Politics as Unusual?
Not much time here, but I just finished an article in the WaPo which gives me a little hope for our socio-cultural future.
Enjoy. As such...
Enjoy. As such...
Where Have All the Protests Gone?
By David Segal
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 24, 2008; Page C01
... (T)here are those who say that most political agitation today isn't on the Web or on campuses. The action now, according to Daniel May, who once worked for the Service Employees International Union, is all door to door. They're raising money, they're getting out the vote.
"The organizers of my generation were shaped by 1968," said May, who is working toward a master's degree from Harvard. "But one lesson is that 1968 marked the first year of 40 years of conservative rule. Why would we want to replicate that? There's a real limit to protest politics. It's politics as catharsis and that eventually leads to cynicism."
It would be a mistake, in May's estimation, to confuse the lack of effigies with a lack of passion. The kids who once marched are now trying a different approach, he said, using techniques that were dismissed by their parents as too establishment. May's mother, Elaine Tyler May, a historian at the University of Minnesota, says she used to think that the youth of today just couldn't be bothered. But she has changed her mind.
"My son tells me it's politics that's more interested in power than in protest, and on a good day, that's how I see it," she said. "I still have this impulse to go yelling in the street, but what I see my kids doing is far more effective. I think we're just old and we don't realize -- there's a groundswell of political engagement that we just don't see."
[Different rhymes for different times, eh...]