…[D]despite recent setbacks, there are many excellent reasons for the left to be optimistic. The future is brighter — much brighter — than they think….
The gains of the left are sticky
Over time, the left has accomplished many things, from building out the social safety net to cleaning up the environment to protecting public health to securing equal rights for women, black people, and gay people. These and many other gains of the left have a very important thing in common: They are “sticky.” That’s a term borrowed from economics that means, simply, they will be hard to reverse. They provide benefits that people do not want to lose….
Science and technology are our friends
The left has a certain amount of faith in the conclusions of science (for example, on the basic facts of global warming), but a remarkable lack of faith when it comes to using technology — that is, applied science — to solve our problems. In fact, and unfortunately, a certain amount of techno-pessimism has gained currency on the left. This is strange, since almost everything people like about the modern world, including relatively high living standards, is traceable to the advance of technology….