An Ordinary Person

Creating a Progressive Movement | September 30, 2007

Creating a Progressive Movement

Three excellent articles worth reading for Independent Progressives

Creating Progressive Infrastructure
The American conservative movement has succeeded in moving public attitudes steadily rightward over the last 30 years, with far-reaching consequences for the country’s governance. This success has been achieved through a well-funded and well-coordinated political infrastructure that follows a long-term, disciplined communications strategy. With increasing knowledge about the conservative infrastructure and its impact on politics and policy has come a realization that moderates and progressives need to develop an effective infrastructure of their own.

Full article here from the Commonweal Institute

Speech by the Commonweal Institute’s executive director, Barry Kendall
The point is that it takes a movement, not just a party, to make social change happen. The job of a political party is to get its candidates elected, and keep them in office – and that’s an important job. But the job of a social movement, like conservatism or like the new progressive movement that is emerging today, our job is to advocate for a vision for society, a philosophy of governance, and the public policy solutions to get us there. As an organized movement, we have to exert our social will in order to make political change happen. We have to gather supporters and adherents, unite our voices and speak up for the things we care about. That’s what creates the political will that enables our elected officials to act. That’s the problem with how Congress has responded to the Iraq war—we the people have failed to create sufficient social will to force the politicians to do our political will. That’s why what is doing—thank you to our advisor, Joan Blades—is so important, bringing all the anti-war groups together and leading a strategic grassroots publicity campaign to bring mounting political pressure to bear on Congress and the President to end this occupation. MoveOn is a model of what can be achieved when progressives cooperate with each other. Now, I may be naïve to say this, but I do believe that someday the occupation of Iraq will end. But the need for a progressive movement will never end.

Full article here from the Commonweal Institute

Creating Real Change
The election that put the Congress and the Senate into Democratic hands is not enough when they do not have their constituents pressuring them more steadily and more effectively than the keepers of the status quo in Washington and the rabid right. And we cannot forget that it is up to us foul-mouthed lefty bloggers to make it easy for the politicians to do the right thing by working for and promoting a progressive future and the kind of world we want to see for our kids and the rest of the world.

Full article here from the Left Coaster

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