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Sat Mar 12, 2016, 12:51 PM

Lamh Foisneach Abu!

“Whatever is morally necessary must be made politically possible.”
-- Senator Eugene McCarthy


One of the most important points that I’ve made on DU:GDP is the fact that a political insurgency measures its progress and success in very distinct terms from a political campaign. Hence, the supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are watching the same results in their primary and caucus contests, and interpreting them in very different ways. These differences -- which are rooted in very different values -- can make it hard to engage in meaningful discussions.

A political campaign is based solely upon the interpretation of numbers. In terms of a presidential primary, it counts delegates; in a presidential general election, it looks for a winning combination of states to reach the winning number of delegates. This should not be mistaken for a slight upon that process, for the ability to win these contests is both an art and a science. When we consider the examples of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, we can see that the bar has been set very high.

An insurgency also includes numbers. This is true in both types of political insurgencies in presidential races. Let’s consider the examples provided by Jesse Jackson’s two runs in the Democratic Party’s primaries. In 1984, Jesse ran a symbolic insurgent campaign. His goal was to highlight the large numbers of progressives in our party, so that the establishment candidates would feel pressured to reach out to them.

However, although Jesse would win over 20% of the popular vote, the establishment’s rules resulted in his having 9% of the delegates. This allowed Walter Mondale to largely take Jackson and his supporters for granted at the Democratic National Convention. Jesse did give an inspirational speech, but everything he spoke of was completely ignored during the fall campaign. Mondale thus lost an election that he could have, and should have, won.

Thus, in 1988, Jesse again entered the Democratic primaries. He again ran an insurgency campaign; the difference was that this time, it wasn’t merely symbolic. Jesse recognized that there was a possibility he could win the party’s nomination. And during the primaries, it became apparent that he actually might win.

There was a growing shift in the American public’s perception, which nourished the insurgency. Thus, the establishment candidates’ campaigns got together in private, to decide how to prevent a Jackson win. This was basically what the republican establishment has hoped to do, in regard to Donald Trump. Thus, it became a competition between Jesse’s Rainbow Coalition and the establishment’s candidate, Michael Dukakis.

When Dukakis got the nomination, he turned his back on Jackson and his supporters. The Democratic Party’s establishment was convinced that they could take progressives for granted, a foolish miscalculation. More, because Jesse had gotten support from some grass roots republicans, the Dukakis campaign believed they could invest the resources that should have been used to appeal to the Democratic Left, to instead try to gain republican support in the general election. As a result of establishment politics, our party lost in a humiliating defeat.

That same shift in public perception is taking place today. My good friend BigBearJohn has nailed it in a couple of OP/threads in the past day, most notably here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1251&pid=1474266

In the past week, I have been encouraged to hear from family, friends, and associates who are expressing surprise by the very real changes they are seeing firsthand. There are common features, from what they see and hear at public meetings, at work, in diners, gas stations, and more. People are waking up to the realization that the very things which Bernie Sanders has been talking about are true. That the political and economic corruption that has damaged our democracy is harming the lives of them and their loved ones.

More, they are becoming consciously aware of the fact that they do have the power to help bring about meaningful change. And that the needed change cannot, and will not, come about by way of the establishment’s “business as usual” approach.

This is a historic movement. It is that “revolution in values” that Martin Luther King advocated in 1967-68. And it is taking place right before our very eyes. Indeed, I am confident that many of our friends who have sincerely supported Hillary Clinton are beginning to perceive it now, taking form behind the fog of establishment politics and media misinformation and disinformation.

Lamh foisneach abu!

H2O Man

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Lamh Foisneach Abu! (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2016 OP
H2O Man Mar 2016 #1
Zorra Mar 2016 #2
H2O Man Mar 2016 #4
Luminous Animal Mar 2016 #3
H2O Man Mar 2016 #5
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #6
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #7

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 12, 2016, 12:57 PM

1. "The gentle hand to victory"

My son reminded me that not everyone speaks Irish.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 12, 2016, 01:13 PM

2. Slainte!

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Response to Zorra (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 12, 2016, 05:11 PM

4. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 12, 2016, 01:24 PM

3. K & R.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 12, 2016, 05:11 PM

5. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Mar 12, 2016, 09:01 PM

6. Thank you H2O Man, again for this beautifully written essay. Thoughtfulness is what we need. nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 13, 2016, 09:31 AM

7. I think this essay needs to be read by more people so kick!

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