In his recent op-ed piece, New York Times (3/26/18) regular contributor David Brooks heaped effusive praise on last Saturday’s March for Our Lives. Brooks wrote “I have to say, I loved the gun-control march I observed last Saturday in Washington. The crowd was good-hearted, gracious, diverse and welcoming... Everybody kept underlining their faith in our democratic system, that voting is the way to make change...Of course some of the student speakers were grandiose and pretentious. Most of us were like that when we were 18.”
“Good hearted, gracious” … as they held up signs outright calling NRA members child murderers & demanded the immoral, unjust & unconstitutional policy of disarming the American public.
Great piece that connects the key dots and accurately suggests how we 'grey hairs" stumbled throughout own “Revolution” (w/o the benefit of non-profit advisors and think tanks). Just a really fine, concise and prescient piece!
I have to admit, I find your piece somewhat concerning (the article is sobering as well). The reason I am concerned is due to the generous media coverage the kids are getting currently. I’ve been most hopeful because, unlike so many other inequities (Dakota access, Israel/Palestine, the environment), the media is actually covering this. And I think this is primarily due to Parkland but also the fact that these are children. Activists after other events are rarely covered for more than a brief moment – If at all. What this author is suggesting, is that if this movement continues – and even expands to include other allied concerns/problems – than the media will start to turn a blind eye. That is a scary concept.
The main reason I say that, is because of exposure. Obviously whether the media covers something or not effects outcomes. The inequities that we all struggle with – their persistence – is at least partly due to the fact that the media doesn’t articulate /cover them.
So this all gets me a little concerned, because I didn’t realize that the media may pull out if the kids follow through and get sensible laws put in place. I hope he’s wrong. I hope that the children and their parents make up enough of a sustainable movement that the media can’t ignore them. Don’t like to depend on the media - given the vagaries of the media these days. But it’s also true that things that DO get mainstream attention have more likelihood of getting addressed.
I guess my biggest concern is that honestly, this movement from the kids has got me hopeful for the first time in a long time. I definitely felt a spark of hope with Bernie Sanders – and even more with Jill Stein. I’m largely influenced as well by Peter Joseph’s vision. So I actively look to different sources for inspiration and information/clarity. So I’m kind of crossing my fingers that the current fame and media attention of the children will be sort of starting point for our population to start to engage in fixing our profoundly broken politics. Can’t help it, just tend to be optimistic that way. LOVE the kids and will do everything in my power to support them. To my mind, if they win - we ALL start to win. We need a win - a big one to empower us to push back the oligarchs/crooks and get our world back.
Olson’s thesis is very timely considering the 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination on April 4.
The corporations and the politicians and media they own were tolerant of MLK as long as he stuck to civil rights.
Expanding his agenda to criticism of the military industrial complex (MIC) and other examples of corporate control of gubmit cost MLK his life.
Your worries are real, but something every honest movement has to deal with. The media are organs of the capitalist state. Their functions are to create a loud and meaningless echo chamber to perpetuate the status quo, co-opt and/or smear the opposition, create ‘consensus’ and make boatloads of money.
None of this has to do with the crap about ‘democracy and a free press’ etc. that is shoveled at us. Those of us who are pretty much over-the-hill at least have the experience to speak with ‘da yoots’ about the power of the media to intimidate, co-opt and disappear people, movements and issues. This is important as they are enamored with social media, which are more powerful and seductive than the propaganda machinery that we dealt with.
Damming with feigned praise
And the point of this article is?
I see these demonstrations, the March for Our Lives, the Women’s March, the Inaugral demonstration, Occupy Wall Street, etc. as inspiration, not the final words on anything. All of the millions of American citizens, All of us, had better get ready and get out into actions to do the real hard work that it will take to truly make America great, because no one person, no Donald Trump or any other leader, or political party can ever make our country better. It is going to take as many of us as we can get to work together to fix our broken systems and we might even be able to make things better than they have ever been if there are enough of us and we all work hard enough. We can’t do it alone, so seeing these marches is encouraging and inspiring, but then the hard work only begins. The biggest obstacle to progress are those that vehemently oppose us. The second biggest obstacles are getting everyone working together and those that have given up on trying. The evil corporations can’t stop us if there enough of us. Solidarity works, just like it did once in Poland, but we must convince more of the little people to join us. Occupy was really right, it’s not a liberal or conservative or democrat or republican thing really. This is about everyone deciding that all for one and one for all is the way to go, not everyone for themselves.
