Yesterday sbj started a great conversation in this diary From a Political Novice; A Question about grass roots activism.
There lots of great responses and I agree with sbj that the conversation needs to be continued. Since the diary is slipping away fast I thought I’d bring the questions to a new diary. Maybe each of us can keep this conversation going in related diaries. I’m excerpting the key part here from the earlier diary.
In the current political climate, it seems indisputable that for those of us who regard the Bush regime in toto as the biggest threat to our country, to our way of life, and to the world at large that’s ever come down the pike, we generally agree that we need to get these lunatics out of office and reclaim control of our own government. I think it’s fair to say that we agree in general that if we can somehow achieve Democratic Party electoral majorities in the House and/or the Senate that our chances of restoring the mechanisms of democracy and strengthening our constitutional liberties and protections are greatly improved. Similarly, I think we (on the “left”) generally perceive the Democratic Party in it’s current state as an institution that is failing us; one that doesn’t stand up for us often enough or with sufficient enthusiasm to have any meaningful effect.
But where we disagree, where we have, in my opinion a huge, (and widening) problem, is in what we think we need to do in order to achieve the aims of regaining control of the government and getting the BushCo maniacs out.
There are many who argue that we need to elect Democrats, plain and simple, in order to change the numerical calculus in congress, if we are to have a hope of restoring government by the people and for the people. And those who argue this point support the notion that even if you have to vote for a Dem that doesn’t necessarily support what you yourself believe in, it’s still the smart thing to vote for him if doing so will unseat a Repub. In short, removing the “R” from that congressional seat and replacing it with a “D” is a first priority and should generally trump every other consideration.
There is another point of view which has finally reached prominence, (especially here in the free-thinking blogosphere, and especially in the wake of recent political maneuvers nand propagandizing by the DLC and by the poor voting choices made by prominent Dems), which argues that, in the end, if we choose to vote for the “go along to get along” Dems who too often vote their support for the Repub agenda, that ultimately such a strategy is a “lose-lose” one because either the Repub beats the “Repub-lite” Dem anyway, and, more importantly, because even in those rare cases where the Dem might win, the fact that his win betrays the principles we believe the party should stand for means the victory is hollow, virtually worthless. And if we add to this the idea that a series of such “victories through capitulation to the rightwing” only rewards, and thus encourages), the party’s movement toward the “right”, then the damage done is multiplied exponentially.
There seemed to be a lot of agreement that there is a time and a place for both voting for “the party” particularly where the lesser of two evils was based in red states.
The premise that I would like to look at in this part of the conversation is where we, the hard core blue zones, have capitulated because we were complacent.
My direction of talking points:
– I live in the SF area and we vote high blue all the time. My county votes 67-70% blue almost always.
– We have elected Diane Feinstein repeatedly and yet we have to pressure her to vote for core values such as pro-choice.
– John Kerry is from an high blue population, yet during the 2004 campaign was pretty weak in how he spoke out for core values.
– Going into the 2006 mid-terms should we in the high blue zones agree with the Democratic Party to put in a weak moderate for congress just because they are registered as Dems?
Or should we support a more agressive candidate in the primaries?
– – – –
Right now I’m not addressing the issues of lesser of two evils in the red areas. I’m working up a diary on the grass roots efforts of Take Back Red California. I’m part of group that is supporting ‘the party’ in these predominantly red areas while we build a farm team.