An informal report on the new party idea

Why there's a need for a new party:

Let's take a look at what's likely to happen.

1) Sanders supporters are going to try to take over the Democratic Party. As this piece points out, however, the actual effort of doing this is likely to be very tedious, expensive, and time-consuming and will meet with a ton of resistance from party officials.

2) While Sanders' onetime followers engage this decades-long process of struggle within the Democratic Party, precinct by precinct, Democrats are likely to continue to tell everyone: "look, we're likely to do about 80% of what the Republicans do -- but they're still worse." Remember, no real appeal is necessary to sway "lesser-of-two-evils" voters outside of fear of the other. Will it matter to the party leadership that their hold on Congress will continue to slip further and further, that there will be more 2010- and 2014-type election collapses in the future and that fewer and fewer people will actually show up to vote for them or for their opponents? No. Will it matter to them that they will have a steadily-shrinking pool of experienced political workers to draw upon in the future, as their party loses race after race? No. Will people desert them for the Green Party? No.

3) As the so-called "Left" in the US periodically struggles to be heard while continuing occasional struggles against co-optation and against being crushed by the party they trust with their lives, bad things will happen. Austerity planning will happen. Voter suppression efforts will be increasingly successful. Markets will crash, jobs will be lost, global warming will destroy landscapes. There will be migrations, famines, plagues. Will individual politicians stop this? No, and as Trump's preliminary cabinet choices are proving, real power will continue to be vested in an oligarchic political class with absolutely no clue as to the challenges that currently do and that will in the future face them.

What to do about it:

4) As shown by 1) through 3) above, the primary future political scenario looks bad. It does, however, seem that a lot of hopes will be vested in 1), the effort to take over the Democratic Party. My recommendation is that the people who are trying to do this should be asked to reflect upon a back-up plan, which is to say aiming for a realignment. The Green Party, it seems, won't do -- so what's needed is a new party.

5) Now, the first people to which we should pitch this suggestion to are the activists -- though we're likely to find at this point that too many of them are still committed to the Democratic Party. Perhaps the sort of thing I have in mind could be pitched at a development seminar as one of many options, and then we could "take results" at the subsequent discussion sections. At any rate, the proposal on my new party diary was intended as a sort of Bernie Plus proposal, to get the ball rolling.

6) Ultimately, we will need a business plan for the new party. I might be able to write such a thing, though what I write is likely to be crap unless the plan is written by a committee. (Look, I have a Master's Degree in English -- why don't you all have me do the editing?) At any rate, this business plan will have to detail how the new party will avoid:

a) being a sectarian party like the Green Party -- we can't afford a party of "principles" that won't expand beyond a tiny segment of the population.

And:

b) being a sellout party like the Democratic Party -- the new party needs to be able to assure at the end of the day that neither it nor its members can be bought.

The business plan will also have to c) detail the existing situation in a way that appeals to readers to join, d) provide an organizational plan wherein go-to people ("leadership" is such a cliche now) can be recruited, and e) suggest at least a role for horizontal organization in spelling out the needs of the people, comparable to what one can see today in the Zapatistas.

7) This plan will need to be presented to the activists at the points in time and in space when they are most likely to say "yes" -- which may perhaps mean that a preliminary educational campaign will be necessary. In line with my suggestion that this be called the Sensible Futures Party, the educational campaign might gauge the popular mood as regards what counts as a "sensible future." We need to understand the most useful aspects of the social imaginary.

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Lenzabi's picture

Just to add, from the sounds of current things, the Greens may be more flexible and reasonable to work with as the new left wing party, or as a force if they can be encouraged to. I have given up on the Democratic party as long as any of the current guard are still in it. They will try and divert attempts to become more of the same, lame crap that lost them this election cycle.

The Greens may see the need to adapt and change to the situation as they did get more votes than last time, but not what they actually sought in terms of raw numbers and 5-points.

Making a whole new party just dilutes the energy and efforts of the left, the actual progressive left with more and more parties to spread them amongst, and that plays(ed) into the hands of the Oligarchy for so long as well as the pro-corporate elites on team donkey.

So let me know how this could work, educate, not berate me.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish

Cassiodorus's picture

The Greens may see the need to adapt and change to the situation as they

Not "we"?

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

Lenzabi's picture

I thiught it was not needed to be said that we here see the need for changes, and adapting to new situations. I just feel if we go Green we can help them see that is the way to go, so that the next time the party can get the 5% threshold and get where it needs to be with our collective help.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish

Cassiodorus's picture

feel free to join the Green Party, attend their meetings, take the collective pulse.

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

Lenzabi's picture

I thought it was not needed to be said that we here see the need for changes, and adapting to new situations. I just feel if we go Green we can help them see that is the way to go, so that the next time the party can get the 5% threshold and get where it needs to be with our collective help.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish

Pricknick's picture

current guard

I really screwed up when I called them the old guard.
We should from now on, until they change, call the current democratic and republican representatives "The current guard".
As long as I do they will not get my vote.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

movie buff's picture

but allow me to play devil's advocate, at least in regards to the next four years. With Trump's election, overnight the ground for the emergence of a viable leftist third party became a LOT less fertile. Exponentially less fertile. The reason being the way voters think, left-leaning voters especially. All the energy will go toward defeating Trump, and honestly I imagine it'll be pretty hard to argue with anyone that it shouldn't. This may not work (it didn't in 2004) but I still think that's where all the energy is going to go.

Ironically, if Clinton had won, the ground would have been much more fertile. The doldrums of her neoliberal patronage mill of a presidency would have been a perfect time to start talking up a third party. But now the left has an enemy, and it will start to organize itself to that end. In all likelihood, the left's biggest fight will be to make sure the Dems get a progressive nominee in 2020, and not the establishment's pick, which I'm guessing will be Cory Booker. I think we'll win this time, but of course, that sort of thing only serves to reinforce binary political thinking. But as a bloc of voters with a history of voting for the Greens, maybe we can leverage our disloyalty into that fight: give us what we want, or we walk.

Of course, if anyone can pull off a new party, I would be happy to support it, but that might be a post-2020 project. Over the next four years I think our most likely victory will be to play our giant We-Told-You-So card.

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"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." --Noam Chomsky

Cassiodorus's picture

The doldrums of her neoliberal patronage mill of a presidency would have been a perfect time to start talking up a third party.

