American politics and economics have been degenerating for decades, with no end in sight. Another Roosevelt probably would not be effective, and in any case is unlikely to appear. Any candidate with honest Progressive leanings is quickly crushed. We need a stealth candidate. We need a Gorbachev.
Gorbachev rose up through the ranks of one of the most totalitarian political systems, giving his fellow citizens and the world the impression that he was a firm believer in the status quo, yet from his youth he harbored hopes of revising the system to make it more humane and responsive.
Gorbachev’s two major goals were summarized in two catchwords: “glasnost” and “perestroika”, meaning openness and restructuring. On the one hand, politics and economics were to be made more open, and therefore more honest, and on the other hand, both needed to be restructured to be fairer and more effective.
Of course, we know that Gorbachev could not carry his plans to completion because of a right-wing coup and subsequent betrayal by supposed allies, but his heart was (and still is) in the right place. In any case, he accomplished much of what he set out to do, all the more remarkable given the nature of the original system.
Is one of our presidential candidates, or the incumbent, likely to be our stealth candidate with his mind set on glasnost and perestroika? America desperately needs a Gorbachev.