We need to demand realignment, not a third party.

I think we ought to be referring to our ultimate goal as that of "realignment." "Third party" is the phrase the Establishment to denigrate our cause and pronounce us as insignificant. Ideally we should want the Green Party to be a second party; the Democratic Party will be the other national party, absorbing the Clintonites and the establishment Republicans under one banner (hint: they're already doing this now).

Clinton's Candidacy Will Unite The Corporate World

In this projected arrangement the Republicans will be a regional party, like the American Independent Party was in 1968, and pretty much advocating (as they do now) what the AIP advocated in 1968, for an audience comprised mostly of the former Confederate states (and perhaps Kansas and Utah). Here it should be recalled that the AIP's Presidential candidate, George Wallace, carried five states in 1968: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Awhile ago I put out a diary titled We Need An 1856 Moment, in which I suggested that we needed a Presidential term like the one that happened in 1852-1856, in which America started out with two major parties (Democrat and Whig) and ended up with three (Democrat, Republican, and American (Know-Nothing)). For the record, the last American Whig Party convention convened in 1856, and its membership concluded with an endorsement of the American (Know-Nothing) Party's candidate for President, ex-President Millard Fillmore.

A realignment is going to need a cause. It took the Abolition movement to cause the realignment of 1852-1856. The cause of the 1852-1856 realignment was slavery; the cause today is neoliberalism.

For now, then, the Green Party is a mere "third party," destined to fail in a "two-party system." With realignment, the Green Party becomes a party in transition to a different, more meaningful two-party system, in which the Greens (or whichever party replaces them should the Green Party be inadequate to the task) become America's second party.

Sticking with a "realignment" goal is important because in growing a new party, Americans will have to clear up numerous misconceptions about what people are doing in voting for candidates who are neither Democrats nor Republicans. No, we are not just venting, yes, we already know that Stein is very unlikely to win this particular election, no, we are not really Trump supporters. The idea of promoting realignment is that, for once, those of us who do not support Democrats or Republicans can abandon our defensiveness and say what it is that we really want.

A significant minority of Americans know nothing about the Green Party, nor about Jill Stein, and aiming to exploit this general lack of knowledge are people like Allen Clifton, who has "10 Questions I Would Like Green Party Supporters and Jill Stein to Answer."

Of the ten questions Clifton asks, #1 merely repeats an old canard about Ralph Nader, which Jim Hightower corrected well. #2 forgets that Al Gore was a neoliberal and that Al Gore's promotion of the climate change threat has been almost entirely in the realm of getting people to admit that anthropogenic climate change is real without any idea of what to do about it. #6 is just a name game -- start with Howie Hawkins and Carl Romanelli, they're my favorites. #7 is about Clinton's claim to be "qualified" -- Clinton has repeatedly shown that she's qualified to do harm to people, and so we can hardly expect Jill Stein to do worse. #8 is a trivial complaint about Edward Snowden. #9 is about Supreme Court justices, and if we are expecting Supreme Court justices to save the day for us, then we have failed. #10 is about Bernie Sanders, who may do as he pleases.

#3, #4, and #5 are the questions Clifton asks which will allow us to get to the meat of the problem.

#3 illustrates the author's obsession with "lesser-evil" voting. Game theory may pronounce "lesser-evil" voting to be a better option, but the problem with "lesser-evil" voting is that, over time, it does not prevent the greater evil from winning the day. Gopal Balakrishnan:

On numerous occasions since the 90s the left has rallied to a center-right candidate to ward off the far-right and the results have been disastrous. Not only is the far right strengthened by bolstering its credentials as the only real opposition force to the establishment, the left is drastically weakened at the expense of the center-right.

#4 Supporting the Green Party now is not about immediate winning. Rather, if Jill Stein gets 5% of the vote, she gets FEC funding, and if Jill Stein scores a 15% rating in polls, she gets an invite to debates. Supporting Jill Stein is about party-building.

#5 Realignment is about making the political class do something productive for the body politic. The Democratic and Republican Parties can no longer do that by themselves, as evidenced by the Obama administration's record. They are, essentially, reduced to this:

They need a realignment, whether that be through the Green Party or some other such entity. The Republican Party will fade into the shadows once the Democratic Party is denied the power to revive it from time to time.