I did that. Did you see the date on this diary?

Over the next four years I think our most likely victory will be to play our giant We-Told-You-So card

And that will change precisely what?

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

Roger Fox's picture

Over the next four years I think our most likely victory will be to play our giant We-Told-You-So card

And that will change precisely what?

It was fun for 4 days but its not a path to winning any publicly elected office.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

it's more like: we got Trump because of Hillary, the DNC and the corporate media. They gave us Trump (here's the proof) so supporting them is pointless.

The reason Markos Moulitsas and others want Bernie to be DNC chair is that he's their only remaining chance at legitimacy, at convincing people to run back into their arms again. That doesn't mean they'd go along with any of Bernie's policy ideas, of course.

A large percentage of the American people are disgusted that they were forced into this choice in the first place. Either they will blame the establishment itself for that, or they will blame each other. That's why there's a lot of effort being put in right now to make sure they blame each other. But it also means that this would be a good time to build something new.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cassiodorus's picture

But it also means that this would be a good time to build something new.

I'm just throwing out ideas here.

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

QMS's picture

human spirit is fertilized by the need for change. Ain't gonna happen in the DNC, only by a new approach. Watch and see.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

was going to be the target of the electorate's ire. And it's possible that that will translate into people embracing the Democrats again. Some people certainly will go back; some already have. IMO, we should stop arguing with them, about that anyway. We shouldn't try to convince them to leave the party. Anybody who can continue to try to reform the Democrats after seeing actual evidence of Hillary's "Pied Piper" strategy, to say nothing of the evidence of cheating and other perfidy (Nevada caucus anyone?) is not going to stop what they're doing for anything you or I will say.

As for the left jumping on board the anti-Trump train, the only thing we can do about any of that is to build the movement against Trump first, to our specifications (i.e. opposing Trump is not supporting Democrats). In some ways, this is the perfect time for building that movement--or that party--because we can use Hillary's "Pied Piper" strategy as a justification.

Or we could just build the kind of resilience movement dance you monster is talking about in his diary.If we can offer something that the people need, or something they want, and get that offer out in front of them where they can see it, whatever organization we form that does that will prosper.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

To get political experience with.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Roger Fox's picture

a business plan for a new party?

Have you ever managed a political campaign? Have you ever done volunteer recruitment? Specifically in an issue (non profit?) or political oriented campaign. Some knowledge in these areas will be needed.

I applaud your thinking, you are absolutely moving out of your comfort zone and you are setting an example for others.

FEC guide -> http://fec.gov/pdf/partygui.pdf

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Trump is working on a child care bill with his daughter, and he is working on a student debt repayment program that cancels the debt at 15 years. He killed TPP, and NATO is on pause. That is more than we've gotten from the Dem Party in 30 years. They are going to outflank the Dems on the left. Thanks to the Queen and neoliberals, the DP may have missed the boat.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

But I'll take what we can get for starters.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

might still have time to learn to live underground on a barren planet. We actually may already be well past the point of no return. We really missed the boat when Carter told us we needed to wear cardigans, turn the thermostat down a few degrees, set the A/C at 80, drive at 55 and get going on solar and renewable power development. Instead of heeding the call we mocked him and elected a mediocre has been actor to lead us into an era of climate change denialism and senseless corporate gluttony.

Well, today humanity's future may hang on developing reliable still-suits, finding reliable water deep underground and learning to enjoy the crunch of cockroaches.

We may get lucky and get a timely eruption from the Yellowstone caldera and a multi-generational ice age to reverse the trend.

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“We have a very small window in which we need to make a fundamental shift away from capitalism.” Kshama Sawant

riverlover's picture

but the thought of eating box-elder bugs is not. And they are a human annoyance nearly as much as cockroaches. I go towards fungi as a food source.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

but it's hard to imagine a human presence on the planet that is long term sustainable that isn't substantially smaller even than the current population. We might all make an effort to consume less of everything (food, energy, natural "resources", etc,) but I think a much smaller global human population will be required as well.

Realistically I doubt voluntary moderation will ever be a dominant human trait, and that natural disasters or disease will likely be the only effective mechanism for reducing the number of our species or moderating our rapacious consumption habit.

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“We have a very small window in which we need to make a fundamental shift away from capitalism.” Kshama Sawant

riverlover's picture

But I fear it will be an infectious disease. Worked in the "field" of infectious diseases. One WILL cause pandemic.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

populist moves to set the tone, then the slow gutting of SS, Medicare, Dept. of ED, food stamps, abortion.

My own feeling was day one, opening Congress, the r's start with Medicare or SCOTUS and have a major floor fight. After insulting, ridiculing and humiliating Democrats nuke the filibuster and blitzkrieg so fast you couldn't organize a protest before the next atrocity rolls out. Then make sure the infrastructure, offices, computers, personnel and files are dismantled before the mid terms making it a nightmare to recreate.

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Why is it better to start a new party than to make Green Party a power?

I would think any group you put together for a new party could work well inside Green Party.

Looks like options are- 1. reform dem party
2. reform Green party
3. new party

Door 2. looks much the best to me. Why am I wrong? thx.

edit. To clarify, the "slower one " referred to is irishking, who was unable to understand the point.
Sorry for a poor joke.

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Cachola's picture

But with pictures.I am really slow.

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Roger Fox's picture

I do the LMAO thigh slappin, condescending, Triumph the Comedy Dog routine here.

This is my doggie turf, don't piss on it.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Cachola's picture

English is not my language plus I use a Kindle and my old fingers cannot engage lengthy rebuttals, so I like the short one or two line sarcastic comments.

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Roger Fox's picture

Not me, so I don't have to be so fuckin nice.

But I woud take his advice, what you did aint cool.

My words not his, go piss on another patch of grass.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

QMS's picture

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my "not cool" comment was not pointed at Cachola.

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Cachola's picture

I thought we were joking.

Cray 2

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Roger Fox's picture

Please accept my apologies

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Once again for the slower ones,

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As did the person above.
That 2 misread means it was not a good joke.

But in my reply I was was the slow one referred to because I didn't understand what is so clear to Cassiodorus (and others), namely: (and I still don't understand it.)

Why is it better to start a new party rather than to work within Green Party?

I end with a request for assistance: "Why am I wrong?" to prefer Green to a new party.

