Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Michael Cohn Suggests

The following is an excerpt from a letter to Bernie Sanders from Michael Cohn, who writes a column for the Boston Globe.
“So, mistakes have been made. Tough attacks delivered.  Feelings hurt.  It happens.  But the question now — after the walloping you took in New York and the long odds you face in the upcoming primary states – is this:  What’s your plan?
“I suppose you could really go scorched earth on Clinton and fight this out to the convention.  But why would you want to do that?  Isn’t the real target on the Republican side?  Hillary Clinton might not be your cup of tea, but surely on 100 out of 100 issues that you care about, she’d be better than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
“So here’s my suggestion: Don’t end your campaign, re-frame it.  Rather than talking about Hillary Clinton’s speech transcripts like you did yesterday in Pennsylvania, and rather than boasting about how you don’t have a Super PAC and your opponent does, focus on the issues that got you into this race in the first place.  Keep talking about inequality, reforming campaign finance, and making the rich pay their fair share, but shift the focus away from Clinton.
“Rather than raising money to run more ads that likely aren’t going to move the polling needle, start raising money for liberal Democrats in swing districts, Democrats who, with that little extra boost from your supporters, might be able to win in November.  After all, if you want a political revolution, don’t you need to elect a few more like-minded Democrats to Congress?  And with Trump as the likely GOP nominee, the chances of a Democratic wave in the House and the Senate are that much greater. Maybe focus on local races in places like Florida or Ohio or North Carolina, where Republican-dominated state legislatures are putting up restrictions on abortion rights, voting rights, and LGBT rights.  You have the megaphone and the money to get your supporters involved in the nitty-gritty of local politics that Democrats have ignored for far too long.  You want to beat the Democratic establishment?  Become the Democratic establishment.
“Rather than talking about a revolution that isn’t going to come this year, get your supporters focused on a more achievable set of goals.  You’ve accomplished so much in the past year — don’t let your pursuit of the presidency get in the way of the kind of real change that could ensure your campaign is not a footnote but a first step toward a more progressive America.”


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