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Elections and Movement-Building Through 2020 and Beyond

Elections and Movement-Building Through 2020 and Beyond

Ted Glick

From my vantage point, one “positive” effect of the election of Mafioso Don is the marginalization of the position taken by some on the political left that elections in the US are a sham, and the correct approach to them is to non-participate.

Elections do have consequences, potentially very big, very negative consequences, like a neo-fascist government.

Even without the influence of corporate money, there’s something about running for office, becoming THE dominant person …[that] . . . leads many to opportunist compromises . . .

Maybe we should assume that opportunist compromises tend to come not by magic, but by the persuasion of the powerful. Ted Glick presents us with no examples of campaign promises broken apart from such influence. But, to be honest, it seems unfair to ask. How could he or anyone else outside of a brokered deal vet such an example, particularly an example of innocence? Innocence of intention is at best an untestable hypothesis, and lying politicians might not be the best place to look.

I am willing enough to conclude that we ought to participate in elections, even bad elections. Up to some considerable point of corruption, we ought even to participate in sham elections. I find all sorts of advantages in convincing rulers that they are better off obtaining some scraps of consent from the governed. They have a history of being fairly willing to do without.

But that does not mean that we should imagine that elections and politicians work differently than they do or are valid or wholesome in ways that they are not. So the following statement does not work:

However, it’s essential that progressive candidates and elected progressives are pushed, if necessary, by their supporters to take steps to ensure that they are continually in contact with the people they are representing . . .

What’s wrong is not that candidates should not be “pushed.” in some sense. What is wrong, or part of it, is the idea that a candidate not operating in a progressive manner is somehow a progressive candidate. This creates the notion that the candidate must be at once supported and somehow chided, and we are left with vacuous metaphors like pushed.

No, people who promise one thing and deliberately deliver something opposed are liars. It’s possible to attempt something and fail; it is possible to offer compromise and deliver compromise: these are different cases. But if someone claims to uphold policies and makes no attempt to do so, that person is whoever he or she is, not who he or she claims to be.

The electorate needs teeth: withhold support where it is not due.


I will agree with Glick that elections do have consequences and that accountability is the key to keeping elected officials acting on behalf of their constituents, but if Glick still believes, after all these years, that accountability in a political system that runs on money still equates to “call-in days and petitions, to demonstrations outside of and sit-ins inside their offices”, it means he still doesn’t understand who the constituents are for the Democratic party and Pelosi, in particular. Why he uses Pelosi as an example of how his accountability works is a mystery. Those “demonstrations outside of and sit-ins inside” Pelosi’s office after the elections haven’t done squat to budge her off her corporate serving ways, simply because Pelosi has been completely accountable to the interests she serves and that sure as hell isn’t all those new progressive that Glick thinks have infiltrated the party. Pelosi was not elected to the position of majority leader to serve the needs of a handful new members who wear a progressive label.


Yes! And we need to stand for something - push for laws to be passed instead of just flowery talk

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One reason the fright has been more successful than the lwft in recent years is how the right defends their leaders, Trump, McConnell etc but the left is forever undercutting theirs, not just Pelosi and Schumer, but even Sanders, Warren because they are not perfect on everything.
To actual win elections statewide or nationally there has to be a coalition willing to work together. Trump’s includes traditional conservatives, the corporate barons after tax cuts and deregulation, anti-abortion and anti-birth control zealots, gun zealots, religious fanatics, polluters, racists and xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists a d those who like to identify with rich “winners” such as Trump. To counter this, a broad coalition is also needed, and insisting that the opposition take every position correctly is a recipe for failure.

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We have a country, a constitution and elections because people in the past have made that possible. We have been propagandized/marketed to to be consumers, the ever upturned mouth, chirping for more!

Elections matter or the Republicans wouldn’t be working so hard to cheat.

The reality is that more people have to come off the sidelines and get involved. We need to be citizens! Have you noticed how predictable the main stream media is in identifying citizens that want to participate as activist? We need more of that!

No one person or group of people or party can be trusted to do the right thing, to protect us, our species, or the planet. Trust but Verify!

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The only candidate for president in 2020 who doesn’t need to be “pushed” to do the right thing is Tulsi Gabbard. Bravery and moral rectitude are her strengths, which is unheard of in politicians. Since she announced her candidacy both the left and the right have been smearing her in a coordinated way; no one in the establishment wants a president who leads for all the right reasons. Her moral base and her love for all people guide her – she’s for real! Aloha, Tulsi, I’m behind you 100%…


I am also for Tulsi Gabbard. She is the real deal. She will stand up to Wall St & AIPAC & end our wars & drone strikes. I am an Asian Indian but that is not why I would vote for her.


Even the women’s marches divided in NYC due to personality clashes- really silly . Ever since the recession people have been angry sometimes at the wrong people.

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This Tamika Mallory was on one of the stations the other day discussing the Women’s March. She also is unabashedly anti semitic, and hates Israel. What a goon.

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