Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of sports metaphors used to describe politics. Yes, I’ve done it myself, and I’m going to do it again. I’ve also noticed that the extremes in both parties tend to believe in a “Great Leader” scenario. “Elect X and they will do all these wonderful things!” When you point out that it doesn’t work that way, you’ll get dismissed as being an “in name only,” and not understanding that the Great Leader will make a speech and all will go their way. They’re thinking that politics is a one-on-one sport, like tennis, boxing, or mixed martial arts. They’re continually disappointed if the person they’ve designated as the next “Great Leader” is elected and fails to accomplish what they thought would happen. The problem is they didn’t realize that politics are a team sport.
Tag Archives: political activism
Over much of this primary season, if there’s one constant I’ve seen from various self-identified young people (under 30), it’s that the Democratic Party needs to reach out to them, to do what they want before they’ll consider voting for Democrats. There usually follows a laundry list of demands, along with saying that the party should select candidates who would “excite the base,” or more properly, excite them. They even have reasons why the party isn’t doing that, things like “corporate control,” “the Establishment,” and of course the ever popular “Blue Dogs.” The reality why the party isn’t reaching out them is what they don’t realize or want to admit: They have it backwards.
Over the course of my life, I’ve belonged to many organizations, and held offices in a number of them. When I was 15, I was elected to the board of directors for my church (no, I didn’t seek it), and at 16 I was a delegate to the state convention. I’ve been on committees, boards, and even President of hobby clubs, professional organizations, and social groups. I’ve been “just a member” of many of them, and happy to do just that. But the one thing they all had in common was that you had to be a member to have any say in what the organization did, and who they elected. It’s a simple concept, and one that apparently is lost on a number of people these days.
Over on Salon, there’s an opinion column by a self-described “leftist feminist” who spends a lot of words justifying her “principled stand” for not voting. Seriously? It’s all the same garbage I’ve ever heard from every so-called leftist who thinks that not voting sends a message, and that will lead to changes and conversations. Why is it garbage? As I’ve said often here, if you don’t vote, you don’t matter. No politician or political party will care about your principles, no one will be “starting a conversation” with you. You have removed yourself from any conversations. It’s only by voting that you get to do all that. But in reading through numerous screeds over the past few years touting making a “principled stand” by not voting, I notice that they’re taking certain things for granted. They shouldn’t.
One of the things I see all over the liberal sites is long-winded complaints about “corporatists” and how corporations “rule the party.” I’d gather from their attacks on corporations that none of them work for one. Now, I can (and d0) complain about corporate behavior on specific incidents, and I’m more than willing to admit that the mentality of focusing on short term gains has taken over to the detriment of both corporations and the public. I also think Citizens United was a terrible decision, and yes, we do need to think of ways to limit or overturn that. That said, the phrase “corporatist” gets thrown around way too much, and often ignores some very important things.