How to organize a volunteer-based, radical new form of American politics


Originally published at:


Man, I REALLY didn’t imagine doing politics after retirement but frack I’m wondering if I pretty much have to.

  • Distribute your message in an actual book?


Yes. No one gets to sit this one out.


Pocket sized, maybe with a bright colored cover?


Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky is also a book that folks should read. Especially since we are all going to have to be in the streets and in the face of the right wing until The Orange Asshole and his Cabinet of Doom is taken out of power.


I (think) I see what you did there.


Organizing people to work together against oligarchs and plutocrats is such a “commie-pinko” thing, amirite? So “un-American.”



Not really. I could not resist. I agree something has to be done. I don’t think we will ever be able to agree on specific policies. The only way it can work would be to focus strictly on something like economic opportunity, with very strictly defined goals.


Why not?

What was it within you that made you want to make that particular, and specious, comparison/analogy?


Lots of important social/political movements have had broadly defined goals. The Civil Rights movement of the mid-20th Century, for one.


excuse my pedantry, but that part is on the outside.


Well, I am thinking of modern movements. We had a bunch of cases of terrible police militarized use of force. there was a moment to really do something. The movement that came from that very quickly changed focus, added all sorts of positions on tangential subjects, and lost any real chance at making the changes that the movement was formed to make.
The Civil Rights movement of the 20th century had a goal of equality of opportunity for all Americans.



There is so much bad-policy shit to worry about that there is absolutely no reason not to engage in division of labor.

You pick an issue or issues you are passionate about and concentrate your protests and letter writing and lobbying on supporting them.

Just don’t be a shit and insist your goals are more important.

You know, like the how-to guide says:



Resistance and holding the line against the current administration should be the main aim of these tactics. Real change (e.g. reforming or replacing the Third Way Dems, campaign finance reform, electoral reform, etc.) is a long-term project and, as with measures against global warming, it’s one we’re at least 15 years behind on.


One of the oft-repeated “lessons” of the last election is that Hillary failed to win because she represented the status quo and Trump managed to create a popular following despite (or perhaps because of) his lack of qualifications because he represented “real change.”

Maybe we shouldn’t wait on the big stuff. Hell, maybe this is the time to demand single-payer healthcare for all Americans. Trump is audacious and unpredictable enough that he might just go for it as long as he can claim it was his idea all along.


(Although Trump chafes against established Repubs at times, I completely doubt he’d try to do something that majorly antithetical to the general Repub worldview.)


It might not be as crazy as it sounds; Trump has publicly praised single-payer health care a number of times including during the Republican primary debate on FOX News. Just about the only thing he said during the campaign I agreed with (and of course it brought boos from the GOP audience in attendance).


All the more reason for me to think he’s an authoritarian, though. Sadly.