submitted 12 months ago by Tony Stubblebine | 1 comments
Trump has created millions of new political fighters. I'm talking about people like me. A month ago, all I cared about was the corner of capitalism where I was building my business.
But as Seth, my partner at Majority Report, says, "That was a pre-election luxury." So now we're using all of our technical and marketing background to form an opposition.
But we're new, and for that reason, I'm also paying a lot of attention to people who have been doing this for a long time. The audio above comes from a political meetup in NYC (@surjnyc). I was in the audience and was blown away. You should definitely listen to the whole thing.
And here are some highlights:
It is possible to stop the engine of government. Standing Rock was one example. That example also shows that it's not easy. In a way, I think we're lucky to have a chance to fight for our country again.
In the 1930s, the opposition was called "Premature Anti-Fascists." Of course, they didn't end up being premature. It's okay for all of us to be on the leading edge of opposition.
A lot of progressives were surprised by the rust-belt economic anxiety. Everyone's at fault. News should have covered it better. Progressives should have been more curious. Rust belt should have been more vocal. Trump is not the right message. But now that we're here, I see a broad coalition of people (hence Majority Report) that cares about this issue. The most surprising economic stat for me was of Obama's 11M new jobs, 8M were for new graduates, 2.5M were for people with associates degrees, and only 700k were for people with high school diplomas.
Something I agree with completely: the majority needs a positive story. The minority is spinning a fantasy about the past. And somehow we're not telling any story at all about what the future could be if we all banded together. I'll tell you. This is a rich nation, and if we wanted to, all of us could experience that wealth. My phrase for this is American Renaissance. We could have it.
Progressives need to tie Race and Economy into a single story. This is possible. I find it personally crazy that populism is a racist movement rather than an inclusive movement. Shouldn't populism find common cause with mass incarceration?
A phrase I keep thinking about is "Privilege is permission, but it's not power." How many times have you been blind to your own options because you didn't think you were allowed to do something. Another way to say this is "allowed is not the same as able."
The group putting this on, SURJ, is organized around growth and partnership. It felt very entrepreneurial--they get that distribution is the most powerful and hardest part of opposition.
Where is the Religious Left? They used to exist but were co-opted. I searched Twitter for this after the talk and was surprised how few people use this designation. Given how Trump exposed the lack of morals on the Religious Right, now seems like a good time to get the Religious Left organizing.
For people individually, you can't solve every problem. Instead, pick one and do enough work there to make a difference. A good example is employees inside Facebook pressuring Zuckerberg to fix fake news. A lot of times your role needs to be with your local institutions.