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View Diary: An oft-ignored lesson of 2012: The case for appeasing the base (145 comments)

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  •  the base needs inspiration (2+ / 0-)
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    organicus, 84thProblem

    Appealing to the base can only be done through inspiration.  Parties' bases aren't bread-and-butter voters nor are they savvy, circumspect public intellectuals (like the Villagers fancy themselves).  Quite the opposite: they're tribal, they're ideological, they're utopian, and they're spoiling for a fight.  They're not people who are drawn into politics by "kitchen table" issues, except perhaps on someone else's behalf, and that's how you have to sell it to them: a call to service rather than self-interest.  They're not people who are easily satisfied with the thin gruel of "the art of the possible".  They're definitely not people who see compromise and deal-making as the stuff leaders are made of.

    At the same time, I think there's a deep wariness of inspirational and visionary politics in American society.  As a nation we think it's the kind of thing that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union did: rile people up with pie-in-the-sky fantasies that implicitly can only be achieved through mass mobilization and totalitarian dictatorship.  Freedom is held to be a very humble and almost mundane thing, realized more by forsaking battle than embracing it.  That this plays right into conservative rhetoric is perhaps by design.  But while conservatives don't make a habit of going around admitting that they're radicals who want to fundamentally transform the way the country works, liberals have a problem even admitting it to themselves.

    Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

    by Visceral on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:06:45 PM PST

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