Monday, January 25, 2016

Nadir's Big Chance

More great thoughts from Corey Robin on some of the frustrations of the downfall of the Clinton Complex, but found this to be particularly important:

"Unlike purists of the left and purists of the center (who are the most insufferable purists of all, precisely because they think they’re not), I look at the various fits and starts of the last 15 years—from Seattle to the Nader campaign to the Iraq war protests to the Dean campaign to the Obama campaign to Occupy to the various student debt campaigns to Black Lives Matter—as part of a continuum, where men and women, young and old, slowly re-learn the art of politics. Whose first rule is: if you want x, shoot for 1000x, and whose second rule is: it’s not whether you fail (you probably will), but how you fail, whether you and your comrades are still there afterward to pick up the pieces and learn from your mistakes.

Though I’ve not been involved in all these efforts, I know from the ones that I have been involved in that people are learning these rules.

But at some point, you have to put that knowledge to the test. Now the Sanders campaign is putting it to the test. Is it too soon? Maybe, probably, I have no idea. None of us does.

But you can’t possibly think we got anything decent in this country without men and women before us taking these—and far greater—risks, taking these—and far greater—gambles.

Sometimes I think Americans fear failure in politics not for the obvious and well grounded reasons but because they are, well, Americans, that is, men and women who live in a capitalist civilization where success is a religious duty and failure a sin, where Thou Shalt Succeed is the First Commandment, and Thou Shalt Not Fail the Tenth.

Is it not the right time for the Sanders campaign? The Republicans control the Congress, Sanders might lose to Trump or whomever, we don’t have the organizational forces in place yet? Well, re the first two concerns, when will that not be the case?

As for the third, well, that’s a very real concern to me. But we won’t know in the abstract or on paper; we have to see it in action to know.

Right now, the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire are telling the pundits and fetters: we are reality, deny us at your own peril. (I’m fantasizing a campaign where Sanders racks up more and more victories, and the pundits get more and more hysterical: he can’t win, he can’t win!) Maybe the putative realists—for whom reality seems to be more of a fetish or magical incantation—ought to listen to them."

To this I'd add- the important concept of privilege.  Since it is largely middle and upper class people who regularly vote and who always have the least to lose when flipping a coin between Republican/Democrat or Hilary/Sanders, they tend to go safe.  It's easy to ask the poor to keep dying poor if it will have no real effect on you.  It's easy to ask other countries to keep deflecting our bombs if it makes us feel a little safer  It's easy to...&on&on&on&on...

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