Sunday, January 30, 2011


In the footsteps of Saul Alinsky

In a previous post I advised my liberal-progressive-Democratic friends to let Obama go about the constitutional job of being President and not depend on him to start or promote new initiatives toward reforming our undemocratic, corporate-ridden political and economic system.  Starting something new is something we have to do ourselves.  Our opponents on the Right have been working for years to develop a coherent movement that, even though it is a minority, is so disciplined and organized that it has become more influential than the majority of our citizens.  As Democrats, we have a tradition of obstinate independence that precludes the discipline shown by the Tea Party movement.  We need to have at least agreed goals that conform with our views about what's wrong.

Unlike the Tea Party Movement, we can't vent our frustration with the system and at the same time advocate fundamental changes that will, if enacted, simply reinforce the things about the system that we hate.  Fortunately, we are not that disciplined and not that inclined to listen to demagogues who use our frustration and energy to promote their own selfish interests.

Let's start with agreeing on what needs to be changed.
Feel free to add to the list above.

We can not depend on favorite candidates for office to make these changes.  We need to use techniques recognized in the constitution itself: public protest and petition.  History teaches us that peaceful protest is more effective than violent protest.  Look at Russia!  The people rose up and violently ended the rule of the tsar.  What replaced it?  The rule of Stalin.  In these days, the rule of Putin.  It is not sufficient to overthrow a government that is oppressive.  There must be a profound change, not only in the government, but in the people.  Peaceful, if rowdy, demonstrations eventually wear down the prejudices of the people and bring about changes in the government.  I am talking here about an effort that will take two or three generations.  It isn't going to happen in the election of 2012.

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