Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

Twelve years ago tomorrow, I was in my childhood home in Liverpool, NY, watching Newt Gingrich be sworn in as Speaker of the House on C-SPAN. At the time, I was on semester break during my study abroad year in England. As my two brothers and I watched the change of power on television, the sense that returning to England was somehow abandoning my country during a time when it needed left-wing activists more than ever grew palpable. It was both frustrating and pathetic to watch the likes of Bonoir and Gephardt try to fight back against what seemed to be an almost unstoppable rising tide of conservatism in America. When I voiced my concern about returning to England to my older brother Andy, he smacked me on the back of the head and said something to the effect of "are you crazy? Get out of here while you still can."

I of course went back and finished my studies, but that day was a turning point in my life. I may have felt a twinge of political activism back then, but my heart generally agreed with my brother: forget politics--it's hopeless--and turn your attention to other matters. However, the 1994 "Republican Revolution" was the just the first of many stinging losses suffered by progressives over the next ten years, a painful run that eventually agitated many people such Andy and I to stop turning away from politics. After 1994, there was the insane and illegitimate attempt to impeach President Clinton. In 2000, there was the Florida recount fiasco. Then came the build-up to war in Iraq, the 2002 elections, actual war in Iraq, and an ever escalating series of right-right power grabs including mid-term Texas redistricting, the California recall election, an infinitely powerful executive branch, the 2004 election, and on and on. With each successive progressive defeat and conservative power grab, my resolve to become more active grew stronger. After years of slowly becoming more engaged, by early 2004, I had transformed my life to such a degree that I was a full-time political activist. No more, I vowed to myself, would I stand by and watch while the conservative movement slowly re-engineered American society to its own radical specifications. The other voice in my head, the one that wanted to stand and fight, completely won the day.

I think my reaction to 1994, and the slow but ultimately drastic transformative effect it had on my life, was mirrored in the rise of the contemporary progressive movement itself. As I wrote several months ago, much of our new infrastructure was built in reaction to one or more of the many defeats we suffered from 1994-2004:The netroots were basically formed out of a long series of losses by progressives: the Clinton impeachment (MoveOn.org), the 2000 Florida recount (Talking Points Memo, the first major progressive blog), the conservative exploitation of the charged atmosphere following 9/11 (I know that was the case for me), the war in Iraq (the rise of Dailykos and of Howard Dean's campaign), Howard Dean's campaign (DFA and a huge percentage of the netroots and new internet consultants, not to mention the Silent Revolution). Losses have consistently built and solidified the netroots. Even beyond the netroots, another key element of emerging progressive infrastructure, the Democracy Alliance, was birthed out of our stinging defeats in the 2002 midterm elections. Our resolve to fight back was strengthened by our losses, and our movement grew in size and gained power because we saw a desperate need for new tactics, new infrastructure, and new personal dedication to the political arena.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate the biggest progressive victory since at least 1992. Instead of watching the swearing in on television, I will actually be in D.C. to celebrate the event. It will be a new moment for the movement, where we will be celebrating a great victory instead of another painful defeat. At fantastic as this moment will be, I am also worried that because our movement was constructed largely in response to progressive defeats, that finally achieving a big victory could actually be something of a setback for the movement over the long term. Will we maintain out willingness to innovate? Will we have the same resolve to dedicate ourselves to affecting change? Will our unity collapse if our leaders fail to deliver on various issues or promises? Will we revert back to our older urges of tuning out, exemplified by my brother's understandable frustration twelve years ago, if this victory does not quickly translate into a series of victories?

One of the main problems facing any people-powered reform movement is that it is generally composed of volunteers who could easily shift their focus to other matters in their lives. By way of contrast, these reform movements are challenging entrenched, political machines composed of people who owe their careers and livelihoods to the machine. This is true on both the micro-level in cities such as Philadelphia and in macro-situations such as the political-media complex of Washington, D.C. While we may face a long-standing internal struggle between opposing urges to turn to other matters and urges to stand and fight, most of our opponents face no such dilemma.

