Last night as I scrolled through the 100s of posts about The Terror, I couldn’t bring myself to add to the conversation. I felt like everything I think and feel is already being said — and better than I could have said it myself.
This morning I have a perspective that may be slightly more unique/interesting: the Left has no pathway… yet.
I personally know a few of the union organizers and community/political organizers who got sent into these swing states. They are the best and the brightest our generation has to offer, with decades of experience winning real-world campaigns and moving 100,000s of people. And in large part because the Far-Right has become so incredibly sophisticated too, there have been major, major developments in organizing thought, theory, and practice since the respective times of Saul Alinsky, Fred Ross, Cesar Chavez, and — dare I say it — even Andy Stern. The last couple of years — you’d be amazed at how amazing and sophisticated organizing has become; looking at modern-day charts, databases, raps, technology, and theory, you’d be slack-jawed and dumbfounded.
Donald Trump had basically no field campaign — he had no real field campaign! — and yet his rhetoric alone — combined with the people’s racism, sexism, and alienation — were enough to defeat these amazingly talented organizers. That’s how powerful his rhetoric has become nowadays.
I have almost 4 years professional experience as an organizer. I barely know how to handle a turf/shop of 200 workers, organizing them to become union members. I’ve been a part of a campaign, and watched amazing organizers, lead a turf/shop of 2000 workers, and I only have the faintest theoretical idea how they were able to do it.
There are 320 million people who live in the United States, and while community/political organizing is much more abstract than union organizing campaigns are, it is exactly that: it is abstract. What is our realistic plan to win?
Meanwhile we have all these Leftists boasting how we will organize our way out of this.
Understand your reality.
First learn how to organize. Learn how to have an effective organizing conversation. Learn how to knock on doors. Learn how to recruit and develop leaders. Learn how to move a turf of 200 before you learn how to lead a revolution.
Only then do we have a pathway.
As the Left, let’s — for real — learn how to organize.