Daily Kos seems to be becoming more of a place to express anger and despair about the dismal state of politics in America, and less of a place about trying to do something about it.
Don't get me wrong. There have been some excellent pieces of writing on the rec list here lately, diaries which eloquently lament and copiously document the disturbing political trends of our time. Here's the latest example, a veritable cornucopia of informed agony about the Orwellian future that awaits us if current political trends continue.
And I won't claim to be Mr. Optimism either. I have published my share of widely read diaries about what I don't like about the current direction of this country and its politicians, such as the rec-listed Twilight of an Empire piece.
But I will claim that I'm trying to encourage activism to change what's wrong -- not giving up hope.
I have said over and over again that progressive Democrats should form a movement to attempt to move our party to the left, so that we will have a chance at political representation. I have advocated specific ideas for doing so, namely, a nationally organized, grassroots campaign to recruit progressive candidates to run in primaries against all centrist Democrats, so that voters will have a choice on the ballot and politicians will be put on notice that they cannot continue moving more and more to the right without serious pushback from the large plurality of Americans who are liberals.
A couple months ago, I wrote a diary called We Live in a Democracy. Let's Use It. I wrote:
When are progressives going to draw a line in the sand? When is our side going to join the battle and become just as stubborn in standing up for our principles as conservatives are? ...Almost nobody read the article and responded.
The way democracy works is that you vote for the candidate who shares your views. If no candidate shares your views, then you can run for office yourself or try to recruit somebody to do so. If an incumbent votes for policies that are on the opposing side of the political spectrum, the only logical thing to do is to support a primary challenger who would move the party in the direction of most of the people who identify with it.
Currently, we have a situation where most Democrats in Congress are going along with Republican policies. The budget is being cut. I would like to know if there is any movement in progressive politics today to try to remove these people from office by replacing them with different Democrats who would stand up for progressive values?
Yesterday, I wrote another diary on much the same theme, this time outlining Four Paths Forward for Progressives. As I wrote,
The first option on my list is the one I believe should be tried first. It is based on an optimistic view of America's future and a realistic assessment of how party politics works and what motivates politicians.Once again, very few people read that diary and commented.
This option is to form a grassroots-led progressive caucus within the Democratic Party, which would function for all intents and purposes as a "party within a party." It would have a specific list of beliefs and policy proposals, would run candidates in Democratic primaries for any seat where there is not already a progressive Democrat running, and would demand that its candidates and elected officials adhere to its agenda or else face removal from the caucus and a guaranteed primary opponent.
I would like to know why Daily Kos has become a place where many people want to engage in continuous, almost masochistic rumination about the terrible political situation and how seemingly hopeless it is for progressives, without also talking about how we might organize using the electoral system to change it?
And why is it that most of the people here who do write about political activism are mostly interested in supporting politicians and policies that are center-left and well within the right-shifted Overton Window of the current political establishment, rather than seeking to move the window to include truly liberal ideas?
I was under the impression that this was a site for people to come together to talk about how we can elect more progressive Democrats to office. Not centrist Democrats or just any Democrats. And not apathetic resignation to an inevitable dystopian future.
Am I wrong? Is Daily Kos no longer a place for progressives to try to get active in politics and create real change?