The People's Summit Failed Because it Didn't Include the People

What's that you say? The People's Summit was a failure? Surely you jest. By many accounts it was a roaring success. It had a group of "all star" speakers that were given rock star treatment by the three thousand activists and progressive media who came from all over the country to attend this major event. In the words of one admirer, Kate Aronoff of Rolling Stone Magazine:

On display last weekend was more than a growing preference for progressive candidates. Even more so than the Sanders campaign, the People's Summit was a coming-out party for a new kind of politics, one in which voting is just one option among many for how to shake down the old guard.

Yes to shaking down the old guard. But what was the mainstay of the agenda the People's Summit promoted to accomplish that goal? For the most part it emphasized a takeover of the Democratic Party from within. Tobita Chow, "founder of the Chicago-based People's Lobby and an organizer with Reclaim Chicago," explained succinctly the dominant strategy that the leaders and organizers of the People's Summit promoted:

"There's been a big movement toward understanding that electoral campaigns have to be part of a strategy of the left," Chow says. "The Democratic primary system needs to be a field of struggle for us."

He adds, "We need to do what the right has been doing much more effectively than us, which is to run movement candidates at all levels of governments," citing the Tea Party as a model. "We need to do the same thing… take out establishment Democrats, but also start to make the rest of the party scared about the threat that we pose to the establishment."

Aronoff goes on to describe an event that was well funded and slickly produced, even calling it a "Davos for the left." And it did pull off the one big thing the Summit's organizers pushed hard to achieve - over 800 attendees signed a pledge to run for office. But for which party? The Democrats, of course. The head of the Green Party, Jill Stein, was excluded from the event because… the "political revolution" doesn't include the possibility of third parties. Nope, we just need to put pressure on the Democratic party. And elect more Democrats to office, just better ones.

Excuse me, if I stop to point out that I've seen this movie before. And it didn't end well. In 1974, following Nixon's resignation, a bunch of fresh-faced young Democratic candidates were elected to Congress. Idealistic and full of new ideas they pushed against the "old guard" to make major reforms. However, their revolution didn't last.

By 1980, many of them were already out of office, either by choice or because they lost their bid for re-election. Those that remained gradually became absorbed into the party establishment. After three straight Republican presidential administrations, they were ripe for a takeover by the Democratic Leadership Council, a group that wanted to move the party away from its traditional roots among the working class toward one that was more business-friendly. Viva la revolución… not.

Now, four decades later, the Democratic Party is in thrall to corporate money, whose influence peddlers lobby for corporate welfare and cuts to the safety net. It's filled with neo-liberal economic ideologues pushing austerity at a time when we suffer from the greatest wealth and income inequality gap in our nation’s history. Yet, we're being told that the best way to keep the “revolution” alive is to actively support and vote for "more and better" Democrats, because the Democratic Party is "worth saving." With all due respect, that argument doesn't hold water.

I have a great deal of admiration for Bernie’s most significant surrogates, from Tulsi Gabbard and Nina Turner to Rosario Dawson. I also respect the role played by the independent journalists and others who promoted Sanders rather than ignore him.

However, the Sanders' campaign itself wasn't responsible for a lot of his success. He benefited from a groundswell of independent volunteer groups that sprang up across the country. Bernie, for all his rhetoric, actually ran a fairly traditional, top-down management style campaign. Without the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who independently organized themselves to support his candidacy, he would have gone nowhere.

And that's the problem I have with the People's Summit. It was exclusive, limited to only a few people compared to the millions of Sanders’ supporters. The summit event also employed a top-down management style. The new stars of the progressive movement, from Naomi Klein to Josh Fox, were all there, and coverage of the summit was provided by popular indie news media outlets such as The Young Turks.

The People's Summit's agenda was tightly controlled. It didn't allow for any real dialogue between the ordinary people who volunteered and worked for Sanders, and this relatively small group of hand-picked activists and “movers and shakers.” Kate Aronoff of Rolling Stone Magazine entitled her article, "The Political Convention Where Bernie's Revolution Reigns," but it wasn't a "political convention" at all, not in the way I understand that term. In effect, the People’s Summit was a pep rally, and we all know pep rallies are big on inspiration but often short on substance.

I'm not the only person to make this critique. Kshama Sawant, the first socialist elected to Seattle's City Council, expressed a similar view of the People's Summit in an article published in Counterpunch on June 24th:

The stated purpose of The People’s Summit last weekend was about the way forward. The event brought together an estimated 3,500 people in Chicago. The enormous potential to build a powerful movement was clear, with so many coming together eagerly looking for how to continue a political revolution.

Unfortunately, the answers to the key questions facing Sandernistas were not on offer: discussion of who to vote for in November was shockingly kept off the agenda, Jill Stein was denied a chance to speak, concrete strategies were not put forward (except to support “down ballot” Bernie Democrats), no organizational forms were proposed, and audience participation (by “the people”) was excluded.

At the Summit’s first session, Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! opened by telling a cautionary tale of 1968, when some activists refused to vote for establishment Democrat Hubert Humphrey, ending with a warning not to repeat the “mistakes of the past” (translation: not voting Democratic).

