Friday, September 07, 2007

Now Here's Another Problem with the March on Washington

Just call me a control freak and deal with it, okay?

In the very first instance - first and foremost - demonstrations can do some good. And a whale of a good demonstration can do a whale of a lot of good, especially budging the Bush-lite congressmen off their dime. But this September 29th March on Washington demonstration looks like it was planned and organized by a bunch of Liberals.

We would be a lot better off if Progressives were running things.


To demonstrate what I mean, let me quote one of my most favorite bloggers and commenters, the Wizard, fkap. Where I find fault in the big tent of Liberalism, Wizard finds virtue:
The Democrat Party has been hijacked by so-called "Progressives." They don't like to be called liberals, not even with a small "l." They have a plan of progressing from point "A" to point "B."

. . . . The "Big Tent" is long gone.

Today's progressives . . . . In their mind [stuff] somehow stands in the way of the path from "A" to B." Today's progressive wing has a litmus test: "Oppose all things Bush."
The first response I have to make to Wizard is that Progressives do agree on at least one Point B: Bush & Cheney's legacy should be aborted and repudiated ASAP. Only those who see Shrub and Shooter as anything other than America's own home-grown international war criminals can disagree with the priority of that Point B.

I don't have much space to fill or time to take here, so I'll accept Wizard's framing of the issue.
Progressivism is a way of thinking about political agendas. It imposes a degree of discipline upon otherwise undisciplined Liberals:
  • Understand where you are (Point A), why you are there, why you need to move on, and where you want to go (Point B).
  • Understand that measures, policies, and conflicting goals which do not promote movement along this line from A to B can become distractions and diversions and fatal to progress.
Let's see what demands the big tent of Liberals has staked this demonstration to. Click to expand and look at this poster to the right. Parsimony is 'hard work', but definitely called for in this case of the March on Washington. Which of these items are congruent to ending Bush-Cheney occupation of Iraq and the U.S.A.? and which are not? Trying to be as generous and accepting (liberal) as possible, there are some that just have to be stricken from the demonstration marquee. I can easily defend the pertinence of remaining planks:
  • Impeachment!
  • No War against Iran!
  • End all occupations now - from Iraq to Palestine, the Philippines, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Afghanistan
  • Support The Right to Return - from Palestine to New Orleans
  • No to U.S. intervention - Hands off Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Zimbabwe, and the Sudan
  • Stop the raids against immigrant workers -- Full rights for undocumented workers
  • Justice for Katrina survivors - End racist police terror - Stop the war against Muslims
  • Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, the Cuban Five, and all political prisoners
  • Money for health care, jobs and education, not endless war occupation.
If there are going to be speakers, signs & songs about all these divergent and unrelated causes, the message of the demonstration will be lost in the disparite din. It's not that some causes to be excluded are not worthy; it's about them not being related to moving toward Point B. It's about them being needlessly offensive, alienating and off-putting to otherwise attracted participants. Demonstrations have to have a unifying theme.

Good demonstrations are focused and disciplined. Otherwise the vital message is lost; scarce resources of time, finances, energy, loyalties are squandered. A big tent is critically important for a circus, maybe important to the Democratic Party, but worse than useless in a political demonstration.

9 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Boris said...

I disagree. Demonstrations can be messy circuses. The main thing is to mess up business-as-usual. Street theater does this. The unifying message is this:

Get rid of Bush and his mess and demonstrations and their freaks will melt back into the shadows and woodwork.

9/07/2007 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

I think more could be added.
All things Bush:
* Ending Torture
* Stop Appeasing Global Warming
* Halting Warantless Surveillance

Don't have time to go on. You get the idea.

9/07/2007 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Someone will no doubt make money selling T-shirts and buttons at this event.
Those people will walk away happy.

I fail to see the difference between Republican or Democratic groups at this point.

Progressive ? Liberal ? Conservative?
How does this have any thing to do with correcting the serious aspect of our country spinning out of control, with Political thugs ruining our lives ?

9/07/2007 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

Vigilante, Part of the reason to broaden the "March on Washington" umbrella is to increase the shear numbers of marchers!

You have a "liberal" here who happens to agree with you. I'd love to see the focus narrowed to concentrate on Bush's wrongdoings and the occupation of Iraq.

But I get it! By including other transgressions against humanity from Global Warming to New Orleans victims, the number of protestors is likely to grow.

One hundred thousand voices will make much more noise than 25,000. It would be too easy for both Bush and the Dems to ignore a small crowd.

----------------------

P.S. Thanks for the link. I'll be interested to see what your regualr readers think.

9/07/2007 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Wizard makes a valid point. Demonstrations are just another extension of politics. Politics is about numbers. Only "control freaks" pretend otherwise.

Demonstrators like politicians are pander-bears, always trying to appeal to larger aggregates of people. It never stops. Let it ride. The more massive the larger the effect. Media likes mass. But let there be no violence, please.....

9/07/2007 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Not Your Mama said...

Most of the labels bear little or no resemblance to what they meant 20 years ago so I've simplified things a bit, I just mentally group people into "sane" or "insane".

If you really want to get their attention don't march, sit down. Nothing like hundreds of thousands of worker bees/consumers not working or consuming much to muck up their plans.

9/07/2007 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Your right about that Mama. Just by not filling up your gas tank, you would have more effect than this so called march.

Just by buying nothing for a couple of days, America can be brought to its knees.

Any real protest would be economic, and not physical. Boycott the system, and then people would indeed take notice.

A no buy gas week would effectively cripple the system, along with a don`t show up for work week.
Let`s get real.
Mostly this so called protest is only an opportunity to get some sun tanning in before winter sets in.

9/07/2007 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger M.D. said...

Short-term:

The focus of the press needs to shift away from the current satire being perpetrated by Bush:

Periodic faux assessment followed by the "stay a while longer" message.

Under that model, we're never going to leave.

Protest will help to push the current Bush propaganda train - "give us time!" - off its tracks.

It's a way of insisting that they do something NOW.

Long-term:

The ugly reality is that Bush went to war to establish a permanent large-scale presence in the Middle East.

Osama bin Laden objected to our presence in the Middle East - so BushCo responded by entrenching us in the region even further. It's the "add insult to injury" school of politics at work.

Will the next President reverse course?

I don't think it's going to happen.

The only way out of this mess is to do the things that will reduce our dependence on that oil.

So yes, let's protest, but let's also use our power as consumers to make economic statements about the habits that result in the occupation of oil-rich nations.

9/08/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

M.D. The war would stop within one week if the American public cared to stop it.
They don`t.

-- Its a simple matter to shut the country down.
That is the only protest these people will understand. If they lose money, in a big way, they will withdraw the troops.
Kind of like sponsors withdrawing from a lousy T.V. show.

Vigilante why not organize a shut down America, to shut down the 'war' day.
You could honestly say you were doing something that could change things then.
Just an idea.
Don`t buy anything or go to work for a week, Shutdown against the 'war'~!~
Fake war that is of course.
Maybe you could circulate the idea on your contact sites.

9/08/2007 08:41:00 AM  

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