The concept of “utopia” has essentially disappeared from the American political vocabulary. Amidst all the 2016 electoral clamor and Donald Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again,” no candidate invokes the notion of utopia to suggest a better tomorrow. At best, whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Green, they offer a well-meaning – if pathetic – menu of bromides to a skeptical and, increasingly, desperate electorate.
Sanders’ campaign inspired millions of Americans, especially young people, with his call for a revolution to reshape electoral politics. His tireless focus on economic inequality, money in politics, racial injustice and the environmental crisis shook up the official Democrats, pushing Hillary to the left. He advanced a meaningful “progressive” agenda that covers a laundry list of well-meaning proposals, including a $15 minimum wage, free public higher education, single payer health care and an end to fracking.