Gun-Control & The Dangerously False Narrative Of Incrementalism


Here’s why incremental politics doesn’t work for me: We’ve been fighting for gun control laws for decades now. Organizations like the NRA and the people they pay off keep guaranteeing that nothing changes. After this most recent horrific gun massacre here in the U.S., we talk again about maybe trying to ban certain semi-automatic weapons. Mainly the AR-15. But since we can’t find a way to make that happen, we try and at least pass a law that would keep anyone on the terrorist watch lists from being allowed to legally purchase a semi-automatic weapon.

And IF we manage to get that law passed – after YEARS of trying – we will celebrate our success. Our incremental success. We ask for so little – we aim so low – and we celebrate the smallest concession the NRA and other conservatives will give us. And people will still be able to purchase semi-automatic weapons in the U.S.

From where I stand, it seems like we’ve confused our goals with what we’ve “settled” for as being all we deserve or can attain. If you FIGHT to repeal the Second Amendment – with everything you have to give – then it’s the NRA and conservatives that will eventually have to make concessions and THEY can celebrate when we give them just a little tiny bit of what they have asked for. It is THEY who will have to settle. So much more will get done. So many more lives will be spared. Remember, the majority of Americans support this. It’s powerful moneyed organizations like the NRA and their lobbyists that have managed to completely control the direction of these issues and laws, despite public desire and outrage. That’s our current system of government in a nutshell.

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Gun-Control & The Dangerously False Narrative Of Incrementalism

A Challenge to Democrats to be more Democratic

gavel and the US Flag

One of the more unfortunate accusations that I’ve been hearing lately is that Bernie Sanders supporters are tearing apart the Democratic Party. That Sanders needs to “back down” so we can unite. But Sanders supporters are fighting for the Democratic party to be more democratic. The media and others, however, have done a bang-up job framing real political challenges from the people (which Sanders represents) as “selfish” and “hurtful.” And a good number of Democrats are taking up those pitchforks and torches and joining the chorus without truly understanding what it is they are attempting to self-righteously snuff out.

John Nichols’ article in The Nation, A Contested Convention Is Exactly What the Democratic Party Needs, (an article widely forwarded by Bill Moyers) speaks directly to why it is so very crucial to continue to challenge not just Hillary Clinton, but the entire Democratic Party. THIS is what Democracy is all about! This is our job description! But so many people have lost sight of that – or never really knew what they could or should do beyond just casting a vote – or what the Democratic Party used to be, its history, and so they don’t recognize what it has the potential to do right now. Hillary might be the nominee in the end (though that’s STILL not a guarantee), but there’s more to be done and more to be gained by continuing to challenge her and those she surrounds herself with. At the very least to the Convention. Hopefully, a lot farther.

John Nichols:

“Prospective nominees tend to favor weaker platforms; Harry Truman would have preferred milder civil-rights commitments than were made in his party’s 1948 platform, and it took steady pressure from unions, liberals and Ted Kennedy to get Jimmy Carter to finally embrace spending on jobs programs. It will take similar pressure to get Clinton and her inner circle to accept a Democratic platform that Sanders says must include “a $15-an-hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health-care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.” Clinton stalwarts may want to keep things vague, but look for the Sanders team to demand specifics, such as an explicit endorsement of a national $15 minimum wage instead of the $12 proposal that Clinton initially offered, and an unequivocal rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that President Obama supports and that Clinton once championed but now criticizes.”

Continue reading “A Challenge to Democrats to be more Democratic”

A Challenge to Democrats to be more Democratic