Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
Heather Digby Parton at Salon writes—Progressives and power: If Trump is defeated, the real fight begins:
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir wrote a thoughtful piece this week about political engagement in which he makes the case that merely voting is a tepid form of activism anyway, particularly in America, where it often becomes “a bizarre form of symbolic theater or public therapy.” He suggests that direct action is necessary to move the country forward and cites the civil rights movement, the in-your-face ACT UP AIDS activism of the 1980s and the anti-globalization protests of the late ’90s as movements that were considered far outside the mainstream at the time but pushed their agendas much more quickly than they could have through traditional lobbying or partisan politics. He points out that the post-Parkland student movement, Greta Thunberg’s climate strikers and the Black Lives Matter protesters, among others, are the rumblings of a new generation getting ready to push the envelope beyond anything we’ve seen.
I completely agree with this, but I will add that I think electoral grassroots organizing (carried on more by the older generation, and mostly by women) is still vital. I’m reminded of this interview with leftist organizer Norman Solomon from a few years back discussing what makes a healthy, progressive political ecosystem:
We need to occupy — literally and figuratively — congressional seats for the 99 percent. Social movements need a healthy ecology, which means a wide array of activities and manifestations of grassroots power. That includes progressives in Congress. I say on the campaign trail that we need our feet on the ground and our eyes on the stars of our ideals.
It’s not good enough to have one or the other. State power matters — we’ve seen that from county and state offices to Washington, D.C. And as somebody who has written literally thousands of articles, 12 books, gone to hundreds of demonstrations and probably organized hundreds of demonstrations, I believe we always have to be protesting; we always have to be in the streets. It’s not either-or. I want our feet on the ground to include change for government policies. Laws matter. Whether or how they are enforced matters.
If nothing else, Donald Trump has revealed just how much state power matters in this country. […]
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
- The absurd controversy over Joe Biden’s “transition away from the oil industry,” by David Roberts. Trump wants to make the shift to clean energy sound abrupt and scary.
- The Science of Changing a Loved One’s Vote, by Joe Pinsker. The odds of altering the outcome of the election: close to zero. The odds of altering your relationship with your family: much higher.
- What is the best political branding of all time? Experts weigh in. Ben Ostrower and Susan Merriam debate the branding of various political campaigns—from Eisenhower to Obama.
“How many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome? Good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the election, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
~~Paul Weyrich, founder of the Moral Majority and Heritage Foundation (Fall, 1980)
At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Lieberman’s bluff:
When my daughter was born, my then-3-year-old son clearly felt neglected, as first children always do in such situations. And as always happens, my son started acting up in a play for attention. In his case, he regressed on his potty training, crapping his pants. In a bid for attention, that certainly worked.
Enter Joe Lieberman, and his successful bid for attention yesterday, promising to screw Democrats for the umpteenth time by joining Republicans in a filibuster of the Democratic health care plan. Whatever.
As much as our favorite boogeyman loves the limelight, there’s one thing he loves even more—being Senator.