Resistance builds strength, just like at the gym!
The smoke and flame of burning bridges. Stoller has a fine piece up in Salon on the election. These paragraphs caught my eye, though the whole article is fine:
But can a third-party candidate win? No. So what is the point of voting at all, or voting for a third-party candidate? My answer is that this election is, first and foremost, practice for crisis moments. Elections are just one small part of how social justice change can happen. The best moment for change is actually a crisis, where there is actually policy leverage. ... We all know that elites in a crisis will tell you to hand them enormous amounts of power, lest the world blow up. This is essentially the argument from the political establishment in 2012. Saying no to evil in 2012 will help us understand who is willing to say no to evil when it really matters. And when you have power during a crisis, there’s no end to the amount of good you can do.
How do we drive large-scale change during moments of crisis? How do we use this election to do so? Well, voting third party or even just honestly portraying Obama’s policy architecture is a good way to identify to ourselves and each other who actually has the integrity to not cave to bullying. Then the task starting after the election is to build this network of organized people with intellectual and political integrity into a group who understands how to move the levers of power across industry, government, media and politics. We need to put ourselves into the position to be able to run the government.
After all, if a political revolution came tomorrow, could those who believe in social justice and climate change actually govern? Do we have the people to do it? Do we have the ideas, the legislative proposals, the understanding of how to reorganize our society into a sustainable and socially just one? I suspect, no. When the next crisis comes, and it will come, space will again open up for real policy change.
I think this is good perspective. Prediction is hard, especially about the future -- what do we mean, "the government" -- but the basic perspective of gaining strength from practicing whatever resistance one can is a good one, I think.
NOTE The twitter reaction shows the essential similarity of the authoritarian follower, no matter the authoritarian figure followed. It's just like 2008, except that foolish "hope and change" mask has been ripped off, and all that's left its trollish snark. And denial. Lots and lots of denial.