In the 1930s, the left in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis adjusted its strategic policy to take into account the rise of German fascism abroad and the growth of plutocratic right wing extremism at home – not to mention an exploding economic crisis. But what goes unmentioned is the effectiveness of those strategic adjustments by the left (and progressive movements) at that time turned on a tactical reset as well. Without the latter, without tactics that accented cross class and multi-racial unity, the former, that is, the popular front strategy, would only limp along – sapped, as it were, of its ability to bring to life the sort of expansive, energetic, and diverse coalition that was absolutely necessary to meet the challenges of those times.
Much the same could be said today. In other words, strategic adjustments to today’s unprecedented and exceedingly dangerous circumstances are to be welcomed, but by themselves aren’t enough. What has to accompany them are matching changes at the tactical level that would facilitate the deepening and broadening of an expansive and diverse coalition and, in turn, practical action. To a degree this happened in the lead up to last fall’s election, but more, tactically speaking, needs to be done to facilitate the further building of a broad, diverse, and multi-racial coalition that matches the challenges and dangers of this moment.