January 25th, 2010

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An Open Letter To My Fellow Progressives

Dear Fellow Progressives:

Just to make a point. If the Obama Administration is now getting a clue and moving toward a more progressive platform, make it easy for them. This is supposed to be about results, not about feeling good. It would no doubt be emotionally more satisfying to say "after a year you finally get it? Get stuffed!" But that will not change things one iota. The secret to moving the Dems toward a progressive agenda is to reward people when they agree with you (and punish when they screw you).

That doesn't mean accept uncritically. That doesn't mean let them slip stuff past under a cloak of progressive noise. But it does mean that you embrace the turn of events and encourage it rather than explain to everyone how they don't really mean it. Who cares if politicians "really mean" what they say, as long as they are forced to move in the right direction by events?

This is a game for grown ups. That means putting personal feelings aside and deciding what advances your goals. It means continuing to follow through, even when you see the work of a year on healthcare collapsing but it looks like that progressive financial reform stuff may now have a chance. It means making decisions based on strategies not personalities.

If we can do this, we will be the change we have been waiting for, and can create real change that will last beyond a political cycle.