The Trump supporters need to wake up and they are not waking up! Trump is taking over the Republican Party and his support is actually increasing to 45 percent! It’s too bad, but I think that too many people have been bought off by getting more money in their paychecks, even if it is only crumbs, it appears that at least some Americans can be bought off for these crumbs. The Christian Left needs to rise and put out some real Christianity to counteract the phony heretical right wing Christianity that has so many people in its clutches. The resistance is truly up against it. This will be a very long war and long term very hard work and sacrifice will be required to fix the terrble mess that we are in in this country. This is a David and Goliath battle. They are the Phillistines and we are the little Davids. However, the lost causes are really the only causes worth fighting for. I’m all in, are you?
Keep fighting, every way you can, and never give up. You are on the right track. If democrats ever get in power again, we must remember to keep fighting just the same, because we need much bigger changes than is likely to ever come out of Washington without a total massive left wing takeover, which is very unlikely. We’ve got to get out and inspire lots of other people to work for positive change in America. We must get trough to the republicans and Trump supporters somehow, because the republicans are taking advantage of them and actually hurting them, even though they can’t see it yet. We must discredit the right wing media machine and get together and find ways to get media coverage whenever it is denied to us. We must fight and think and work until there are so many of us that we cannot be easily dismissed or dismissed at all. All hail the takeover of America by the American people to restore government of the people, by the people, and for all the people, not just wealthy white male bigoted millionaires and billionaires and their mega corporations that are destroying this planet. We need to work to get off the grid, get electric cars and windmills, eat organic food, and support sustainability, fight for the environment, support the gays, the women, the African Americans and Hispanic Americans, the Americans who are not Christians and those who are real Christians, the homeless, the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly, support everyone, as one movement together for the good of all, and attend each other’s events to support each other as one group. That could amass a lot of power. Instead of separate movements we need to come together. The left is too fragmented. Just think what could happen if we all united!
Don’t forget though, these kids have media savvy and internet connections not available to us when we protested Vietnam. (How did we manage, btw?).
Hopefully the mainstream media is not as huge a factor for them as our (older) generation thinks.
I saw a TV analysis last night claiming only 10% of the protestors were 18 or younger, most were closer to 49 years old and were protesting primarily against Trump.
Are we being misled again by MSM? Probably.
Good point in this article. But it’s sort of stating the obvious. Something that caught my attention:
“…we knew the U.S. attack on Vietnam was immoral but had yet to fully grasp that it wasn’t a “mistake.” That it was only one inevitable consequence of a vile economic system and was preceded and followed by countless other covert and overt interventions.”
But at that time, it was common knowledge to us living in the entire rest of the world, from schoolchildren to adults, what the real reason was. It was front page in most of the world’s newspapers. Fascinating what a carefully un-educational system can do to its population. And what an extremely exploitative system can do to its children - sends them begging in the streets for their most basic right. The right to breath.
“‘Good hearted, gracious’ … as they held up signs outright calling NRA members child murderers-”
Good call! Obviously, NRA members that block common sense gun control only aid and abet child murderers. Shocking + immoral those kids would twist complicity into direct acts of murder by law abiding enablers.
“- & demanded the immoral, unjust & unconstitutional policy of disarming the American public.”
Yea! “demand[ing]” gun control to reduce gang shootings, child murders, suicides, and children accidentally shooting themselves is totally “immoral.” What the HELL gives them the right to publicly congregate in one place and demand that? Their mostly minors, for Chistssake. Is that even legal?
And gun control is “unconstitutional” too.
And you want to know why gun control is unconstitutional? Because Bachman says it is, that’s why! And he’s got a concealed carry permit, so shut your liberal mouths if you know what’s good for you.
I see no calls by the Marchers to take away all YOUR guns. They are asking for gun control, pure and simple; something that should be done if Congress would do it’s job.
Just as each and every medical cannabis patient in this country knows.
Boo to you.
Remember they are not political- they just want to be safe.
No internet- just a lot of passion and organization and great music. I do not see this as a movement- but I sure hope common sense and safe gun control ( I find the words gun and control pretty ironic together) .
Do you sleep with your gun, hug and kiss it? Oh we already know the answer to that.
Unfortunately for this generation, it may be a prerequisite these days to be political to become safe. Even when we protested Vietnam we “became” political although the preference was for love-ins.