New Chapter Politics 101
Milt has yet more words of wisdom. I suggest reading the whole thing. However here are some highlights:
Quote:We progressives have been standing on the sidelines while the far right has run the show for about 32 years now, precisely because a significant proportion of “progressives” don’t seem to occupy the real world. If you want to know why the right wing has been able to dismantle most of the meager social justice apparatus that we built up before the Reagan “Revolution,” it’s because they understand that they can only get their way if they keep winning elections. Meanwhie, a too-large contingent of “progressives” seem to think “standing on principle” means sticking to lofty ideals that can't possibly happen in one shot, and abandoning anything that doesn't represent at least 100% of that lofty ideal. It's why it seems as if progressives have run straight off the political cliff. As President Obama has put it many times, these "principled" "progressives" are allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good.
How “principled” can you call yourself, if the end result of your political “strategy” is the elimination of the middle class, income inequality unlike any we've seen in a century, a justice system that is increasingly populated by right wing judges, and the passing of laws that lessen our civil rights? Anyone can talk about principle, but shouldn't actually having principle require some success in accomplishing your goals? I mean, am I a blogger just because I have an account with a blogging site, or do I actually have to write something?
Quote:It is so tiresome to work hard for the progressive cause for as long as I have, and have it repeatedly sabotaged by people who claim the same ideology as me, but who insist on political strategy that puts right wing nutbars in charge of the government for 32 years. These folks don’t even seem to notice that what they’re doing isn’t working, so narcissistic is their political stance.
Yes, I said “narcissistic,” because that’s what it is. Some self-described “progressives” are so enamored with their own ideals, they can’t even entertain another’s ideas. And that’s the problem. If your idea is going to become law/policy, then someone has to be elected with that as a mandate. That takes years of hard work and a lot of salesmanship and education.
Quote:There are some things progressives have to know about politics if we’re to make it out of the political wilderness:
1.The result of a democratic vote will always be somewhere in the center.
2.If you want a progressive government, you need a progressive electorate, which takes time, patience and education.
3.If you want to push the process left of center, you have to participate in the process. Never in human history, or basic logic, has a political body become MORE progressive as progressives left it.
4.If the worst possible people keep winning elections, nothing else you do will matter one little bit.
5.Low turnout elections favor the right wing. Negativity drives down turnout.
There are many more, but these will get you started.
Keep in mind, the people who decide elections are not ideological, and they are influenced by the overall tone of a campaign. They don’t sit and pore over every candidate’s position on every single issue. In fact, in most cases their decision is whether or not to vote. They want to vote FOR something, not just against. That’s why Obama was successful in 2008. He didn’t run as either right or left; he ran as a problem solver. And as president, he has done quite well in that capacity.
The right wing is always negative precisely because it works to their advantage. Negativity drives turnout down, and low turnout is the only way they can win elections. When we’re negative, we actually help them with their number one strategy.
And I’m sorry, but helping the right wing win is why I put “progressive” in quotes when describing a number of you.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”