Juan Gonzalez learned the wrong lesson from 1968. I remember the Nixon years, an era filled with widespread protests from a variety of anti-establishment groups. Their actions and protests changed public opinion about the War and other issues as well. Nixon and hawks on both sides of the aisle in Congress certainly felt pressured by these so-called "radicals." Nixon took to responding with excessive and even deadly force against protests. Ultimately, however he was forced to negotiate a peace treaty because a majority of the American public came to oppose the war.

The Nixon years were also an era of major legislative achievement the for the left. The Clean Air Act was signed into law in 1970, and the EPA established. Worker safety protections became law in 1971 when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created. In foreign policy, major breakthroughs in our relations with China under Mao and the Soviet Union occurred, lessening the risk of nuclear war.

I don't know what a Humphrey administration would have accomplished. Would it have ended the war sooner? Not necessarily. The Democrats of that era had a strong hawkish wing, because they feared right wing attacks that they were soft on communism. Democrats were much more conservative than people remember. Would Humphrey have pushed through Congress environmental and worker safety laws better than the ones Nixon signed? No one will ever know, but I suspect the fact that a traditional Democrat like Humphrey was not elected President held far more significance for the Democratic Party than it did for the country as a whole.

In truth, political parties rarely lead the fight for major societal change. Take FDR. Everyone views him as a heroic leader for progressive change, but when he first took office, he was more inclined to follow a conservative path. The "New Deal" was originally just a slogan. Only when faced with massive civil disobedience did the FDR we revere today change from an essentially conservative politician to one willing to do whatever it took to ease unrest in the country and adopt progressive policies to move it forward.

Henry Wallace and progressive Democrats in Congress kept FDR aware of these protests, which helped them outmaneuver their more moderate colleagues. This combination of outside protest and inside maneuvering led to passage of the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act, which, Cohen says, "radically changed the economics of American farming." [...]

In time, FDR recognized that his ability to push New Deal legislation through Congress depended on the pressure generated by these protesters. As the protests escalated, Roosevelt became more vocal, using his bully pulpit to lash out at big business for its greed and selfishness.

Today, a lot of Democrats, especially the Clinton wing of the party, are as conservative as many Republicans. There’s little real difference between the two parties on important matters such as support for “free” trade agreements, less regulation of Wall Street, an ever more invasive national surveillance state, energy policy that still promotes fossil fuels at the expense of renewables, and support for an interventionist, militaristic foreign policy. We just witnessed the Democratic Establishment refuse to include in the party's platform most of what Bernie fought for in his campaign. No ban on fracking, No Single Payer health care. No rejection of the odious TPP. Even making a few symbolic gestures were considered by them a "bridge too far."

In light of all that, I'm not sure 1968 is particularly relevant to this election. It sounds to me like Mr. Gonzalez is making the exact same argument the Hillary campaign is already using against Trump, the same one Jimmy Carter tried to use against Ronald Reagan. The old "vote for me because I'm less crazy and evil than the Republican" appeal to fear, instead of running a positive campaign focused on issues that concern most Americans.

Frankly, it strikes me as the usual approach the left has been asked to accept for years - back Democrats while trying to change the party from within. While I wish all the best to those who choose to pursue that goal, I haven't seen it be very effective over the course of my nearly six decades on this planet. And does anyone really believe that, if we support Hillary after the convention, she'll give a damn about our demands when she occupies the Oval Office in 2017?

I suggest to you that blanket support for Democrats, especially Clinton, for which Juan Gonzalez implicitly advocated at The People’s Summit, is the wrong way to go if we want to keep this movement viable and strong. Democrats have held the presidency now for 8 years. While we can blame Republican obstructionism for a great deal of the gridlock in Washington, we can hardly blame them for those pro-corporatist, anti-progressive policies that Obama and many Democrats in Congress support. Trade deals like the TPP and TTIP are just one example. And who can forget the grand bargain on entitlement cuts. We were lucky that deal never came to fruition thanks in large part to GOP Tea Party crazies in Congress.

An independent, bottom-up grassroots movement carried Bernie as far as it did. That movement is not based on support for Democrats. It arose organically because Sanders advocated for progressive policies that many, many people found attractive. The vision of America he presented appealed to people who otherwise would never have involved themselves in any political campaign. “It’s not about me, it’s about you” is a powerful message that energized millions.

To conclude, we do not need a new set of elites to set the agenda for what should happen “next” in this political revolution of ours. What we need is more dialogue and engagement with the people who are the beating heart of this movement. All possible options should remain on the table, including third parties. If our voices are stifled, this movement will die. The political revolution Bernie called for is about us, not any particular politician, no matter how charismatic. No one path to achieving our goals can or should be imposed by the few on the many. For me, the best approach to maintaining and growing our people's revolution is to allow as many of us at the grassroots level as possible a voice in how to fight for what we all want. This political revolution is supposed to be to about restoring democracy, after all, isn't it?

