2) Movements work when people feel empowered to take charge of their own destiny. My wife and 9-year-old daughter had a blast yesterday coming up with a slogan for the sign they’ll carry at this Saturday’s Women’s March in Oakland (I’ll be at a soccer game with my son, regrettably). There was no notion of sitting around waiting for someone to tell them what to say, or showing up at the protest expecting someone to hand them the sign. And sure, it means there’ll be some nutpicking, like we did with tea party protesters and their frequent lunacy (“Government hands off my Medicare” or “Get a brain Morans”), but when people are empowered, they can accomplish amazing things. That has always been an organizing principle of the Netroots—don’t look for people to lead you, take charge yourself! It worked really well for Occupy until they decided they didn’t want to engage electorally, thus making it safe for the powers-that-be to ignore them. And it’ll work great for the Trump Resistance Movement.
3) Too many people are still caught up in the Clinton vs. Sanders bullshit from back during the primaries. Even the article I linked above is framed as a battle between big-money donors from those two camps. But most liberals don’t give a fuck, and they shouldn’t. Something new is being built, and it transcends the battles of the past. New people are being drawn in and engaging. New leaders will emerge at the local level, organizing in their own towns and cities. And that’ll be the new center of the party. It will be explicitly liberal, the Third Ways of the party won’t have traction. It will adopt Sanders’ economic rhetoric, but be much broader than that, and have much greater buy-in among the party’s growth demographics (Latinos, Asians, African Americans). It’ll be the best parts of both Sanders’ and Clinton’s core demographics, making it a glorious beautiful new thing. Sure, people in places like here will insist in fighting stupid old battles, but most people will focus on the greater good.
So my advice to donors and progressive groups trying to make sense of what comes ahead? Don’t try to build anything. Things are already being built. Instead, ride the wave. Let it carry you. If you are a donor, support the new leaders and institutions that arise from this (just like the Kochs spent countless millions supporting tea party initiatives). Embrace this new generation of activists, because these are the women and men who will deliver us to the promised land.
In a time of darkness, this new resistance movement promises to not just mitigate the damage Trump and his Republican allies seeks to cause, but to build a new lasting progressive majority. So please please please, look for the best of what came before us, no matter which “side” it was associated with, and then embrace this future. Because it’ll be glorious.
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