Given that George Bush still occupies the White House, my worries about decreased progressive movement motivation may be overblown in the short term. However, in order to maintain the long-term viability of the progressive movement, I think they must be addressed. At what point can we start expecting progressive activist motivation to die down, thereby weakening great reform efforts such as the fifty-state strategy, the silent revolution, the small donor explosion, and the rise of progressive media? What can be down to combat decreased motivation? Do we define some sort of endgame scenario where our goals have been met, or do we instead seek to build some kind of "permanent revolution" such as the "great backlash narrative" that will keeps the troops motivated over the long-term?

Basically, this is an open thread to muse about the future motivation level of progressive movement activists. I have to take care of some errands before heading down to D.C. Hearing your thoughts on this subject will give me a lot to think about over the next couple of days.

Tags: progressive movement (all tags)

Comments

28 Comments

Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

The Democracy Alliance isn't key to anything yet.  It doesn't move money effectively.  

What we need to do is build a combination of industry alliances and labor alliances to provide the funding and institutional stability for progressive politics.  Without that we go the way of the New Left in the 1970s.  Poof.  Gone.

by Matt Stoller 2007-01-03 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight
Instituional stability is important, but the movement is still largely based upon hundreds of thousands--millions of volunteers "on the ground." There is the possibility that those troops could become disaffected from an instituionalized "movement elite."

I still agree with you--we do need that funding and instituional status. But those who achieve that need to make sure they don't become disengaged and poor representatives of the troops on the ground.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-03 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

I still agree with you--we do need that funding and instituional status. But those who achieve that need to make sure they don't become disengaged and poor representatives of the troops on the ground.

Everyone needs funding and/or institutional status.  Without that they will go away.  That doesn't mean full-time work but it means rewarding leadership with responsibility, building unionization and corporate progressivism, and really building civic involvement into government and media.

Also, I don't accept a stratified division between volunteer troops on the ground and a professionalized elite.  That's a 20th century model.

by Matt Stoller 2007-01-03 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

In FY 2007, over 240 million federal dollars are slated to fund "abstinence only" education, and given the rules concerning how "abstinence ed" must be taught - condoms are mentioned only in terms of their failure rate, "abstinence only until marriage" is presented as the only viable way to avoid std's, and marriage is something that happens only between a man and a woman - federal abstinence funding tends to go to activists and activist orgs. on the Christian right.

So far, the Democracy Alliance has disbursed what - 50 million ?

That's great, but by my guess at least 500 million dollars (and perhaps upwards of 1 billion) flows yearly under the "Faith Based Initiative" to groups I'd identify with the Christian right.

Yearly. Think about it.

The whole issue is absurd. Progressive political activists are cheap - they're not in it for the money, that's for sure - and they're still not getting funded.

OK, that's my grumbling for the day.

by Bruce Wilson 2007-01-03 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

Nice post.

Given that George Bush still occupies the White House, my worries about decreased progressive movement motivation may be overblown in the short term.

I tend to agree, here. I believe we won't have too much trouble rallying ppl to the cause as long as Bush is in the Whitehouse.

Now, can a nascent progressive movement survive another democratic Presidency? That, to me, is a even more interesting question.

What does the movement do the next time another Clinton comes along?

by justathought 2007-01-03 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight
Tricky, indeed. IF we gain power and our leaders either tell us to temper our goals, or that our goals are unworkable, expect massive fall-off. then again, even if we elect someone who tries his or her best to represent the progressive movement, but can't get anything done, then expect more fall-off.

It is in these ways that the first two years of the Clinton presidency might have had a massive, demobiling effect on the progressive netroots and grassroots. For example, failure on health care, and backing down on gay rights probably do huge harm in these areas.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-03 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

It is in these ways that the first two years of the Clinton presidency might have had a massive, demobiling effect on the progressive netroots and grassroots.

Look at youth voting patterns from 1992 to 1994.  It's an unbelievable fall-off.

by Matt Stoller 2007-01-03 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

It will unless the Democratic leadership is brutally savaged for their actions. There's no question that the netroots has the power to do this (primaries, opposition research, verbal tirades) but it's less clear that there's the political will for the netroots as a whole to hold the same line. There was Lieberman, but I'd argue he was different because he was standing against the Democratic party. If it comes to conflict with the leaders of the party, I can see a lot of the movement not wanting to act for fear of counterproductive effects, the backlash therefore failing and progressive activism falling or migrating to third parties.

