Somewhere Under the Rainbow

When will the Left move on from movement-building?

By Carl Davidson

A rainbow coalition of Democratic voters gave Barack Obama a victory over big Wall Street money and the steady drumbeat of hard-right racism. Nearly 45 percent of the president’s voters were people of color, with their numbers augmented by white women, youth and trade [RETURN TO ARTICLE]

  • Reader Comments

    Yes, charity work and voting for Democrats will save the left, says the former Pol Pot supporter turned chairman of Progressives for Obama.

    Posted by Gregory A. Butler on Nov 30, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    What left?  As for what direction the president will take, remember, the neo-liberal Clinton is regarded as something of a hero among middle class liberals, so what would President Obama have to lose to doing the same (besides integrity, etc.)?  As for the Dem Party leadership, one would be hard-pressed to find one who isn’t a Blue Dog/Clintonite.
        Where the country is at/where it’s going: “Occupy” began as a powerful movement that had the potential to change the direction this country has taken, restoring the opportunity we had before corporations gained such power over politics. A year ago, there was tremendous hope. Media effectively intervened, redefining Occupy as a movement solely of (disgruntled) middle class workers. Since then, the public discussion has been all about, and only about, the middle class - a sort of Bourgeoisie Bash. The rest of us walked away, and Occupy fizzled out.

    Posted by DHFabian on Dec 1, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    If the “Left” was truly interested in changing things, it should devote far, far more time and effort to opening up our political system.  Roughly 25 states have citizen initiative processes.  What would happen if the “Left”, in concert with other disaffected parties, e.g., Libertarians, environmental groups, etc.  put initiatives on the ballot in these states to implement some form of instant-runoff voting?

    Imagine an electoral process where citizens can actually vote their interests without wasting their votes and voting in the “greater of two evils”?  The idea that the Democratic Party will reform itself strains credulity.  Without real competition at polling places, nothing will change.

    Posted by themikeaustin on Dec 3, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    The first order of business for President Obama should be to repay his political debt to Black America. Every other interest group except for the African -American community has realized political payback for supporting this president. Unions, Wall Street, Caucasians, White Women in particular, Gays & Lesbians, and Hispanics,  have seen their support rewarded. Isn’t time for this president to honor his political debt to the African American. community for their support ? Believe or not, there are quite a few people like well known journalist, Sam Donaldson, who think so !

    Posted by dtondelayo on Dec 4, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Davidson piles a lot on the to-do list—and leads with electoral work in the hopelessly stacked arena that is the two-party system—but as usual, provides zero ideas about how to build resources and human capacity for any of these endeavors. Why? Because in his book the holy grail remains, first and foremost, elections. This classic ‘cart before horse’ frame ignores the fact that the most effective movements recognize that electoral expression is one tactic in a much broader toolkit that includes direct action, people to people solidarity, and grassroots work that breaks free of the issue silos into which ruling elites seek to ghettoize progressive work.

    We live in an era of growing class consciousness and it’s potent capacity to break through the single-issue silos that often hinder united front work—as opposed to the pop front work Davidson advocates, where we all subsume our core concerns to a single slogan like, oh, say, ‘vote for Obama!’ That approach—and our utter failure to push core principles like rank-and-file empowerment and grassroots democracy—has gotten us a Democratic Party that continues to tilt right ... unless we force them to tilt left by any means necessary.

    Posted by Christine Geovanis on Dec 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Operation PUSH was successful at raising public awareness to initiate
    corporate action and government sponsorship. The National Rainbow
    coalition became a prominent political organization that raised public
    awareness on numerous political issues and consolidated a large voting
    bloc. The merged entity has undertaken numerous social initiatives. -954-691-1102

    Posted by Stephanie Kaye Lopez on Dec 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM