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September 5, 2012 / needhamgrassroots

Why We Organize

In disappointments over Pres. Obama’s first term, we can find motivation to do more–not merely on campaigns but afterward. No great change ever came from waiting for it to happen. From the Nation:

We all know now what should have been clear then: no person makes change alone. Formidable obstacles stand in the way of progress.

Without grassroots pressure and organizing, corporate power over both parties will suffocate possibilities every time.

As the Washington Post’s Peter Wallsten observed in a masterful piece in June, Obama’s relationship with progressive activists has “moved from great expectations to tense confrontations to pragmatic coexistence as the next election approaches.” Wallsten profiled how immigrant rights and LGBT groups—with tactics and stances derided by know-better insiders—forced Obama to go farther and faster than he’d claimed was possible.

Too often, Obama refused to confront obstructionist forces intent on making him a one-term president. And instead of marshaling people to overcome the lobbyists and forces of corporate power determined to dilute and gut his signature reforms, he let his staff hem in his ambitions, and his base. Now he’s paying the price, and so are we: an under-stimulated economy, a narrowed sense of hope.

And yet, as convention season reminds us, a Romney/Ryan victory would spell full-spectrum disaster.

An Obama victory in November would bring few guarantees. We all know now what should have been clear then: no person makes change alone. Formidable obstacles stand in the way of progress. Without grassroots pressure and organizing, corporate power over both parties will suffocate possibilities every time.

Read more: Katrina vanden Heuvel – Change We Can Believe In, 2.0 | The Nation – (9/4/2012) http://bit.ly/TWDke1

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