The difficulty is that the netroots is at present essentially an oppositional force. A Democratic trifecta would mean that Republicans would have so little national power that there really wouldn't be that much opportunity to oppose them aside from at elections.

Therefore, I think it's key that progressives begin to diversify into non-electoral aims so as to move America to the left. Working to increase union membership is the best example, but there are many more. The problem here is convincing the netroots that you aren't just collapsing into issue silos.

by Englishlefty 2007-01-03 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

One thing the netroots have done is create a rallying point for those who want to change the Democratic party. Even with Democratic majorities and a Democratic President, people will still demand reform within the party. It is important that we not lose sight of the silent revolution even while Democrats are in charge.

Political activism is about engagement and direction. Blogs provide a way for these millions of "on the ground" activists to stay engaged even if there's less urgency (after the war, when Dems are in charge, etc). It seems urgency is a driving force for new activists to get engaged, but as long as they have goals, and feel empowered, they'll stick around. The netroots serves both to enhance the feeling of urgency, and encourage people to get involved even in its absence.

by msnook 2007-01-03 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

I am far more of a hack then a wonk, but I first started following politics because I was looking forward to the Clinton administration passing universal health care. Since then it has been all politics and the only policy since Hillary blew health care has been defensive, watered down, or an attempt to keep things from getting worse.

My motivation is a governing majority that has the guts necessary to enact good policy. I think the three keys to getting there are stopping the DLC in the '08 presidential primaries, picking off blue dogs in blue districts, and beating more Republicans. None of these will get us where we need to be by itself, but together....

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-03 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

Well, how did the right maintain the resolve? By harnessing hatred and fear: God, guns, gays, and gametes. They'll take your guns, abort all your children except the one they turn gay, tax you to the poorhouse and give your money to the dark hordes.

My first reaction was, 'And, well, we on the left don't want to harness fear and hatred like that. It's icky.' But, in fact, we have every reason to harness away. We just have to be incredibly clear about channeling the hate and fear, I think.

Channel the fear of a cruel and negligent health care system. Channel the hatred of super-rich corporations that maximize profits by impoverishing workers and destroying communities. Channel the fear of another administration like this one; of our coastal cities underwater; of species disappearing; of civil rights trampled; of unequal education failing our children's future; of an increasingly desperate middle class.

One thing the right has done brilliantly is create an pseudo-ethnic political identity. That is, being a conservative in this country isn't merely a political statement, but a whole identity, with a creation story of piety and persecution, with reinforcing institutions (FOX News, etc.) and cultural identifiers and taboos. Once that gap is crossed, from a political to an 'ethic' identity, it's near impossible to cross back: no matter how wrong the leaders of your political movement are, if they're also your people, you can abandon them about as easily as chopping out a chunk of your own heart.

The left doesn't do this. (Thank God.) Perhaps, partly, because some of the groups which most strongly comprise the left are already ethnic or pseudo-ethnic groups, and clearly distinct from each other. You can't forge a pan-ethnic identity among Black, Jews, and  Gays, for example, quite so easily as you can between deracinated Whites. So I'm not sure we'll ever equal the uniformity of the right--and, in fact, we have to take care not to spin apart into separate constituencies. (On DailyKos, for example, one of the curious effects of the midterm victory is the increased discussion of wedge issues, which has already served to digust a good many people and, I think, depress motivation.)

That's trouble, in terms of maintaining a permanent revolution. Not sure how to address the problem, either. If only it were possible for some strict and widespread prioritizing to go on: first we start reversing the effects of global warming, provide universal healthcare, and ensure that union membership is 20% of the US workforce, and only then do we start tackling the next three Big Issues ...

Yes, a disciplined and unified left--that's the answer to your question! See how easy it is?

I'd also like to sleep with Angela Basset.

by BingoL 2007-01-03 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

I think the prospects for activism can't be separated from the nascent communications revolution we're in. Passive acceptance of information seems to be dying a slow death, while a more active, controlled, directed way of interacting with the information environment is growing ever stronger, especially among younger people.

