Interesting (and entertaining) column on the challenges for modern liberalism by Andrew Seal, Editor of the Dartmouth Free Press, a liberal student newspaper. The primary reason I flag the article is for this passage, which cracked me up:
One thing is for sure: the strategies of the Old Left—the Left of the past four decades—are not working any more.
We cannot go back to the bibulous naïveté of our predecessors in the Flower Power generation. Flowers grow in shit, but they don’t get shit done. I’m sorry, but neither Janis Joplin nor Jean-Luc Godard can save the world. Probably not even Jacques Derrida could.
We also cannot do what the culture warriors did in the early ’90s during the political correctness wars, which was basically to browbeat all and sundry with their sanctimonious acrimony and acerbic self-righteousness. I believe strongly that liberal ideals reflect the values of many Americans, but that particular vintage of liberal indignation is not one of them.
The basic thesis is that the left has failed to move beyond the intellectual and political template that succeeded against Bork and needs to do a better job at speaking to Americans as Americans first, and interest groups second (Ex. "If Bush’s environmental policies are disasters-in-waiting, we must show how his irresponsibility harms America, not how it harms our green sensibilities."). I don't agree with all of it, but the general thrust of his advice to the left sounds basically correct to me.