Apparently my meaning was not clear- there was no insult. Sorry for any hurt feelings.

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Roger Fox's picture

Like, in this business (political campaigns) you have to have a smart phone and know what google drive is.

You can't use an 8 year old social media strategy, to win you at the worst have to be up to date. At best you have to develop next gen tools.

Greens have had 16 yrs to party build, they have gone nowhere. All the state and national leadership has to go.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Well that would be reform of the Party, which seems most promising to me.
Would certainly hope GP would be more open to necessary change than Dems.

The essay author is pushing for a new party.

I still haven't learned why a new party is better than reformed GP.
I have no interest in "reformed" Dems. Just don't believe it will happen quickly enough, if at all.
The old term"co-opt" comes to mind.

Surely GP knows !% won't do, and that we may not have many more tries.
Aren't they reasonable people?

Or is it" We are the leaders of the movement, stfu " over there as well?
Oh, I have heard a lot of that stuff. More than enough.

"makes me want to holler- throw up both my hands." m. gaye

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riverlover's picture

as leadership of Dems. That is the salient point. It might be best to start afresh. Now I get it. You may not. Think on it. And remember that all the "leadership" is likely by Boomers and Millennials must rise to the occasion; they have to live here after Boomers are a threatened species due to die-off.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Don't know enough to say more. Hope it's not so.

Meaningful reform of Green Party leadership must address representation of all people,parties, ages, etc.
I would be interested to see how the "piece out the pie" dance goes.

But if nothing happens, I might just cry.

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Cassiodorus's picture

I've been a Green Party member since 1992. You?

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

Roger Fox's picture

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Cassiodorus's picture

This isn't for instance your "doggie turf," and it's not up to you to decide if this is or isn't in my "comfort zone."

That having been said, your further participation is still welcome here.

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

Before we go further, please read my response to JtC above.

If the air is clearer now, could you please answer my question?
As you have lengthy experience with the Green Party your answer should be of interest.

Why is it better to start a new party than it is to work within Green Party?

thx.

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Cassiodorus's picture

but who turned them down. Perhaps they can give you a more in-depth answer than I could.

Outside of California the Green Party is a Potemkin village, and even inside of California it's that, depending on where in California you are. Very few people belong to the Green Party, and the Green Party does not support its candidates financially or otherwise. Green Party primaries are all beauty contests and the major decisions are all made at plenary meetings in haphazard fashion.

It would be essential to organize a new party, and to time the beginning of a new political party, such that it replaces the Democratic Party, so that the Democrats become the new Whigs, i.e. collapse. The Green Party is a place for people who cannot in all conscience be part of the Democratic Party, and so it's been shaped by its status as a haven for conscientious objectors. We are in no shape to replace the Democratic Party. If you aren't convinced by this explanation I would invite you to join the Green Party, to attend its meetings, and to decide for yourself.

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

So the old Party structure and leadership is useless. And you feel that it will be too hard clean it up.

Wow. I certainly feel that way about the Dems. Their old guard will stay around. Where could they go but to Republicans? Good luck to them is my idea.

But that the Green Party may be that way too is disappointing. Is there no direction from Stein? Clearly !% won't do- in a sense GP is in crisis as much as DP. Must make big changes to be a factor in 2020.

I had hoped they would be much easier to make-over than DP.Maybe not. If the people responsible for the GP direction over last 20 years will not yield their "power", then it is the DP all over again. I just don't see Green leadership as formidable as DP's. Much smaller, no money and zero success. They are there because no one else wants to do it is my take. You know them best, of course.

There are many like me who now fit GP profile- can't go with DP as a matter of conscience, looking for a home.
Is Stein going to let us scatter or crawl back to DP because there is no place else to go?

Apparently problems within the Party are real, and those who are the problem won't just go away. They never do.
It may be time for Stein to show her leadership. I still hope for GP- to build an effective party from nothing in the time available seems almost impossible to me. But if GP is just a waste, then rats.

Thanks for your reply. I am trying to learn what I need to know.

PS. Sorry for misunderstanding, if any. I was being "clever' for my own amusement. I would not abuse site hospitality by calling any one here stupid. thx.

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"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho

Cassiodorus's picture

And you feel that it will be too hard clean it up.

Perhaps I should clarify my opinion on cleaning up the Green Party here. I do not feel that it would be too hard to clean up the Green Party. Perhaps there would be a situation with "entryism" -- the article I posted discussed that. Maybe the whole idea could be worked over through mass participation in Synthesis/ Regeneration or something of that sort. But, in general, there wouldn't be a problem.

I do feel, however, that nobody wants to clean up the Green Party. What the Berniecrats want to do is clean up the Democratic Party. With respect to the Berniecrats I'm merely voicing an objection: given the resistance you can expect to generate, how long do you think such a project will take? And do you in fact have the numbers, the money, and the enthusiasm to make it happen? This question prompts my main point to the Berniecrats: you need a backup plan. This is my proposal for the backup plan.

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

Is that a term for these people- Bernie fans who will stay in the Dem. Party, no matter what? (n/s)

Of which group Bernie himself is the first and most important example.

I was a Bernie supporter- money, time, etc. Lost faith in him personally after the mystery of the missing tax returns. l

There was nothing left but to see how low the "leadership" would go in their servitude to Her.
It was way too low for me.

It appears we agree about prospects for reform of Dems. The element of time is important, and we may not have a lot to spare. The place at which we diverge is at prospect of reform of Greens.

I will take word for GP meetings. I have heard similar things, and in any case their failure at national level is condemns them.. We will need strong corrective political action at the national level in 2020, imo. The history of GP gives us no reason for confidence.

There are only two points I will leave for another time.
1. How strongly are Bernie fans attached to DP? I was DP for all my life and done. How rare am I ?
I don't see anything else but the GP to support. So of course I am very interested in seeing them reform so as to attract the people they need.

2. Would there be interest in a Working People's Coalition running under Green Party banner.?
In some sense such a coalition would be the "new party" you speak of.

Will read the post- thx for reply.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

to fight against the obstructions that are consigning all of them to oblivion. An anti-corruption, anti-oligarchy, anti-establishment movement that is otherwise non-ideological.

