ALRIGHT, so Bernie or Bust folks. Let’s talk Strategy! What do we want? A less corrupt government. Better election system. Less income inequality.
How do we get it? Whom should we be leaning upon? In what ways? What can they each individually accomplish?
Because here is the deal. It would be nice if we could elect a messiah and sit back and watch our problems dissolve, but that’s not reality. SO rather than cause trouble, why don’t we GET ORGANIZED, MAKE A PLAN and most importantly – BUILD THE POWER WE NEED TO MAKE OUR PLAN A REALITY?
I’m really tired of hearing disgrunted people say they hate the current system, but don’t know how to fix it. There is a way, its not blocked from you, and we can do it, but it’s going to take a few things:
- Allied organizations
- Time – years, but more importantly, personal committments of hours of work.
- Education – of voters, of organizers, of those we try and influence
- and eventually, Money
- Strategy – an actual plan for how to get from here to there.
Strategy is the difference between wishful thinking (or despair-laden apathy) and an empowered action plan which outsiders will only ever see in hindsight, but which has the power to radically change the world.
Protests FEEL good, but they need strategy. That can start with:
- Identify the lay-lines of power, decision making, and current obstacles,
- Isolate the sources (groups/individuals) who have the decision making power to start changing something
- Select one target/audience
- Research the audience’s trusted sources, values, and communication preferences
- Offer them the opportunity to take a concrete and positive action &
- Consult with the affected communities to ensure you aren’t leaving behind the most vulnerable or ignoring potentially powerful allies
If you haven’t taken at least those 6 steps (preferably while consulting with people who know the system, the players and have strategic experience) your protest is only self-indulgent, I might even say masturbatory, noise making.
Random pressure on targets of greatest visibility doesn’t accomplish social change. It MIGHT, MAYBE encourage an otherwise growing movement, but
the difference between vague discontent and voter-non-participation AND effective change is NOT the decibels at your protest, it’s the door knocking, relationship building, coalition maintaining long nights and longer days of organizing.
So, shall we keep doing this half assed, or shall we come together to actually make a difference?
Bernie showed up his strategy (in hindsight) last night. He ran for president, thus moving the Democratic nominee left AND wielding enormous influence upon the party’s platform. He mobilized young people and shifted the entire conversation about the world socialism. That was no mistake, that was strategy. We can see where he failed to recognize or target vital lines of power (underfunding African-American outreach for example) and what it cost.
BUT we can also see his long-game is not over. Last night, he practically begged and chided his supporters to join the coalition. He recognizes that a lesser good is a step in the right direction, and that it is infinitely better than a clear evil. AND he knows that if he remains as a Senator, with a Clinton presidency and Warren on his side, we can GET SHIT DONE.
So, why don’t we choose the drudgery, tedium, and frustration of strategy over self-indulgent stands that feel good but won’t move us forward?