Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Running As a Radical

In the current issue of the Journal of Progressive Human Services there is a very relevant article for folks interested in progressive politics.

Titled: Running as a Radical: The Challenge of Mainstream Politics by Flower Noble, and David Wagner.

The article gives a superb analyses, and assessment of Flower Noble's run in the Maine State Elections of 2002, as a Maine Green Party canidate. The entire article is very interesting, and chock full of information that anyone considering a progressive run for political office would find useful. For this blog entry I'll select just a few paragraphs. Folks interested in reading the entire article might find the journal in their local university library, or order the single article from the above link.

Democratic Party Interest Groups

Although liberal and radical journals and papers often contain outraged critique about the role of groups like fundamentalist churches, the national Rifle Association, and tobacco companies in the Republican Party, few explore in any depth the organization of the Democratic Party...

Few people who have supported or campaigened for a third party canidate have escaped the absolute contempt and venom (a la Nader 2000, and also 2004) heaped on third party canidates by Democratic Party activists. (Interestingly, we found liberals the most vehement, while Republicans, leftists, cetrists, and mass of non-committed voters expressed none of this.) ...

The social movement literature, usually ignores organizational forms to simply describe "movements" of workers, poor people, people of color, students, seniors, but such movements as such do not exist as independent entities in the late twentieth century, and early twenty first century. Instead what "labor" usually means is the AFL-CIO; what the "women's movement" tends to be translated into is NOW's leadership, and so on.

Yet it is well known how few people are represented. In Maine, the AFL-CIO is down to representing only 10% of the workers... NOW hardly represents most women, nor a majority of feminists... the NAACP hardly represents more than a fraction of the people of color... their endorsement determinations are made by small executive boards. Still, liberals, and some radicals equate these organizational cells of the Democratic Party with "social movements," which are conceptually quite distinct.

We suggest that usually the AFL-CIO, NAACP, NOW, NASW, NEA and others will endorse any Democrat, no matter their background or specific range of belief.
....

A lesson for social work activists is to have thick skin and firm resolve if you embrace a radical strategy. Certainly one cannot expect much aid from formal Social Work organizations or leaders.... Many young social workers, particularly students were excited... Others who were in higher level jobs (administrators, faculty, clinicians) were willing to help, sometimes also asking that we keep their names quiet...

some opposition emerged from surprising quarters, such as workers who worked with the very poor, who apparently felt that low income people demonstrationg or protesting somehow reflected on them... Administrators and others tied to the dominant party apparatus were fearful.. .and, of-course, similarly upset with a contender on the Left of the Democrats....