Member in the News: Stan Greenberg
Democrats.com Advisory Board member Stan Greenberg's op-ed about his participation in the ongoing battle against the remnants of European fascism appeared in the New York Times on March 27th. An expert in public opinion research and political strategy, Stan has advised President Clinton, former Vice Presidents Gore and Mondale, Senators Dodd, Lieberman and Bingaman, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, the Democratic National Committee and many other prominent Democrats. He was in Vienna, Austria advising the Social Democrats in their battle for control of city hall. Jorg Haider, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party, launched an anti-Semitic appeal targetted directly at Stan.
In an inspiring piece of writing, Stan relates how he realized that unlike Jews forced to hide in generations past he now had the tools in his hands to battle the anti-Semites and win:
"The notion entered my mind of other Jews hiding, seeking anonymity, in an earlier age. But I soon realized I was in a different time. I have been given the chance denied my relatives in Eastern Europe, decades ago to fight. With polls and focus groups, I helped develop issues and themes to deny Mr. Haider what he thrives on, namely voters frustrated and alienated and looking for foreigners to blame. The Social Democrats made a new effort to harness social changes that many Austrians find frightening by encouraging high- technology employment, investing more in schools and public transport and enhancing retirement security."
In the end the right wing lost a third of its support and the Social Democrats an outright majority and control over the Vienna city government. But one can't help but also observe that what we also won is confidence that we know what it takes to engage the right in its campaigns of villification and beat them, not with sticks but beat them in free and fair elections.