Takeaways from the Our Revolution LA meeting

Okay "Our Revolution LA" held a Zoom meeting this evening at 530pm PT to discuss why they're quitting the Democrats and joining a campaign to create the People's Party.

Much of the meeting had to do with the incredibly pitiful results Our Revolution and Bernie Sanders have gotten when compared with the strength of Bernie rallies, and the extraordinary efforts made by the DNC at co-opting Bernie's movement while denying all of its aims.

The presenters claimed they had a plan for taking this proposed move to a different party nationwide. One question I asked, which they didn't answer, was: what about all the NGOs which are tied in with the Democratic Party. What plan is there for getting the Democratic Party out of their business?

The schedule for the movement was that they were going to try to attempt some sort of founding convention in 2021. They didn't say when in 2021.

They had no specific advice for what to do about this year's election. One of the speakers said, "vote your conscience."

In the chat section of the Zoom meeting they suggested three websites. The first was a meeting sign up website. The second was a volunteer website for the People's Party. The last was a DemExit website.

They're going to have to have a lot more meetings if they want to attract a significant following. Does DSA/NYC know about this stuff?

They plan to have the party run more or less the Bernie agenda. All I can say from my perspective is that doing nothing seems pointless. 90+% of you will be condemned to an eternity of voting for lesser-evil Democrats while the Republicans drag the country back into the Dark Ages. The alternative is doing stuff like this.

I like the idea of sticking with the Bernie agenda, though I think the most valuable parts of the Bernie agenda are Medicare for All and College for All. I can explain my reasoning in the chat section if there's a request for it. The rest of it needs to drift leftward until it becomes socialism by the dictionary definition, as opposed to socialism by Bernie's definition.

I'm going to let "Linda Richman" aka Mike Myers have the last word here:

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QMS's picture

go bold or just stay home

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Cassiodorus's picture

@QMS if they send any. Starting a successful new political party in the United States is clearly a Herculean task.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

@Cassiodorus ...on how to address election fraud? Until we have a transparent and verifiable process for voting, a new political party will be impotent.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@The Breach Awaits Actually opposing it, like Bernie didn't, might be a good idea tho.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

@Cassiodorus But that's no picnic either. Well, maybe it is a picnic but overrun by ants and yellowjackets. Maybe follow Robert Reich's 2016 advice this time around: First, vote Trump out of office (because your life depends on it). Second, work hard to form a new party. Because counting on the Democrats to save us from Republican ruin works about as well as counting on the Vorlons to save us from the Shadows (Babylon 5), or counting on the Andalites to save us from the Yeerks (Animorphs).

This pandemic may have done us a favor by cracking the rotten egg of capitalism wide open. Once the virus known as COVID-19 recedes (hopefully via vaccine), we still have the virus of billionaires, who cannot exist without using us as their hosts.

When undecided between two candidates, always choose the one who does not advocate drinking bleach . . .

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Cassiodorus's picture

@SancheLlewellyn What happens, as the Our Revolution LA people pointed out with a fair amount of evidence in their favor, is that the existing party takes over you. You know what Bernie Sanders and AOC are doing at this moment? They're creating a facade for Joe Biden, whose political record of fifty years' standing is in giving Republicans everything they want. That's not "taking over the party." And need I remind you that Bernie Sanders and AOC are for the most part lone wolves in a sea of neoliberal Democrats? This is what "taking over the party from the inside" gets you -- next to nothing.

As for voting for Joe Biden, go ahead, but it's really not going to make a heap of difference. The movement gains nothing when the nice liberals spend their time defending neoliberal Democrats against neoliberal Republicans while the (D) in the White House sells out the downticket races. This is what we got under Obama.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

@Cassiodorus that existed (and still does) in places like DailyKos, where if you spoke out against Obama you got labeled a racist, whether you opposed the policy of endless wars, or filling his cabinet full of neoliberals, or his latest round of bailing out bankers, or his thumb-twiddling while domestic problems mounted. (Obama had six years to oppose voter suppression tactics and did nothing.)

But if Trump somehow wins re-election, form all the third parties you want because at that point it will no longer matter. American democracy will have died. Along with many of its citizens, what with the Trump Pandemic and the Trump Depression.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@SancheLlewellyn as long as they can make the argument that "democracy will be dead if Trump is re-elected" when democracy is dead already.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

magiamma's picture

They never sent me a link after signed up. Will go to the links you gave.

