I don't know if you understand that you are espousing standard right-wing doctrine with your statements: Poverty programs creating an underclass, public schools failing, black women having babies so they can get welfare payments, etc. This is hard-core right-wing stuff.
"The Democrats" are the people who show up at party meetings and vote. Look at what has happened with the Democrats since people did start showing up and voting? Howard Dean is the Chair of the party now, for example.
Instead, the Greens just grabbed their toys and walked out. The labor movement learned the hard way about sticking together to fight the moneyed interests (hence the laben "Union") and the Greens split up that coalition. They were scabs who lost us the 2000 election. Enought of the 90,000 Greens in Florida WOULD have voted Gore to keep Bush out of office.
This is exactly right. The Republican Noise (propaganda) Machine had geared up, and the "convernetional wisdom" was in place and Clinton engaged in a practical response: "If that's what they believe, let's use it." You can't counter 30 years of right-wing propaganda in one election cycle.
My criticism of Clinton is that he (and the whole third way movement) should have also been encouraging a long-term response geared toward moving the conventional wisdom BACK. They didn't see that then, but we see it now. It's only recently that we have started to understand what the Republican machine is, and how it operates.
So now WE need to build an infrastructure that over time moves "conventional wisdom" and the public back in a Progressive direction.
Of major root of the non-partisan and non-advocacy stance of many groups is the nature of their funding. Without going into the history and reasons, major philanthropic foundations that you would think would support Progressive causes are averse to advocacy in any form and it is part of the culture. Also, their funding is program-oriented rather than general operating support. This means you can only get funding for specific narrow programs and not to build or maintain an organization. So progressive issue organizations are forced to spend uch of their effort talking to the converted because that is how they get the money to go on.
This is a core difference between right-wing movement funders and the funders of what we would call "progressive" organizations. RW groups are designed for advocacy and receive general operating support with multi-year commitments. They are designed to be ideological movement-builders. They receive funding to build channels of contact with the general public, and to study the marketing and linguistic methods that work best.
If we can crack the funding problem it will move us a long way toward Progressive movement-building.
I have been telling people for some time your observation about an age divide in the Democratic Party, where the older Dems who came into their own before Reagan see the party as a winning majority and the younger Dems see it as a losing party. That is a profound observation.
I think the conservative machine developed as a persuasion machine because it developed at a time of Progressive consensus, with the public largely agreeing on helping the poor, public schools, civil rights, environmentalism, scientific approach to solving problems... Back then Progressive-oriented organizations and institutions didn't need persuasion so they didn't have stong persuasion/PR components built into them.
So here we are and Progressive organizations are still designed around the old model. They still do not understand how to reach out to the general public. They do not understand marketing. Many still don't think they NEED to persuade -- "if only the oublic knew the facts they would support us..." is not persuasion. They reach the converted with a narrow message because that is what they have to do to get funding. They do NOT reach out to the general public. And they do NOT reach out past their own narrow-issue messages.
The Right follows a model of constant repetition of underlying ideological messages to the general public, and only after the public is familiar with those messages do they start to tie narrower issue messages to the broader ideological persuasive message. This is very effective. And they ALWAYS tie everything to a long-term strategic narrative. (Susan Schmidt drowned her kids BECAUSE liberals this-or-that. Decades later Santorum says priests in Boston are pedophiles BECAUSE liberals this-or-that. The SAME message over a long period of time.) These methods are very effective, and over time the public -- encountering no messages promoting the benefits of Progressive values and ideas -- is moved steadily to the Right.
Politicians respond to the public. Democratic politicians believe they have to "move to the center" while the perceived center is moved ever rightward.
So changing public attitudes is how you change the political leadership's perspective. I think the RW Machine took over the Republican Party and that's why we see the unity of ideology now. I think the way to build an opposition is not to think this is the job of the Democratic Party, but instead to build organizations that reach the public articulating the benefits of Progressive values and ideas, and then the public starts to elect Progressive-oriented candidates. And the leadership will feel the pressure from the public coming back at them.
What does "staying" mean? Doing what Bush is doing? That's just making things worse.
But "we" do need to think through our response beyond just crying out for it to stop. Sure, that's how we feel - but maybe just "withdrawal" would only make things worse for everyone. So I think we have to get past Bush on this if we are going to be able to think clearly and start coming up with REAL solutions. Bush did the wrong thing, and got us into a war, and that war has such a potential to spin out of control. I mean, we ned to make sure that everyone understands this, but the answer is not to hold our hands over our faces and scream "make it stop!" The answer is to start looking for solutions that make sense for a real way out of this that protects Iraqi civilians, AND that doesn't endanger our own long-term security.
AND, if we really do see a movement rise up for "withdrawal" and it forces a withdrawal, and things get worse as a result (maybe 100,000 Iraqis die in a civil war or we lose a city to a nuke) ...
This really is not Vietnam. Withdrawing from Vietnam did not have consequences that WE felt here.
"and in iraq, isn't creating a new generation of terrorists and installing an islamic republic losing? the whole mindset being iraq was the PNAC crap. and it is going to be proven wrong. we are creating more terrorists with our campaign in iraq than we are able to destroy."
So now that Bush has us in this mess, losing could have drastic consequences for us here, way into the future. So we have to find a way to END this war, and not think we can just leave. Bush started it, yes, and it was wrong. But here we are. We really have to understand what it would mean if we just left - or lost. Not just to us but to the civilians in Iraq. We on "the left" have to think that through. This is NOT Vietnam where we could just leave and not have to deal with the consequences of that.
Great comment! Let me add that when you make an attack or a point it's a good idea to always add the word "BECAUSE." This is how the Right does it. "Clinton lied BECAUSE that's what liberals do." "Democrats want you to pay more taxes BECAUSE they like big government."
What I am saying is to tie your attack or point to an underlying ongoing narrative - a deeper long-term ideological principle. This ties the point to reinforcing Progressive ideals in the mind of the listener. That drives you toward your longer-term strategic goal, which is advancing Progressive values, and getting back control from the Right.
"Bush screwed up Iraq BECAUSE ... "
"Bush lied BECAUSE ... "
"Bush doesn't have an exit strategy BECAUSE he had a hiden agenda in this invasion, and because it was timed for the last election because Republicans only want power and will say and do anything to keep it."