Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
With the realization that Sanders will probably not win the Democratic Party nomination, and that said establishment Party is corrupt beyond repair, there has been a spate of internet articles on what to do with the Sanders campaign machine. One option I hear frequently is to take all that momentum and organization and form a progressive third party, one that challenges both the establishment Democratic and Republican Parties. We've come to realize that the Democratic Party is too far gone to the dark side of corporate cronyism never to return to its own progressive roots. In the posts that follow I'll provide my jeremiad on this.
See Chris Hedges' article on a socialist Seattle city council member urging Sanders to run as an independent. Acknowledging he won't win in so doing she argues it's about more than just this Presidential election. It's about a movement sorely needed to restore democracy, and Clinton sure as hell isn't going to do it. Neither is Trump, and the movement will take time, but without it the status quo will remain unchallenged ad infinitum. Given the amount of votes that both Trump and Sanders garnered, showing people are tired of establishment politics, the progressive side of the contingent would increase exponentially and quickly if it had an Independent Party to keep in focused and engaged. And yes, it would help immensely if Sanders spearheaded it.
Please see this article. It discusses how some Sanders supporters are starting a movement called Brand New Congress. It will have a progressive platform and support those candidates who sign on to it, then support them to defeat both Republican and Democratic incumbents. And it is done outside of the corrupt Democratic Party via its own independent PAC. See both the article and the PAC website for more and consider joining the team to replace Congress with progressives who get things done for we the people.
Please read this article by Rabbi Lerner of Tikkun Magazine about progressives forming a Tea Party of the Left, the Love and Justice Party. He encourages Sanders to use his organization to mobilize a long-term movement implementing the people's agenda. And to do it now while he still has some media attention, for when that fades, and it will if/when he loses the nomination, it will be too late. Come on Bernie. Forget the corrupt Democratic Party establishment. If you want to see your/our values implemented you'll have to help organize a new Party. The old one will simply never go along with your/our agenda; it's too far gone. Otherwise a Clinton candidacy and Presidency will also quickly abandon any pretense to progressive change as did Obama. For example:
"Subservience to Wall Street and the policies favored by the 1 percent whose money shapes elections on the national and state levels, the false belief that terrorism can be defeated by our own brand of terror (war through drones), fossil fuels will continue to be extracted from the earth and accelerate global warming, millions of people languishing in our prisons (many for nonviolent crimes), social services (child care, health care, elder care, etc.) will continue to be sacrificed on the alter of 'no new taxes,' the economy will continue to depend on endless 'growth' with devastating consequences for the life support system of the planet, the U.S. will continue to have the most expensive and least successful health care and pharmaceuticals in the advanced industrial countries, the values of selfishness and materialism that are the 'common sense of global capitalism will continue to pollute friendships and families causing psychic pain and family instability, and cynicism toward government and despair at the possibility of fundamental change will give new opportunities for racist, sexist, xenophobic and fascistic forces to gain public credibility."
The new Party will be more like the following:
"In place of the globalization of selfishness, our Love and Justice party would call for the globalization of caring– caring for planet Earth and all its inhabitants. To make our world safe for loving families, caring relationships, and environmental sustainability we will need to overcome the ethos of global capitalism—and that insight will never emerge in the Democratic Party till it has been transformed by a Tea Party-style movement of the Left that is un-intimidated by those who believe that a new bottom line of love and caring is extremism and utopian fantasizing. Just as the civil rights and anti-apartheid movements, the feminist movement, the movement for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality were all dismissed as 'unrealistic,' so too the Love and Justice movement will be ridiculed by the mass media. Yet if it speaks to the longing of most people on the planet for a world of love and generosity and social and economic justice it will break through the media manipulation and repression from those loyal to the 1% and will liberate tens of millions of people to envision the world they really want and then to become active in building that world."
In this Robert Reich FB post he talks about the possibility of a third Progressive Party. Only Reich is talking future tense, when the Democratic Party is already long defunct and the time is now for the new Party.
Progressives unite into one Party (with petition).
Hartmann discusses Lerner's letter in this video (starting at 17:00). Hartmann keeps pushing that the only way to change the Democratic Party establishment is by becoming part of it. And I think he's wrong, for one only gets converted by that system, to wit, Obama and the Clintons. We really need a vibrant and effective multi-party system like some other countries. The two-Party system is corrupt beyond repair and its only reason for existence is to maintain itself in league with the power elite.
PS: As another example, Hartmann, for all his talk about the decimation of the working class, and how the corporate 'sharing economy' contributes to that, shills for Uber several times an hour on his radio program. Hartmann knows Uber is faux P2P and what the real sharing economy is. But even while he rails against the corporatocracy his show is sponsored by them, as he accepts that it's the only paradigm for getting his message out. In the process he's compromised by that system. Same with the liberals on MSNBC. They really don't care what the liberals SAY as long as they DO the corporate paradigm.
538 once again tells us that it's virtually impossible for Sanders to win at this point. But the point is far larger than winning the Democratic nomination: It's about building a people's movement. And that will go on long after the nomination. We need a progressive movement to keep the establishment Democratic Party, including Clinton, in line with the will of the people. Without that progressive movement the Party and Clinton will only continue to be dominated by big money and corrupt politics. I'm sure 538 can come up with some cold, hard numbers for that corruption if they were so inclined.
This video highlights exactly why it's far too late to change the establishment Democratic Party from the inside. It's time for progressives to dump it and start over with a new Party of the People.
If Sanders were to run as an independent then yes.
There are other strategies though in this thread. Rabbi Lerner's letter to Obama suggests a Tea Party of the Left that is a movement inside the Democratic Party. Then they can demand the other Democrats stick to a people's agenda or they obstruct things just like the Tea Party did to the Republicans.
There's also a post on the Brand New Congress, which is PAC independent of either Party that works to replace all non-progressives in Congress. They'll have a progressive platform and run candidates that agree with it to challenge the Democrats in primaries and the Republicans in general elections.
There are a variety of strategies to achieve this end, all with a common theme.
On a related note, at FB I posted the following:
Trump for President? I'm actually starting to warm to this idea. Not because I support him; quite the contrary. I truly think Clinton as President would be a disaster for the progressive movement Sanders highlights. There has been a big fear in the establishment GOP that Trump's nomination would devastate down-ticket races, likely re-winning a Democratic majority in the Senate and picking up several seats in the House. So with Democratic control in the Senate we could use the GOP playbook and let Trump and the GOP get absolutely nothing done for two years, including blocking ANY Supreme Court nominee.
This would then likely influence the mid-terms to possibly even get back Democratic control of the House, further castrating Trump for the last two years. This sets up a real progressive candidate for the next Presidential election who will drive a lot of progressives to primary the corporate Dems out of office. We could possibly pull off a real progressive revolution in the next four years.
With another Clinton Presidency though that dream pretty much remains a fantasy, since her and her ilk will likely kill off the progressive insurgency in the name of expedience by further enriching and empowering the top 1%. With Trump at the helm the corporate Dems will be forced to at least overtly temper that tendency due to the incredible outcry of the people.