Tag Archives: political activism

Politics 301: Learn To Say Yes

I’ve often mentioned that there were times in my life when I had a lot of influence and “power” in some fields.   The funny thing is that I never sought that, it just happened to work out that way.   It wasn’t because I was wealthy (I wasn’t), it wasn’t because I had a monthly column in a magazine, and it wasn’t because I was outstandingly successful in the field.  All things that most people would think would be requirements to get influence and power, I either didn’t have or had in a minor way.   But as it turned out, I had far more power and influence than many people who did have all those requirements.  Why?  Because I said “Yes.”

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Politics 300: The Horse Goes Before The Cart

In my post on “What’s Next?” I talked about the “next step” for dealing with the police problems that are currently grabbing the nation’s attention.  In the comments, there were statements made about the Democratic Party’s need to “reach out to activists, and invite them in.”  All well and good, but in many ways, it’s a variant of a theme I’ve heard a lot of over the past few years from many on the left:  That the Party needs to do something before they’ll get involved with it.    It’s more often than not a case of putting the cart before the horse.
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You’re Angry and Protesting? Good! What’s Next?

Over the past several months the news has been full of stories about police violence and protests against it.  Ferguson, and Michael Brown.  Cleveland and Tamir Rice.  New York and Eric Garner.  There have been protests around the country, and a lot of discussion about not just police racism, but racism in society as a whole.    We can point to the amount of use of deadly force by police around the country, often as a first resort, not a last.    The protests and discussions have finally made it clear  that “Things aren’t right,” even though they haven’t been all along.    People are fed up, and they have every right to be.    The protests are a first step.  They’ve called attention to the problem, made it clear that it’s not just a “fringe issue,” and that action is required.

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Opinion Polls Are Meaningless, Votes Aren’t

Over the past week since the election, I have seen a number of political blogs talking about various progressive ideas that are favored by “the majority” of the American people, and  they’ll cite various opinion polls to back that up.  Want a higher minimum wage?  Immigration reform?  Equal pay for equal work?  Those are just a few of the topics that opinion polls will tell you that a majority – sometimes a large majority – of the American people support.   It’s comforting to see, but then you have to look at the actual election results.  Republicans, who have been stridently blocking action on any of those topics, and in many cases are actively against them, just got handed a majority in the Senate and increased their existing one in the House.  There’s a reason for that:  Only about 36% of the eligible voters actually showed up.

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Show Me, Don’t Tell Me

Over at the Bondad Blog, New Deal Democrat has a blog post up promoting the idea that progressives should:

Similarly, progressives will not win because of GOP losses. Progressives will only win by driving corporatist democrats to the edge of extinction, just as movement conservatives took over the GOP by making Rockefeller Republicans as extinct as the dodo bird).

Progressives shouldn’t abandon the Democratic Party.  But they should target the corporatists as mercilessly as Tea Party republicans targeted their less-extremist wing, and state level Third Parties are an indispensable part of that attack.

Except for one minor detail:  They don’t have any capability to do so.  In fact, the whole idea of “The Netroots” as a new power in politics, as promulgated by Kos and others, was a fantasy.

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