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elenacarlena's picture

to see the interest growing in Jill.

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lunachickie's picture

I would only point you to that choice Obama made at the beginning of his first term: "We could expand the existing framework of Medicare/Medicaid to include more Americans" vs "We should make this new Thing happen called Obamacare so we can mandate insurance". We all know how that turned out--that "creating something new". Uhh, newp. I don't think anybody's falling for that again, not where it intersects with our politics, not with the current bunch in charge. Besides, they're powerful enough that they can--and will--co-opt it and dilute it faster than a duck jumps on a June bug and then we'll have to start over again. And again, and again and again.

Green. NOW. We've even got an excellent candidate in Jill Stein. It is long past time for the honest people of the US to get on with it. TPTB will do everything it can get away with to make us fail anyway. They're damn sure not going to help us organize, so we're going to have to do it ourselves. So.... GREEN. NOW. I happen to agree that the notion of climate change is very real and time is of the essence at this point, on this planet. Why would we choose to build the whole car again when we have a chassis already built, do you know what I mean? We will get NOTHING if we have no party to call our own and then it won't matter.

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elenacarlena's picture

convention. Hillary needs to concede the nomination to Bernie. What are the chances? I know, I can hear you laughing. There is also, of course, the tiny chance that Bern flips the supers because she gets indicted meanwhile.

But as you know, I'm already working to get Jill on the ballot. The more choices, the better!

Assuming Bern is marginalized at the convention and doesn't go 3rd party on his own, then onward with Jill. Certainly the central message of doing everything possible to prevent climate change is one of the key issues that either we solve very soon, or we watch civilization come tumbling down. The rest of their platform, mostly progressive, also looks very good.

I think the fact that Hill and Trump are so close together in viewpoints may make this much easier. It's not sacrificing much to chance Trump beating Hill.

I still reserve the right to change my mind. I'll look into their policies and positions more closely after the convention, assuming they coronate Her Heinous. But that's my thinking currently. Hillary will be better domestically, I think, but what about our responsibilities to the rest of the world?

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k9disc's picture

His whole life is an endorsement for public private partnerships and corporate sponsored public policy.

Not at all surprised that he did not use government alone to guarantee health care to Americans and instead pushed a state mandated public/private medical insurance program. It's exactly what I feared from him when he hit the scene.

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

Hawkfish's picture

The catastrophe is coming - it's time for the left to exploit one instead of just letting the right endlessly create them.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Bollox Ref's picture

at some other site?

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

lunachickie's picture

it chokes the life--literally--out of all of us.

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Nearlynecessary's picture

While the polls clearly show that people are extremely reluctant to vote for either of the dispicable R or D candidates, Jill Stein just may be able to capture a great deal of attention, and generate a great deal of enthusiasm for a much anticipated ALTERNATIVE to these two corrupt sycophants.

She just might be the breath of fresh air that people are searching for, especially those that got the wind knocked out of them by Bernie's "MEHndorsement" of the Shill.

Let's get her ballot access, then into the debates, then into the White House! We can do this!

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martianexpatriate's picture

and the green party really needs is press attention which doesn't occur as an afterthought during the presidential race. We need to get the more media attention before the next election somehow.

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lunachickie's picture

that American media doesn't give a damn, and they will do everything in their power to keep Stein marginalized.

We need to stop worrying about the stuff we have no control over, and just do what needs to be done. Stop worrying about what They will do or won't do. Just do it. Vote Green.

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Wink's picture

owned by the Ubers and Filthys (rich, 1%). They couldn't care less about the 99%, instead wish them dead. Jill Stein is not one of them, so... she will get zero coverage.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

martianexpatriate's picture

in history it has never been cheaper or easier to make your own video and put it up on the internet. We need to be our own media presence. You don't have to be a billion dollar company to try to communicate with people any more. It's really important that we embrace that.

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lunachickie's picture

via MSNBC and CNN. They fell all over themselves to ignore him. They'll do it to progs as often as possible.

Screw 'em. We don't have to have them. It would be nice, but it can be done without them. Sanders has largely proved that.

