Monday, October 3, 2011

We Need Both: Angry Protesters and Progressive Candidates

I have previously argued that we must elect more progressives to Congress, people like Elizabeth Warren and Norman Solomon.  Of course, as David Atkins argues, this is a necessary but not sufficient condition "for creating real change in this country."
In order for change to take place, good Democrats do need to be in power. But only an angry and motivated populace angry with both Parties and strongly intent on holding Democrats accountable will scare and motivate Democrats enough to do what they were elected to do.
Occupy Wall Street seems to have galvanized that anger.  Protests are catching on all over the country.  Not surprisingly, attention is paid to some of the outliers (like the guy who wants Andrew Jackson removed from the $20 bill) and the burgeoning movement has been criticized for failing to articulate concrete goals.

But as Betsy Reed wrote in The Nation:
[S]ometimes, you also need a spark. “Occupy Wall Street,” as an idea and an action, is a stroke of brilliance. It’s not poll-tested or focus-grouped, but it expresses perfectly the outrage that is the appropriate response to the maddening political situation we find ourselves in today. It succeeds as symbolic politics: taking back the square is just what we need to do.
And when protesters do provide a clear and coherent message, like Jesse LaGreca does below, it ends up on the cutting room floor because it doesn't fit the media narrative (especially the Fox News narrative).

Chris Bowers has started a resource page for information about Occupy solidarity events around the country.   And Act Blue (click the badge on the right side of this blog) is the place to go to support progressive candidates for Congress.


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