Dear Representatives Kucinich et al.:
There has never been a better time for the emergence of a strong third party as a permanent entity. Objective critics of the "system" have now understood that it is rotten beyond repair. Corporate "persons" rule in this two-party setup. "Reforms" are hopelessly inadequate. It should not be necessary to elaborate. What is necessary is revolutionary transformation rather than "change" as a mere campaign buzzword.
As it is, truly progressive members of Congress who identify themselves as democrats are eclipsed -- virtual nonentities really -- by the Democratic Leadership Council which long ago took its place beside the GOP in the corporate sphere. Simply consider the media effort to "disappear" presidential candidate Kucinich following his unexpected strong showing in the first ABC "debate", going so far as to cut him out of a widely-distributed photograph of the democratic presidential hopefuls, and then barring him from a future ABC "debate". Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are allowed exposure primarily to the extent that they appear more "centrist" and "bipartisan".
Past efforts at anything "independent" or third party (e.g. the Green Party) have been grassroots efforts and failures for that reason. The only way for progressives to have a voice that can be heard throughout the country would be through a recognized Progressive Party, and that would have to emerge from within Congress -- from within the Progressive Caucus, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus the values of which are so similar to that of the progressives.
If a contingent of true progressives - that might include such representatives as Kucinich, Grijalva, Lee, Conyers, Baldwin - were to hold a press conference and announce the formation of a Progressive Party with platform to match, the earth would move. There would be a rush of support from progressives, the Green Party, unions, democrats who understand the betrayal from the DLC stranglehold, minority groups, independents seeking change and even from some "moderate" Republicans. And there would surely be renewed interest from the millions who have long since turned off in disgust over the systemic rot that has by now become utterly transparent.
Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders has shown that one need not identify with either dominant party. Although labeled independent in the media, he is, in fact, a democratic socialist. Most of the western European nations are strongly democratically socialist, and it is one of the hallmarks of corporate control of politics in America that something as respectable as liberalism could be demonized, while any trace of socialism (except that for tailored for banks and corporate "persons") could be linked to totalitarian communism. The world looks on in amazement.
- Advertisement -
The argument that a Progressive Party would rob support from the Democratic Party, thus ensuring Republican control, overlooks what multi-party systems employ all the time: coalitions. Two or more parties can come together to create a platform that will topple a single dominant party. An American Progressive Party -- not a barely visible caucus but a bona fide party created within Congress -- would be an entity to which the Democratic Party would literally be forced to appeal in the interest of its own well being. It would have to move away from the corporate clutches of the DLC and work on a platform that would be acceptable to progressive values -- something not possible given the present system.
Our country was founded by revolutionary idealists who did not even want political parties as such. But two emerged, and the corporate world has taken control of them even as Americans have been conned into the belief that a two-party system is mandatory. A Progressive Party formed from within the now-suppressed progressive faction of this disgraceful Democratic Party would be a major factor in any strategy to lead the U.S. out of its current predicament.