Friday, September 14, 2007

On the Democrats

Zymurgian and I had an interesting debate last night, one that has taken place many times amongst progressives: Do we work inside the Democratic party or from outside. It's a tough question, because the party has repeatedly failed us.

I've been involved in traditional politics for decades, but have also been involved in protests and other non-traditional campaigns. A number of the "big" blogs have been using the phrase "more and better Democrats", and it's a laudable idea. That said, I'm skeptical about achieving it.

One of the reasons that I volunteer and work for Democratic candidates is simply in opposition to the Republicans. Even back in the days where there were some "honest Republicans", I was opposed to the Republican philosophy of "business before people". Now that we have a current Republican party that is completely out of control, the Democrats are literally our only hope outside of open rebellion. I know that's a "lesser of two evils" argument, but it's true.
Yes, the current crop of spineless Democrats drive me crazy. If we had a real, strong, progressive Democratic party, we would have impeached by now. It's frustrating as all hell.
If we had a large segment of the population taking to the streets, we could achieve change. That isn't happening, so I am working with what I have. You go to war with the politicians you have, not the politicians you wish you had.

Zymurgian expressed doubt as to whether my work on various political campaigns could actually change anything, and I have to admit that sometimes I have my doubts. But in the end, I said "I have to try". It's hard-wired into me: I have to try.

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.


Mary Ellen said...

This whole "progressive" Democrat has thrown me for a loop. I'm not quite sure which faction of Democrat I belong. I may be progressive in some areas, moderate in others...and sometimes I'm downright conservative (but not in the bad way...the Republican way). All I know is that when it comes time to vote, I vote Democrat. I've never voted for a Republican in my life and that's how I sleep well at night.

Demeur said...

As you may likely be rendered to some third world country for demonstrating in the streets. Let me give another alternative. A national work stoppage. Your fellow bloggers Monkeyfister, Cupojoe and myself have set up the blog site Shut it Down.
Shut It Down
Feel free to add a link to this site

Fran said...

This is something worth discussing and finding a place to land is important.

I want to be with the party but the party is not what I want it to be.

Stay and work is what I will do for now. Frankly I do think we'd be a better country with more parties to choose from.

pygalgia said...

Hey, demeur, I will be signing on to "shut it down". I do like the idea. I'm just afflicted with a short term perspective, where I do things at the last minute.