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Saving Obama, Saving Ourselves

By       Message Tom Hayden       (Page 4 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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This particular election offers the perfect moment to build opposition to Citizens United and "corporate personhood," for renewed movements for a constitutional right to vote, the deeper regulation of Wall Street, and a constitutional right to vote for campaigns down the road. Does anyone seriously believe that the Dreamers and marriage-equality movements will accept a return to second-class status without the fight of their lifetimes?

It can be time to begin a realignment of the electoral left as well. The active Green Party networks need to shed their reputation as "spoilers" just as the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) needs to shed its appearance of only "tailing" the Democrats. Labor insurgents like National Nurses United, and even the formidable SEIU, are demanding a more independent role in coalition politics. One can almost feel a new politics trying to be born in the so-called womb of the old, a third "party of the people" both inside and outside the two-party system. What if the Green Party decided to invest in places of the richest electoral opportunity instead of campaigning vigorously where the stakes are 50-50? Why not a negotiated merger of the Greens and PDA in the close races, and PDA support for Green candidates where they are most viable? It is entirely possible to visualize creative leaps out of electoral traps while strengthening an independent left within the institutions of state power. Protestors in the streets should serve as a permanently challenging - and threatening - disruptive presence in constant orchestrated interaction with forces on the inside, too, not simply serve as occasional "street heat" to be enlisted when pressure is needed by the insiders.

Now through November, the radical left can be the effective One Percent. The 99 Percent will be appreciative.

For a thoughtful left perspective, please see also Bill Fletcher and Carl Davidson's August 9, 2012 essay.

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After fifty years of activism, politics and writing, Tom Hayden still is a leading voice for ending the war in Iraq, erasing sweatshops, saving the environment, and reforming politics through greater citizen participation.

Currently he is writing and advocating for US exiting Afghanistan. (more...)

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