If that's not possible (probably isn't), we could look at the reasons why these parties have been failing over and over again, and try to figure out a strategy that will avoid those pitfalls. If we don't have such a strategy, it won't matter whether we support the Greens or start a new party.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

There is mention of a similar idea downthread in discussion with Cassiodorus .

Perhaps a "Meeting of the Nations" this spring. All the major players of the left.
Woodstock meets Port Huron!

Is Stein the logical choice to set it up?
I don't know real power centers of today's left, having been a go-along Dem. for many years.

Maybe Stein has less juice than I think, but no other leftist got near 1.2 million votes.
She may be the big fish in the pond.

But would she be interested? That is a good question.
If I see her, I will ask for sure.

thx. I read your stuff with interest.

"It's an American Dream, includes Indians too."

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I guess I'm not a Berniecrat, then.

I have noticed some of the garbage strategy (fix the Dems! Fight the good fight just one more time!) you've pointed out here, and associated garbage political assumptions. Was very disappointed that Jimmy Dore subscribed to them--his idea being now that "we" need to try to take back Congress, as if the Democratic party's "we" could possibly include anybody here.

For god's sakes, the DNC elevated Trump, cheated Bernie (wanted to "grind him to paste," I believe the term was), stole our voting rights, rigged the election (exit polls for proof), purged voters both off the rolls and off the party rolls in order to manipulate results, and freaking framed Bernie supporters as dangerous thugs, which lie was repeated in the mainstream press for a week before a quiet retraction that did nothing to disturb the narrative. And now Berniecrats want to go back and reform this organization?

Fuck. That.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cassiodorus's picture

Perhaps at a meeting of activists (sponsored by Brand New Congress maybe?) we could elaborate this case. In this regard "they're assholes" can at best be a contributing reason for an argument that "we should ditch the Democratic Party"; the main argument will be something along the lines of "we can do without them and their voter lists and here's why."

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

this time and last (2012) but I've never been deeply involved with them.

2. It's likely that the people who have been deeply involved since the early 90s will resent and resist any big incursion of new folks, especially if they want to make changes in how the Green party does things.

3. There have to be changes made in how the Green Party does things, because obviously what's being done isn't working.

4. That's almost certainly not the Green Party's fault, given that 39 other third parties aren't working either. It's probably the result of systemic structural obstruction of third parties.

5. Whether we want to start a new party or revitalize an old one, we're going to have to find a way to subvert or avoid those structural obstructions, and produce some successes that result in material positive change for the people.

6. I think we've got a better chance of assessing those obstructions and coming up with a strategy if we're not fighting the territoriality battle with people who have been running their party for over 20 years.

7. Saying we want a different system of voting that doesn't favor the duopoly is intellectually helpful, in that it's good to know there's a world of theoretical options out there, but we have no more chance of getting that reform than any other under the current regime.

8. We need to figure out what we *can* do to subvert or find a way around the systematic obstructions to third-party power and make a plan.

9. It would be helpful to talk to some people who are experienced veterans of the Green Party, to find out what they've done that has and hasn't worked, what their ideas are about those obstructions. Other third parties too. In fact, it would be interesting to have a non-ideological conference of third parties, so that we could share information.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Have a few comments on 2.

2.The Old Guard will resist.

This is true anyplace newbies go. But how strong can Old Greens be now?
They will do what Stein wants. In my view our hope rests with her.

I have been impressed by Stein's intelligence and resolve. She should clean her own house.
If she is opposed to GP reform we are f**ked. If she can't bring order to the party, I don't think we will either.

This may be a case where one person has quite a bit of power.
What would have happened had Bernie accepted Stein's offer of top slot on the ticket? We will never know.
What will happen if Stein tries to bring the left together under Green umbrella? Love to see it.

On the down, she has been head of the Greens for a while now.
She is responsible for its sorry organization, or being "leader" means nothing.

thx.

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Shockwave's picture

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

Social media makes it more possible.

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The political revolution continues

Amanda Matthews's picture

Progressive websites to figure this out? We need numbers, large numbers. of people and a great plan if we want to make the 'New' Democratic Party irrelevant.

I like the platform of the Greens. I believe that their main problem is that people see the word 'Green' and they think "those damn hippies are at it again" and close their ears and their minds. And I like the idea of a new party because we could start from scratch without the baggage that would come along with trying to build something from an already existing party. It's been done before. If Lincoln were alive I"m sure he'd back me up on that. But we need a platform to draw people in and a place where we can organize and it would be great if that could be here. There's not enough of us here to pull it off, but if we can find people who are good at organizing and who can come up with a plan to reach out beyond this site we might be in business.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Roger Fox's picture

find people who are good at organizing

Ya need a lot more than that. You need experts.

1) Someone who understands what Revolution Messaging did for Bernie.
A) Their platform is now the standard of social media strategy in the industry.
B) Distributed digital orhanizing is coming of age.
2) 50 people in 50 states who know how to manage a political campaign and volunteer recruitment at the state/national level
A) Look at the Bernie hires for example, he pulled from non profit issue oriented orgs.
3) Understand how great and powerful the net gen Sanders online organizing tools were and that Brand New Congress and Our Revolution are working on the next/next Gen.

I touch on some more here
http://caucus99percent.com/content/how-could-polls-be-so-wrong

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

QMS's picture

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and we still don't get it.

"Are we not men?" - devo

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Pricknick's picture

Ya need a lot more than that. You need experts.

What has expertise or experience gotten us?
Where we are now.
If your happy with that, more power to you. Myself? I'll gladly take those who are unexperienced in the political power play.
New ideas and new ways of seeing things is how I run. After all, I'm the most ignorant human in the world.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

QMS's picture

those kinda experts we don't need. A passion for improvement means more

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Cassiodorus's picture

That having been said, it's important to share what knowledge you have. Politics is meaningful insofar as it relates to human liberation; in this regard political knowledge is not something to be waved around like a badge or a permit but rather to be shared freely and openly with whomever comes to it with an open mind.

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

Roger Fox's picture

political knowledge is not something to be waved around like a badge or a permit but rather to be shared freely and openly with whomever comes to it with an open mind.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

QMS's picture

Hope to have something soon Smile

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Amanda Matthews's picture

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

He could begin to change the " those damn (white, privileged) hippies" perception. That is a big part of Green problem.

More generally, as I have said elsewhere, any serious progressive Party will have to deal with 90% AA loyalty to Dem Party. The DNC did cheat Bernie, they cheated him a lot.