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Cassiodorus's picture

Everyone knows the DNC is evil. I suppose we'll have to wait until the convention is over before all the eyes are open, though.

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"Day-to-day life under crapitalism is so horrible and depressing." -- Sam Miller

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Sometimes I get frustrated with the fact that knowing it doesn't seem to change people's strategies any.

There are some things that are really obvious to say here, and one doesn't even have to get into policy at all.

The idea that anybody would want to do anything with the Democratic party after what the last 6 months have shown us is dumbfounding.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Haikukitty's picture

It won't be fixed from within, because it will not allow that to happen.

The only thing that might force it back towards it's roots is an external challenge - from the LEFT.

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After seeing the establishment so clearly during this primary it is hard to believe anyone who acts like they don't see this for what it is will come around, ever.

I hope I'm wrong.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I am driven nearly crazy by the pig-blind historical revisionism that is plaguing the left. Doesn't anybody remember the Dean movement? Started w/an electoral challenge, organized lots of people/got 'em excited, turned the campaign into a massive people's campaign of civic engagement focused on promoting progressive candidates in all 50 states, funded via internet small-donor fundraising campaigns? DFA? Anybody remember this? Remember where we ended up? We won--lots of Democrats, some of them at least nominally progressives, got elected. We took back Congress in 2006. We then continued working, and formed the skeleton of the Obama movement. When his campaign came around, there was already infrastructure in place! We increased Congressional Democratic leads, got progressives like Donna Edwards elected, got Obama into the White House.

How'd all that work out for us? Where are we now?

When will we deal with the fact that our strategy led us to a "victory" that actually buried us, along with all our policy goals? That we had less power in 2011 than we'd had in 2007? That we *still* have less power than we had at the height of the Bush administration's power? That entire ranges of progressive policy got relegated to the trash heap of culture, the heap marked "Toxic: This Shall Not Be Spoken Of?"

In a related matter, when will we admit what effect Obama actually had on progressive and Left politics in this country?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

In a related matter, when will we admit what effect Obama actually had on progressive and Left politics in this country?

None, none at all.

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Haikukitty's picture

A negative effect.

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tapu dali's picture

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There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.

Hetrose's picture

and right on target. The idea of reforming the Democratic Party from the inside is rapidly losing any attraction it once had for me. The Elites within will always find a way to undermine and sidetrack the reform intentions of the "rabble." Reform is a threat to their way of life. Leaning more and more to the New Party idea (by whatever title it may be given) or at least to trying to infuse all this energy into an existing framework (Green Party?) which doesn't reject the will of the people out of hand because of conflicts with "reasonable expectations."

Thanks, Steve. Great post, as always.

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featheredsprite's picture

I believe they are now on 27 state ballots and are working on more.

They still need PA, NJ, CT, VA, and TN in order to get the big population states under their collective belt. TN is tied up in a court case. AZ, which some dummy lost, has petitioned the courts to be placed on the ballot. Requirements for VA aren't that bad, 5,000 signatures by August 26. NJ wants 1500 signatures by August 1. PA is a bit more of a problem: 21,755 signatures by August 1. [Where do states come up with these numbers?] CT wants 5,000 signatures by August 10.

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Life is strong. I'm weak, but Life is strong.

Haikukitty's picture

Most of those numbers are so small - they should already BE on those ballots - WHAT is the problem?

That's my only concern with the Greens as they are. If you can't get off your butt and get 5,000 or even 1,500 signatures, how are you going to be effective?

Sheesh, I could get 1,500 signatures in a weekend or two at my local grocery store...

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It's really, really hard.

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Meteor Man's picture

There are huge obstacles to third paries getting on the ballot in nearly every state. I forget which state was being discussed, but the requirement was to get "X" signatures in each county.

The Greens have focused on the states with the largest population first. Now they are battling to get on the ballot in smaller states. The legal hurdles are keeping their lawyers busy challenging unreasonable restrictions. Every state is different. The rules change from one state to the next and a reluctant state bureaucracy picks their efforts apart to stop them.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Roger Fox's picture

They need to do way better this time to be considered a viable "National Party".

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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.

Lookout's picture

will fundamentally solve the problems and issues at hand. It never has.

There has never been one march, one sit-in, one bus ride, one meeting, or one convention that alone produced change. It was the collective effect of repeated marches, sit-ins, occupations, meetings, and so on that created some progress. Here in Alabama the movement was powerful in the 60's. We made some progress, but I wonder how much. We still have mostly black folk in over crowded prisons. We still have great poverty among all races of working people. We still have blatant racism.

The people's summits great failure from my view was it's exclusion of Jill Stein. But many people at the summit expressed the same views you just did in your essay. They aren't sell outs. No one said support the Democrats that I heard, and I watched much of it. Here's some interviews from the summit to support that notion.