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Wink's picture

for four or 5 dollars a day.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Big Al's picture

This one where we elect 537 people to supposedly represent, i.e., make decisions, for 330 million people has got to go. This is not democracy and it won't be democracy even if third parties are allowed to compete, which will take decades if at all. In my research and readings I've found that this political system was set up by the rich for the rich and was intended to keep the power with the ruling elite. We need a greatly expanded system, a smaller role for the federal government (including the end to U.S. imperialism), a national referendum process, and a real end to rule by the rich, not only here but on the entire planet.

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vtcc73's picture

There were no political parties until after George Washington's presidency and campaigning was considered unseemly. The writings of several of the founders are strewn with their low opinions and warnings of the dangers of political parties, corporations, organized religion, stock markets, and lawyers. Where did we go wrong? I guess they should have listened to themselves better. All of them will exist as long as there is leverage available from banding together for shared purpose. Maybe we need 330 million better human beings as citizens.

Edit it remove a 3. Any one need it? Free 3 to a good home.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Big Al's picture

money talked, bullshit walked. Banding together for a shared purpose? It won't come with the Green party, or any new parties. There are a couple dozen now and many are getting new interest, not just the Greens. Too splintered and divided with different goals and agendas. I've been saying for a long time now, it depends on what you want. Do people really want democracy or not. Cuz it ain't easy.

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MsGrin's picture

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'What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark' - Ann M. Ravel, former FEC member

Big Al's picture

about democracy and an end to rule by the rich. I think it should be a global people's revolution demanding what is rightfully ours. But that's just me. I know many people agree with that, but certainly not everybody, particularly as a goal for a revolution. Many think we should work within the political system via third parties. Many think we should demand free college, single payer, and 15 min wage and worry about democracy later, maybe thinking it will come eventually through reforms and infiltration of the oligarchy system.
Since Occupy far as I can tell the main problem is what to rally around and what the goal should be. Everybody's got their own ideas and it doesn't seem we've ever been able to boil it down to one goal for Solidarity.
I'm hoping human kind gets to that point eventually because if we don't the results will not be good.

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Haikukitty's picture

the question is how to make a movement work without any leadership. It's a nice idea, but I just don't know how it happens in reality.

Maybe I've just become too cynical. I guess I'd rather see some positive change via a third party vs. hoping that the entire mongrel population of the US can come together in some meaningful way.

I do think, though, that someday it might happen, once climate change gets so catastrophic that it's undeniable. Unless, of course, by that time the police state is 100% entrenched. Which goes back to why I support the Greens or some leftist party NOW in order to hopefully stop that happening.

To be honest, things are looking pretty hopeless these days. But, I'm trying not to just give up completely. Sad

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The more I feel that if we have to have a leader, she's the best suited. What we're really doing is "voting" in a very suspect electoral system for someone to "lead" the United States government and hopefully its people. Jill Stein, with the rightness of her convictions, and her freedom from corporate control and the way she articulates that, puts her head and shoulders above any other candidate, especially in this lame field. Can Jill be the leader of this people's movement after she becomes the leader of the United States government and can this people's movement flourish without a leader are questions I'm wondering about. Of course all we really need is someone in the Presidency who will stop any more damage from being done. Anything else is icing on a cake and we do need a heck of a lot of icing right now too. But if we just get a President with decency and empathy and fairness, we can find our own leaders or figure out a way without leaders.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

vtcc73's picture

Self rule was an astonishing idea for the time. Nowhere had a large society with a somewhat diverse, for the time, people attempt it. There had always a ruling entity or ruling class. The biggest tension among our founders revolved around who would maintain power. Everyone hated an aristocracy in control unless, of course, they happened to be in the ruling class. They deeply feared democracy that might enable the common people to attain adequate power to force the ruling class to share power. The compromise decided on during the Constitutional Convention was to permit land owning males the right to vote. That is far from the concept of democracy we have today yet it took about 150 years to get the law of the land to recognize the right to vote for all citizens without restriction. But then we all know that even that fight is far from over. The right to vote is routinely infringed in direct conflict with law and there are millions who still think this is a proper state for our democracy. We have a long way to go to come close the fulfilling the claim to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness found in the Declaration of Independence.

