Jane Mansbridge Responds

Jane Mansbridge Responds

I agree with many parts of Jeff Isaac’s argument, and particularly with his list of ways in which our current era differs from that of the Progressives. I agree too with the general thrust of his presumptions—that we must invest ourselves in local initiatives that work. Compared to the most progressive countries in the world, the United States has often made its best, most innovative, longest lasting contributions through decentralization. Local initiative is one of our most useful cultural specializations: let’s exploit it.

But look, folks, it’s an election year. Now is the time to come to the aid of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Yes, the old Democratic party. And the PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN! No matter what your level of cynicism about party politics, no matter what your disagreements with the president’s attempts to out-Republican the Republicans, you have to recognize that in 1996 the thing that will make the greatest difference to working people all over the United States is to elect a Democratic rather than a Republican president. The thing that will make the next greatest difference is to bring in a Democratic Congress. Every vote in Congress will count, on a lot of different bills.