With the mainstream media serving as the propaganda lackey of Obama and his Big Brother Democrats, it's becoming clear genuine progressives will become more and more marginalized in our national debate--if we let ourselves. That's beyond sad; it's very likely tragic, as progressives--the only ones who take democracy seriously--are therefore the only ones who can save us from burgeoning corporate-fascist impoverishment and planetary destruction.
(I wish I could extend the description "taking democracy seriously" to libertarians, who are in so many ways good on civil-rights issues. But they fail to grasp that existing societal mechanisms for distributing wealth are seriously unjust and misguided, and that without a decent economic minimum for all, democracy is simply a sick, cynical joke. Among our Founders, Thomas Jefferson--whatever his slaveholding shortcomings--clearly grasped this important concept.)
So what we clearly need is to build a big tent for "homeless" progressives, those of us whose desperately needed voice is, ironically, perhaps the most marginalized one in American politics. Obviously, we need the tent to be really BIG, for the forces arrayed against us wouldn't be capable of marginalizing so many if they weren't exceedingly powerful. And what organizers of the "big tent" must constantly keep in mind is that the forces we're fighting--relying as they do on unjust concentrations of wealth and power, and mass misinformation and propaganda backed by force--amount to burgeoning fascism. If no party or movement on the existing political scene is working, this is precisely because no party or movement on the existing political scene was conceived for fighting fascism. The leaders of the prospective progressive revolt simply can't afford to be so naÃ¯ve.
The Occupy Wall Street movement ALMOST had things right. They correctly perceived that a successful one-sided class war had stealthily fought against most Americans, and that the 99% needed to fight back before it was too late. And their street revolt did a fabulous job of spreading that sentiment and, at least briefly, making it respectable. But since their goal was to reclaim a voice in government for the 99%, they made a SERIOUS mistake by rejecting electoral politics. Not only did this amount to rejecting a political clout they really could have had, but it helped the 1%ers' government- and media-propaganda machine poison the mainstream's image of Occupy. How can you continue to be perceived as a viable political movement when all you're doing is hanging out in the streets and failing to press demands through the electoral process that's available to you? The answer is that you can't, and this is largely why the 1%er propaganda machine succeeded in discrediting Occupy.
But for organizers of the prospective progressive revolt, Occupy has important lessons to teach. The needed revolt must really LOOK like a revolt--it must have a "street" presence--and it must be NAMED like a revolt. Otherwise, it will never mobilize and channel the passion of the vast American majority who are rightly outraged by their victimization in a stealth class war. Occupy had this gift for mobilizing outrage, and if I criticize both the Green Party and Progressive Democrats of America--organizations I in many ways admire--it's largely for looking like staid, status-quo organizations rather than mass-revolt movements. Granted, there's a very workaday organizational side to what's needed, but you can't fight encroaching fascism with that alone. You need a remedy that fits the disease--one that mobilizes moral outrage.
So, if progressives seek to win against stacked odds, we need a big tent for the various species of aggrieved Americans to bring their grievances--the poor, organized labor, and environmentalists are three salient examples--and we need to combine the passion of Occupy with serious electoral politics. Dissatisfied with both current Greens and current Democratic progressives, I have a "big tent" proposal to make that includes both: what about a Blue-Green revolt movement? And needing a name for it, how about simply Blue-Green Revolt?
No name or idea is perfect, but this one has real advantages. By including "revolt" in the name, it captures some of the street-movement passion that helped make Occupy. By referencing the colors of both the Democratic and Green parties, it declares itself explicitly political. And, as is proper for a revolt, the name itself makes an implied threat. While Democrats in the revolt will remain Democrats, and Greens will remain Greens, the name sends a signal to the Democratic hierarchy that if no suitably progressive Democratic candidates are available, Democratic participants in the revolt WILL vote Green. And perhaps, if Dems keep supporting political toxic waste like Obama or Hillary Clinton, will even walk away from Democrats and join the Greens in a new progressive political party--perhaps called the Blue-Green Party. The revolt name allows for enormous strategic flexibility.
Anyway, I offer this proposal as my best strategic thinking yet in light of recent events. For I've been having doubts about the name of my own movement, True Blue Democrats. Granted, I like the name's implication that those who aren't "true blue" (to the party's supposed progressive values) are traitors, but the name too easily suggests a come-hell-or-high-water loyalty to today's Democratic Party that it obviously--especially in light of the recent NSA scandals--doesn't deserve. I'm beginning to think the mere suggestion of being "true blue" to today's virtually worthless Democratic Party sickens folks who would otherwise be on my side.
This is also a creative way for me to settle my acrimonious "family quarrel" with the Green Party, since I'm deeply attracted to Green principles and personally like many Greens. I've argued myself that any current political solution needs to be fast-acting, precisely because of the emergency of lost democracy we're facing. But Democrats seeking to convert Greens, and Greens seeking to convert Democrats, will simply argue till they're blue in the face--or Green in the gills. Using an appropriately green image, this is my way of extending an olive branch.
Anyway, this change of name and strategy is something I'm eager to discuss widely with fellow progressives--and above all with the good folks already gathered as True Blue Democrats. To become part of this much-needed conversation, consider checking us out at www.facebook.com/TrueBlueDemocratsAProgressiveRevolt .