reed, redux

still can’t stop thinking about the adolph reed article i mentioned last month:

I know that some outraged readers are going to write in, fulminating about how nihilistically ultraleftist I am to criticize the Democrats in this way and how irresponsible The Progressive is to publish the criticism—especially now, when the stakes are so great and it’s so crucially important for the future of the country, the world, the galaxy, the cosmos, that some Democrat—anyone, no matter how worthless—wins the Presidency. (That they make the same cataclysmic claim about every election never seems to dull their self-righteous fervor.) They’ll explain that we have to understand that we can’t get everything we want all at once, that the Democrats can’t go any further than they go, and that a half-hearted promise of part of a stale loaf of bread in some unspecified future is better than no bread at all—especially for those who don’t really need the bread at the moment.


Unfortunately, like the Democrats, our side fails to learn from experience. Despite a mountain range of evidence to the contrary, we—the labor, anti-war, women’s, environmental, and racial justice movements—all continue to craft political strategy based on the assumption that the problem is that the Democrats simply don’t understand what we want and how important those things are to us. They know; they just have different priorities.

That’s why the endless cycle of unofficial hearings and tribunals and rallies and demonstrations and Internet petitions never has any effect on anything. They’re all directed to bearing witness before an officialdom that doesn’t care and feels no compulsion to take our demands into account. To that extent, this form of activism has become little more than a combination of theater—a pageantry of protest—and therapy for the activists.


3 Responses to “reed, redux”

  1. minx Says:

    Lex, does that mean that you will vote Democrat only because their won’t be anyone representing the labor, anti-war, women’s, racial justice, etc. movement? (Are these movements linked as closely as this?)

    When was the last time protests, marches, and the like made an impact on this country, in your opinion? Is there anything since the ’60s? Millions marched in opposition to the war in Iraq, but they were somehow marginalized, weren’t they? Even if plenty of mainstream folks joined in.

  2. minx Says:

    Excuse, only because “there” won’t be anyone to rep labor, etc.

  3. Dave3544 Says:

    I think sometimes we forget we are the far-left in America. Are 70% of Americans anti-war? Yes. But not for the same reasons we are. I tend to believe that only in very special cases is war the solution to a problem and Saddam did not come close to rising to that level. I think most Americans are against the war because it’s gone on too long and we’re not winning.

    When it comes to the question of Iran, I want my presidential nominee to say something like s/he doesn’t believe a word that comes out of the Bush administration, but s/he doesn’t really think that Iran poses much of a threat to the US. But, I don’t think that message would play with the vast majority of Americans. The vast majority want to hear how we’re going to kick their freakin’ asses if they mess with the US.

    On the subject of unions, gays, feminism, religion, environmental, etc., we stand with a small minority. Especially on all those issues combined. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking on….how people can pick and choose issues and be liberal on one or two and moderate/right on the rest. How can you be pro-gay rights, but think global warming is a load of hooey? Anti-war, anti-union? Living in Eugene, we have the special privilege of meeting people all the time who are pro-green, anti-union.

    There was a particularly awesome letter to the editor of the R-G the other day.
    Can’t link, so here it is, sorry in advance:

    Impeachment a waste of time

    For all those fine folks on the impeachment bandwagon, I have just one question: What good will it do?

    Right now, it seems as if everyone wants to get even with the Republicans, who impeached one of the most embarrassing presidents in history. I voted for President Bush, now to my regret, but I would rather have him than the alternatives.

    I have come to disagree with him on so many counts (the war, immigration, SCHIP), but impeachment is just a waste of time for the pathetic Congress we now have. They should focus their time on issues such as immigration, child predators, Social Security reform, Medicare, health insurance for everyone, stopping big oil companies from raping us at the pumps and dangerous foreign leaders.

    They need to focus on stopping foreign entities from shipping their poisons here for us to purchase. They need to stop American companies from outsourcing. They need to get us out of the United Nations. They need to find a way to cut taxes (even the Democrats) because the common American can’t afford to live day to day, let alone retire.

    So far, the Democratic Congress has been so busy trying to discredit President Bush and Vice President Cheney, they have let America go to hell in a hand basket.

    Folks, we have real problems and real issues. In the grand scheme of things, impeachment for a man who will be out of office soon enough seems a monumental waste of time.

    Jeanne Ross

    Unfortunately, the are a lot more Jeannes out there than guys like you and me. We can try to form our own party, but people like Jeanne will never vote for it. Oy.

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