I subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine for a couple of reasons. Originally, I dug the music news, movie reviews (oh Peter Travers, how I love you), and the reverence to greats like the Beatles, Dylan, the Stones, and in the current issue, Bob Marley. But when I started caring about politics, I found out they don’t just have pictures of P. Diddy sipping Cristal or Phil Spector’s mug shot. They run interesting, intelligent, though decidedly liberal, pieces on everything from how much Bush sucks, to how we should vote for Kerry even though he sucks, to what’s happening to our environment, to some horribly gruesome and painful accounts of the war in Iraq. And that’s why I was shocked when I read an article about how MoveOn.org was going to ruin the Democratic Party.
MoveOn, of course, got quite a lot of media attention during election season. It almost single-handedly made John McCain and Russ Feingold sigh, “here we go again…” It energized a liberal base, raised millions of dollars, and ran tons of ads (still working on that whole victory thing though). The important thing is that it’s the sort of mobilization organization that the left lacks. And Rolling Stone, of all people, portrays MoveOn as “electoral suicide.”
This is the Democratic Leadership Council’s fault. They decided that they wanted to shift the Democrats to the center (read: shift to the right). Then they got this guy named Clinton to run saying how the “New Democrats” were the wave of the future, and then they declared that he won because of their policy views and not his natural good looks, youth, and general likeability. And now we’re told Democrats can’t win by being liberal, but conservatives can win by being conservative. Baloney.
People like Dean can’t win the presidency because they don’t buy that fact, and they’re being attacked by Republicans and Democrats. Instead we get guys like Gore and Kerry. What’s wrong with saying that terrorism is far less of a threat to most people than the gross amount of control a few companies have over our media and all of our purchases? You can only play by the other side’s rules and definitions for so long until you’re officially irrelevant, and MoveOn is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen any more. Because of the DLC, there’s no chance of running as a Lovable Liberal; you can only be a Compassionate Conservative. I’m sick of hearing that liberals are out of whack with “middle-American values.” They aren’t; it’s just that no one takes liberals seriously. If a supposed bastion of liberalism like Rolling Stone won’t give MoveOn a fair shake, what are the odds any one else will?
Patrick Gibbons can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.