Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Maybe Progressives Won after All

As you might imagine, I have been quite depressed about the failure of Democratic voters to see through the media spin and elect the real progressive candidate, John Edwards, as their nominee. The other day, a good friend of mine, Random Factor, forced me to see a little bit differently.

I had a long conversation with Random Factor on the phone the other day. I told her about my frustration and despair that had resulted from the loss. To my surprise, she took me a little bit to task for looking at it so negatively.

She gave me a passionate pep talk about how surprised she had been that a completely grassroots campaign, ignored and marginalized by the media, had managed to gain 10% to 15% support nationwide in the polls on the strength of grassroots action alone. Not only that, but as a result of that strong showing, Edwards was able to set the agenda for the other Democratic candidates, make them fight for his endorsement, and force them to move to the left.

Random Factor told me in no uncertain terms that she thought Edwards supporters should be proud of what we have accomplished.

I have to admit, she's right. Edwards controlled the message in this primary season, in spite of the fact that the media tried their best to ignore him. The fruits of his labor and our labor may not be immediately apparent, but it's hard to say what their seeds may bear in time. We may have sown the seeds of real change here.

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