A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

11 February 2017

Big Sky Rising must not focus exclusively on national politics

Big Sky Rising and it’s local Indivisible affiliates are largely focusing on, and opposing, the nominees to President Trump’s cabinet. Those are battles they will lose. Unless a nominee is caught selling national secrets to a Syrian spy at high noon at the White House gate, Trump’s cabinet choices will be confirmed.

Progressives, by smart lobbying and local organizing might be able to oppose with some success the efforts of Trump, Ryan, and McConnell to repeal the Affordable Care Act, convert Medicaid to coverage weakening block grants, privatize Social Security and Medicare, and gut or kill food stamps and other programs that help the less fortunate.

Opposing Trump’s nominees provides the political tyros of BSR valuable experience, but it also introduces them to demoralizing defeat. Equally important, it diverts their energy from local politics where they might do some tangible good. All politics is local. So is most government. It’s not glamorous like a Presidential campaign, but it has direct and profound effects on people’s lives.

As Harvard sociologist Theda Skocpol recently observed in an interview in the Democracy Journal, the forces of which BRS is a part need to channel marching into durable, effective, political action.

BSR needs an indivisibles style manual for Montana poliotics, one written by experts who are independent of the organizations currently involved in lobbying and petitioning government. And then, BSR needs to get involved with politics at every level right down to advisory boards for dogcatchers.