Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   4 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

A Strategy for Progressives in Very Red Districts

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2   Interesting 2   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 6/18/13

Author 53
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)
- Advertisement -

There are many congressional districts where Democrats have nearly zero chance of winning anytime soon. (The recent victory of the disgraced Mark Sanford in a South Carolina congressional race shows how safe a Republican seat can be.)

The difficulty of winning these seats, paradoxically, presents an important opportunity for Democrats.

In the short run, the political battle in America is over who will hold the offices where laws get made. In the long run, the battle is over shaping the public consciousness that determines to whom the people will give power.

For the latter purpose, Democrats in very red districts can make an important contribution in the battle over the country's destiny.  It's an educational role that is especially vital because our politics are broken, and while most Americans see there's a problem, not enough Americans see where the problem lies.

A candidate in an unwinnable race can focus on moving hearts and minds, at least incrementally, toward recognizing the paramount political truth of our times:  The force that's taken over the Republican Party acts destructively and irresponsibly.

The immediately visible problem in our politics is that nothing is getting done.  Last year's Congress accomplished less than any in memory. This year's Congress is no better.  And it's clear why.

It is well-documented that even before President Obama took office, congressional Republicans decided that their top priority was to make him fail. If nothing can get accomplished, the Republicans figured, the people would blame the president and throw him out of office.
- Advertisement -

That approach didn't gain the Republicans the White House in the 2012 elections, but obstruction remains the Republicans' main political strategy.  And their control of the House and the use of the filibuster in the Senate, enable them to cripple our governing process.

Helping people see that our governmental dysfunction is a deliberate choice the Republicans are making is a good starting place, building as it does on the concerns of citizens -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- over the stalemate in Congress.  But that's just one piece in a very big picture that Americans need to see.

     " Income and wealth inequality are wider than at any time in living memory, yet Republicans are helping to widen that gap.
      " The country is still devastated by the aftereffects of a financial collapse, yet Republicans are working to prevent the restoration of the kinds of regulations that kept our financial system stable for seventy years.

      " 97 % of the top scientists in the climate field agree that climate disruption may pose the greatest challenge in human history, and we're already seeing costly consequences, yet Republicans have made it party dogma that the scientists are wrong and that nothing, or little, should be done.

      " Getting Americans back to work should be our top economic priority, yet Republicans block programs to add jobs while insisting on austerity policies that have thrown additional hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work.
- Advertisement -

When today's Republicans are out of power, they try to prevent anything good from being done. But when they were in power, they gave us a presidency (2001-2009) that was perhaps the most damaging in our history:

      "     two wars of choice, one under false pretenses;

      "     officially sanctioned torture;

      "     more assaults on the Constitution and the rule of law than by any previous presidency (according to Bruce Fein, the conservative Reagan jurist);

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Well Said 2   Interesting 2   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power