So I don't think this is purely a political phenomenon that can be reduced to progressive governing performance. Activism levels are going to grow, barring some kind of defeat in net neutrality.

by BriVT 2007-01-03 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

I agree that activism levels will continue to grow, but will that (progressive) activism be unified or splintered?

I wonder if we'll look back at these years as an era of never-repeated unity. The communications revolution is tremendously powerful, but also allows us to efforlessly spin off into a thousand interest groups. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, in many ways ... except at some point we won't be able to speak of 'the progressive movement' as a whole.

Not sure where I'm going with this, and I sorta feel I should be changing 'In unity, strength!' But I suppose I do think it's our unity that gives us power, and worry that we'll soon find ourselves divided--and wonder if anything's to be done.

by BingoL 2007-01-03 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

It'll splinter, inevitably. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. As the universe of online activist grows, it can't help but get more diverse in opinions and expectations. But ... what I see as the real hope to the Internet is how quickly a consensus grows. I'm not sure that'll change. So, while there will be some splintering, I think overall it'll be of the healthy variety, with lots of debate and argumentation. As long as there are certain nodes tying it all together, like dKos, MyDD, etc., I think it'll be an invigorating force for democracy.

But ... I see your concern. It's certainly possible that the "progressive" online community will splinter into somewhat insular communities that don't interact well. But, I think the Internet's natural tendency to link things together will allow coalitions to constantly develop ...

by BriVT 2007-01-03 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

I think your experience mirrors mine quite a lot.

I went from disaffected progressive (I've used that term to describe myself since the 80s) to paid political activist. Most the motivation for this did come from the defeats. It also came from a realization that someone's got to do this. The people who have been running the left-wing political institutions have not been doing a very good job for some time now.

Things are beginning to change.

phat

by phatass 2007-01-03 10:49AM | 0 recs
With Bush in WH there is resolve

I simply want to assure the lot of you that with Bush still in the White House there will be continued resolve for the progressive movement in the US.  Also, the Democratic and hopefully Republican Parties (I am of the opinion that the Reuplicans are not pure evil like their president, but have simply been misguided, lied to if you will, and now must be redirected to the way of rightous politics) are on notice that they are being scrutinized.  In fact, I am more worried about the backslackers in the Democratic party who have avoided the bright light of progressive criticism only because they are democrats and are needed to keep the party intact.  Let's face it we progressives need Bush to keep us motivated.  Ask yourself what you feel inside each time he makes an appearance, a statement, or even a hand wave as he departs to his western ranch. Now that's motivation!!

by stephennnn 2007-01-03 10:57AM | 0 recs
I think there are 2 kinds of conservative Dems

Those who stab us in the back for short term gains, and those who vote their conscience.  I can't abide the first, but will move heaven and earth to protect the second.

The first rule of politics ought to be "don't be a bastard".

by pjv 2007-01-03 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

On the one hand it is natural that progressive energy will die down a bit as we make some gains.  Who among us did not breathe a bit easier, even closing our eyes to rest a bit when the sun rose on that great blue morning of November 8?

On the other, the right has created a gigantic mess over their two or more decades of misrule, one that is going to call for true leadership to even begin to turn around.  Forces have been set into motion that will take decades to turn around, if they can be turned around at all.

For many of us this fight is personal.  I can't tell you how many slurs and attacks I've endured over the years from the mouths of idiotic dittoheads.  And then I learn that the various gains of liberalism, which I thought defined our country as I knew it, have been trashed or allowed to wither, by this same faction.  It's far more than just the attacks on me, it's attacks on my country, in an effort to morph it into something vile and unworthy.

I think a great many of us are very motivated to continue the fight because we understand on the  very personal level just described, that this is a beast that must be killed - we understand that the stakes are enormously high.  This is all the more true the older you are.  I grew up in the halcyon days of liberalism, the 1960s, and I never could've imagined that our country would fall so far.

On a more positive note, progressivism is defining itself anew, it's moving past the New Deal liberalism of my parents.  It has to, because the right has evolved, Borg-like, in these last few decades.  The more that progressivism can find its voice, and be unashamed of its values, and can fight smart - and I mean really smart - not the tired tactics that worked years ago - the more we'll attract and motivate people.  The more gains we make which deliver real benefit to average people the more our movement will grow.  We have to deliver, in other words.