Published on Jun 20, 2016 At The People’s Summit in Chicago, Naomi Klein and Paul Jay discuss how to build a movement independent of the Democratic party, yet capable of waging a struggle within it 20 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR5litI_oio

Published on Jun 22, 2016 At The People’s Summit in Chicago, Executive Director of National Nurses United Roseann DeMoro says that the Sanders campaign has made the immense influence of Wall Street on the Democratic Party apparent, and that many don’t have faith that the party is reformable 10 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10IY4GT_dI0

Published on Jun 23, 2016 At The People's Summit in Chicago, Kshama Sawant tells Paul Jay that to create real political change, movements must abandon the Democratic Party 18 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvnPU7tRrkw

Published on Jun 24, 2016 Carlos Ramirez-Rosa tells Paul Jay if Clinton doesn’t ‘move left’ at the convention, ‘protests and civil disobedience are not off the table’ 10 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZuiVWt4Lhg

Published on Jun 24, 2016
At the People's Summit in Chicago, Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Phyllis Bennis says the peace movement needs to link with the coalition associated with the Sanders campaign 10 min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z5kW6HwG1Y

Published on Jun 27, 2016
Charles Lechner tells Paul Jay that although Sanders lost the race for president, he's left a legacy of millions of people who now know how to fight this kind of a race 10 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK3XowSid9k

I appreciate your thoughts Steven, but the summit offered some progressives and their organizations the opportunity to gather and network. That can't be a bad thing from my perspective. Is it enough? Of course not. Let's keep pushing!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

someone has to make some decisions for what the movement is going to do.

You can do this in either an authoritarian or a democratic way. You have a range of options ranging from the most democratic to the most authoritarian. You can go anarchist/GA-style, feminist consensus, or whatever broadly representative long-winded wrangle you prefer, or you can get a small group of people together to act like the Board of Directors for a corporation and make decisions for what the movement will be without its input (some people in history have even made these decisions pre-emptively for movements that did not yet exist!).

Whether you make decisions in an authoritarian or a democratic way, you can make your decisions either at centralized meeting, or at many many little local meetings all over the country. If you choose many little meetings, they can 1)all be doing the same thing, moving in concert, or 2)do parallel work without any connection between them at all, or 3)do similar but not identical work while remaining networked together.

Whichever choices you make regarding decision-making, you will have to have at least one meeting, and probably many. Otherwise, the movement will simply fade away.

There's unfortunately a limited window of opportunity, because if decisions are not made soon, people will give up and go away. Possibly some already have, but if visible activity resurged, we'd soon get them back, assuming we had some valid plan of action for them. That will not always be the case.

Of course, the People's Summit had some good points, because a certain critical mass of people of good faith were gathered there. Overall, it seems pretty disappointing, though.

The point here is not to despair. The point is that the work I hoped the People's Summit would do remains undone, and needs to happen somewhere else--perhaps at the People's Convention in Philly.

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18 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

lunachickie's picture

when a movement is simply a "dilution method"--that is, keep people busy doing something that sounds meaningful but at the end of the day turns out to be nothing much.

We've got to get better at zeroing in on that before anyone gets real involved in it.

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k9disc's picture

more like Brave New World than 1984.

We're living in strange times. Leviathan, the great beast of the state, has become a Shrink in a labcoat.

Our previous hard lines of reality, the edges of the boot, have become a great diffuse cloud of euphoric and disagreeable emotional distillate. Responding or paying attention creates wafts of unpalatable emotions for everyone around you.

It's super fucked up! I'm not at all convinced that people can overcome this kind of manipulation, and I'm very worried about what the endgame is.

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13 users have voted.

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

Hawkfish's picture

Back when I was doing (and I use the term loosely) graduate work in math, I took a required course in Algebraic Topology (the subject where you turn doughnuts into coffee cups.) The technical name for what we were messing with is a manifold, which is just a fancy name for an object looks like a flat plane close up. We learned how to prove things about surfaces by proving them in a small area and then "stitching" the pieces together to prove the theorem.

This was fun until one day it didn't work. I forget exactly which theorem it was, but the important idea is that you had to prove this theorem by looking at the whole object, not just pieces of it. And mathematics has an unreasonable way of telling us things about real life.

This problem shows up in politics all the time. We want to solve problems by "thinking globally and acting locally" but that doesn't work when you have a problem like climate change. For that you need a central authority with a fair amount of power. Often (as in climate change) the alternative is even worse than the concentration of power. But power - as we all know - corrupts. We can try to design systems to put checks on power, but at some point that power needs to be wielded and that is when the problems start.

The Greens are a fine example of a group that tries to pretend this conflict doesn't exist. I would love to see them do better because the Earth and humanity needs those ideas, but we needs the ideas to be wielded effectively. The Greens really don't like this, which is why they are always so disorganised. They seem to be smelling blood in the water right now, so that may be what they need to get their act together, but getting their act together will require them to change in ways that they (and I suspect you) will not like.

The dream of trustworthy power is as old as humanity. My favourite lines from the Tao Te Ching 13 says it well:

So one who values the self as the world
Can be given the world
One who loves the self as the world
Can be entrusted with the world

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We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

Roger Fox's picture

"bifurcated manifolds", 50+ yrs ago.

