I wear eyeglasses to help me see things far away.
I know plenty of people who wear reading glasses to help them see things nearby.
It can be hard to have both long-range and short-range vision in community organizing.
If you only have long-range vision, you get lost in dreams. You know exactly how the world should be, but you cannot take meaningful action here and now to move toward that goal.
If you only have short-range vision, you get lost in tactics. You might carry out a masterfully run campaign or project, the only problem is that it doesn’t move you any closer to your goal.
Anti-abortion groups have done a masterful job of having both long and short-range vision. Their long-range vision is to stop all abortion, largely by criminalizing it. However, they recognize that the can’t get there all at once. so they’ve engaged in a strategy to chip away at access to and support for abortion through waiting periods, mandatory sonograms, and other short-term tactics. And it’s worked.
Can we create equally effective progressive campaigns on issues like ending poverty, caring for the earth, and overcoming discrimination?