We are still fighting the battles to build a fully functioning democracy most think was won in 1776. I have no doubt we will fight it for a very long time to come. Knowing this makes it hard to accept the impatience I see for everything to be made right in this one election. It won't be. We can only make progress. It will come in fits and starts with set backs. Both HRC and Trump will be major setbacks but we have the promise of an opportunity to slice off a chunk hide of our rulers and advance our interests. I think one or both of the major political parties will be badly damaged by this election. What looks like a dark immediate future can become chance to advance our cause if we can get our shit together behind a progressive leader. Maybe we'll get a break this time, maybe not, but we have to be willing to do the work for as long as it takes.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Haikukitty's picture

it's that we can all clearly see that despite all we've tried, we have been moving steadily in the wrong direction since WWII, at least. And it only seems to accelerate.

I don't know that people are impatient in the sense they want everything fixed this election. It's more a sense that we are running out of time to at least BEGIN changing course, and I think it's warranted.

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vtcc73's picture

There is indeed impatience and rightly so. I was stuck finding the right word for what I was seeing and impatience was what rose up out of the depths. Reading your critique I consider expectation to be a better choice. I think Bernie has been careful to limit expectations while avoiding dampening enthusiasm. I'm not sure everyone heard what he said or that he couldn't have been more specific. It's also possible people didn't want to hear that everything would instantly be fixed if Bernie won the nomination. I don't know. One thing I've very sure of though is that unfulfilled expectations lead to hard feelings in most people. I'm amazed this didn't occur to me when I was writing that comment. Avoiding expectation in my life is central to my well being.

Some time ago I was told that expectations are preplanned resentments. I know this to be completely true for me and I'd suggest it is true for almost everyone. I've learned to limit my susceptibility to expectations by managing process rather than results. The whole dynamic is wrapped up in understanding my relationship to control and living in the moment. This concept helped me learn to release the death grip I once held on life. Thanks for the reminder.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Wink's picture

sense that if we don't start reversing this Now 2020 will be way too late.

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That is far from the concept of democracy we have today yet it took about 150 years to get the law of the land to recognize the right to vote for all citizens without restriction.

You mean 200 - poll taxes were not outlawed until the 1970s, I believe.

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vtcc73's picture

Still, I'm not sure they don't fall in the category of suppressing a constitutionally granted right to vote that took roughly 150 years to find it's way in to the law of the land for all people in the US. That was my point. Regardless, your point is well made: many of us are still denied the right to vote one way or another. One person denied is too many.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

riverlover's picture

to vote. FFs disapproved.

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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.

vtcc73's picture

Our friend the Google came up with this. However, a simple declarative statement is indeed missing. I learn something new every day. Thanks for the educational point.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

I have no doubt we will fight it for a very long time to come. Knowing this makes it hard to accept the impatience I see for everything to be made right in this one election. It won't be. We can only make progress. It will come in fits and starts with set backs.

The problem is we're out of time because of climate change. The pressure is on us now.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

vtcc73's picture

but we're all along for the ride until we suddenly develop an irresistible power to convince unwilling people to understand danger. Of course, such powers would be a terrible the danger in themselves. Until then we're faced with good old fashion persuasion and individually doing everything we can to not make things worse. Humans can be pretty stupid but being in the middle of a negotiation to stop a murder-suicide pact most folks refuse to recognize is very, very demoralizing.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

vtcc73's picture

to try to retake the Democratic Party. The perfect solution as I see it, use at your own risk, is Bernie's revolution joins forces with Jill's Greens and other like minded third parties to finish what Bernie has begun. One or both of the major parties could easily be critically, if not fatally, injured from this election. Seeing the saner, spelled corporate, Republicans join the Clinton Democrats is not impossible and a natural fit. That would the Birchers alone with Kochsuckers, the crazy fucks, and teabaggers. Karmic justice that. Then Bernie, Greens, and the Democrats, shocked by the WTF?! moment of Hill & Bill showing that a full fledged Republican has been the Wizard of Clinton at the helm all along, can become the other major party. Yes, I'm sober but a guy can still be delusional on his own time.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Big Al's picture

devil, Clinton. There is no retaking of the Democratic party. Here's Sanders now:

"I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession."

