Thoughts after midnight. (a few hundred years ago, Edward Young wrote a huge best-seller, Night Thoughts. I couldn't resist borrowing the title, having written this after midnight. )
Wise it is to comprehend the whole. Edward Young
This article started as a comment, in response to an article, Dear Progressives: Organize or Squabble, Which Is It? It raised the question of what Progressives need to do next. So, here are some of my thoughts.
Vision is essential, followed by a mission.
Keep the vision positive, moving towards positive developments. This can be framed to leave the crap we're dealing with now behind.
The mission gets into more detail on what things get done, how and by who.
We're looking to take the power in the system and then change the way it is wielded. We've learned that in Islamic states, you can't just hand the power of democracy over to Islamists who want to install Sharia law.
We need to get the help of people in other nation who have a stake in the outcome here in the US. I'm not talking about funding elections, where that's illegal. I'm talking about advocacy organizations.
We need to build progressive, not liberal, not centrist democratic-- PROGRESSIVE policy advocacy organizations. Think tanks are sometimes considered to be in this category. On the right, that may be true. ON the left, the think tanks tend to be no more than that-- weak, intellectual, paper-pushing idea explorers. They won't cut it. We need deeply funded advocacy organizations that develop strategies to reach judges, legislators, students, grassroots activists, mainstream media.... and more.
We need to come up with some big picture-- seeing the forest as well as the trees-- projects. Howard Dean did it with his 50 state initiative.
We need to get very, very local and take over the local parties-- Democratic, Green, Libertarian. Join your local organizations, run for committee person. Go to local meetings. Get other people to do the same.
Engage in Street theater, hold out signs at major intersections-- things that increase visibility.
Do MORE. You can do a lot of things you've never done before. Start trying them out, doing new things.
Do More. You can do more than you are doing. Put in ten minutes more each week, or each day. It will add up.
Meet new people. Recruit them. Allow yourself to be recruited.
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