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American Idea Conference

featured guests included:

Secretary Hillary Clinton
Governor Martin O’Malley
Carol Browner
Angela Glover Blackwell

Bishop Gene Robinson
Jose Andres
Jose Antonio Vargas
Andy Stern

and more...

Overview—The American Idea: A More Perfect Union

Our Founding Fathers laid out a progressive vision for America rooted in political freedom, social equality, civic participation, and national action to promote the general welfare of all. The architects of American democracy envisioned a constitutional and political framework that would evolve with the changing nature of our economy and social structure.

As the nation moved from an agrarian society to an industrial global power, progressives fought for stronger government policies to advance the common good, to defend democracy from foreign threats, to promote national economic growth, and to help build and protect America’s middle class. As our population grew and expanded in diversity, progressives joined with pioneering social movements to ensure full equality for women, African Americans, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and those from other nations. Today, as Americans continue to suffer from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, progressives are working to create high quality jobs, reduce inequality, and produce more widely shared economic growth.

This is a proud progressive vision of America, one that is under assault by the right.

Over the course of the two days, discussions were held with leading progressive thinkers, policymakers, and change agents that examined what a real vision of American exceptionalism might look like. Our constitutional heritage, public lands and environment, future economic opportunities for our people and new communities and the role of American values in global progress were discussed and debated.

The Constitution Is Inherently Progressive

John Podesta and John Halpin on how the values in the Constitution are those that both progressives and conservatives should cherish and protect.

The Origins and Evolution of Progressive Economics

book_alt2 icon Report Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin examine several core assumptions that broadly define a progressive approach to economics in terms of theory, values, and practice.

The Progressivism of America’s Founding

book_alt2 icon Report Part five of the Progressive Tradition Series examines the relationship between progressivism and America's founding.

The Role of Faith in the Progressive Movement

book_alt2 icon Report Marta Cook and John Halpin examine the religious roots of progressivism.

Universal Human Rights in Progressive Thought and Politics

book_alt2 icon Report John Halpin, William Schulz, and Sarah Dreier explore the origins of human rights principles and how they fit into progressivism.

The Progressive Tradition in American Politics

book_alt2 icon Report Part two of the Progressive Tradition Series examines the politics of national progressivism from the agrarian populists to the Great Society.

Social Movements and Progressivism

book_alt2 icon Report Part three of the Progressive Tradition Series examines the influence of social movements for equality and economic justice on the development of progressivism.

The Progressive Intellectual Tradition in America

book_alt2 icon Report Part one of the Progressive Tradition Series examines the philosophical and theoretical development of progressivism as a response to the rise of industrial capitalism.