The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How Do You Move Without Movement? 

Here's an interesting little rant:

Here's the thing, talk radio acolytes. Your revolution doesn't exist. If you'd all take 12 steps back from that self-congratulatory circle jerk in the blogosphere, zip up your fly, turn 180 degrees, and look at the rest of Wisconsin, you'd know just what I mean.

We've had to listen to you blowhards gloat about killing ethanol and TPA and make stupid RINO jokes about anyone who dares so much as to disagree with you. Well, now it's time for you kids to sit down, shut the hell up, and take your medicine.
And therein is the second point. Movement politics doesn't win elections. It is the sound and fury signifying nothing. Walker, Dean, McGovern, Goldwater. It's all the same campaign. A bunch of people on the fringe are angry and pissed off. They try to storm the castle and get mauled by the establishment. Then they slink back under their rock and plot their next unsuccessful coup attempt.

In a battle between movement conservatism and mainstream conservatism, middle-of-the-road Republicanism is where your money should always be. And that was the difference between Mark Green and Scott Walker. Mark Green soft-sells the tax and spend message. Scott Walker pushed it like an Amway salesman.

Does he have a point? Is "movement politics" worthless? I've often times pondered this idea as I listen to some people screaming at the top of their lungs for what I consider radical change. They have no hope of winning, no hope of getting their ideas passed, and yet there they are... screaming away at the top of their lungs ever still. Of course, to those people, their ideas aren't radical. Those ideas are simply theirs. Just like I consider my views to be very common sense and smart, even though to some I'm a heartless person, and not keeping up with our "progressive" society. It truly depends on the eyes you use to view the world.

If you are in a political minority, the reality is you have to scream. If you desire to be heard (and everyone in politics does), then the smaller your group, the louder you have yell to be heard. Large groups can speak softly because the number of voices turns it into a roar. But when there are just a handful of you, you have to speak up to be heard over the crowd. This has it's downsides of course... for each individual is automatically viewed as a radical. But if they hadn't screamed, they wouldn't have been noticed at all.

But is it waisted screaming? Even if none of your extreme candidates are ever elected, was it worthless to try? The answer to that question is no, and a quick perusal through history will prove this out. Throughout the history of American politics, third parties have played a major role. By espousing radical ideas in loud tones, these fringe groups often times force the larger parties to incorporate their ideas in order to stay relevant. These ideas are then generally toned down, but they do move in that direction. Sometimes third parties can have rather serious implications in elections, as George H. W. Bush and William Howard Taft will attest to.

It's what we adults like to call compromise. We can't all get what we want, but often times we're perfectly happy to just pull you a little bit in our direction. Americans politics is a lot like a semi truck heading down a hill. If you want to stop it, or change it's direction, a little bit of a push in the opposite direction isn't going to be felt. You have to apply a lot of force to even see a little bit of change. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one.

H/T to Jenna


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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