From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Looking beyond November 2004...

January 29, 2004 8:28 AM

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Clinton, lays out the case for not just taking back the White House, but building a broad-based progressive movement:

The conservative movement has developed dedicated sources of money and legions of ground troops who not only get out the vote, but also spend the time between elections persuading others to join their ranks. It has devised frames of reference that are used repeatedly in policy debates (among them: it's your money, tax and spend, political correctness, class warfare).

It has a system for recruiting and electing officials nationwide who share the same world view and who will vote accordingly. And it has a coherent ideology uniting evangelical Christians, blue-collar whites in the South and West, and big business — an ideology in which foreign enemies, domestic poverty and crime, and homosexuality all must be met with strict punishment and religious orthodoxy.

In contrast, the Democratic Party has had no analogous movement to animate it. Instead, every four years party loyalists throw themselves behind a presidential candidate who they believe will deliver them from the rising conservative tide. After the election, they go back to whatever they were doing before.

As a result, Democrats have been undisciplined, intimidated or just plain silent. They have few dedicated sources of money, and almost no ground troops. The religious left is disconnected from the political struggle. One hears few liberal Democratic phrases that are repeated with any regularity. In addition, there is no consistent Democratic world view or ideology.

I have four words for you Mr. Reich -- Move On dot org.

More from the archive in Politics.

Looking beyond November 2004... (01.29.2004)

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Jim Gilliam
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