2 comments on “Ponting Out a Political Difference with Several of the Blogs on My Blogroll…

  1. I hear you, Richard. If on;y this country seemed ready for more radical change, I’d support it in a heartbeat. I too am a “strategic” democrat, though the gains can seem awfully small. (Small enough to make me a “Nader Trader” back in 2000, when I pulled for Gore in Wisconsin while a friend in Mass cast a symbolic vote for Ralph for me.) Grassroots is right. And, though it will probably not convince you, it’s worth remembering that Obama knows what grassroots organizing is about. More than any of these other pols.

    Maybe I’ve drunk the koolaid. I’m not sure I’d call it a “cause,” but the promise of getting beyond the Bush-Clinton, Red-Blue years and into some new era is just too tantalizing for me to sit idly by (even if it’s a naive hope on my part to think that Obama, or any president of this fat, sinking nation, could turn things around for us and the wider world). You are welcome, as always, to ignore any or all of my blogposts if they don’t speak to you.

  2. Hi, Wayne. I certainly don’t want to ignore your blog posts, though I have no intention of cluttering up your comments section with disagreement either, I can assure you of that.

    Regarding election years, I was most happy with what I did in 2000… I would have voted for Ralph if I thought I had the time, but I had to rush from a full-time job that evening to attend a meeting of a group discussing actions to be taken at a protest in the near future. That year, I was more happy with my participation in the small anti-capitalist “anti-globalization” protest movement than I’d ever been voting for anyone on Election Day. That movement was, obviously, frail and the groups were not what they were cracked up to be (for instance, most of those allegedly anti-hierarchical groups definitely did have their own internal hierarchies). But it created quite a lot of awareness through the actions of a relatively minute number of people, and it did put a minor scare into the members/delegates at these these closed-door meetings that were designed to pass rules (undemocratically) that would mean more suffering for a lot of people and more power and wealth for the ruling class.

    I still think people should take action in the streets and workers’ groups (of some kind) and in community groups or groups built around housing, healthcare, etc., that are willing to commit civil disobedience or some kind of direct action and at the very least will be persistent with their demands. It’s really only through applying that kind of pressure that they will get politicians to make any changes. (Hillary’s now-notorious comment about the civil rights movement not accomplishing its goals until Johnson signed that bill is wrong not just because of the race issue, but because it completely ignores the fact that powerful politicians often won’t push forward progressive changes until they are pressured by the people. I don’t know much about what Johnson might have done without the pressure of this movement, but I’m pretty sure that without the unrest that was taking place in the ’30s, Roosevelt would never have pushed forward the New Deal – which was problematical also, but which saved a lot of people from personal suffering and disaster for a number of years.)

    I once read a pretty good book about how thse social movements happen in the U.S.; it’s called Poor People’s Movements, by Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward. (I think Piven did cast a vote for Kerry in ’04 – but she continued to advocate for activity beyond passive participation at the polls.)

    But I could really go on about this (obviously)…

    Frankly, the last time I voted for a major-party candidate in the November presidential election was in 1992, when I was so happy about the idea of ending the Reagan-Bush years… A few years later, I started to feel a little embarrassed about that. (That’s my perspective anyway – not insisting that you have to share it, of course.)

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