Also, no matter how many presidential candidates, members of congress, Democratic Party leaders, or other national figures I meet and talk with, my favorite moments in political campaigns are always large rallies (preferably those organized by volunteers, or those convened to celebrate an electoral victory). I want to be there at the moment when history happens, when the world changes, when consciousness shifts, and when the people rise up and throw off the shackles of the elite, the status quo, and the comfortable. I have wanted that for a long time. Before that happens, I want to be an active member of the small clique, coterie or circle that identified the possibility for massive change and precipitated its manifestation.
skippy skewers this ridiculousness (and points to others who do too), so I won’t bring the snark.
But it does lead to a serious question: when the ‘A-list’ progressive bloggers talk about a movement, what are they referring to? Bloggers like Kos and Jerome Armstrong seem to want a new set of political consultants for the Democratic Party (who also would happen to be them…). The Democratic Party does need new political operatives, but that’s not exactly a political philosophy. Chris Bowers and the others at MyDD.com have set up an excellent information exchange tool, but the ideological content is all over the place, and primarily focuses on “Bush is an idiot.” While I don’t disagree, that’s a sign of sanity, not a political philosophy.
To define a movement by a technology seems backwards. Conservative Richard Viguerie, a pioneer of direct mail politics in the 1980s didn’t look around and form a movement based on direct mailing technology: he was already part of a movement, and adapted a new information technology to meet its goals. Given the very open structure of the internet (compare it to a political party or organization), the internet has some advantages in information exchange and in generating ideas. But as an organizational structure that day after day affects politics in a directional manner, it hasn’t been very successful because of this openess. ‘Stick-to-it-iveness’, which is required for political success, involves a reasonably consistent agenda, but the progressive internet has the attention span of gnats. Right now, I don’t see a ‘movement’, but a collection of people who oppose Bush and who lack any coherent set of political beliefs.