But he still could have won with a split of AA vote. And he never came close to that.
It was 25-75 in NY at the end of the Primary season, with no excuses possible.
AA was the winning margin for Clinton in NY, as it was all through the South.

We know this was huge problem for Sanders in the South. Opened up all the race-based attacks. I don't think he ever solved it. He started with AA firmly HRC's corner and the Black Caucus against him ( John Lewis!)
He has to tell them they are wrong and need to listen up. But he can't say I know better than you without insulting AA as too dumb to get it! This would be tough in any case, but of course the HRC camp is screaming" Sanders is patronizing racist". Tough one! Too tough for Bernie. I felt this failure was a crucial one,and needs analysis, simply because any progressive candidate faces exactly the same problem.

I think there are two parties in crisis here, Dem and Green. If Green does not move strongly the opportunity will be lost. Apparently the incompetence of the Party leadership has been such that people would rather start over.

I see this as being different from Dem Party corruption and more easily fixed. It may come down to leadership.

I have come to this: I think DP is dead end for progressives and we don't have the time for dead ends.
The conclusion is the same for GP as it has been run in the past.
This leaves us with a new party as the only path. I don't think we can go from zero and get where we have to be in time, so this is a bad outcome for me.

The only room left is party reform. The name of "Christian woman" Donna Brazile comes to mind. That isend of that, which leaves Green Party reform as my only alternative to new party.

Will Green Party make the substantive changes needed so that progressives will consider it to be "better than nothing"?

This is now about the Green Party leadership, in particular Dr. Stein.Her Party needs to make strong moves now.
I think Baraka was meant to be such a signal. Is he real or show? More to come? Stay tuned. thx

P.S. Ranked choice voting passed in Maine! This the winning issue for GP. But you have to have a party first.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Please also consider my points about the Green Party in the comments I've made above.

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

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jamess's picture

to the New Deal Party,

or the New New Deal Party.

Or keep it simple, like they do in some European countries:

Where the Party of Labor has an instant built-in base.

(a solid majority of the 99%)

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I would rather have a political plan than a business plan; however, it is not "plans," that drive political movements, it is events. The reason the Whigs imploded is because of Slavery and Imperialism, as put forward by the South, not being able to be dealt with by the Whigs. Therefore, they split, the "Free Soiler's," becoming the nascent Republican Party, the rest splintering into small political groups. In the latter 19th century Socialist and Populist parties started to rise but were limited in effect by Democrats and Republicans joining together to limit ballot access, media access, and money to them, seem familiar.

How do we overcome the existing political infrastructure? The "conservatives," did it and took over the Republican Party using money, direct mail, co-opting religious fanatics and appealing to the "Southern conservative," (racists). they had a political plan plus money. What are we going to use? Can we fund an attack on the existing Democratic Party's institutions? Can we find enough people that want change within the party and are willing to stand up to it? Can a new Party be formed from the broken remnants of the old Party when it falls apart? The question, it seems to me is; "Where do the "New Party," people come from and why do they work for the establishment of the "New Party?"

Given the urgency of the situation, I think we need to take over an existing Party with infrastructure in all fifty States and then use it, unless events overtake us and provide fertile ground for the establishment of a "New Party."

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Given the urgency of the situation, I think we need to take over an existing Party with infrastructure in all fifty States and then use it, unless events overtake us and provide fertile ground for the establishment of a "New Party.

Green Party seems the logical choice to me, but apparently it is not that simple.

Please look up for more, thx.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

(imo anyway). It is now OWNED lock stock and barrel by deep pocketed Neoliberal interests. And it will just use stealth tactics to assimilate you into the Borg. Stealth tactics like "Our Revolution" and the "Most Progressive Platform" eva, in the history of the world.

And I've got sad news for the people who still want to follow Bernie. He's been assimilated. He campaigned HARD for Neoliberal, warmonger, wall st whore Hellery.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cassiodorus's picture

The "conservatives," did it and took over the Republican Party using money, direct mail, co-opting religious fanatics and appealing to the "Southern conservative," (racists). they had a political plan plus money.

That's a business plan.

Can a new Party be formed from the broken remnants of the old Party when it falls apart?

Note that the "Know-Nothing" (or American) Party was formed in 1849 and the Republican Party was formed in 1854, whereas the Whig Party formally disbanded in 1856. We're going to have to go on intuition here.

Given the urgency of the situation, I think we need to take over an existing Party with infrastructure in all fifty States

I am not sure that taking over the Democratic Party is a task that can be accomplished "urgently," i.e. in a short amount of time. Nonetheless I do recognize that I'm proposing a backup plan.

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

The "Know Nothing" Party was formed in reaction to Irish and German immigration out of nativist sentiment and fear of job loss, sound familiar? The upheaval that crushed the Whigs was the question of the expansion of slavery into newly admitted States and American Imperial ambitions in the Caribbean and South America generally. But enough of the light banter...

Forming a new political party is a time consuming process typically prompted by a perceived crisis in events,building on a crisis often leads to social upheaval, revolution or war. Once events start moving in a particular direction it's very difficult to grab the reins and steer them into specific outcomes... I would love to start a "New Party," wipe the slate clean and say, "good riddance to bad rubbish," and throw the existing Democratic Party onto the trash heap of history, but that may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Maybe it is impossible to take over or reform the Democratic Party, but forming a "New Party," is some tough sledding and we may not have the necessary time or political will to do it. Anyway, I'm game, I know one thing for sure, what we presently have isn't working, let's try to do something before nothing can be done.

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count me in, but I don't see any reason to give up on Bernie yet, isn't he trying to remodel an existing structure? Isn't that one of the things we're talking about here?

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solublefish's picture

And that's why they succeeded in taking over. First they took over the Republican Party and next they took over the political culture of the USA, including even the Democrats. The vision came before the organization, and was the lever that brought them bodies on the ground from local school board elections to national elections.

The vision was expressed in a number of key documents of the radicals among the Republican party, from Hayek's widely read Road to Serfdom to the YAF manifesto (the Sharon Statement) to Conscience of a Conservative (written for Berry Goldwater by Brent Bozell) to the novels of Ayn Rand or 'The Speech' (as it is still called, in hushed tones) by Ronald Reagan in 1964.