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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.

tapu dali's picture

dynamical systems and stable, quasi-stable, or chaotic orbits?

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There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.

Roger Fox's picture

he was SUNY Stony Brook NY.

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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 been done before a hell of a lot better than it's being done now, or at any time in the past 45 years.

I don't need a perfect, incorrupt centralized authority. I need one that isn't a ravening sociopathic maw, with an ethos somewhere between that of a jonesing crack addict and this:

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Pluto's Republic's picture

... that lets people turn the corner and enter a future they control.

For example, I'm waiting and watching for one thing:

The synaptic impulse that occurs when the smart people stop calling themselves "Democrats."

At that point, an alternative future will be born. And, not one minute sooner.

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Steven D's picture

and pr standpoint it had some value, but I think it was an exclusive event that most people only know about from a distance, i.e., whatever they might have read about it or seen on YouTube videos. I also believe that the exclusion of third party folks, and those who have a different viewpoint about what can be achieved using the Democratic Party as a vehicle, was a mistake.

For what it was it was fine. But as you yourself say, we need a lot more. I think the big events coming up at the DNC in Philly will be much more influential regarding where the "revolution goes next" than The People's Summit, and I am on record as stating that even those big marches and rallies will not have long term value unless they can motivate people to participate in other protests and similar events in the future.

Frankly I hope we can elect a few more progressive candidates across the country, but that seems like such a limited goal to build what was touted to be such a high powered event around. And that low bar flows from the assumption that the Democratic Party is the left's only option, and will always be it's only option, to effect change. That assumption is wrong in my judgment.

But as they say, time will tell.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Lookout's picture

is to keep moving. Having a leader has helped. We've gained steam since OWS.

If Bernie isn't the nominee, I hope we move in masse to the Green Party. Jill offered the branch to Bernie, and he may yet take it.

I'm very interested in how the philly marches, people's convention, and then the DNC all play out.

More power to you and those that make things happen!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Meteor Man's picture

what it would take to get The Green Party on the ballot in all 50 states. Is it even theoretically possible?

What is involved in setting up ballot access offices in all of the remaining states?

How many Berniacs would be required in each remaining state to successfully canvass each state to meet the state requirements?

What number of states is a realistic goal for The Green Party??

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

lunachickie's picture

generally--am pretty sure that as of now, there are three states that the Green Party is simply not recognized in the state or by the state, and by now it is too late to change that and get them included. However, whichever ones they were, it was still possible to get to 270 electoral votes without them--but surely the remaining 47 probably all have to be recognized and added to their respective state ballots pretty damn soon. Out of those, I believe either 21 or 22 are for sure on the ballot now, and a bunch of action is pending on the others. I imagine some help is needed but I know no point of contact to this end (day job got kind of nuts here in the last couple weeks...)

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Lookout's picture

from featheredsprite:

They lost Arizona because some dummy neglected to get the papers to the official place on time, but they are petitioning a court to allow them ballot accesss.
They now have all three states on the West Coast.
They also have Nevada.
This last week, they qualified for Illinois and Delaware.
On the Green website, Jill wrote that they are on the ballot in Massachussetts.
I think they now have access on 27 states. And working on the rest.

http://www.gp.org/ballotaccess
Here's what I found on write-ins:
Currently, 43 States allow Write In Ballots for President of the United States.
States not allowing write in ballots include; Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota
Most States require a candidate to register, however; Vermont, Wyoming, Oregon, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Iowa, Delaware, and Alabama do not require registration.
Thirty-five states require that a write-in candidate must submit some form of affidavit and, sometimes, a filing fee at least one month before the election. In North Carolina, these candidates must circulate a petition. Then their names are posted on a list at the polling place, though not on the official ballot. All other write-in votes are tossed.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Roger Fox's picture

the remaining 3 would require legislative action.
http://www.gp.org/ballotaccess

But IIRC the Green Party has never gotten past 37 states.

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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

I propose we all give up politics and join a party in a very different sense: one that involves tequila, a certain occasionally legal substance, good food, and music.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Roger Fox's picture

Yup.

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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

Bernie, for all his rhetoric, actually ran a fairly traditional, top-down management style campaign. Without the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who independently organized themselves to support his candidacy, he would have gone nowhere.

This is both the most disquieting, and potentially the most revolutionary thing Bernie did (other than continually emphasize that it wasn't about him).

On the one hand, the impermeability of the actual campaign to its movement was seriously disturbing, and made me question whether it was more than usually authoritarian (any electoral campaign is authoritarian to some extent).

On the other, it's actually intensely smart to have the grassroots organize itself independently. It's a very very good thing to have Bernie orgs not derive their ideas, support, existence from the campaign. Unfortunately, I'm not sure anybody networked all those people together, except through FB and Twitter. A more intentional and homegrown network would be preferable, even if it were only a sort of old-tech backup plan like a phone tree (yes, I know, laugh, but it's still better than only connecting via FB or Twitter!)

