Monday, August 8, 2011

Transactional vs. Transformational

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is one of the few progressives at the top of the NYS ticket, and he was the guest speaker at the TC Dems' annual fundraiser yesterday. Prior to that, a few of us sat down with him at the Statler, where he held forth on an issue dear to his heart, the need for transformational progressive politics. His indictment of "checklist liberals" in The Nation should be required reading for every grassroots activist who thinks that it's all about getting 'er done rather than changing the language of the debate and moving forward incrementally toward a grand goal.

I'll be talking about this soon with local activists who worked hard to push through the no-fracking change to town zoning but who are now starting to recognize that politics is actually part of this process. It does matter who gets elected or re-elected in November, and fracking or no fracking is just part of a much larger issue: How should we get and use energy? What do we want that to look like, not just this year and next year, but ten and twenty years from now? How does that connect with climate change, and what makes climate change a local issue? Most important, how do we talk about all that in a way that brings people over to our side? I'm excited to hear their ideas; many people involved in that movement are fiercely outside of party politics and don't like to consider their activism political at all. But it is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Required reading on the issue of climate change at the local level in upstate NY:

'Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability' by Jerry Jenkins (published in association with the Wildlife Conservation Society).