Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A revitalized left

On February 26, 2011, I went into San Francisco where many people were gathered together for a rally that was held in solidarity with protesters in Wisconsin in opposition to the state government's efforts to break unions. Similar rallies were held that day in major cities and all 50 state capitals. Demonstrations were also held in support of Planned Parenthood, which the House of Representatives is trying to defund. In addition, while I was in San Francisco, I also came across a protest supporting freedom for Libya. This activism is some of the largest and most enduring continuous liberal activism that has been seen in this country since the 1960s (except perhaps with the exception of protests against the Iraq War).

For much of the time period since the 1960s, conservative activism has been much more prominent, whether it was the rise of religious conservatives in the 1980s and 1990s, or the rise of the Tea Party movement in recent years. In fact over the past several decades, since the Reagan Revolution of 1980 (which ultimately led to the term "liberal" becoming a dirty epithet), the whole country has been moving to the right, to the point that today's Democratic Party is essentially to the right of the Republican Party of the 1950s. The Republican Party has kept moving the center further to the right while the Democratic Party has kept chasing the center and capitulating to the Republican Party, no matter who has been in power. Now for the first time in a long time, the Democratic Party is really holding its ground and refusing to budge on the issue of worker's rights. The firm standing in Wisconsin, in addition to the other above mentioned activism, could potentially be a sign of the end of the country's rightward shift, but only time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you make a good point. I wonder sometimes if it's not just liberal activism but HUMAN activism. I like that you share your own activist experiences here.