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9 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Steven D's picture

I learned that Bernie hired traditional campaign operatives in large part because he'd never run a national campaign and needed people who had, and could find folks in all the primary states to hire to work for him. They never realized that they would attract the attention they did from the grassroots, nor that so many grassroots orgs would organize themselves, nor did they anticipate being able to receive so many small donations that they could fund their campaign on a fairly equal basis with HRC.

In short, the way the campaign unfolded was as much a shock to them as it was to us.

The bad thing was that the traditional operatives only knew how to run traditional campaigns and never made an effective use of the many in-state Bernie volunteer groups as they could have done. I spoke to many volunteer group organizers who said that when the official campaign staff arrived 6-8 weeks before the primary invariably they would try to dictate what everyone did through using the official campaign template, and generally ignored or underused volunteers who had already been on the ground working for Bernie for months.

Also, within the campaign one reasonably high level staffer told me they had either "true believers" or "mercenaries" (i.e., people hired to work on political campaigns or as staffers for elected pols) and that this created a lot of mistrust and tension, especially as many of the "mercenaries" had previous Clinton ties and didn't want to burn any bridges w/ the Clintons once Bernie pulled out. So you can see what a miracle it was that his campaign lasted as long as it did and had as much success as it did. Most of it came simply from Bernie's speeches and the people who attended his rallies and then went out and formed their own volunteer orgs to support him. The official campaign staff was often more of a hindrance than a help to him.

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32 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Roger Fox's picture

Our Regional Field Director threw the book out in his first 3 days in state, once he realized the infrastructure I had put in place. Like a NY state voter database with phone numbers, which allowed us to canvass and phone bank in September.

My equivalents in upstate NY counties told me the same stories, they threw the book or template out. In fact one of my contacts in Binghamtom NY loved her RFD, who was promoted to be the NJ State Field Director.

I did meet one template user in NJ. And I got him in real trouble, because I got a Bernie Delegate to complain, and made my grievance heard with the National Field Director, the NJ Field Director, NJ Campaign Director. And numerous out of state volunteers from NY and CT

OTOH, From what I saw on the ground and at the national level the Sanders campaign was built to compete at the national level.

They never realized that they would attract the attention they did from the grassroots

Some never realized, some did. Revolution Messaging is among the best, they should have been expected to perform at a high level. They did.

Corbin Trent and Zack Exely worked with Deputy Director of Distributed Organizing Zack Malitz, I worked with Exely and Malitz. Malitz provided me with support for my Barnstorm events. Robert Becker went from Iowa Fied Dir, Deputy National Field Dir, to NY Field Dir to California Field Director, the one time I emailed him he was helpful.

Becker:

Founder and organizer with The Tanzeem Group, a Cairo, Egypt-based progressive grassroots organizing and communications firm

Obviously some people in the campaign were not aware of other aspects, like "Coders for Bernie", all the custom software and website work in conjunction with Revolution Messaging was for the most part outstanding. This was not the next step in online organizing tools, as we saw with mybarackobama.com. What we saw with the Sanders campaign was a generational jump predicated on placing access to volunteer lists in the hands of the local organizer.

And at the top you have Sanders and his message, which ultimately resonates with most Americans. IMHO anyone who says they were surprised by the attention, had tunnel vision. Or simply didn't understand the empowerment generated by Bernie's message and the online tools.

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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.

Steven D's picture

months earlier. That does sound a lot better than volunteers in other states I spoke to about their experiences with campaign staff.

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3 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

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.

Bernie is the real deal, authentic, genuine.

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4 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

I use it in its standard and original sense - how one uses language to convey one's arguments, or to persuade and inspire others. It is unfortunate that we have become so cynical about the words our politicians spout that a perfectly good word such as "rhetoric" has come to take on a negative connotation.

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13 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

"Rhetoric," in my opinion is pejorative when used to describe a person who means what they say and has proven it over and over again.

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k9disc's picture

I think you stretched something too far for unfamiliar communication.

Rhetoric is as Steven D laid it out. Bernie's rhetoric is bad ass, but it's still rhetoric, and that's not a bad thing.

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5 users have voted.

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

Roger Fox's picture

the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

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5 users have voted.

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

Hawkfish's picture

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We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

Meteor Man's picture

rhet·o·ric

noun

the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.
synonyms: oratory, eloquence, command of language, way with words.

The expression "that's only rhetoric" is misleading. Unfortunately, common usage has given a noble word a bad rap.

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2 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Roger Fox's picture

By then I knew other vol organizers in 13-14 counties in NY.

it's actually intensely smart to have the grassroots organize itself independently.

100% agreed. But the grassroots had access to the most powerful online campaign tools ever developed. I'm not talking about the next step after mybarackobma.com I'm talking about a totally new generation.

Giving the typical grassroots volunteer access to the Sanders volunteer signup database, allowing vols to call local vols and email local vols is unheard of. And hugely empowering, this was intentional IMHO.

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5 users have voted.

