I was going to write a “day before” rundown of the Progressive Super Tuesday races, but Howie did such an awesome job that I think it would be superfluous. Please click over and read it, you won’t be sorry. Wisconsin is ground zero, of course, but Blue America also has four extremely impressive leaders running in primaries all of whom could make a huge difference in the congress.
I realize that electoral politics seems like old news to a lot of progressives these days. Many of you were highly motivated in 2008, believed in the system, and are now disillusioned. Some of you have decided to work on systemic change outside the government while others are simply standing aside, not wanting to participate is anything as corrupt and immoral as politics, regardless of the result. Some of you feel the big money has it so rigged that it’s pointless. I understand all those reactions. We’re in a bad place right now and it’s very hard to see any light.
However, if you still believe that progressive principles can be successfully applied to democratic government, then supporting progressive candidates for Congress is one way to do that. It’s less glamorous than the ecstatic “Camp Obama” experience of 2008 and it’s long term project that goes forward in fits and starts and features plenty of disappointment — but it can result, over time, in changing the way government works.
But we need progressive political leaders to do that, leaders who are not beholden to the big money interests or to the Party establishment apparatus, who are committed to liberal principles and are smart enough to work the levers of state power for the benefit of the people. The four Blue America candidates who are on the ballot tomorrow are among those leaders.
I’m all for doing whatever it takes to save the country. Social movements are necessary and I hope that everyone is thinking about how they can participate. Local involvement is also important, whether in politics or some other form of community work. Education and persuasion on a personal and public level must be among our priorities as well. But you can’t leave the national government solely in the hands of the plutocrats and the authoritarians. We have to at least try to influence the state. It simply holds too much power over all of our lives and the lives of people all over the planet.
As Howie says, tomorrow … our future.