Communicating Change

One of the most frustrating things about being someone who identifies as a leftist is the fact that the left is most certainly, far more sectarian than the right. The left is a amalgam of different ideologies but with similar goals. The strategies are the difference between many of these ideas and sometimes the goals vary slightly. The fact that most of these groups are so likely to quarrel has always been the Achilles’ heel of the left. Uniting behind a neoliberal party like the Democrats is something that I do not wish to tolerate. I understand the revulsion many feel at the very thought. However, we must acknowledge our shared goals more than our differences. I say goals because often people often get stuck on it. One of my primary frustrations with corporate democrats or the new democrats was that I felt that they didn’t share the same goals. It is very obvious that they are not in agreement about abolishing capitalism or even mitigating the worst effects of it. They give lip service to socially liberal ideas but often these are so surface level it is almost laughable. Representation is not a small thing for minorities but the fact of the matter is, that if one buys into the underlying systems of power and coercion, you lose a lot of what makes you on the left. The social issues you might want to fight for become harder to fight for, if you don’t ensure that people’s basic needs are met. However, economic change will not come easily and it is a hard fight on its own. I would argue that in order to get that economic change you must also be able to bring people of color and working people of all backgrounds into the fold. You must acknowledge their contribution to discussions. By recognizing that your perspective is limited, a leader can surround himself or herself with diverse people who agree on principles that can unite people. This can be done without subordinating social issues to economic issues or economic issues to social issues. The two must be addressed at the same time. We must find a way to communicate complicated ideas more clearly and also be very blunt about what we want. Our goals must be communicated clearly and often. We must distinguish our goals from our opponents. Our opponents will surely fight back against any framing we establish but we mustn’t hesitate to push back and defend our framing. Our ideas are the right ones and theirs are not. Compromise only when the opposition places value on it. The current corporate oligarchs and their representatives do  not compromise and do not value diverse ideas. Make no bones about pointing that out. Do not cave into people calling you mean, abrasive, or a liar. Your policies will speak for themselves and you will be attacking policies and rhetorical strategies and not people. You are attacking the ideologies of hate and divisiveness. Remind people what taxes are for. It is your money going towards programs for you. That is still your money even after it is taken in taxes. Remind the corporations that without the government or without the workers they would NOTHING. They rely on you you do not rely on them. They are not job creators. They are not innovators. They do not deserve tax breaks. Stick to the truth whenever possible and do not allow the right to frame anything. If they do frame an argument in a way that is treacherous, point that out. Say the question is misleading and disgusting. We can win and we must. Human beings cannot wait for incremental change.

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