Just exactly how we organize ourselves to be very effective at this are huge questions that are being struggled with at the present time.  It's obvious that we have to work more closely together, become more unified instead of splintering into identity politics, for example.

It's only when this recent progressive generation - which emerged from the horror of decades of right wing rule - passes on, and the following generation becomes complacent, is when you have to worry about motivation.  This is exactly the pattern that happened to the New Deal progressives.  Unfortunately this is human nature.

But right now, we're climbing a wave, as the period of right wing dominance has passed its zenith.  The real question for me is not progressive motivation, but is our country too wrecked by their chronic misrule to be fixed.  Where to begin?

by alyosha 2007-01-03 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

My motivation probably comes from my childhood as well. I was raised in a home with Jewish parents who  lived through Hitler and the Holocaust. The concept of the "good German" was introduced into my young brain on countless occasions. A cursory examination of our government's activities of late, in Iraq and elsewhere including the erosion of our civil liberties, provides ample motivation for anyone who is interested.

by howieinseattle 2007-01-03 10:59AM | 0 recs
Progressives will not back down (rant)

I think we have a chastened and pragmatic group of people.  We had a lot of hubris before the Gingrich era, we thought we would have the top slot in Congress forever.  Now we know that isn't true.  We know there is no room for error, that we must succeed.  There is a realization that we didn't "win", winning assumes an end.  Now we know we must fight every day, day in, day out, relentlessly, perpetually, without fear, beyond pain, and push to the limits of our endurance.  If we stop, we stand with our back at the abyss, and we could well go right off the edge.  Nothing sharpens your resolve more than the prospect of your own extinction.

My theory of politics is that those people who believe in something will always overcome those who believe in nothing.  We believe in something, we believe in social progress and making a better country and world. Republicans only believe in greed and avarice, laced with malice and hypocrisy.  It will be hard to get their supporters off their couch, no one will stand up for them.  They are low, dirty, filthy and vile creatures that wallow in the mud and root in their own excrement.  

Anyone who genuinely has concern for the USA must stand with us, to stand with the Republicans will lead to certain failure and possibly our doom.  Anyone who has pride, honor, courage and integrity will reject their way of doing things.  True patriots stand with us.

by pjv 2007-01-03 11:02AM | 0 recs
What to fight for?

Some of us are motivated by individual issues that really don't go away when we elect Democrats to office.  For me, I am motivated by the injustice of taxation without representation in the nation's capital.  It was tyranny in the 18th century when the British did it to the colonists and it's tyranny today. I cannot find a single defensible argument for the status quo, yet few in either major party have the balls to do something about it, let alone do the right thing (statehood).

by freedc 2007-01-03 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

Chris, I agree with most of the above but think there may be unexamined assumptions in your statement:

"At what point can we start expecting progressive activist motivation to die down, thereby weakening great reform efforts such as the fifty-state strategy, the silent revolution, the small donor explosion, and the rise of progressive media?"

The main assumption I would question is that progressive activism is going to die down. There is an abundance of evidence that the movement is fueled by a spontaneous revolt of ordinary people at the grassroots who know in their gut after 30 years of extreme Republicanism that it is a failed political party based on flawed political and economic ideologies.

Ordinary working Americans have seen the Republican Party put their livelihoods at risk by fronting for predatory economic interests working in concert with influence-peddling legislators whose campaigns they have financed. Together, they have excessively deregulated our economy and brought about the largest transfer of wealth from working people to the wealthy in recorded non-wartime history. Ten percent of American households have been allowed to gain and retain control of two-thirds of the nation's wealth. One in six children now lives in poverty compared to one in seven in 1969.

Over the past six years, ordinary working Americans have also seen the ship of state hijacked by a grossly ill-advised and incompetent neo-conservative Republican administration. While I have never considered myself a leftist in any way, shape or form, I cannot avoid the conclusion that the same predatory economic and political interests that threaten our livelihoods have resurrected the "military-industrial complex" that Eisenhower warned us about. This complex brought Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and Rumsfeld to power to bring us the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the needless deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Americans, and the looming bankruptcy of the federal government through the creation of unprecedented budget deficits, debt and trade imbalances.

