Van Jones: Running Wrecking Ball through American Society isn’t Patriotism

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“People are tearing down the American dream, and we want to build it back up,” progressive visionary Van Jones told The UpTake during an interview on the final day of Netroots Nation 2011. “We have to be more creative than just running a wrecking ball through American society and calling that patriotism. … The challenge for Americans is to decide, every single day, whether to be a destroyer or a hero.” Jones’ new project, Rebuild the Dream will launch this summer in an attempt to reengage a conversation about this country’s future and culminate in a major summit this coming October.

The UpTake asked Van Jones if he actually wants to debate right-wing Fox News personality Glenn Beck (which he joked about during a keynote speech), whether Jones considers himself a political figure, where he finds inspiration on a daily basis, and how he thinks Netroots Nation will evolve in the years to come.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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