Saturday, February 24, 2007

The establishment pundits who indulge in over-the-top criticism of "netroots" aided activism need to own up to their self-interest.

Supporters of Internet initiated and supported grassroots efforts -- for Dean in 2004, Lamont in 2006, etc. -- base their support in a candidate's willingness to address issues that are not being adequately addressed by established politicians, or, their opposition to or dissatisfaction with established politicians' positions on specific issues. Such conflicts are exactly what democratic politics are, or at least should be, all about.

Critics of such grassroots efforts (for instance, Joe Klein, who recently attacked netroots efforts to challenge Rep. Elaine Tauscher in California), are to a man people who earn their bread and butter as part of a professional political media and consultant class.

Members of this class, naturally and self-interestedly enough, prefer a politics that, while it may not bear much on the real and pragmatic concerns and interests of ordinary voters, strengthens media power (and their power) because it is created within the media and is totally dependent on media cooperation — that is, the politics of flamboyant, unresolvable distractions called the “culture war” and the titillating pleasures of trumped up “character” assassination and scandal.

However you dress it up, people — all across the political spectrum — participate in politics and vote based on their own self-interest and their view of the broader best interest of the country. Left, right or center, people want, and have a right to, representation. No one votes for someone to be lukewarm and “moderate” in representing their interests and hopes for their community and country.

Those who object to a politician like Tauscher as someone who poorly represents them may or may not be ultimately successful with replacing her, or encouraging her to act in a way that is more representative of their views and interests. But, in acting to secure representation for themselves, they are doing EXACTLY what is required of us all as active, participating citizens in a democracy.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home