That vision was not the product of any accident. Its construction was carefully conceived, organized, and subsidized by wealthy corporate leaders.

SO much for Example #1, takeover from within the current party.

Example 2: the Populist Party - a new third party created by the spontaneous organization of the people themselves, through political clubs known collectively as the "Farmers' Alliance".

Created on the groundswell of increasingly organized opposition of western and southern farmers to RR rate gouging and bank mortgage usury from the 1870s, it evolved a core set of principles which became the basis for the rapid growth of the movement in the 1880s, until in 1892 they issued their first party platform, the so-called Omaha Platform. It began with a long statement of principles, which clarified the party's vision of what was right and what was wrong in American society, named the enemy, and provided the intellectual context for understanding the planks that followed.

The People's Party had a short, meteoric rise and a nasty fall, becoming essentially moot on the national level after the 1896 election. But the vision it articulated won sympathetic ears in the emerging reform wings of both the Democratic and Republican parties of the day, bringing us the Progressive era of reform. If you read the speeches of Teddy Roosevelt from 1910-1912, or Woodrow Wilson in 1912, or Robert LaFollette, you will read the very same principles given voice by the Populists in the 1890s. And the people who were moved by this vision later became central to the conception and implementation of the New Deal.

Example 3: the Republican Party (1854) - a third party built out of a cross-party coalition between frustrated Whigs and Democrats.

Much of the impetus for the creation of the party was generated by the manifesto issued by "Free Soil Democrat" Salmon P. Chase. Here, too, the central feature of the argument was the vision offered by Chase, which made it possible to see contemporary struggles in a new light that was urgent and meaningful to the people who joined.

Read the document: Chase starts with an account of recent history, making an argument about the right way to view that history. Then he clarifies the principles at the heart of the new party ('free labor' is the name often given as shorthand), and identifies the planter aristocracy and party chiefs as enemies of the people at large, because they would destroy the principle.

Interestingly, all three of these examples share common features. They identify the current moment as a moment of crisis; they offer the reader the conceptual tools to see why this is so; they engage the reader, showing how/why these principles are their practical concern; they offer a theory/history of how the crisis evolved, slowly over time (i.e. they show that their principles not only illuminate the real truth of the present moment, but also light our understanding of the past); they identify the enemy and what he/it stands for; they sound a clear call to arms.

In short: what you are talking about doing has been done before. Maybe you should study those examples and learn from them, if you are serious. No one outside of professional organizers fights for a list of issues, however sane or necessary. But all will fight for principle.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Maybe I already have? Basic etiquette...

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

solublefish's picture

I departed from etiquette.

But you insisted more than once, in this diary as well as in your original, that you wanted to avoid statements of principle. That seems rather dogmatic on your part; and it does not accord with what has worked in the past.

New political parties that would be real agents of change act to educate the people they would attract. They re-organize people's vision and expectations around a body of shared principles, in which those people can see themselves and their own struggles as well as see and understand the world before them. Aristotle understood this - in a time before parties - when he explained that a true political community was more than an aggregation of people, it was a people who shared a common culture.

Sanders' campaign showed how resonant the issue of class is across party lines. But it also showed - in its near complete failure to appeal to black and brown Americans - that class is not enough on its own. It's not that Bernie did not have the right things written into his platform, on matters of police brutality, e.g.; but rather, that Bernie was not able to articulate the connection between his focus on class and their concern with matters of race and opportunity. That's a failure of vision - and a lost opportunity, because it could easily have been done, HAS been done by the Black Left in this country continuously from the late 1960s.

This hypothetical party needs to be a big tent, which can appeal to the 99%. So grab the agendas and mission statements from BLM and other black activist groups; grab the same from the DREAMers and other such groups. Grab 350.org's statements about climate and what needs to be done. And so on. For groups that are less organized, like middle class suburbanites and working class whites/blacks/hispanics, identify their concerns (good schools, job security, public safety, whatever). Read between the lines and identify the common values and principles they share - including the tacit ones of which they have not yet become fully conscious. Articulate those common shared values in a statement that casts them in a familiar language - the traditional language of liberty of American political discourse that calls to mind the fundamental purpose of all polities: to advance the common weal.

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Cassiodorus's picture

1. Create a platform of good proposals ("Bernie Plus", and please read the link) that we suggest as an option to the activists themselves.

2. Organize the activists to organize the new party. See #5:

5) Now, the first people to which we should pitch this suggestion to are the activists -- though we're likely to find at this point that too many of them are still committed to the Democratic Party. Perhaps the sort of thing I have in mind could be pitched at a development seminar as one of many options, and then we could "take results" at the subsequent discussion sections. At any rate, the proposal on my new party diary was intended as a sort of Bernie Plus proposal, to get the ball rolling.

3. We have a unifying principle already in mind: sensible futures.

I'm also not all that clear on why reliance on "what worked in the past" is supposed to work now. Did the Populist Party or the nascent Republican Party or the Progressive Party have access to the Internet? Did they have to explain abrupt climate change to the people?

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

solublefish's picture

I already did #1 last week, when we started this conversation.
#2 I think is a good idea
#3 I already commented on in your original thread (see #1). "Sensible futures"? Please. Maybe that's the sort of thing that will fly at a conference of professional organizers, but it has no resonance with ordinary humans - the people you really need to get on board.

Not clear why what worked in the past is supposed to work now? Because that's physics. The laws of the universe do not change because we have the internet. And the internet is a tool, only: anything YOU can do on it, so can your opposition. Why does what worked in the past work now? Because human beings act like human beings in ancient Greece, 19th century America, and now. We are short-sighted creatures, who live in parochial worlds of quotidian struggle. However real may be the connection of myself to the Chinese workers who made my clothes, however real the effect the MY laying oil pipe today may have on FUTURE climate change, I am not naturally equipped to see it: I have to be taught.

But it's worse than that. Because the fact that people are ordinarily parochial-minded is not the only problem we have to deal with. The other problem is they HAVE been taught already a set of political dogmas which they hold as gospel, and through which they already see the reality around them. Are you going to fight against that with a list of demands for a 'sensible future'? Do you think that will win over all the people who already distrust "liberal tree huggers" as a disconnected elite who sacrifices their jobs for the sake of charismatic megafauna??

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Sanders' campaign showed how resonant the issue of class is across party lines. But it also showed - in its near complete failure to appeal to black and brown Americans - that class is not enough on its own.

