There’s been a lot of buzz recently around left-wing candidates running in — and winning — local races across the country. That’s particularly true now inÂ Chicago, with the Sun-Times reporting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election bid would be vulnerable to challenge from Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis.
But, as I write in myÂ column for The Chicago Bureau this week, redirecting funds and energy into the electoral process would carry serious opportunity costs for activists committed to movement-building.
This critical appraisal of electioneering won’t come as a surprise to longtime readers. During the 2010 midterms I argued that left-leaning voters shouldn’t reward the Democratic Party for its staunch support of war and corporate welfare. I made a similar case during the 2012 presidential campaign, when I advanced a moral argumentÂ for electoral abstention.
My new piece for the Bureau expands on theseÂ themes by offering a more tactical critique of electoral campaigns, especiallyÂ how they divertÂ needed resources from front-line activists and foreclose more radical possibilities. Check it outÂ here.