Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Jonathan Rauch Part Deux

Credit to Jonathon Rauch for doing an honest re-assessment of his work ( Having had a couple of my printed articles blue penned into a non-recognizable state, yet improved, I know it can be hard to accept well meaning criticism. I believe Jonathan has graciously taken all of the input, and he as deftly clarified his reasoning.

I still have a small disagreement with his argument for inclusion of the activist elements of each party. Unfortunately via the eco-movement, some elements of the anti-abortion movement, and the many violent protests of the sixties, activism has come to mean disruption, destruction, anarchy, and sometimes, violence. In the MSM driven hype to sell newspapers and airtime, these behaviors garner a disproportionate amount of coverage. Sit-ins and hunger strikes are scoffed at for their effectiveness and they have given way to more aggressive methods. Burning houses and SUVs, vulgar chanting at high visibility events, and using subterfuge to gain entry into private events are aptly rewarded by the press, and thus adopted as future strategies. This is why most “activists” are preferred outside the tent, because once inside the tent there is no guarantee that these elements will conform to the established “rules” of the respective parties. And rather than being outside nuisances, they then become destructive forces from within.

If you want to REALLY change either party’s platforms in a meaningful way, you have to do it with reason, logic, salesmanship, and sometimes, political maneuvering. Changes made in this fashion will, indeed, change the party. Changes made through aggressive momentum, coercion, and destructive activism have little chance of taking root in the short or long term, e.g. Howard Dean fizzle.

While the Democrats have given Michael Moore and Howard Dean a voice, I don’t believe they have strengthened their party in any way. The Dems problem now is what to do with them now that they are in the tent, e.g. Howard Dean’s desire to be Dem Party Chair. Today’s activists are useful in bringing to light many issues, however these issues, and their messengers, need to be carefully considered before letting them in the house.

1 comment:

MajorMike said...

Hi Major,

I think it's $$$ that changes the Dems.


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