Friday, December 16, 2011

How you play the game

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
- Fredrick Douglass

I did not Occupy Wall Street. But I am grateful that the movement exists. People complain about their methods. They do not like their style. They need to shower. They need more focus. They need to be reasonable or more goal oriented. They need to articulate one realistic and achievable demand and then go home.

Frankly things are so f'ed up that coming together to make only one simple demand seems irresponsible.

In these polarized times, being reasonable or rational does not appear to be very effective. Perhaps a compromise dressed in the rhetoric of reasonableness is a place where you end up with all of the icky horsetrading that probably goes along with it. But in the opening moves of your negotiation, it is a terrible place to start.

Especially when a Republican Senator will publicly say inflammatory things that are "not intended to be a factual statement."

In these polarized times, perhaps a page is best taken from the political playbook of Hari Kondabolu.

"In this country, when you start out with a reasonable proposal it gets - it gets watered down."

It makes rescinding the Bush tax cuts look extremely reasonable and rational in comparison.

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