Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Take heart, progressives!

Matt Stoller has words of comfort for us:

Political progress is slow, until it's not. The organizing work of the 1930s-1950s led to the Civil Rights movement of the next decade; the same can be said about the New Deal, which was based on 40 years of populist and progressive organizing. Political change looks rapid, because opportunities open up quickly, but the actual work to make that rapid change happen is slow and filled with losses, self-doubt, and heartache. Every successful movement has been tagged as a group of losers who are childish and angry. Every successful movement has lost political battles; a lot of them in fact. And every successful movement has persevered through those times, learned from them, and ultimately validated itself.

9/11 and the few years after that was a dark time. Fake heroes like Giuliani and his minions, Bush and his minions, and Fox News and its stable of entertainers ruled discourse. Clinton's impeachment had laid the Democrats low. Iraq happened with no public debate, right-wing extremists took Congress in 2002 and strengthened their grip in 2004, and progressive politics were bereft of leadership, resources, and ideas. Or so it seemed.

Below the surface, progressive energy was simmering, and we're only starting to see a boil-over. At the same time, the right-wing movement, which looks so healthy as it governs the country and controls the levers of power in corporate board rooms, is dying. These two trend lines are crossing with increasing frequency; the people are on our side and not theirs anymore....

I confess to creeping optimism myself of late.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouraging reminder that Progress often requires Patience. Someday, hopefully soon, the First FratBoy & his minions will be history...