Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Herding Cats

I've been thinking a lot lately about how some of the relationships that were broken back during the primaries of 08 were never repaired. There are blogs I used to read regularly that I don't even look at anymore. Since the election, there are cyberfriendships that have become somewhat strained to varying degrees depending on how much trust and patience one is willing to have with the Obama administration. I get the feeling some people are mad at me for either being too critical or not critical enough. Today, after the Afghanistan speech, the progressive world feels especially unbalanced and I despair. We're never going to move that window if we can't find a way to bridge our differences. This TAP piece brought it into focus this morning.
Several years ago, The American Prospect held a "What is Liberalism?" contest. The winner, Todd Washburn, submitted this definition: "Liberals believe our common humanity endows each of us, individually, with the right to freedom, self-government, and opportunity; and binds all of us, together, in responsibility for securing those rights." [...]

It is the progressive movement's commitment to these people -- its base, its core -- that will ensure its long-term survival. If we continue to compromise on the concerns of those people, or dismiss them as "special interests" working against an imaginary greater good, we will ultimately render our shared concept of liberalism totally meaningless. After all, if each group within the coalition is actually just in it alone, what's the point of subscribing to a common ideology at all?
I'm not convinced the left has ever had a common ideology outside of a very broad based concept of common good, but I think we were better at compromising with each other back in the day. We won a lot of ground then.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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