Sunday, November 12, 2006

Where Does The Left Turn Now?

Not where the media is trying to point us.

Posted by olvlzl.

Something enormous changed with the defeat of George Allen, something that changes everything. We’ve got our foot in the door. We’ve even got a few seats at the table. We are part of a broad coalition that can actually do something if it stays together and acts like adults. There are so many problems to address and we’ve only got two years guaranteed to do it in. Choices have to be made because that’s how politics work. I’ve got my wish list but most of it is not achievable for the present time. I think it would shock some of you how far to the left that list would place me. It certainly wouldn’t get me an invitation to go on a talk show. I, dear friends, am far enough left that my kind is never asked on chat shows even once. It places me firmly to the left of Barney Frank, it even places me just to the left of the wonderful Bernie Sanders. Unlike last Monday, today I can start work on it.

But enough of me. What can we do to keep people from getting killed, to keep the environment alive, to feed, house, clothe and educate The People? Second, how can we push the victory of last week forward to prevent the Republicans and their media shills from destroying the prospects of this victory and overturning it through lies and propaganda? They are already hard at work as you read this.

One of my goals in blogging is to try to figure out how a politician has to deal with the diverse agendas of their constituents, to present the limits of the possible as well as the real possibilities. Those posts have been controversial but I don’t think they are that far off the mark. No politician in their right mind will try to do the impossible if it means that they will lose the next election to someone worse than they are. No political activist should waste their limited time and resources trying to push them to do so. It is sheerest and most irresponsible idiocy to do it. While often mistaken as a means of pushing change, for the left in the United States of today, it is an invitation to be ignored.

Every day wasted on futility counts as a wasted week for the left. Our enemies have more money than God and they own the media. You can have the most brilliant case for your cause but without the consent of The People pushing any part of that prematurely is a waste of time. Even the clearest causes, Abolition, Woman’s Suffrage, Workers Rights, Civil Rights took decades of work in the face of a public that was not there yet. Looking back it all seems so easy. Reading the writings of the activists themselves it is clear that it was not instant progress, it was incremental and hard and there were setbacks along with the progress.

The history of the human species is largely a record of the powerful having their foot firmly on the neck of the powerless. Democracy, equality, justice, these are still novel innovations. Even here, where they constitute our rightful civic religion, we can see that fact demonstrated by the struggle to retain them. Insisting on issues whose time is clearly not here is worse than folly, it is damaging to what is possible. It helped give us Bush, it certainly reelected him and extended the Republicans’ control in 2004. Children, Women and Men will die today because he is in office. They would have been alive tomorrow if Gore had won Florida big enough so it couldn’t have been stolen.

After the past six years anyone on the left who cannot see that it is essential to win elections, to take office, to work to do what is possible to improve things, is hopeless. If six years of Bush II can’t teach you that lesson then you are ineducable. The left has to ignore anyone who refuses to face that all-important fact. We can’t bother with them anymore, we don’t have the time to indulge their personal luxury.

Getting the United States out of Iraq is the most important thing, not because getting out will make the situation better, it’s not going to be better. We have to get out because staying will make things worse than leaving will make them. That will be hard and dangerous enough for starters. It will probably take a lot longer than any of us wants but it is essential.

Securing the Vote, it is going to be tempting for that to be swept aside but it is essential that it be fixed too and now. Without a secured Vote there is every possibility that the Republicans will steal another Presidential election. Paperless voting has to be made illegal. Any method of voting that requires an unrealistic knowledge of advanced technology has to be made illegal. The method of electing the four federal offices, those which give us the federal government, has to be made uniform across the entire country. Both how it is cast and how it is counted. That one system has to be as familiar to Voters as using a toothbrush. The idiocy of the system we have now is clear and you are never going to have a better chance of fixing that than you do now. There will be court challenges and the partisan Republican judges who infest our judicial system will do whatever they can to prevent democracy, it’s what they do. We will have to roll over them somehow to get anything done.

Along with the Vote media reform, bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, Equal time provisions and mandated, required community service requirements are exactly as important as securing The Vote. Democrats owe nothing to the corporate media, the media are our enemies. A democracy needs a real news media because an uninformed population can’t have a democracy. We don’t have a real news media, we have a corporate propaganda machine. Start with Public Radio and Televison. They should not get a single cent until Steve Inskeep and Jim Lehrer have to present the news as fact, not as Republican spin. But until the entire broadcast and cabloid media are forced to do the job of the media in a democracy they will be a danger to it. They sold the country the Bush putsch and the Iraq war. Any questions?

In one of the old Dr. Who episodes, the Cybermen are about to destroy the Earth by crashing a space ship into it. Control of the ship by the Dr. and his friends is prevented by a lock with three logic code keys. One of the good guys says that it’s impossible to solve them in time. Adrick, the math wiz, says “Then I suggest we start immediately”. Good advice when the job is all important and the time is so short.