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

I am dumbfounded by the Dem party going out of its way to reject everything that Bernie’s voters want. The message is "we don’t need you and we don’t have to give you anything at all." That might make a little sense if the name of the game is transactional politics. But it's not. People are desperate for big changes now, and Bernie's call for a political revolution wasn't just a rhetorical flourish. It's not about special interests, the entire American middle class is looking for help. Another recession is coming soon.

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22 users have voted.

"We've done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."

Steven D's picture

most people are still in that recession. Why else would we have such a high number of people underemployed or who have given up looking for work?

I do agree things will get worse. The recovery we've had has mostly benefited the stock portfolios and bank accounts of the 1%

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25 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

but I'm afraid the answer is that the Democratic party is middle management for an oligarchy, and they have no intention of changing anything for people worth less than 100 million.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Shahryar's picture

"what I tell them to think!"

from Citizen Kane but that's how the Dems work these days.

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9 users have voted.
mouselander's picture

It should have been called the "Tame Liberals Summit". Tame Liberals are what I call those nominally "progressive" activists who at the end of the day always obediently fall into line behind whatever right-wing neoliberal the powers that be anoint as the party standard-bearer. Their practical value in terms of affecting public policy is about on a par with the value that a boar's teats have in nursing newborn piglets.

I knew the fix was in as soon as I learned that Jill Stein's request to address the gathering had been refused. I also read that not a single vote was taken among the attendees. Apparently the folks who live up in the big house know what's best for us peons. I'm not surprised that these progressive "rock stars" are comfortable supporting Clinton - she and they actually have a lot more in common than one might think at first blush.

#ImWithJill

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inactive account

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skod's picture

The more I think about it, the more that fits what is likely to happen. Rah, rah!

Meh.

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8 users have voted.
featheredsprite's picture

Blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Blah.

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6 users have voted.

Life is strong. I'm weak, but Life is strong.

PriceRip's picture

          On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt, as they failed to cooperate with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their attempts to investigate alleged subversives and communists. Pete Seeger testified before the HUAC in 1955.

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11 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Bisbonian's picture

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Leema's picture

And Bernie happened to be the best ever. Honest, straight talking and knowledgeable with a track record to guarantee us that it was not just rhetoric or do as I say. He tried to set the framework for us with his clarity and as far as I'm concerned hit the nail on the head over and over on a variety of issues. Including his realization of the impending crises of climate change and that we need to act now.

As to Party: Not sure....given that until we have proportional representation we will continue to have a two party system. The question now is...what will be the name & identity of those two parties going forward? Both the Republican and Democratic Parties appear to be in need of complete overhauls ...first order being to keep shining the beacon of notoriety on the massive amounts of money that have stolen democracy and then finding a way to stop that bribery.

As to first order of business: save life and stop fossil fuels in their tracks. NO FRACKING. Hillary and Donald would both speed the end of our species. Bernie or Jill would be fighting to ensure our continuation. This election as no other is a vote for life or death.

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7 users have voted.

When wealth rules, democracy dies.

But the notion of building a national movement from scratch to win the Presidency seems like long odds. I think Bernie had more success as a Dem then he would have as an indie or 3rd party.

But lets take sto k of where we are today. The Ds have affirmed their neo liberlism. The Repulicans are fucking nuts and no I am sorry, but Trump loses unless most voters fromthe primary season stay home. The libertarians belive in survival of the fittest and its not clear to me the Greens can organize a birthday party much less a national political party.

If there is to be movement, it needs to include local caandidates and do so outside a two party system. A party organized on the OWS operating principles but immune from big cash players.

Just my opinion, but it looks to me like Prez Hillary is a done deal and we need to be there to pick up the pieces and start in 2016 for some 2018 wins. Can you imagi e an upstart progressive party winning a couple Senate seats and a couple dozen house seats in 2018 ? That would be huge and set up real hope and change.

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8 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

care about winning or producing results.

They lose and blame the other guy -- Progressives can't compete in Political Kabuki with Dems & Reps, and that's the name of the game.

All that matters for our Establishment is that the State hemorrhages social expenditures so they may be slurped up by corporate profiteers.

Progressives have to build something, and that requires winning and good policy. All the Establishment needs to do is keep the facade up and the resources draining out. That's easy, and monkey wrenches totally work towards that end.

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7 users have voted.

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

Hawkfish's picture

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2 users have voted.

We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

k9disc's picture

presidency, who's to say that the Party would fall in line?

You'd have Cantwell, Reid, and Pelosi throwing monkey wrenches for their corporate sponsors. Barney Frank would be a thorn, for sure.

Who's to say that the dominant econ hegemons would not crush our economy?

The econ giants and the political Establishment don't have to win. They just have to tank government.

That's an easy task given that Progressives need to be successful -- that's the point, right?

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1 user has voted.

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

Roger Fox's picture

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4 users have voted.

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

Late Again's picture

Now, where have I heard that song before?

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8 users have voted.

"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." - Mark Twain

Amanda Matthews's picture

because they offered some very intelligent discussion on what is wrong in this country and they discussed what they are seeing and hearing as they travel. There was a boatload of great information that came from those people that spoke about the problems that have occurred during the Primary and what people are saying but I did notice that there was no discussion on what the next steps in this 'revolution' everyone keeps talking about should be.

