There is a an interesting discussion that is occurring on the left (or what is considered ‘the left’ in United States discourse) about whether it makes sense to appear on Fox News – whether it is a tacit endorsement by appearing on the platform or whether it is a situation that you need to the advantage of the platforms that are made available to reach a wider audience who maybe interested in hearing an alternative message outside of the right wing echo chamber. It reminds me of the argument that Republicans had while Obama as president that the United States shouldn’t negotiate with Iran without preconditions – that merely negotiation was validating or possibly approving of said regime. The reality is that we have to deal with the world as it exists not how we’d like it to exist which means that we cannot just dig in our heels and behave like obstinate children demanding what we want on the threat that if we don’t get what we want that we’ll throw a noisy temper tantrum.
When it comes to also reaching out, it is important to run candidates in every seat and for the presidential candidate to visit every state even the most Republican states – why? Because it is about the long game, it is about gradually turning those red states purple so that even if they still remain Republic the mere existence of a viable Democratic challenge will force the Republicans to moderate. The benefit of a moderated Republican Party? The Overton window moves to the left, moderate Republicans come into congress, senate and state or local government thus it is possible to come up with grand policy because there is a incentive for Republicans to compromise because they’re forced to fight for the middle ground rather than just pandering to their base and hope that the other side isn’t as motivated or pass laws to suppress voting by gutting poling booths, introduce ID checks etc.
The problem is that I see far too many people confuse strategy for and end goal – just because someone is advocating something today doesn’t mean that what is being advocated is all they have in mind. Any sort of movement to the left, barring some sort of revolution, will require strategy and bringing the population along with you where by you produce results which results in that policy becoming something that the voting population doesn’t want to give up. When you advocate a policy you might have an end goal of something much grander but instead you focus on what can be achieved and then use that as a basis on which to build an expansion upon that policy to the point that in 5 years you eventually reach your end goal where, had you said what your end goal was right from the outside there might have been push back (due to capitalists controlling the media thus controlling the narrative) where as incrementalism with a long term goal allows policy proposals to gain gradual acceptance whilst still remaining focused on the big prize. The big debate though is what order one does it in – and what is where political strategy takes place.