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Unmasking the Left's Incrementalist Strategy
Democrat Party Loses, Greens Gain

June 1, 2002

Profound events induce profound outcomes. But not always immediately. For New Yorkers, the traumatic memory and constant threat of massive terrorist attacks weighs upon them daily. For the rest of the country, the impact has been more subtle.

For the Left in this country, their hope to socialize America in slow, below the radar, deliberate increments has been soundly smashed. The Left's mask of incrementalism -- achieving socialism in small steps -- has been torn off by a new but subdued patriotism and apprehension in the American people. For the Democratic party, its ability to hold together its loose alliance of leftist groups will be severely tested in the coming elections-the benefactor of Democrat dissention will be the emerging Green Party.

The model of incrementalism has always been the unions. It is the mission of America's unions to bargain for its members through aggressive negotiations--To produce steady improvement in salaries, benefits, and work conditions.

In the last thirty years, that model has been adopted by numerous, formerly radical communities-environmentalists, immigration rights groups, gay/lesbian activists, mass transit advocates, and so on. Stealth was the key to their success. They dropped their early use of demonstrations and radical rhetoric in favor of carefully planned small victories in the courts, in city and state legislatures, and finally, with the election of Bill Clinton, directly from the White House itself. All the while, they would be patient but deliberate. Each reform or regulation was sized not to draw a major reaction, except from the right.

Now we're seeing each of those issues re-examined in face America's new enemy and the threat of more massive attacks. We're seeing a boldness in the Left which resembles their early days. California Teachers' unions,not satisfied with daily indocrination in the classrooms, have demanded a major role in the selection of textbooks. Street demonstrations are back, although far less impressive than in the sixties. Many environmentalists are returning to early rhetoric in opposing new oil field developments. Opponents of police profiling are struggling to prevent its use in the fight against sleeper terrorists' cells and their supporters.

So long as they were making steady progress, the Left was willing to work through the Democrat party. They volunteered for campaigns, donated money, and participated in party conventions. But as the Democrat party moves by necessity towards the middle and is more hesitant to be identified with controversial issues, the alliance with the Left will weaken. We can expect serious in-fighting within the Democrat party.

The Green Party will be the beneficiary. Its new power was demonstrated in the 2000 presidential election. The Green Party will draw more and more of the Left, as they attain less and less through the Democrat Party.

In the end, the Left can no longer rely on incremental gains. They have lost their patience. They have lost their stealth. America has new priorities. Multiculturalism, "diversity", loose borders are all the luxuries of a developed, prosperous country at peace. A country at war views these issues in terms of its survival. Racial profiling, for example, has taken on a whole new meaning since terrorists declared war on America.

As the Left is re-radicalized and becomes more open about its overall aims, they will face an American people who long ago rejected the socialist dream and its empty propaganda. The Left will again be marginalized-they will be free attack American institutions openly, but not behind the mask of incrementalism.


Award-winning TV producer, talk show host, and Republican leader Arthur Bruzzone has written over 150 political articles for national and regional media, and has commented on political issues for American and European television and radio networks.  His articles and columns have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Campaign & Elections Magazine, among other publications.

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