Sunday, October 15, 2006

Anger is your friend

By Heraclitus

Well, okay, maybe the title overstates the matter a bit, but Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post today about how the Democrats need to embrace passion and even anger in order to succeed electorally, and how the Republicans know this from experience (and thus are so quick to try to paint genuinely passionate or principled Dems as "extremists").

The single most erroneous and destructive premise among the Beltway political class -- which includes the Democratic consulting class along with their intellectual twins in the David-Broder-led punditry circles -- is that anger and passion are the enemies of successful political movements. They preach a mindset of fear and defensiveness -- never articulate a view too strenuously and never be driven by principle or passion because to do so renders one an unmoderate extremist who will alienate normal Americans.

Whatever else you might want to say about them, the Bush-led Republicans embrace their radical ideas enthusiastically and are never shy about advocating them. But the mentality of the Democratic consultancy and pundit class have, outside of that extremist GOP crevice, stripped our political system of any real conviction, passion, belief, and resolve.

Democrats so rarely mold, shape or drive public opinion because their consultants and pundits operate from the premise that passion and principle are to be avoided at all costs. Stripped to its essence, the core advice of these consultants, which most national Democrats have been embracing, is to follow, not lead. But Americans -- understandably -- want to elect leaders, not followers, and that is why nothing has been more damaging to the Democratic Party brand than the self-consciously clever, soul-less, fear-driven advice of their consultants to abandon their own beliefs.

The whole post is worth reading and thinking carefully about.

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