A Report on Progressive Strategy: The State of Strategy on the Left

Friends, I am pleased to point out a report on progressive political strategy recently released by The Commonwealth Institute, a think tank in Cambridge, MA. If you have any interest in real, substantive change in U.S. politics toward more fair, just, and responsive government, take a look at the report. I believe thinking about actual strategy (rather than just, “Our strategy is to win.”) is so important. The report is meant to outline what strategic thinking is going on out there in the progressive world – sort of a snapshot of what is currently being done.

According to The Commonwealth Institute, “The main goal of this report is to hold a mirror up for American progressives and provide a reflection of the state of progressive strategic thought. At a minimum, it gives an overview of the field, provides some clarifications and hopefully a better orientation and basis for strategic development.”

The authors define what they mean by strategy and distinguish it from operations and tactic and they explain the six components necessary for a fully articulated strategy. They note that, “Whenever possible we have chosen to let strategists speak for themselves, either carefully abstracting from their work or directly quoting. We avoid making judgments as to the viability or even the coherency of strategies. We do not compare and contrast, but rather aim to present the strategic components systematically so that comparisons by the reader are facilitated.”

Looking forward to hear what folks think.

(Full disclosure: Ahem… My partner is the main author of the report, but this is no way diminishes the fact that it is a really important thing to be thinking about or that it is a really well written, clearly articulated, coherent assessment of strategic thinking on the left. I would still point it out even if I didn’t live with the author and hadn’t discussed the ideas contained in report over dinner every night of the past year.)

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