Don't [just] vote, ORGANIZE!

I hope everyone holds their noses and pretends to vom when they take the "I VOTED" selfies this time around, now that the adrenaline from the Mizeur campaign has dissipated and the progressive movement it was supposed to herald has done very little to influence state politics since.

When the wrong people get elected/the wrong policies get implemented, it isn't because not enough people voted. It's because not enough people organized to build the counterpower that would allow citizens (not corporations or developers) to direct policymaking. We still buy into the myth of the "good" politician - the idea that when the right person comes along, you just vote and everything changes - or wait until the next messiah comes. But good politicians are shaped by the people who know how to play their pressure points, not inherent goodness. 

Here's a meme from CCAN that I just got in my inbox as I was writing this. It's ridiculous, because all this cosying up to politicians amounts to nothing unless they have hell to pay if they don't serve your interests. O'Malley was a "green" governor, supported by CCAN in many different ways, but he also expanded coal exports out of MD, continued tax breaks for MD coal operators, approved Cove Point (and fell asleep in a hearing about it), and has decided that Maryland's "clean energy future" must include fracking and waste-to-energy incinerators. Why should we expect O'Malley II to be any different? 

This election has actually been close enough, by Maryland standards, that a united progressive base threatening "I won't organize for your campaign unless you promise to ban fracking / approve the Poultry Fair Share act / promise to close MD's dirtiest power plants / take lead out of our schools" actually might have been good for something.

And as much as I like to criticize CCAN and the other big greens for tacitly endorsing Brown without any strings attached, it's not just them. This is the established left in Maryland, looking just as ugly as it did before Mizeur hit the scene.







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