Friday, December 26, 2014

Martin Luther King never endorsed a candidate

Martin Luther King never endorsed a candidate

My story for tomorrow's Daily News concludes with something mostly like this (I say "mostly" because they took out the reference to "Camera Three" -- apparently not enough Daily News readers obsessively watch Jon Stewart like I do.)

Political pundits (including Daily News editors), meet me at Camera Three.

Remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the guy with the national holiday and that big statue on the National Mall. Do you know how many political candidates or parties King endorsed in his career? Zero.

In six remarkable weeks, the movement that began with Occupy Wall Street has changed the national conversation so that foreclosure, student debt, and the lack of jobs are no longer taboo words on cable news shows. Everyone should vote, and there will surely be some 2012 campaigns — consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren’s Massachusetts Senate bid is a template — that stir this movement.

But a too-partisan flavor would sully the movement in the muck of the two-party system it’s trying to uproot, and muddy its message about money in American elections. Every successful social movement needs foot soldiers sitting-in at lunch counters and facing police clubs on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Lyndon Johnsons of the world and their righteous legislation like the Voting Rights Act will lead from behind — as always.

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Will Bunch
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