These misdeeds are more than sufficient to create an enduring progressive majority.

When all the investigations and litigation are completed, I am convinced that robust majorities of voters of all political stripes throughout the country will spontaneously elect to put the Republican Party on the backburner for years to come. Ordinary Americans will embrace progressive principles and policies because they are the only ones that can put the people back in control of government so that they can protect their vital interests against the economic and political predators who have run rough shod over them for the past 30 years.

by Nancy Bordier 2007-01-03 11:05AM | 0 recs
ching-ching

i think money will do the trick nicely.  to the extent that we can reward progressive activism with good paying salaries, we will see solid growth in progressive infrastructure and ideas for a while to come.

i have some ideas about bootstrapping that without money from the Democracy Alliance sugar daddies, and i hope to post them sooner or later.  but in the meanwhile, bush-bashing will certainly help. :)

by Shai Sachs 2007-01-03 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

As long as there are the "movement conservatives", I think the engagement will be somewhat there. Those guys are so TOXIC, so completely outside of reality (example - the current congressional minority asking for "Minority bill of rights", while completely ignoring the same request from two years ago - how's that for amoral political fighting?), as long as we keep pointing that out, and acting on minimizing their influence (which still is strong), I can't see motivated progressives going away.

since this is also an open thread, I think one of the biggest issues, will be HOW TO frame the coming Congressional showdown with the president.  

I don't see the Bush and co. moving back from the "unitary executive" theory.  While this theory can be fairly characterized by "the president believes we elect a dictator every 4 years - the Constitution says different", I fully expect that congressional requests will be completely ignored, and the brewing firestomr over all those signing statements ("I don't have to obey the law") will only increase, given that all those statements were issues for a REPUBLICAN majority laws - how will this be for a DEMOCRAT majority's laws??

This will end up being resolved in the courts, of course - they will have to decide if the president CAN ignore congressional requests - but ideas to frame "Bush Gone Wild" are appreciated.

We really do need some kind of "Bush gone wild", "Bush refuses to uphold Law", "Bush the conservative acting like a King", etc.

Someone more into marking pick the meme.

by jc 2007-01-03 11:36AM | 0 recs
Speaking for myself, my motivations

my motivations are more or less bound up with moveon.org. i've been a member for a looong time now, almost ten years. if moveon started because of bill clinton / so what. thats not why i joined.

i joined and am part of the american movement because the internet fundamentally changed the way I see things.

the internet allows us all to effect change without cumbersome and slow agencies interceding. this is huge. the government employs 1 of every  5 people in the us, and it is capable of involving itself now in almost every party of your life.

i feel like part of it is to defend against people who are so ready to see that capability and use it against us. whether activism, or corporatism.

i think it would be wonderful for my children to be able to grow up in a democracy

i really simply see america as having lost their essential democratic capability and I am not a liberal or a conservative  i am just simply a person who really wants to see democracy happen in America in my lifetime.

by heyAnita 2007-01-03 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

Go get 'em Chris.  You de man!

by Ethelred 2007-01-03 07:04PM | 0 recs
check out the threads in Stoller New Left posts

I have been doing this for a long time...being an activist.  But you know life goes on. People have families and they have to support them and they put their ideals into raising them.  What they did not achieve in their own activism some of them hope their children might.

In Matt's thread, I mentioned a movie done in 1975, A Swiss movie by Alain Tanner called "For Jonah Who will be 25 in the year 2000"  It was done in 1975, as the energy of the left withered away and hopes and dreams turned inward.  But they were hopes and dreams nevertheless.

We need institutions that are both self perpetuationg and user friendly, especially to busy people with families.

by debcoop 2007-01-03 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Maintaining Our Resolve To Fight

"At what point can we start expecting progressive activist motivation to die down"?  Paraphrasing Grover Norquist, when the radical right wing of the Republican party is small enough to drown in the bathtub.

by curmudgeon51 2007-01-04 09:02AM | 0 recs

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