In the first place, there was no "near complete failure" to appeal to POC who are not Black. Sanders appealed quite well to indigenous people, to Latinos, among whom the early lead for Hillary was proven to be soft over time, and very well indeed to Arab-Americans and other Muslim Americans. He did great in some of the most diverse states in the nation. You can't have somebody kick ass in Hawaii and then say he's not good enough with POC! Even among Black Americans, age was an extremely important factor, as Sanders drew many Black people under 45. The "near complete failure" was with Black Americans over 45.

More importantly, you make an assumption about why the Black people and other POC who didn't turn out for Sanders supported Hillary instead which has no evidence to support it, and I'd argue, little basis in fact. Hillary didn't incorporate agendas and mission statements from BLM and other assorted Black activist groups. Hillary, in fact, like her husband, has done basically jack and shit for Black people that I can see, given that she was a Goldwater girl in the 60s, supported the crime bill and welfare reform in the 90s, which basically put a generation of Black men in prison, used racist talking points against Barack Obama eight years ago, and started off her campaign this time as an "All Lives Matter" advocate. None of that mattered, because she didn't get Black support by actually doing anything substantive for Black people--or, at least, if she did something substantive that resulted in Black support, nobody was willing to tell me what it was during the entire primary--and I asked a lot of people what she'd done for Black people that made her a better candidate. For that matter, a number of Black Sanders supporters also asked that question. Nobody ever answered that question with anything other than character attacks on the person asking--except one woman on Anoa Changa's show, who said, essentially, that the Clintons worked the "chitlin circuit" (not my words) and spread money around ahead of time to lock in Black support in the South. I don't know about that, but I do know that however they got the support of the CBC, getting it was enormous--Black people over 45 tend to have a lot of respect for those leaders, since many of them were Civil Rights activists back in the day, and have a great deal of credibility on that account.

In other words, we should really stop assuming that politics is always determined by people rationally assessing each candidate's qualities and picking the one that most reflects their own personal values and interests. There are, unfortunately, other factors at work.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

solublefish's picture

On the first point, you are correct: I spoke too broadly, after all: Hawaii.

On the second point, I *completely* agree with your read of black American support for HRC. Your point here is one that has been made repeatedly by analysts since the southern primaries in early 2016. That does not rebut my argument: it is my own unstated assumption. For whatever reason - or as you suggest, lack of 'reason', black Americans chose to support HRC because they felt comfortable with her, but not with the old white dude from VT. What might have changed that? Answer: a better game on Bernie's part.

I remember when Bernie jumped into the race and started touring around and making speeches. Days turned to weeks, and still had had said nothing about police brutality, STILL had had not incorporated the problems of persistent urban poverty and police brutality in his addresses. I recall being at a conference of academics, most of whom study intersections of race and class, and we were all looking at each other saying WTF? We all loved Sanders' message on class and inequality, but could not figure why he wasn't making the connection to race, reaching out to this large body of people in the country who were clearly suffering. He had a good moment - a really good moment - when he answered the first debate question "Black lives matter or all lives matter?" by choosing BLM. But it was too little too late; though he supported BLM and its cause, he was never able to articulate the connection of race to class that might have made him seem an authentic voice on the matter. Instead, the issue of police brutality seemed like something tacked on to the agenda of a man with other concerns.

Why the disconnect? I don't think it's because Sanders did not care about BLM and communities of color: I think he genuinely did not understand the connection himself. He is not a historian, he is a politician - and a politician from a lily-white state, at that. Let's face it: the dominant American political culture today offers no means to understand that connection OTHER than the way Trump articulated it ("the rise of the black/brown = the fall of the white"); and Sanders had no real personal political experience representing urban black communities.

I agree there were other reasons, too, why Bernie did not appeal to black Americans as Clinton did, including those you mentioned. But the standout fact for me is that Bernie could not articulate the connection himself. Had he been able to do so more effectively, he might have won more votes there than he did.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Maybe I wasn't being blunt enough, because I don't like the reality I'm seeing, and, after all, I'm seeing it from outside & with partial information, so I wanted to be tactful.

But before I get to that: Bernie was *the one* who brought prison, and its relation to race, into the political conversation. I've never heard a politician voluntarily bring up the prison-industrial complex the way Sanders did. Bernie also said that police automatically view African-Americans as criminals, and that that is outrageous. No white politician, and few Black ones, criticize the police, especially while on campaign! So I'm not sure why your experience listening to Bernie was so different from mine.

Back to my main point: You are assuming that Bernie lacked the correct style and way of being to connect w/Black Americans. I'm assuming that the Clinton machine approached Black political and community leaders and got them on board, by hook or by crook, whether by spreading money around or making threats, both of which the Clinton machine is really good at. Once they got Black leadership on board almost entirely, from ministers to the CBC, they knew a large portion of the Black electorate would follow, because there is a far greater degree of trust between Black leadership and their communities than between white leadership and theirs. White people, most of them, know that white leaders don't give a shit about them (that's why they voted for Trump, because they knew white leadership--most of it--didn't want them to, and they wanted to get back at them in some way, even if it didn't really help). There's been, at least up till recently, a much stronger bond between Black people and Black politicians; also, community leaders like ministers, while not wielding the clout of MLK, have a lot of influence. Once Hill had them on board, she could count on a lot of people following their lead--enough to give her large percentages, especially early on, before she, as is her custom, wore out her welcome with the voters (when Hillary talks for long enough, almost everybody starts to dislike her).

This explains why her support started to fall off with Black people under 45, because those old bonds of trust between Black politicians and their communities, which date from the struggles for Civil Rights in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, are much more real and present for people old enough to at least have been kids during the 60s and early 70s. Black people growing up after that don't have as much reason to have automatic loyalty and trust to the CBC, or to their local ministers. The bloc voting through the churches, the being together under fire and trusting your leaders to direct your power into the right channels--that's all old politics, and it works best with people who remember it at least a little. It's a lot less relevant to people growing up during and after Reagan. Jesse Jackson was the last gasp of that kind of politics. The Clinton era more or less killed it, though there were one or two people still fighting the good fight until very recently.