– Bernie Sanders, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, July 11, 2016

This is the guy railing on about wealth inequality and he says that? Sanders is not going to join forces with the Greens and his revolution ain't worth a hill of beans.

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vtcc73's picture

look at what he does. It's easy to confirm our deepest fears if we look hard enough. I disagree that the quote is a sign of a sellout or has been. It is a sign of a politician doing political stuff.

Patience. We won't know what he, the Greens, or the two together can do for a while. Income inequality won't be solved any time soon. It wouldn't be solved if Obama had been the reincarnation of FDR some thought he would be. Bernie can't solve it even if HRC would suddenly disappear and the Dems came to their senses and nominated Bernie. This is a long fight that's been going on for a very long time with longer to go. Perhaps Bernie or/and Jill Stein aren't the vehicle but who else are we going to follow? I refuse to run around screaming and shouting or to crawl into a hole and give in to depression.

I'm all ears if you or someone else has a viable alternative plan.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

faithsoasis's picture

. . . Says someone about someone else; who has revealed a decades long ultra ethical fight against what you have just accused him of being!

Who the fuck are you to sling arrows and ugly innuendo about Our Hero; Our Epically
Iconoclastic Mensch di Compassion~ Our Bernie ~We're So~Proud~of~ You~Sanders!!!
???

I find it rather incredulous that you think you know more about what Bernie Sanders is aware of, about this situation and whatever your piss poor poorly attuned opinion ~not-based -on -much -more -than speculation -based on crap that passes for information . . . that by the time it reaches the "Outlets" you rely on . . . is crap . . .

You have the temerity to inflict your base critical opinion based on nothing more than unfounded criticism and guesswork?

I fully relate to the full force of such revoltingness at the thought
of further clinton
rulers . . .

Nevertheless; Considering Senator Sanders Inestimable Integrity; then we must grasp whatever he feels the need to portray, has an equally honorable. Motivation behind it. Which means no matter what he "appears" to be doing, we know that his many, many years of making exclusively highly ethical choices; THAT~ IS ~WHO.~ BERNIE~IS~

WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

Get a grip.

Bernie Sanders "A Rare Gem of A Human Beimg." An Even More Rare "Civil Servant" Who is Not getting Rich Selling Wars or Donor Wellfare policies ~

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Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” ~Benjamin Franklin

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lunachickie's picture

Get a grip.

People are allowed to believe whatever they want, but if they actually believe that Sanders is some kind of craven sellout now, after 30 years of NOT being one, they were either bandwagon-jumpers or they had extremely unrealistic expectations to start with. I am done engaging them, if they want to take their balls and go home and cry--or cry here and then go vote for that crooked criminal vulture and her crooked criminal husband--they can have at it.

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Big Al's picture

I'd like nothing better. I'm not taking my ball and going home, I'll be right here railing on the political establishment, of which Sanders is a full fledged member.

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lunachickie's picture

she said, as an afterthought, to nobody in particular....

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faithsoasis's picture

Thank You

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Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” ~Benjamin Franklin

orlbucfan's picture

I've got a dear friend in her 30s who is traveling to Philly next week. She will be the delegate whip for the Florida Bernsters. From the time Bernie declared his candidacy in April 2015, he said point-blank he would throw his support behind the Demo nominee even if he lost. Big Al, go back and look at the record. I worked his damned campaign down here. Sell out, he ain't. I'm getting sick and tired of reading it. I agree with a lot of the points in this diary and thread. I, for one, will vote in August and November, but for neither tRump nor $hrill! Rec'd!

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

Big Al's picture

thanking Obama and Biden for getting us out of the recession. These are the two who spearheaded the trillions in bank bailouts while warning the serfs they had to tighten their belts with their "entitlements". The upward distribution of wealth and income has exploded under Obama, he's been a disaster. Sanders saying what he said gives legitimacy to Obama and Biden which is exactly opposite of what he said he stood for, and hides the fact that the recession never ended for the majority of the public. That's pure bullshit in my book.

Then he says Clinton will make an outstanding president and a fierce advocate of children's rights. Clinton and her husband are child killers, going back to the sanctions on Iraq in the 90's that killed 500,000 or more children to her, and Obama's, illegal wars in Libya and Syria that have killed tens of thousands of children and counting.

