Looking at what happened this week in Mississippi and what is happening in Washington D.C. on a daily basis, it is easy to become frustrated and discouraged. On radio this morning, Glenn revisited liberal activist Bill Moyer’s Movement Action Plan to get a better sense of where the Tea Party and conservative movement currently fall on the social movement scale.
“So what we are talking about here: This is the cycle of a political or social revolution,” Glenn said. “All social and political revolutions go through the same steps, and it really is dependent on: Have you done all of these steps, and do you hold on to the very end… So have we done all these steps?”
Below are the eight steps:
1. Normal Times
2. Prove failure of normal institutions
3. Ripening conditions
4. Take off
5. Perception of failure
6. Majority public opinion
8. Continuing the struggle
Get a further breakdown of each step HERE.
Glenn, Pat, and Stu agreed that step four, “take off,” happened in the lead up to the 2010 midterm elections when the Tea Party really made a name for itself. At this point, it would appear as though the Tea Party is currently hovering around step five.
“Five is, I believe, where we kind of are now… perception of failure. You can really statistically look at this and see we have knocked 20 points off the average Senate incumbent in the Republican Party the last ten years,” Stu explained. “When Thad Cochran used to run, he would get 80 or 90% of the vote with no serious competition whatsoever. Now he has to go to liberal Democrats and tell them that if they vote for him… That is not the sign of a healthy movement that’s triumphant over the insurgency, politically, of the Tea Party. That is a sign of a desperate party, barely clinging onto power.”
Glenn agreed that we are very much at step five where it feels like all is lost. Remarkably, step six involves mass acceptance, which may seem like a large leap to make, but it isn’t all that unlikely.
“We are looking at it and saying, ‘Okay, so we feel like we are losing,’ but the next one is mass acceptance,” Glenn said. “And how that mass acceptance is going to happen is by – this is very hopeful of me – doing the things that we are now saying to do. Be righteous. Be good. Be decent. Be kind. Be generous. Be chartable. Be seen doing these things. Take out the beam in your own eye. “
If we are going to win, we are going to have to stand firm on principle but reconsider our strategy.
“If we are doing those things, that doesn’t mean be weak on the truth. It means stand in the truth, but do it with kindness and righteousness,” Glenn said. “I am beginning to understand George Washington in a very personal way… He knew we’d never win unless we are righteous, unless we are doing… things of merit.”
“Don’t give up,” he continued. “Change your strategy – not your policies, not your principles, but your strategy.”