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Can Progressives Declare Independence?

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Headlined to H2 3/14/10

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Corporate America has designed, or perhaps just stumbled upon, a brilliant method for ruling our country. Radical right wingers in the media, military, the judiciary, congress and, until about a year ago, in the White House, say and do terrible things, under the Republican banner, that terrify liberals and drive them into the arms of the Democrats. But the Democrats are under the control of the same interests. They DO virtually the same things as the Republicans, but they TALK nice to the liberals, using politically correct language, and promise great progress at some time in the future, perhaps after the NEXT presidential election. (Actually, to be fair, Democrats may, on some secondary issues, actually support--on rare occasions successfully--slightly better positions than the Republicans.)

A visitor from an alien planet, observing actual events, as opposed to speeches, would not see any obvious discontinuity in national events over the past year. Guantanimo, Bagram and perhaps other unknown torture centers remain open, and extraordinary rendition to such places in other countries continues. No high level officials have been indicted, or even investigated, for ordering torture and other violations of due process. There has been no investigation of massive corruption involving tens of billions of dollars poured into Iraq. The Afghan War has been escalated, the Iraq involvement continues, Iran is being threatened, the US is killing people in Pakistan. No progress has been made with respect to international action to deal with global climate change. Bankers still have their way with the US treasury. Globalization policies that have been de-industrializing our country and destroying American jobs remain intact. A noisy political battle rages over the details of a health care bill designed to further enrich the insurance and medical industries.

For decades now, the great majority of progressives, particularly those in leadership roles, as well as, labor unions, have supported the Democrats unconditionally. No matter what terrible things the Democrats do, progressives have thus far made it clear that they will continue to back them, because they feel the Republicans are worse. All they ask for is a few soothing words now and then.

Progressives obviously have no influence at all with the Obama administration. But the converse is not true. A great many liberals now support, or at least accept, policies such as the wars and gross Bill of Rights violations, that they previously opposed, because they do not want to weaken the administration they helped elect. Thus a "lesser evil" victory is turning out to be worse than a greater evil victory might have been, because virtually the same bad policies are being followed, but now with much less opposition.

It seems obvious that continuing allegiance to the Democratic Party is a dead-end strategy. Progressives should stop playing games with slick politicians and stand up for what they believe in. The time has come for them to devote their energy to developing a new party that will represent their views which, even now, are shared by large numbers of Americans. Those views would surely become even more popular if promulgated by a substantial, coherent party. This would take time, and the Republicans would probably regain national power for a while. But, since it seems likely that, as a result of their miserable performance, the Democrats will soon be out of office anyway, there is really little to lose by leaving their sinking ship now.

A big question is whether to start organizing a new party from scratch or to pour energy into building up an existing entity such as the Green Party. In any case grass roots organizing will be critical.

 

http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~unger/myBlog/endsandmeansblog.h

I am an engineer. My degrees are in electrical engineering and my work has been in the digital systems area, mainly digital logic, but also computer organization, software and theory. I am a Professor, Emeritus, Computer Science and Electrical (more...)
 
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In Philadelphia Hugh Giordano is running as a Gree... by Ross Levin on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 11:43:57 AM
ONE strong third party can field local, state and ... by Bryna Hellmann on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 12:05:36 PM
It can only be one thing. Obama is a neocon dresse... by marko polo on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 12:17:21 PM
and I don't think I've ever seen a comment on this... by Bryna Hellmann on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 1:03:21 PM
There must be more Hugh Giordanos among third part... by Ross Levin on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 1:16:01 PM
A new political party is the only solution short o... by liberalsrock on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 2:11:25 PM
I will not reiterate that we need some USEFUL idea... by Bryna Hellmann on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 2:45:46 PM
Progressives, Independents, disaffected Democrats,... by Jonathan R. Seaver on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 2:48:30 PM
in US free trade policies that state the corporati... by Archie on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 7:06:27 PM
I fully agree with statement about the outrageous ... by Stephen Unger on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 7:25:38 PM
I fully agree with statement about the outrageous ... by Stephen Unger on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 7:52:38 PM
http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/... by daveys on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 7:31:23 PM
At least for now, they don't run candidates. I'm g... by Ross Levin on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 7:32:44 PM
...and not from the fear engendered by the 'lesser... by Jeffrey Rock on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 8:32:37 PM
Jeff Rock says we have enough parties, and we don'... by Bryna Hellmann on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 9:23:48 PM
There are plenty of progressive candidates from th... by Jeffrey Rock on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 10:09:41 PM
We Do have enough Parties, and the Green Party, wh... by Stephen Wider on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:10:02 AM
I just joined the Green Party, and I plan on sugge... by Stephen Wider on Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 10:36:59 PM
Californians - check out Green Party gubenatorial ... by Paul Karsh on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 1:50:52 AM
Third parties can be successful. Minnesota's Farme... by Bryan Emmel on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 4:18:10 AM
It's Monday morning in Holland, and my heart is gl... by Bryna Hellmann on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 4:46:48 AM
What needs to happen is progressives of like mind ... by Progessive 1 on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 6:58:05 AM
Two or Three parties won't make a difference down ... by August Adams on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 7:11:48 AM
Adam is right on target. Reducing the role of mone... by Stephen Unger on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 10:23:01 AM
As a liberal, New Deal / Fair Deal Democrat, who e... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 8:41:13 AM
I switched my registration from Democratic to Gree... by Bryna Hellmann on Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 2:11:44 PM