tissue, it might be good for democracy too.
But I’m not sure that vibes are really the problem with Bidenomics or the Biden reelection bid.
Let me explain.