Monday, May 12, 2008

Deja Vu, All Over Again

Something I just spotted at a website called

“Over the course of his first term, President Nixon charted a course which did not yield to the demands of a vocal, disruptive, and sometimes violent majority.”

I didn't realize that the majority all got violent! : )

I must have been high!

But it is certainly a Freudian slip of truth: Nixon did not yield to the demands of the majority until he absolutely was forced to. It was a long, hard struggle to end that war.

We face an even bigger task today with a president (and vice-president) who also, and in this case, openly, repudiate majority opinion.

This time, it is almost entirely up to us.

The Democratic Party as a whole and its leadership in particular, and the mass media to boot, are shielding (even while carping at the edges) this regime from the people's wrath. Their role in protecting these war criminals cannot be overestimated in its importance. The Democratic Party leadership and the mass media are the political equivalent of the levees that New Orleans didn't have because the Bush regime wouldn't give the Army Corps of Engineers the money to repair them. Without the active collusion of the Dems and the mass media, this hated gang, who spark demonstrations everywhere they go, would be brought to justice.

We must mobilize people in the millions in a political hurricane that breaches these political levees - a process that doesn't happen overnight. It happens in stages and must be built piece by piece. This is not, however, the same thing as saying that it happens only gradually and incrementally: there is an interpenetration of quantitative changes and qualitative leaps.

Critical mass comes together through a combination of quantitative increases - individuals here and there in a lot of different locales pitching in to build a mass movement that relies on the people's independent voice and independent political actions (e.g., wearing an orange ribbon daily) - and from qualitative leaps: certain events and certain actions can precipitate a dramatic shift.

Cindy Sheehan's decision, for example, to stand outside the Crawford Ranch to demand answers from Bush about why her son Casey had to die in the Iraq War, singlehandedly galvanized the anti-war movement and pushed it to another level.

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