Dixon: Why Elections Still Matter, Except When They Don’t

An excerpt from an article by long time political activist Bruce A. Dixon:

Can electoral campaigns morph into social movements?

The short answer is no. We have to avoid and actively argue against the delusion that electoral campaigns build social movements. They don’t. I used to believe that under some circumstances they could. But I’ve seen twenty or more campaigns close up, in many of which some or the key participants hoped to morph into permanent bottom-up organizations capable of running themselves and holding candidates accountable. For reasons that require a book chapter to explain, it almost never works. I think I’ve seen it happen, sort of, once in my entire political life.

Electoral campaigns have been the graveyard of social movements, not once, but many, many times.
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