I'm not saying that Bernie had the substance but lacked the style or the talking points; I'm saying it wouldn't have mattered what he said or did, just like it didn't matter what Clinton said or did. If it's about how you talk, then why is it OK with Black people that Hillary said in 2008 "Hard-working people, white people, won't vote for Barack Obama." Why is it OK that she had that BLM protester kicked out? Was that a good way of making Black people like you? Apparently . How about the hot sauce bottle in her purse?

Apparently what would make Black people tear most white people a new butthole--and rightfully so--doesn't apply to the Clintons. Hillary can say she needs to stay in the primary vs Barack Obama because Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in California in June; Bill can laugh and say of Obama "A few years ago, he would have been bringing us coffee;" they can not only put through racist policies but also engage in racist speech, and that's all fine. The Clintons have been practically Teflon as far as the Black community is concerned, especially those over 45. Which is why I think it has nothing to do with the quality of Sanders' campaign, whether its substance or style. It has to do with buying influence, or maybe bullying it out of people.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

through many education, community and church based organizations in the black community. Some was direct, other was leveraged through other grants, investments and government funding. In his term as POTUS, Bill Clinton learned the value of putting money into targeted black communities to increase jobs and patronage for loyalty and political support. He learned it doesn't take a huge amount of cash, just enough in the right places to ensure local black leaders, their families friends and key supporters have access to well paying jobs in local black non-profits, consulting firms, NGO's, schools and universities.

Money and jobs provide a lot of loyalty, but it hasn't trickled down much to the younger black community.

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"If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, take their money and then vote against them you've got no business being in Congress."

Pluto's Republic's picture

…actually made the Democratic Party the distributor of Federal money that was already earmarked for black movements. They opened a window in the Party for black activists to get the money coming to them, doing the paperwork for them. Thus, the Democrats would be linked more or less permanently to this voting demographic, no matter how deplorable their legislation toward blacks.

I bring this up to point out the money distributed to the black movement by the Democrats under the Clinton's was not their own money. It was Federal money already earmarked. That is my understanding.

Nice to see you Betty.

Yr friend,

Pluto

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

solublefish's picture

Do you have a link or something for that? I would be very interested to see more on that particular story.

That said, I suspect that black Americans - like most Americans - simply voted by habit for the party that they have long thought was their friend. Do you really think that the millions of black Americans were influenced by petty cash thrown at state or local leaders?

My interpretation is this:

1. that the average Democratic voter is just as ignorant and uninformed as the average Republican voter. To put it slightly differently: I think that what Joe Bageant observed of his poor white fellow townsfolk in the hills of western VA is true of virtually all people everywhere: they live in parochial worlds constructed of their local social environment construed through the dominant cultural lens; and their political acts within those constraints are a perfectly consistent "common sense" (i.e. consistent with parochial understanding of their situation).

2. Those of us who disagree with the political judgment of others may do so for one of two broad reasons: either because we occupy a different social or ideological space - but do so just as parochially (uncritically); or because we have 'raised' our consciousness of the situation, or 'expanded our horizons' beyond the boundaries of our own quotidian reality, and gained thereby a 'deeper' understanding of the nature of the political and social world in which we live.

3. It seems to me that are we are not entitled in either instance to judge as wrong the political commitments of others. In the first instance we are ignorant, and our judgment would merely be a projection of our parochial prejudices. In the second instance, our awareness of our own enlightenment ought to temper our judgment or those who have not attained it, and turn us toward the business of educating others and raising their consciousness of their own situation to a level consistent with our own.

4. I suspect that most people are likely to vote according to their own inclinations, regardless of what prominent people around them say. The 'low information' voter may be something of an exception to this, though - since they make their judgment on the basis of a paucity of information, they are more likely to be swayed by 'information' or judgments that come from respected members of their own community. That's where I can see your "Clinton money" potentially influencing votes, just as 'Fox News' surely had some influence over voters' choices (and that's another thing I would LOVE to see real analysis of).

Nevertheless, the counter to ignorance is education - now, as it has always been. American society, in my view, has been rendered 'barbaric' (ignorant, parochial, self-interested) in its political judgment by the nature of the complex, fragmented society in which we live, and compounded by a culture steeped in its own history of racism, sexism, etc. The only thing we have to counter this with is education: teaching people to see things in a different way.

Organization and education are not separate activities: they must go together; neither can succeed without the other.

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solublefish's picture

I agree the voting pattern is mostly a result of habit. But I also think that habits change, and are susceptible to influence precisely in times of stress, when people are open to alternative viewpoints to explain their situation, its causes, the possibilities of escape. Again, this has happened in a dozen different occasions in the political history of the US (not to mention Europe, etc). Bernie had a teachable moment and he was not able to take advantage of it. I do not blame him. I simply think that needs to change if we are to have any success, going forward, in getting more people on board with the basic argument that Bernie put forward, and with which I am inclined to agree: that class and inequality are the biggest threats to our health and well-being, and the ones in most dire need of address. (And of course I am not dismissing climate, race, gender, sexuality -- just seeing them as all problems that are largely products of class, or exacerbated by class.)

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they got the support of the CBC, getting it was enormous--Black people over 45 tend to have a lot of respect for those leaders, since many of them were Civil Rights activists back in the day, and have a great deal of credibility on that account.

It was enough to sink Sanders in the primary. Do progressives want a replay in 2020?
But not enough for the win in November.

Sanders would have done almost as well with AA against Trump as did HRC, and got more votes elsewhere.
Winner!

but that was not the plan.

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solublefish's picture

And it bummed me out, and has not ceased to do so. But I also grew up outside Washington D.C., where Mayor Marion Barry, once a dedicated civil rights worker, became in the 80s and 90s a poster child for the corruption of what Glen Ford calls "the black mis-leadership class". I took the choice of the Congressional Black Caucus to be of a piece with a more general tendency of that generation to 'sell out' as they aged. I am not blaming them, just observing.

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k9disc's picture

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

solublefish's picture

The 'American People's Party' - Take ownership of both those terms/ideas.

"American" so we can do an end run around RW 'patriotism' and redefine what it means to be an American - appeals to individual identity (hard working responsible persons who expect to have a say in any matter that affects them - most everyone can identify with that) and social identity (as workers, as consumers, as parents - things most of us are at some time of the day).

"People's" party for mutualism and connotation of 99% vs 1%. Also for its homage to the real one that once existed. A party of by and for the people, which aims to make America a nation of by and for the people.

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