Yes, please, more information when you can. I will find out more from people in our group who attended.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

There has to be a "mad as hell, not going to take it anymore" line to cross. There has to be a time of, no, don't guilt me about party loyalty, do something to help ME moment. There was way too much "ask not what your country can do for you....", until it does nothing at all for you.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Snode of a little book by Stanley Milgram titled Obedience to Authority, that was about the Milgram Experiment, in which the psychological authority figures pretended to do monstrous things in order to test the experimental subjects' willingness to obey monsters. When I agreed to do my dissertation at The Ohio State University I had to sign forms agreeing not to do anything for my dissertation remotely resembling the Milgram experiment.

Of course the whole of society is today engaged in one vast and monstrous form of the Milgram experiment, with the monsters in each case being real ones. I guess we'll have to wait for the various steps to occur before the test subjects realize that their beloved authorities are in fact monsters and that they ought to develop consciences.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

@Cassiodorus and we are taught to admire them. "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" comes to mind. Also the Kardasians and Henry Kissinger, among many, many others.

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janis b's picture

I can’t really do much from my end, but your resilient dedication and drive inspires a sense of possibility.

Yes, some reinforcement from NYC, Chicago, wherever, would contribute a lot to the effort. It could be the perfect antidote to this sickly spreading virus.

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wendy davis's picture

with the Green Party, even a few folks on my '#DemExit/GreenEnter' post mentioned 'the People's Party' and 'but how about Uniting all good folks into a party' or some such.

wow, 59,000 pledges! but perhaps the simple fact of the matter is that a lot of folks would rather have a Reform Capitalist DSA to vote for?

glen ford's pretty much pushing it now, and seems to love the platform, but toward the end rec's voting Green or for any leftist party on the ballot. clearly, t'was Green bruce dixon (RIPower), and may he keep kickin' ass on the other side) who was the radical leftist at their site.

'and so it goes', as kurt vonnegut used to say.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis needs to specify a date in 2021 when they're going to have a founding convention for the People's Party, or maybe move the date to 2022 which might be wiser given the enormity of the task. Sometimes there's nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

They also need to think about what to do about the NGOs who have sold their souls to the Democrats. Could they, for instance, infiltrate the Sierra Club sufficiently to get said Club out of its role as a cheerleader for the (D) brand?

As for their agenda, my argument above stands:

I like the idea of sticking with the Bernie agenda, though I think the most valuable parts of the Bernie agenda are Medicare for All and College for All. I can explain my reasoning in the chat section if there's a request for it. The rest of it needs to drift leftward until it becomes socialism by the dictionary definition, as opposed to socialism by Bernie's definition.

As for the Greens, it was a stroke of genius for them to disrupt the Green routine by bringing Ralph Nader in, back in 1996. I set up an informational/ registration table at the Pomona (California) Farmer's Market back then and answered questions about Nader or the Green Party. Good times! Did it again in 2000. Too bad it didn't work out in 2004, and hasn't worked out ever since. A disruption of routine sometimes does good things for people.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

RantingRooster's picture

however, to me, it seems a bit pointless because US politics is not about who gets the most votes. Not to mention this new party will be up against both existing party's corporate machines. Not to mention their legion's of die hard supporters who will gang up on you and crush you like a bug. (I'm just saying...)

If you're going to start a new party, I would suggest the first thing is to establish the foundational, economic theory the “party” will advance, as in “Taxes do not fund government spending, at the national level.” (Ie #MMT)

As Bernie might say “At the root” of the problem (of US economics) is the LIE that “the government must use taxes to fund government spending”, which I think was one of the myriad of problems with both of Bernie's presidential campaigns. (He couldn't give a convincing explaination of how he would pay for his agenda.)

This COVID19 pandemic has clearly shown how this “process” works. Congress writes a bill, it passes the house, and then the senate, and then it's sent to the president's desk for his signature. No new taxes required. It truly is that simple, and yet for decades our country has “believed” taxes come before spending, which just isn't true, at all!

