Excerpted from Burning the Midnight Oil for Progressive Solidarity,
in the Burning the Midnight Oil blog-within-a-blog, graciously hosted by the good people at Progressive Blue.
Progressive Solidarity … its a core concept for building a progressive change coalition. It is, indeed, a core concept for Progressive Populism itself. It says, “You got such a great idea for fixing things? Don’t just put it out there and then blame people for not ‘getting it’. Go out an earn their attention by finding out what they say they need and working for it.”
Its not exclusionary. If someone is willing to step forward on an important issue … even someone who is not going to be a partner in the change coalition … even a moderate conservative like Colin Powell who was and continues to be wrong on one of the central foreign policy decisions in our nation in our time … accept it.
When Colin Powell says, in his endorsement of Senator Obama for President:
But right now we’re also facing a very daunting period. And I think the number one issue the president’s going to have to deal with is the economy. That’s what the American people are worried about. And, frankly, it’s not just an American problem, it’s an international problem. We can see how all of these economies are now linked in this globalized system. And I think that’ll be number one. The president will also have to make decisions quickly as to how to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan. And also I think the president has to reach out to the world and show that there is a new president, a new administration that is looking forward to working with our friends and allies. And in my judgment, also willing to talk to people who we have not been willing to talk to before. Because this is a time for outreach.
… I have no doubt that the economic solutions he would most prefer and those that I would most prefer will not be the same solutions … I have not doubt that the foreign policy stance he would most prefer and the one that I would most prefer will not be the same stance … I have not doubt that the terms on which he would wish to “work with our allies” would not be the same as the terms that I would favor.
Colin Powell is, after all, a “moderate Republican” in a time when being a “moderate Democrat” would be considered a center-right political position in most of the industrial world. We almost certainly have different views on how things should be done.