I know he said he'd support the Dem nominee, I've been trying to tell Bernie supporters that since he said it in May 2015 (or March?). It's the majority of Bernie supporters who refused to believe that.

Sanders is an establishment politician who stands with war criminals and Wall Street enablers.

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WaterLily's picture

Very well argued (long-form) article analyzing Bernie's "endorsement."

“You Can Have Your Weak Nominee If You Wish” – the Sanders Endorsement Backfires on Hillary Clinton, Empowers Sanders in One Masterstroke

Rings true for me -- save the last part, which suggests a surprise at the convention. I don't think that's going to happen. But his strategy for taking over the party from within very well might, given the points raised within.

(Be sure also to read the linked article from The Hill, in which establishment Dems have begun to freak out over HRC's polling. Well, we told them so ...)

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lunachickie's picture

will refuse to believe it and continue repeating themselves over and over about his "sellout", but not only do I agree with you that more eyes should see the article at your link, if you haven't done it already, please make it its own post. Hell, if you did it before, do it again!!

The bits about "strategy" are pretty interesting, but it also has this bit that I'd read somewhere else completely, a few days ago:

The day after he endorsed Hillary, Sanders addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), an immigrants’ rights organization, for 25 minutes and didn’t mention Hillary Clinton even once. Sanders has clearly left the Democratic Party behind, if it seeks to obstruct his agenda. He also seeks to weaken union bosses (some of whom were responsible for the victory of the TPP lobby on the platform committee) and big donor-based think tanks and NGOs.

I'll bet Hillary was pissed about that--anyone that knows all the "tradition" of these sorts of things knows that not even mentioning her by name was practically an official--and certainly well-placed--snub. I love it. No, he won't get the nomination, and no, there won't be a floor fight in the traditional sense (at least, not that the public will see). But IMO, Bernie Sanders is up to something whether it's short-game or long-game. And you know Hillary knows it, too. When you have no soul left, you probably don't have trouble sleeping at night, but you can bet her stomach is in knots over this shit, no matter how poised, polished or experienced she is.

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vtcc73's picture

The rocket assisted leaps of logic used to indict so many as sellouts to HRC are getting tedious. I feel like I'm playing wack-a-mole.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Wink's picture

has barely begun to fight. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

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Cassiodorus's picture

to make sure that those who are not in the party know what we stand for.

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

There needs to be some brainstorming. What exactly is it that a political party does that makes them so hard to avoid? It has to do with communication of information, money and probably a whole bunch of other factors. What functions can we replace using the tools at our disposal. Tools like social media, that haven't existed until now.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

I'm done with representative government.

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

In my perfect world, everything would be decided by direct democracy. But as someone once said, "The best argument against Democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." The average voter is giving us the option of Trump and Clinton. Do we really want them voting on important matters directly?

The only way I'd accept direct democracy is if everything is done locally. I don't want my life being run millions of people I don't know. It's bad enough to be ruled by a few hundred people I don't know.

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Haikukitty's picture

In a functioning democracy, we'd have been exposed to ALL the candidates through a presumably truthful and unbiased media, and have had access to their positions.

You can't really blame the average person for their faulty decision-making when they are the victim of non-stop corporate propaganda. The whole thing about propaganda is that most people don't recognize it for what it is, or it wouldn't work.

I'm really not sure that if we had had a functioning media and a fair primary, that we wouldn't have seen a completely different outcome - on both sides.

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In the situation you're describing, there would potentially be hundreds of candidates for POTUS. It would take a dedicated person to sift through them all, even in a world with unbiased reporting. Anyone with that kind of dedication would be able to find the information they need today, in the real world, biased media and all.

The sad fact is that most people aren't motivated to do anything more than the bare minimum.

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lunachickie's picture

it's also about "education". Believe it or not, not everybody is an online whiz, a stenographer, or even a simple researcher.

Sure, everyone's FIRST priority ought to be their government, but you know, life does have this annoying way of getting in the way of your priorities, no matter where they lay.

