In less than a week, I will be in Denver at the Democratic National Convention participating in events that will take place outside the Pepsi Center. As I prepare to head to where the political epicenter of American politics will be next week, I have formulated a series of articles. The series is titled, "The Right, the Left, and Your Prized Candidate." The second in the series is as follows.
There is no significant progressive or liberal movement in America right now for the same reasons there is no significant antiwar or peace movement right now. What we have witnessed in the past three to four years is the implosion of a GOP Party, an improvement in the way Democrats engage in politics, and an awakening to all the horrific and terrible actions the Bush Administration has taken in our country’s name among the American population.
With a progressive/liberal and the antiwar/peace movement in fragments, it’s no wonder Americans were not able to get an impeachment or peace candidate in a position to claim the Democratic Party’s nomination.
It is refreshing that many Americans have expressed a desire to get Obama elected and then go to work afterwards. This proves Americans are aware of the need for Americans to be the change they have been waiting for. But, preceding events in this election concerning Obama lead me to doubt our ability to affect change if we continue onward with that line of reasoning.
Recall the following---
February, 1, 2008, MoveOn.org threw its “progressive weight behind Obama” and endorsed him. A supposed antiwar and progressive group threw its weight not behind a peace or pro-Constitution candidate but rather behind one who has no qualms over being pro-military and trampling the rule of law.
Obama accepted the endorsement saying, “"In just a few years, the members of MoveOn have once again demonstrated that real change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up. From their principled opposition to the Iraq war - a war I also opposed from the start - to their strong support for a number of progressive causes, MoveOn shows what Americans can achieve when we come together in a grassroots movement for change. I thank them for their support and look forward to working with their members in the weeks and months ahead."
And why wouldn’t a candidate like Obama want to work with MoveOn.org? Despite the flap with the “General Betray Us” ad, which Obama condemned, MoveOn is a machine that any politician would like to have integrated into his or her campaign so long as that politician could control the agenda of it:
Many believe MoveOn to be leading a widespread progressive movement in America, but John Stauber, over at the Center for Media & Democracy, said in July of this year:
“MoveOn is not a movement although it wants to be perceived as one. It is a brilliant and effective fundraising and marketing machine, but 95% or more of their so-called members ignore any particular email appeal. These 3.2 million people on the MoveOn email list are the object of marketing and fundraising campaigns, but they have absolutely no meaningful or democratic control over the decisions of organization, there is no accountability from the leadership to the MoveOn list members, and those of us on the list are unable to organize and communicate amongst ourselves within the list because it can’t be accessed by the grassroots at the local or state level. MoveOn, the Democracy Alliance, and the various liberal think tanks that have arisen to fight the Right are clearly a force able to raise millions of dollars for Democratic candidates and launch PR and messaging campaigns, but none of them are about empowering a populist grassroots uprising.”
MoveOn told its members to vote for John Kerry in 2004. MoveOn convinced its members to support more war funding in 2007 claiming it was “a way to end the war.”
MoveOn is not progressive. All one has to do is consult the Progressive Democrats of America’s agenda and see that very little of what MoveOn does is actually aimed at securing progressive victories for Americans.
MoveOn’s power to integrate angry frustrated Americans into its top-down workings has greatly affected this country’s ability to meaningfully challenge the Bush administration.
With MoveOn’s endorsement, it is now next to impossible for an independent force to organize and influence the rhetoric of Obama’s campaign as we head into November.