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2010: Third Party Time for Progressives and Independents?

By       Message Howie Hawkins       (Page 1 of 7 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   34 comments

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December opened up with another escalation in Afghanistan. Then there was the sabotage of binding carbon reductions in Copenhagen. On Christmas Eve, there was the Insurance Company Entitlement Act masquerading as health care reform.

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By the end of the month a sharp debate had broken out in the progressive media and blogosphere. The number of progressives airing their nagging doubts about the wisdom of putting all their eggs in the basket of the Democrats reached a critical mass.

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It is not enough to say that Obama and the Democrats have betrayed progressives, or that, as always, the path to change begins with grassroots mobilization. A critical part of the solution is a progressive third party. Without the political independence of progressives, both major parties ignore progressives who are left holding their nose and voting for the Democrats as the lesser evil.

All the doubts in the back of progressives' minds are coming into sharp focus. The recycled Bushies and Clintonites appointed by the administration. The trillions for war and Wall Street while unemployment, foreclosures, and economic stagnation deepened. Single payer "off the table." Card check union recognition abandoned. Complicity in Bush-era war crimes by refusing to "look back" and prosecute. New crimes committed with the continuation of extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, torture by proxy, targeted assassinations, indefinite detention, habeas suspension, state secrets, military commissions, and warrantless wiretapping. Tacit support for the Honduran military coup. "Secret" wars in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. The list goes on.

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Howie Hawkins is a Teamster who unloads trucks at UPS in Syracuse, New York. He has been an organizer in peace, justice, labor, and the environmental movements since the late 1960s and was a co-founder of the Green Party in the United States. His (more...)
 

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