I guess having your ideas validated provides an emotional boost -- even for staunch dissenters. Accordingly, I was pleasantly surprised to find this essay by Joshua Frank, a co-founder of the website Dissident Voice (I just added its feed -- see links in left column). Frank offers yet another wake-up call to liberals and progressives who seem seduced into believing that the Democrats' electoral success (as measured by pre-election polls) indicates that the country has slain social conservatism and that an Obama-Pelosi-Reid national government will usher in a dramatically egalitarian society that does not discriminate against gays and lesbians, contains no racially identifiable poverty, that fiercely combats sexism and patriarchy, and where economic justice rules. The essay has some rich moments, like this one, which make it a good read:
What makes the Democrats believe that they even deserve [progressives']
support now? President Bush has indeed been bad, but his most egregious policies
were upheld and supported by the majority of Democrats. They gave Bush the green
light to whack Saddam while they controlled the Senate. They supported the
PATRIOT Act (Obama voted for its reconfirmation), the War on Terror, Bush’s
increased Pentagon budget, a no-strings Wall Street bailout and two awful
Supreme Court confirmations. You may also remember that two years ago we ushered Democrats back into office with the belief that they might actually fight Bush on Iraq. Instead we’ve had nothing but complicity, with Democrats time
and again supporting increased war funds.
I hope I’m not alone in saying that we deserve more than lofty rhetoric about “action” and “hope.” We deserve a program for real progressive change — the kind Democrats and Barack Obama will not bring as long as we give them our unconditional support.