My title thesis, I imagine and hope, is guaranteed
to raise hackles. No doubt far-left progressives--many already Greens--will dismissively
scoff, "What politically half-awake soul gives a flying frack about saving the
Democratic Party?" While mainstream centrist Democrats will plangently wail, "What,
and let those batshit-crazy Republicans destroy the country? Are you friggin' INSANE?"
I'll get to these objections in due course, for that's
my purpose in writing. But first I wish to establish some solid common
ground, evident to me as a relative newbie, both reader and writer, of
OpEdNews. And how better to establish common ground than by quoting that deeply
divisive individualist Friedrich Nietzsche?
Yes, Nietzsche!--whose "Beyond Good and Evil" can be
quoted, for ANY purpose--fair or foul--in this eternally recurring universe. So,
here I quote him to mine: "I listened for an echo and heard nothing but praise."
Aspiring to be far more mensch than Ubermensch--and perhaps more honest (or
unevolved?) than dear Friedrich in my liking for praise--I admit to being
gratified by the warm reception my idiosyncratic scribblings have so far received
at OpEdNews. Nonetheless, if political activism (perhaps on grounds of Nietzsche's
despised conscience) is one's chosen channel for praiseworthiness, one pretty
soon wearies of the praise and starts eagerly scanning the airwaves for that
goddamn echo. Here too--and far more importantly--my neophyte's experience of OpEdNews
has been a DEEPLY gratifying one.
See, I'm tickled to my tootsies (if such frivolous
language is permissible here) to be an alarmist among fellow alarmists. Now, it's
pretty damn hard to be Cassandra if things aren't headed for the deep shitter,
or Chicken Little if the sky isn't really falling. Every once in a while one
would like a nod of distressed agreement, or a pal holding corroborating
sky-shards. But here the pals holding sky-shards are almost too numerous to
mention; what's more, their prophetic-doom scrawlings, like my own, seem
inevitably to land among the most popular pieces on offer. Almost like some
paradoxical "Cabaret," where the "prophets of doom" hell-bent on "wiping every
smile away" are precisely the ones apt to evoke the widest smiles. For when
things really ARE headed down the shitter, the best voices of HOPE in our Pandora's
Box are the ones who've correctly diagnosed the intolerable problem that needs
to be ATTACKED.
Now if I quote Nietzsche, that specialist in
paradox, it's precisely because the best minds are deeply attracted to paradox--that
clash of vital truth with perceived conventional wisdom. For nowadays the
conventional wisdom--as represented by the "idiot wars" affirmers of the status
quo--is hardly wise, whereas we who angrily, nauseatedly repudiate the status
quo hold the key to ANY livable human future. It's in that context I return to
the URGENT problem of the Democratic Party.
Yes, the Democratic Party, so disgustingly "whitebread"
and clueless that what halfway enlightened soul wouldn't repudiate it in a
heartbeat? Especially under Barack Obama, that supposedly progressive inheritor
of MLK and the black heritage of fighting predominantly white oppression, but
in reality its veiled-neocon champion and--let's face the reality--Uncle Tom for
the white 1%. The only way forward--for folks of any race--is to vehemently
repudiate Obama as so much political "toxic waste." Progressives need to draw renunciation
of Obama and all his satanic neocon, pro-corporate works as their political "line
in the sand."
Paradox upon paradox. Just as we must repudiate our
first black president in no uncertain terms if we wish to see progress for
blacks, whites, and oppressed people of all colors and ethnicities alike, we must
repudiate the Democratic Party--ostensibly our only VIABLE organ for progressive
values--if we wish to see real progress. And I personally see no way of
reforming the lackey servitude of today's Democrats to Big Money than by
threatening to destroy it. The "lesser of two evils"--as represented at its
sinister worst by Barack Obama--has simply become too evil to tolerate, and WILL
clearly destroy our climate, sacrifice most of us to unchecked globalizing
capitalism, and repress real democracy for the sake of 1%ers' status quo if
left on its current unchecked course. And Progressive Democrats of America,
probably the best ESTABLISHED force for reform in the Democratic Party, have
simply not proved radical enough to effect the needed reforms. Democrats need
to face bigger threats than simply being "primaried." Like a massive defection
of progressive voters from the party.
For desperate circumstances, desperate remedies. So
does splitting the Democratic Party between real progressives willing to bolt
from the party and Obama-style faux progressives surrendering daily more deeply
to pro-corporate and--plutocrat--governance risk handing electoral victory to
Republicans? Of course it does. But Democrats' purely evil regressiveness on
climate change--represented at its worst by Obama's nearly certain approval of
the XL pipeline--makes the risk well worth taking. Moreover, the "batshit
craziness" of Republicans is such that even a split among Democrats might not
suffice to guarantee their election. Both remaining Dems and REAL progressives
bolted to a new third party could loudly emphasize the continued economic
beggaring of the American 1% under Republicans--and the almost guaranteed
fascism of "Repulsives" when faced with widespread popular dissent--as arguments
to keep them from power. When government "of the people, by the people, and for
the people" is plainly needed most, the ludicrous party that wants to drown government
in a bathtub hardly has much of a future. Which is why--in our desperate
circumstances--I think we can safely take the risk of splitting Democrats.
And to Green and nonaffiliated lefties, I simply
ask, What's your strategy for electoral success? Where have you ever once
succeeded in attracting betrayed progressive Democrats, whose numbers simply
dwarf your own? No, only one young movement, though small because new, has a
VIABLE strategy for getting real progressive voices a desperately needed say in
American politics. Check us out at www.facebook.com/TrueBlueDemocratsAProgressiveRevolt
or at http://www.ruck.us/ruck/257 .