I’ve long given up on the Democratic Party as an institution. The basic principles of the party may hover somewhere near my political beliefs (certainly more than the Republican party principles), but when I think generally about the Democrats, I can’t help seeing the ties to Wall Street and other corporate money, not to mention the various feckless weenies who seem to serve as the face of the party.
So it’s always a surprise when I read something by a smart person who, despite experience and all evidence to the contrary, can still maintain idealism and see a practical path the party could follow. And I can’t help but think he believes it’s actually possible. The smart person/writer in this case is Thomas Geoghegan.
I first became aware of Geoghegan in college when I was assigned his book Who Will Tell the People?, which I found deeply moving, not just a little depressing, and yet surprisingly upbeat (even if history showed the folly of his campaigning for Michael Dukakis).
His article in The Nation, featuring Ten Things Dems Could Do to Win, is actually less about winning and more about charting a path to real solutions, including the element of sales that goes with any policy change. He makes it sound so easy.
I deeply admire a man with Geoghegan’s experience who can hold onto that true sense of idealism and present a genuine case for practical progressivism. Hell, I turn cynical about my ability to put together IKEA furniture if I get a goddamned splinter. Please read the article linked to above.