Some questions for the next "third party" online conference

Earlier today there was a conference on "how to build a third party." David Sirota's "Lever" thing hosted it. The advice offered by the presenters was: form a fusion party, work within the Democrats, get Democrats elected. There were some nods toward the idea that their audience was composed of some people who weren't Democrats. But generally they repeated the stock arguments against "third parties" -- they never win anything big, they're spoilers, it's bad strategy, and so on. So after the conference I decided to create a list of questions to ask the next conference of this sort. Here goes:

1. Since we really haven't won what we need to win, what counts as "good strategy"? How can you possibly take the high ground on "realism" when in fact nobody can?

2. Are there some 21st century American successes of "progressive policy" you can point to? How important are these successes? Can you describe them in detail?

3. How deeply is the "progressive" cause hurt by lesser-evil campaigning and voting? (Perhaps it is hurt worse by Republican victory -- at any rate, the question isn't answered by pointing at the other guy.)

4. Since you all want to work within the Democratic Party, what is your strategy for promoting the case for a Democratic Congress in 2023?

5. Who are you planning to campaign for for President in 2025? (If it's Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Pete Buttigieg, what is the case for these politicians? I am already familiar with the rather substantial case against them.)

6. How is "working within the Democratic Party" any more or less defensible than "working outside of the Democratic Party" in light of the wholesale regression of politics since 2001?

7. How much of the judgment that "progressives are bad at sales" lies in the fact that "progressives" have been made, election cycle after election cycle, to sell an extremely defective Democratic Party product?

8. How much of the judgment that "progressives are wedded to the Democratic Party" is made by those who are only looking within the Democratic Party to find the progressives?

For the record, I don't really see why people don't just try anything and everything. We can't be afraid of failure when by any reckoning we ought to be used to it.

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usefewersyllables's picture

I’ll wait for you over here.

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3 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Cassiodorus's picture

@usefewersyllables n/a

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

usefewersyllables's picture

@Cassiodorus

"working within the dem facet of the uniparty" is uttered, I personally already know that the effort is doomed to be an utter waste of time. After going all-in on Bernie twice, I'll stay on the bench.

Your mileage may vary- but as my signature says, I'm now permanently shy.

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13 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

had a dozen candidates. I then wish voting was priority.
But I also wish it were cooler at home.

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5 users have voted.

Third Party is the only option besides violence.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain you aren't one of those who counseled a vote for Biden because Trump is a fascist?

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5 users have voted.

"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

No.1.Strategy does not exists. "Realism' to go rogue for the D's is not realistic.
2. No successes I can think of right off hand.
3. Hurt to the point of total destruction. bobbing balls in the machine have the same name.
4. A Dem Congress will be exactly what the Dem Congress is now.
5. No info on that. All are the same.
6 It is not defensible.
7. Messaging is what they all do. It is for rallies and fund raising, not action.
8. 100%, if you look at the donors and lobbyists.
I agree with your summation, compliment you on correctly spelling "judgment".

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The Hindsight Times's picture

I have thought about this third party idea for a few years and can conclude that the only way to build a third party is from the ground up not top down as every recent effort has been. Thus, to have a successful third party, every district in every State needs to have a third party primary election with multiple candidates, on the same date, for each office up for election, with lots of advertising for that primary date and the candidates running in the primary. I believe, with the help of the internet, this is more than doable. Bypass the legacy media to actually get it done.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@The Hindsight Times 1) how many people can you interest in such a strategy?

2) A fair number of "minor parties" need a Presidential candidate if they are to retain ballot status from election cycle to election cycle (as required by various state laws). Do you do without a Presidential candidate and just rebuild ballot status time and time again just for the sake of not being "top-down"?

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4 users have voted.

"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

TPTB have a lock on who is on the ballot and has a chance. What about some form of ranked choice voting as the primary goal? It seems to me that that *might* have some influence to disempower the current system.

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janis b's picture

@peachcreek

would be more democratic, but until money spent on campaigning is limited and fairly distributed, nothing (imo) will make a difference. An informed voting public, which depends on a more transparent government, is also necessary. How these ideals are accomplished seem more and more remote.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@peachcreek for getting ranked-choice voting in your locale?

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2 users have voted.

"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

He ran on the slogan, Come Home America.

Nixon responded to the anti-war movement by Vietnamizing the Vietnam War and bringing an end to the draft. Without the personal crisis of getting drafted into a serious shooting war, white America voted for the "realism" of Tricky Dick and his pet brain, Henry Kissinger. Also contributing to the ugliest landslide in Electoral Colleg