Thursday, July 14, 2005

the Democratic Party and Mass Movements

I am way, way out of my depth on the history and academic theory here, and trying to at least learn enough to define terms, from a regular person's viewpoint. But, it seems to me that there is much to save in the Democratic Party's ideals, and much to jettison in it's practices. The people I want to ignite are those who are not politically focused, because that is, I think, most people (most Americans). Mass movements, especially the Civil Rights and the Women's movements, ignited folks and made profound change happen that was broader and more lasting than the results of politics (that's probably why the radical right hates those movements so). So, when the black commentator says it's time to to build a mass movement, it resonates with me.

So, what kind of Democratic Party can work with righteous mass movements, not stifle them? I wonder if that is the kind of change in the Democratic Party that Howard Dean is looking to create?

Being 47, when the Commentator says 'Nobody ever heard of a mass movement of old or even middle-aged people', I think they're being short-sighted. I think the Dean campaign was the beginning of a mass movement that us 30+ were/are thrilled to participate in, even if we had never done so before. The media, as usual, focused in on the youngest people, and I guess that's to be expected. bit disappointing, though.