I only recently learned that Jill Stein was not allowed to speak. I found that interesting because one of the People's Summit speakers, Roseann DeMoro, was the delegate to the platform comittee requested by Sanders that was rejected. Why would the People's Summit do that to someone else? I can't figure that out.

I am suddenly finding myself being attracted to the idea of third (or more) parties, a first for me. I always thought the mission should be to clean up the Democratic Party. I now think that's not possible.

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8 users have voted.

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

Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

have people been trying to clean up the democratic party?

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

are working down-ballot to get lots and lots of progressive Democrats elected because the Democrats will have to listen to us then.

I need an emoji that expresses accurately how I feel about this idea.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Lookout's picture

Those that read opinions create their own view. If you listened to the summit you might have a different take.

I dare you to listen to this session and say the meeting was a sellout or inauthentic. Listen to brother Shaun and say he's a sell out. I dare you. 11 min

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

(and it's financially complicated, though not as complicated as it is for some!)so I haven't been writing as much lately. But there's an essay percolating inside me about our narratives of corruption, which are severely flawed, IMO.

Short version: it doesn't matter whether Shaun King is an honorable man. His being honorable and sincere doesn't mean the Summit is. But again, it doesn't matter if the Summit is a wonderful absolutely anti-oligarchic event--if the Summit were somehow proved to be "honorable" or "in good faith," as an event, that also doesn't matter.

What matters, at the end of the day, is the combination of four things:

1)What is the collective analysis of the situation? What is happening?
2)What do we want to happen? Where do we want to go?
3)What resources do we have to get where we want to go?
4)How do we best use our resources to get where we want to go? What is our strategy?

OK, maybe there's a fifith--

5)What does that strategy mean for the ordinary person on the ground? What is my part of the work?

I don't feel these questions are being discussed at sufficient length, or in sufficient depth, especially 3, 4, and 5. We're pretty good on 1 and 2.

The answer to 3, 4, and 5 appears to be: Work down-ballot! Try to get lots and lots of progressive Democrats elected by doing more of what we just did for Bernie, but instead of doing it for 1 campaign, do it for 50 campaigns, or 500! Keep your chin up and work harder! You have just a little bit farther to go! Do the work you've been doing, but harder and with more enthusiasm, and we'll reach our goals!

That's the Dean strategy, updated a little bit and with a slightly different complexion put on it. We've already successfully done that, and it didn't take us where we wanted to go. With two exceptions, we ended up much worse off than we were before we "won" in 2006 and 2008. And those two exceptions--marriage equality and the end of DADT--just don't make up for the inaction, or terrible actions, on all other fronts, including that of endless war, the collapse of real economies and the ecology that sustains them, the rise of an international version of a police state in English-speaking countries, and the facilitating of a predatory financial sector that combines the ruthlessness of Vlad Tepes with a sociopathic focus on its object of desire rivaled only by out-of-control addicts.

If I want to go to Boston from Florida, and I'm convinced getting on I-95 South is the way to get there, taking one trip should be enough to convince me that it isn't. The third or fourth time somebody tells me to get on I-95 South so I can drive to Boston, it should be a fairly simple matter to say "We need to find another road."

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Alphalop's picture

so if you have any questions feel free to PM me, I am always happy to be of assistance to my fellow C99Peeps. Smile

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Prices are about 50-70K higher around here than I thought they'd be. Apparently Alachua County has been noticed as a good place to live and start a business (by people who have a lot more money than me). That ought to be a good thing, but it's not exactly good for all of us.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

So in that sense participation wasn't limited. The speakers all had some connection to the Sanders campaign -- not necessarily Democrats either.

Time will tell. I applaud the participants in their effort to keep pushing forward and at least doing something. The organizers in particular did the work to put the event together. There were Green Party supporters at the event, including Shaun King who has talked about backing Jill Stein, but I don't have a problem with the organizers deciding not to give Stein a platform.

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1 user has voted.

All great points, Steven D, but didn't Bernie run his campaign on the same flawed premise: to change the Dem party from within? That's the reason, despite the empty promises by Hill to include Bern's ideas into the (sham) platform, Bern is now kinda lost in space. He had the power, the money, the supporters, the national recognition, but instead of running third party like a bullet aimed at the heart of a heartless party, he folded. Now we have the spector of a Clinton-Warren ticket, no meaningful place for progressives to gather and fight for equality and justice, and many more Clinton years to suffer under. And please, to some c99ers here who want to curse me out for my opinion like Hillarybots on Daily Kos, stuff it because I'm entitled to my opinion just as you're entitled to yours.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

those who don't, well, they do have a right to their opinion too.

I'm basically in agreement w/you, for what it's worth.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

FunLovingProgressive's picture

that the convention seemed to be more of a celebration of what the campaign has accomplished and other platitudes but little in the way of involving the attendees in the agenda. There was also no talk about how to still try and win the nomination for Bernie at the Democratic National Convention in Philly.

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Love is my religion.