A Progressive Politics for Reactionary Times (1 Viewer)

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    The Other Liberal

    Well-known member
    Dec 18, 2020
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    Lexington Kentucky
    For anyone who cares about gross economic inequality, climate change, racial justice, gender equality, abortion, and LGBTQ rights it's a perilous time. The Republican Right is more powerful, regressive, and extreme than ever. At the same time Democratic moderates are not challenging them even when and where they have the power to do so. Conservatives are strong at the state level, and they will probably retake the House and Senate in 2022. Not to mention Roe V. Wade is likely to be overturned by the Supreme Court at any time. Does this mean progressives should give up? No. And I don't think becoming a " Republican lite " moderate Democrat is the best way to go either. For anyone who thinks it is look what happened to Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. Conservative Republicans are good at lies and distortions so you might as well push back and hold to what you believe. In fact, certain progressive policies and priorities are popular even if Democrats including President Biden are not. Here's what progressives should do:

    1. Being vocal and visible is not enough. That's not power. It doesn't get things done. Progressives need to be organized at the grassroots level from the neighborhood to Capitol Hill. The successful use of direct action and lobbying is essential. However, this goes along with getting elected to public office and shaping public policy. Positive social change depends on both. Progressives are often good at activism and using social media. They need to get better at the grassroots and shaping public policy.

    2. Progressives need to push back against right wing messaging on a much bigger scale than they have before now. A few left leaning opinion writers in The Nation or mainstream press like Washington Post who write levelheaded pieces for sympathetic readers won't cut it. The left needs to be reaching apathetic and disinterested people who haven't made up their minds or been swayed already. This will not only neutralize claims about wokeness, critical race theory, and leftwing extremist elites countering right wing propaganda will create an opening to build a larger constituency.

    3. Understand the long term is what matters. Almost all big changes for the better in America happened over a long period of time. They were opposed by most people and there many defeats and setbacks. Keep pushing and never stop. This is the challenge to organizers, intellectuals, politicians, opinion makers, and ordinary citizens. American history has shown that we can write wrongs and change for the better. Whether it's struggles against Slavery, for Womens Suffrage, the Labor, Civil Rights, and LGBTQ movements. There was a time even when radicals like socialists and communists were important reformers and even elected officials.

    None of this is new or easy. But progressives need to do more and better.
    I'm putting this here because I think it has to do with progressive politics. Newsom is exploiting the Supreme Court's decision to allow the Texas abortion law to remain in place. I love that he's doing this and I hope that other states with democrat controlled governors and legislatures do the same thing. If Texas can pass a law to allow private citizens to sue people for having an abortion then that same tactic can be used to allow private citizens to sue gun manufacturers and people who sell guns.


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