Personally, I think it's a futile effort and fails to recognize just how corrupt our “political system” actually is. I think the “Our Revolution” people have been too infected with Bernie's Mr. Nice guy approach to US politics, which, after all, is a blood sport. Not some gathering in Mr. Roger's neighborhood.

Think for a moment, over 80 thousand people have died in a matter of just a few months from a failed response to a lethal, global pandemic which has hit the US harder than any other country on this planet, simply because profits for the ruling class were more important.

We have elected officials calling for older Americans to sacrifice themselves for our “economy”. Are you gonna sacrifice grand ma for Wall Street profits? We have idiots with guns, demanding to risk their lives, and everyone they come in contact with, because, well ya know, freedumb, China hoaxes and Iranian nukes, oh my.

Also, Bernie, and the left in general, have completely failed to reach out to our military and our law enforcement organizations. We'll never take over the means of production with out the rank and file, military and law enforcement behind us.

It is estimated that as many as 40% of the recent 36 million who have been laid off, won't be going back to work. Those jobs are permanently gone. Unless we can get a few billionaires on our side to fund organizing efforts, humanity is on a slow and agonizing death spiral.

Humanity is in palliative care and we just don't want to recognize it. That doesn't mean we have to give up, it just means we have to recognize the state we're in and go from there, to plan and act accordingly.

Dystopia is the new normal, and it has new requirements and constraints we have to recognize and adapt too. We also have to come up with new strategies and tactics to navigate in this new normal.

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

@RantingRooster
the Inflation Forever Party or the Weimar Party.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@The Voice In the Wilderness Remember Cheney saying "Deficits don't matter?"
We already know we can create the money we need. Trillions of dollars have gone into the stock market so that billionaires can feel more self-confident about their billions. These billions do zip--nada--for societal good because billionaires bury them away in offshore squirrel stashes so the money effectively leaves circulation.

Instead, take those trillions and put them to good use: get off fossil fuels to reverse climate change, for instance. End poverty by making health care and education public goods (marginal cost zero) and implementing Andrew Yang's universal basic income idea.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@SancheLlewellyn against the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and all the other folks who are trying to promote a freak-out among the ignorant who know nothing of dollar hegemony. I should add that the Peterson Foundation is one of Bill Clinton's biggest post-retirement hobbies.

Yes of course they know already that deficits don't matter, and yes of course they should use dollar hegemony to give people something for their tax dollars. But none of that is in the neoliberal playbook followed by both major parties.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

Cassiodorus's picture

@RantingRooster showing that the majority of the public wants a new party and that half of Democrats and half of Republicans want a new party. "Independents" are now the biggest "party" in America. by number of adherents. I don't remember the exact numbers cited by the speaker.

As for confronting opposition by the two parties, anyone who wants anything from American politics is doing that already. It would be nice if they all banded together.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

Roy Blakeley's picture

@RantingRooster A large part of the problem has to do with the fact that Donald J. Trump is a fucking moron. Although the too-early return to normalcy is due in significant part to corporate greed, the initial poor response was simple idiocy. Although capital always tries to make the most of any situation (hence the Fed manufacturing money out of nothing and giving it away to large corporations for free, sorry loaning it at a 0 interest rate--which is giving it away for free), capitalism is under the greatest stress in decades.

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ovals49's picture

@Roy Blakeley
I think not. Trump May be an idiot but he’s not stupid.

Considering the choice of letting the virus “run its course” and be over quickly or to slow the spread by “flattening the curve” and have a pandemic spread out over a year or even longer, which would you think would pose a greater threat to his re-election? The mind of a narcissistic President would surely want the pandemic over quickly, even at the cost of the lives of many thousand of lesser humans. I believe Trump considered his options and charted a course through a sea of corpses toward what he believed were HIS best interests.

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“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

Roy Blakeley's picture

@ovals49 The best option was to prepare, to be ready with tests and contact tracing to minimize the pandemic as, was done, for example in New Zealand or Taiwan. He possesses a rudimentary junior high level cunning, but he has been lucky in that he has had a bunch of clowns to run against and he had run at the end of decades of neoliberal capitalism that had left people ready to try anything other than Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

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Creosote.'s picture

@RantingRooster

for your solid, somber analysis. We're in deadly times.

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