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Dear Progressives: Organize or Squabble, Which Is It?

By       Message John R Moffett     Permalink
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There is an enormous chasm forming among liberals, progressives, and leftists, and the reason why is obvious.

A quick perusal of the comments sections on many recent articles here at OpEd News demonstrates that traditional Democrats and more progressive or liberal leaning activists are no longer in agreement about the way forward for the United States. The primary reason for the lack of coherence in the movement to undo what Bush Co. have done can be laid squarely at the feet of the Democrats in Congress. They're hesitance to move forward with articles of impeachment have infuriated the left.

This obvious fact has apparently still not sunken in with the myopic congressional Democrats. They think that Bush Co. will destroy itself without any help from them. Yet history shows that the electorate rewards strong words followed by strong actions, and rejects weakness and capitulation when important principles are at stake.

There is also a history lesson that progressive activists should consider taking home as well. That lesson is that the Republican Party got where it did by holding together a tenuous coalition of completely disparate political groups including evangelicals, libertarians, corporate CEOs, and redneck Joe six-packs. These people not only have nothing in common, they would probably kill each other if locked in the same room for several hours.

I still feel that Democrats and progressives/liberals/leftists have far more in common than the Republican Party's factions do. What they don't have is organization. Instead we have many disorganized political and issue groups.

The Republican Party has never been in more disarray in my lifetime. This is the best opportunity that liberals and progressives have had in recent memory to crush the corporate controlled power structure that the Republicans have built up since the 1980s. But it is not going to happen if Democrats, liberals, progressives, and leftists spend as much time as they have been squabbling with each other rather than organizing and moving forward.
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I am astounded at how much disarray the left is displaying now. If we can’t rally at times of such threat to our democracy, and instead argue back and forth about how we need a third party, then we will never take back the country. The Republicans didn’t take control by squabbling, they took control by organizing.

If you really are interested in taking the country back from the corporate puppet masters, then I urge that we start organizing far better than we have to date. If liberals and progressives organize well enough and early enough in the election process, they can shift the debate, and even make a huge difference as to which candidate we nominate to run for president. Don't like Hillary Clinton? Then organize to help Dennis Kucinich get the nomination. I’m with you. Don’t like corporate-loving Democrats? Then work to nominate someone who does not have such strong corporate ties. Think a third party candidate can win? Then you’d better start organizing right now, rather than arguing.

What I would like to see in response to this post is a series of suggestions for improving organization, and a list of candidates and issues that we can support. If a majority of responses are about how Democrats have failed us, with no suggestions for actually fixing the situation offered, then I’m afraid that we are doomed to more of the same.
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John R. Moffett PhD is a research neuroscientist in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Moffett's main area of research focuses on the brain metabolite N-acetylaspartate, and an associated genetic disorder known as Canavan disease.


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