Sunday, December 02, 2007

Activists Assemble!

"What is an activist?"

Recently, there has been some talk in the left-hand corner of the DuPage blogosphere about who is an "activist" and what makes an "activist." Words and linguistic precision are hobby-horses of mine, so I thought I'd take a shot at what it means to be an activist.

So who are the Democratic activists in DuPage County?

The expansive definition of
activist could be defined thusly: "I'm an activist, you're an activist, we're all activists." Under this theory of activism, voting is the baseline. Anyone who does something more than voting -- letters to the editor, donating to a campaign, even mere blogging about progressive politics -- qualifies as an activist. This broad theory of "activist" offends no one, lets us all pat ourselves on the back and makes everybody feel like a Democratic hero.

And to a degree, of course, it is true -- bloggers and other progressive typists are, by definition, a kind of "activist".

But, in much the same way, Ant-Man is, by definition, a kind of "superhero."

Yes, friends, Ant-Man is a superhero.

Ant-Man has both a secret identity and the requisite fancy costume. Ant-Man has special powers; he can shrink down to insect size and has complete mastery of ants! And Ant-Man was even a founding member of the Avengers.

But while Ant-Man is definitely "a superhero," he is certainly not the most powerful, most inspiring or most effective of superheroes.

(To say that Ant-Man is to
the Avengers as Aquaman is to the Superfriends would require ignoring the fact that Aquaman was the monarch of the sub-sea nation of Atlantis. Now regardless of one's view of regency, King of Atlantis is a position of significance!)

Surely, nobody ever called the Avengers mansion in hopes that Ant-Man would answer the phone...
Hello, Avengers mansion?

Oh, thank God. The Masters of Evil are rampaging through the city and the Skrulls and Kree are threatening to invade Earth! Can you help us, Mister...

Mister Ant-Man? I'm talking to Ant-Man? Uh...

Oh, I know, I know, you're the fellow who can control ants... Umm... Is Iron-Man there?

Yes, yes, you can also shrink down in size... yes, I'm sure that would be very handy if I had locked my keys in my car, but the Earth is currently threatened by two alien armadas, so can I please talk to Thor?

Thor's not there, huh? How about Captain America?

No Captain America either? Hmm... How about the Vision or the Scarlett Witch?

No? Uh, Mr. Ant-Man, do you happen to know the phone number for the Fantastic Four?
Face facts true believer, although Ant-Man is definitely a "superhero," not all "superheroes" are created equally. Similarly, not all "activists" are the same.

When the Earth faces four-color doom, mankind turns to true superheroes like Thor, Iron-Man or Captain America. In the same way, when the Democratic party is in its hour of need, its hope lies with not just any "activists", its hope lies with Grassroots Activists.

And while DuPage County has been blessed more Democratic "activists" of late, the fine folks with Turn DuPage Blue have distinguished themselves as not just any kind of activists, they are Grassroots Activists.

They don't just understand the importance of grassroots progressive campaigning; they brought Camp Paul Wellstone's grassroots campaign training to DuPage County.

They didn't just see that DuPage desperately needed more Democratic precinct committeemen; they beat the bushes to identify Democrats who would step up and fill those slots.

They not only understand the importance of boots on the ground,
they have been the boots on the ground for Democratic candidates in DuPage County. Including the most successful Democratic campaign in DuPage County's recent history.

I grant that the grassroots activists in Turn DuPage Blue may not be ready to join Thor and Iron-Man battling
the time-traveling menace of Kang the Conqueror; but through their ambition and accomplishments in the interests of electing Democrats in DuPage County, these grassroots activists have proven that, at the very least, they aspire to true heroism.

And of course, like the Avengers, Turn DuPage Blue has Vision.

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