Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grudging respect

I have, over the past couple of years, found myself increasingly appreciating the writing of Canadian ex-pat and Dubya speechwriter David Frum. Perhaps it's because he comes from a type of conservatism that exists in reality, instead of wherever Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann live.

His article in the current issue of New York magazine is required reading for anyone looking on at US politics this US Thanksgiving and wondering what went wrong.

Rather than workable solutions, my party is offering low taxes for the currently rich and high spending for the currently old, to be followed by who-knows-what and who-the-hell-cares. This isn't conservatism; it's a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation.
I hope he still has enough influence in that party to at least shift the discussion. But for the very reasons he outlines, I doubt it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You win

Brothers and sisters of Occupy Wall Street, I was initially saddened to hear of your forced eviction from Zuccotti park overnight. When Mrs. Revmod and I visited you in October, on a day you were scrubbing the park clean to avoid an eviction then, we told a few of you that we thought you had already changed the world. I believe that more even now. Concepts like "the 99 percent" are universally understood. Many now understand that average citizens are paying the price for the greed of investment bankers and the malfeasance of public officials.

You can spend a lot of time and energy fighting your way back to a physical space to occupy. Don't. It's time to step away from physical occupations, and start to flex the political muscle you've been developing. Without the necessity of anonymity, leaders can emerge, so that not every argument looking to return to the gold standard or legalize pot has to be held in the same regard as those who want to see strong financial regulation.

And on that topic, it's important that leaders are allowed to emerge. Leadership is not anti-democratic. If the best and brightest among you (and there are so many of you in that category) don't step up, people who had nothing to do with the movement will get ahead of it, co-opt your principles for their own benefit, and leave you fighting unnecessary battles about what the movement really believes.

The Occupy movement doesn't need physical space to continue, at least for now. It's time to take on the difficult political work to come. It's time to pick some political battles and begin waging them.