Occupy! and Make Them Do It | The Nation

19 Mar

Protest movements raise the sharp and divisive issues that vague rhetoric is intended to obscure and avoid, and the urgency and militancy of the movement—with its marches, rallies, strikes and sit-ins—breaks the monopoly on political communication otherwise held by politicians and the media. Politicians trying to hold together unwieldy majorities and their big money backers strive to avoid divisive issues except in the haziest rhetorical terms. But movements—with the dramatic spectacles they create and the institutional disruptions they can cause—make that much harder. Movements work against politicians because they galvanize and polarize voters and threaten to cleave the majorities and wealthy backers that politicians work to hold together. But that doesn’t mean that movements are not involved with electoral politics. To the contrary, the great victories that have been won in the past were won precisely because politicians were driven to make choices in the form of policy concessions that would win back some voters, even at the cost of losing others.

via Occupy! and Make Them Do It | The Nation.

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