Shockingly, progressives actually all seem to agree on something for once. They agree that for the most part, corporate Democrats in Congress are complicit with Bush administration policies ranging from war in Iraq, to torture. They have let us, and the constitution, down. So what is our course of action for the next election?
We work to unite the left behind the most progressive candidates possible.
The fact that so many young people who are totally fed up with the Republicans and the Democrats are flocking to a candidate who is as non-progressive as Ron Paul clearly shows that the Democrats have not put forward a compelling message to voters. Wishy-washy vows about getting the troops out of Iraq someday, while simultaneously passing Iraq spending bill after Iraq spending bill doesn't seem to be creating much of a political groundswell behind Democrats.
Declaring emphatically that impeachment was off the table, and not even holding hearings, didn't help much either.
So this brings us to one single, inevitable conclusion. If we don't do something right now to change the course of this election, and counter the corporate media’s conservative spin, we will most likely end up with something very much like the status quo in 2009.
The primary reason for needing to unite and do something right now is obvious. The primaries are fast approaching. The candidates chosen via the primaries at all levels of government will drastically limit our voting options for 2008. If you want to have any choice at all on who those candidates for the general elections are going to be on the Progressive side, you need to do something now, and not wait until November 2008.
Now, while all of us who are not right-wing conservatives still have the opportunity, we need to work together to get the most progressive, non-corporate candidates nominated for the next election. This country can’t take another round of corporate owned politicians running the White House and Congress.
I’ll take a stab at an approximate ranking of the current Democratic Presidential candidates from conservative (first) to liberal (last), with corporate indebtedness/friendliness being a major categorizer. The order is very fuzzy, of course, because the issues and opinions are numerous, and very diverse.
Biden > Dodd > Clinton > Obama > Richardson > Edwards > [Gore] > Kucinich
If you count Mike Gravel, he would be the most liberal of the bunch, but he is an even longer shot for the Presidency than Al Gore.
For Ron Paul fanatics… Ron Paul is not a liberal or a progressive, he is a right-wing, anti-government conservative. If you’re a progressive who thinks that government is (or is supposed to be) a critical and beneficial part of our society, you don’t want to have anything to do with Ron Paul.
If you want a sure bet, highly-qualified and honest progressive as president, just work your ass off to draft Al Gore and help get him elected. The deadline to get him to commit is fast approaching.
Short of that, work for and vote for your favorite progressive Democratic candidate, keeping in mind that the Joe Lieberman (DLC) wing of the Democratic party is very much like the George Bush (Neocon) wing of the Republican party as regards corporate ties and proclivities, and tendencies toward wars both foreign and domestic.
I think that any of the more progressive Democrats in the presidential election (Obama > Richardson > Edwards > Gore > Kucinich) would make a good, or maybe even a great president. I’m not so sure about the other, more corporate/defense industry friendly Democrats. They would be a lot better than Bush, but then again, that’s setting the bar really, really low.
Beyond the presidential race, all of us also need to research, and work to nominate the most progressive candidates in our state and local governments. It is critical that we all do the necessary research on our local candidates online, and in local papers, early in the process (read now), so that we can work to make a difference in the upcoming primaries. Do your homework on the people running for office where you live, and then work hard for the most progressive candidates available. Websites like www.ActBlue.com and www.democrats.com are great places to get started with your homework. All local candidates are in great need of volunteers, so if you have any spare time, contact their offices immediately. Waiting for the general election, and then just checking boxes or pressing buttons isn’t going to get you the government you want. You’ll need to put in some effort now, before your choices are both limited, and undesirable.
Democratic Primary Challenges: Click Here