Thursday, December 11, 2008

The curse of the Human Rights Campaign

In my newest Political IQ column, I ponder the problems with the biggest gay rights organization in the nation, the Human Rights Campaign.
The organization is beginning to feel like a lead weight tied around our collective necks. If we're not careful, we may all be pulled under and drowned. Launched the year Ronald Reagan was elected president, HRC is a 20th-century organization foundering in a changed world. To switch metaphors, it's the lumbering campaign of John McCain (minus the reactionary politics) stumbling punch-drunk as it's pummeled by Barack Obama's nimble, grassroots organization.

1 comment:

Nancy Jane Moore said...

You're on the right track with your article, Diane. But I think a better parallel than the Civil Rights Movement is the labor movement. The AFL-CIO has focused on being a major presence in Washington. A couple of years ago, several big unions that served such groups as janitors and other service workers split off from the AFL over precisely this approach. They thought unions needed to devote more time to organizing in the field and less to lobbying on Capital Hill. My own union didn't join them, but I think they had the right approach. If the Obama campaign has taught us all anything, it should have made it clear that nothing substitutes for community organizing when it comes to making things change. (And, in fact, the core of the Civil Rights Movement was in that same kind of organizing.)