The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
But I see both Bill and Hillary as "Realists" (rather than ideological neo-liberals) in the political philosophy sense of that term. That is they work within the parameters of what is doable given the nature of the system, the positions of the major actors, and the state of the electorate at any given time. Given Citizen's United and the total domination of the US by corporate interests, that means that the range of possibilities is pretty dire at this time. Things have come to a sorry pass when we praise Obama for not actually starting a major war during his terms.
Given my "systemic" perspective, I don't see that Sander's could do much different from Clinton, whether he wanted to or not. In fact Clinton could probably achieve more in a practical sense because she has more of the major players on her side, and they would probably accept more change if it was coming from her.
But the main challenge for progressives is to move the Overton window of what is deemed to be doable as far to the left as possible. This means taking over congress and as many state houses and legislatures as possible, reversing the gerrymandering and voter suppression, and building an organisation which can produce better candidates and policies for the long haul. I see this as an exhausting and exhaustive long term process building a political organisation from the grass roots up. I hope Sander' partisans are up for that fight, because I think one of Obama's major mistakes was to effectively disband his OFA organisation once he took office.
If Yves' "progressives" really wanted to make themselves useful, they would use their collective financial clout to take over as many media organisations as possible to mitigate the GOP's advantage there, and to reduce the influence of corporate USA in general. But that, too, would require hard work, financial muscle, and perhaps some real sacrifice. No political organisation that ever achieved anything did so without a lot of hard work and sacrifice by a lot of people. (I have a lot of friends who sacrificed a lot for the anti-Apartheid movement in SA and abroad). Yves' friends whingeing and weeping into their cocktails on a Friday night doesn't cut it.
Whatever else you might say about the Clintons, they have demonstrated a capacity for hard work and staying power against some formidable obstacles. They have had to be pretty ruthless on occasion, but anybody who thinks they can become POTUS by being nice all the time is deluding themselves.
Index of Frank's Diaries
...I see both Bill and Hillary as "Realists" (rather than ideological neo-liberals) in the political philosophy sense of that term.
Realism, in politics, analyses situations in term of the interests the major actors serve, and whether they have the means to realize those interests. A degree of self interest is assumed and not considered pejorative. Indeed those who claim to be acting entirely altruistically are treated with a degree of suspicion. (Who are they really working for?).
As in any battle, the first rule is to survive to fight another day if at all possible. The second rule is to avoid battles you know you are going to lose. In realism, there are no moral victors. Only stupid losers. And the really stupid ones make things even worse for their own side. In realism you start from what you have and seek to build on that. Any improvement is a win even if it falls far short of what you intended or wished for, provided it doesn't preclude the possibility of renewing the fight on another day.
JFK famously said: "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask "why not?". The job of a progressive is to put new ideas onto the mainstream agenda. Sanders has succeeded in putting rising income inequality onto the mainstream political agenda. The question now is who can most effectively reduce it. My suggestion is that if the Democratic party and anybody who seeks to lead it fails to address that issue effectively, they will lose their electoral relevance. But that means they need to win both houses of Congress.
Lose that battle, and the Democrats are toast, because Republicans don't need to win that battle, their support is anchored to maintaining inequality, and so far, they have succeeded admirably in doing so.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 17 24 comments
by John Redmond - Jun 17 16 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 13 51 comments
by gmoke - Jun 15 5 comments
by DoDo - Jun 12 23 comments
by DoDo - Jun 5 68 comments
by generic - Jun 8 1 comment
by fjallstrom - Jun 8 1 comment
by John Redmond - Jun 1716 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 1724 comments
by gmoke - Jun 155 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 1351 comments
by DoDo - Jun 1223 comments
by Democrats Ramshield - Jun 104 comments
by generic - Jun 81 comment
by fjallstrom - Jun 81 comment
by DoDo - Jun 647 comments
by ARGeezer - Jun 617 comments
by DoDo - Jun 568 comments
by ARGeezer - Jun 270 comments
by das monde - Jun 222 comments
by John Redmond - May 3037 comments
by DoDo - May 2911 comments
by Frank Schnittger - May 2620 comments
by ARGeezer - May 2522 comments
by gmoke - May 23
by gmoke - May 1518 comments