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ilpostino Donating Member (238 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:11 PM
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DU Must reading.
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 12:12 PM by Skinner
Excellent Salon interview with Todd Gitlin that seems to me to be critical reading for all DUers:

First of all, is there anything the antiwar movement as a whole could have done to prevent the Iraq war?

I don't think so. I think this is something the Bush administration set out to do right after 9/11, and I don't think any tactical or strategic variations could have interfered with it.

Did you protest?

Yes. I was in several marches. I was in the big New York march, other rallies. I wrote and spoke against the war.

This country became so polarized over the war, so divided along the lines of what David Brooks would call the red and the blue states, that we have become alien to each other. I have friends who absolutely cannot conceive of why anyone in Minnesota would be pro-war, or pro-Bush. How do we bridge that divide?

Well, I've lived most of my life in New York and California, but I did spend four years in the Midwest, and I recommend it to someone who's been strictly coastal.

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TheBigGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:55 PM
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"Well, I've lived most of my life in New York and California, but I did spend four years in the Midwest, and I recommend it to someone who's been strictly coastal. "

Heh, i spent most of my life in the Midwest (Chicago & the Ohio Valley) and it was just the reverse for me..I spent 4 years in California! Id recommend it to someone whos never left the Heartland!
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:43 PM
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2. Excellent practical advice
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T Roosevelt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 03:57 PM
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3. Key points
Let's say the Democratic Party does find a way to enfold the Greens, Green issues. What does a post-Nader left look like?

First of all, it's ecumenical. A post-Nader left would have to incorporate hardheaded people of different ethnicities, regions, some absolutely opposed to the war in Iraq, some opposed to certain aspects only. Everyone who was committed to rising above the circular firing squad, including on domestic issues.

Some would be deficit hawks, some would want socialized medicine. It would have to include people from major organizations, certainly the AFL-CIO and NAACP. It would include people who recognize that to do successful politics in Missouri, let alone Alabama, is going to require a different political orientation than doing it in Vermont or Massachusetts. But there would have to be a rock-bottom underpinning that the privatizing, rightwing, anti-feminist, anti-gay attitudes of the Republicans are wrong. And a new center would have to form, not just a political center but a center of energy in which the corporate church and the corporate right don't get to rule. It's a tall order, but I think a necessary one.

Do you think that's likely to happen?

There is some sense now that people are in that mood now. If you look at the MoveOn poll, one of the questions they asked was: "Which of the candidates are you prepared to support, if he or she is the nominee?" And a very high percentage said, "Anybody." Anybody who could beat George Bush. I think that's the right sentiment for the moment, because the reality of this moment is that unless Bush is defeated, most of the objectives of every group I just mentioned are going to be in the ditch. It is a united-front moment. And a lot of people are clearly in that mood. So that's auspicious.

But the post-Nader left would also have to have a focus on security. The Republicans are the people who failed to prevent 9/11, and that should not be forgotten. This is a time to be with the police and firefighters, and there are some on the left who might bridle at being in coalition with the police, but those differences need to be superseded.

The post-Nader left needs to be a patriotic left, and should be indignant at the thought that the corporate rich who are lining their pockets and keeping their kids out of the armed service are the real patriots and we're the outsiders. I think they're the outsiders, and we're the patriots, and we should be proud of it.
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copithorne Donating Member (551 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Ouch
"He's been especially excoriated for his critique of the Green Party, which he blames for the "catastrophe" of the Bush victory in 2000. "Underneath, what Nader voters really wanted was to vent their feelings," he writes. "The purity of their feelings matters so much to them that they are still washing their hands of the consequences ... This is narcissism wearing a cloak of ideals."

Testify, brother Gitlin.
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