Thursday, March 20, 2003

Peace Politics

Tapped points to some advice from Timothy Burke on what the peace movement should do now. Tapped's opinion:
One of the problems with these big marches -- impressive as they may be as shows of strength -- is that they have little lasting value. The broad anti-globalization/anti-war movement has tended to disdain actual electoral politics, believing it to be corrupt beyond repair (which is, in its way, the ultimate kind of cynicism). But in the long run, the way you win in a democracy is by winning elections, and you win elections by organizing for candidates and helping them raise money.
Tapped is, I think, making the same comment that Alterman made without being anywhere near as insulting. The marches are impressive, but they are ultimately pointless if they don't transform themselves into long-term, organized, political activity. Unfortunately, there are some who think that the very concept of "organization" is a sellout. We must not allow them to dictate where the peace movement goes from here. Blocking traffic in the streets is just going to piss of the very same people who, a week before, were honking their horns in support. It is those people who are going to make the real difference in the future. But the only way they are going to support the peace movement is if it comes in a form that they can understand: organized political activity. Of all the candidates I think Dean has the greatest opportunity to turn the grass-roots peace movement into a foundation for a political campaign. But we can't let wrangling about which candidate gets the nod to distract from the primary goal of any future political operation: the removal of George W. Bush from power. All other goals are secondary. Update: Here's the Justin Raimondo column that started this whole chain. Read it. Please.

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