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You're more optimistic about this than I am. I believe people are willfully ignorant, and education can fix that. Millions and millions of people were being told about Hillary's misdeeds, and they still throng to her in the face of the far better candidate Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton's victory was not due to the lack of education on the candidates.

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First item on the agenda: get rid of the dumbass name (even more dumbass than the proposal to put Snowden on her cabinet). Green Party by its very name evokes tree-hugging wimpy liberals, and it will never do more than steal a few %s from the Democrats. Hell, I like the party of Theodore Roosevelt: Progressive Party. From Wiki: "The relative domination of the Republican Party by conservatives left many former Progressives with no real affiliation till the 1930s, when most joined the New Deal Democratic Party coalition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt." It has history and a pedigree- progressive is what we are. I am not a "Green".

Doesn't it make more sense to transform the Sanders phenomenon into the Progressive Party than to try to shoehorn our disaffection into the Greens?

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Cassiodorus's picture

Right now the name of the game is ballot access, and so the hero of the moment is Jill Stein.

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

lunachickie's picture

Right now the name of the game is ballot access

Sometimes, you got to do the best you can with the cards you got dealt...

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Lady Libertine's picture

we have to be thinking both short term and 'the long game' term.

Great post, Cass.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Hope you are doing well.

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

skod's picture

And those of us who are above a certain age need to be comfortable with the reality that these changes will probably not happen in our lifetimes.

We are planting a tree, but we'll never sit in its shade. That will be for other, younger folks.

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Doesn't it make more sense to transform the Sanders phenomenon into the Progressive Party than to try to shoehorn our disaffection into the Greens?

The green party has been around for quite a while, and honestly, has never been organized or focused. If you look at the Green Party in the states - each one has a slightly different name, different focus.

Definitely think, whether we like it or not, there is a certain "taint" to the existing Green Party. One person, Stein, is not enough to carry a party. Also think there is a "purity" sense that is turning many off.

With more than 12 million votes - the Progressive party, as now being organized by Jane and Bernie Sanders has the BEST chance, really an opportunity, to be a VIABLE political party.

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Meteor Man's picture

What do you mean by "viable"?

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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

Cassiodorus's picture

would energize people. I do feel, though, that for now people ought to try the Green Party in order to judge whether or not it would make a suitable vehicle for their most utopian ambitions, since it's already here and has had a meaningful infrastructure since, what, 1992?

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

Like Bisbonian I tried multiple times over several days to donate (again) to Stein via NationBuilder and kept getting a nonsense error message that "ls must be corrected . . . ."

And I was entering exactly the same information, including credit card, that I had first used to donate to Stein.

To make things even weirder, NationBuilder will let me donate - again using the exact same data - to Ballot Access.

What?

Like Bisbo, I, too, sent a message to the Webmaster - no response, not even an automated response that email was received.

I begin to suspect that the GP US has no intention of even being a viable third or fourth party.

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Only connect. - E.M. Forster

Haikukitty's picture

election season either. Remember the ACA's website launch? That was backed by the government itself, and was a huge fail.

I'm not sure it's fair to condemn a party that's now growing faster than they ever expected for not having all the bugs worked out.

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skod's picture

from a Macintosh, even!

Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And, if you have organizational skills, consider volunteering to help them get more organized. They can certainly use the help, to turn the ballot access that they already have into something more real. An infusion of new organizational blood will help them tremendously: I suspect that the folks who have been plodding along for years are pretty fried at this point...

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lunachickie's picture

and have not had a bit of trouble, either time.

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Cassiodorus's picture

but you might attend a Green local or state plenary meeting to find out what's going on...

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

Only I don't have a problem with being the New Deal Democratic Party. Bill Clinton bought into moving the Dem Party to the right, and moved it so far to the right, it no longer resembled The New Deal. The Dem Party SHOULD be a green party, because it's supposed to be progressive, i.e. concerned about the future of the planet--- or just the future. The Repukes are in charge of the past.

Maybe someone has better information, but it was my understanding that Bernie is presently a Dem. Since it can't be done by registration, I assume it's done by statement. And that was his statement. Also, I don't think he's going to go around the country and promote Hillary as Hillary is. I think he plans on continuing to talk about all the same things he's had in his platform all along. That's what he did when he sorta "endorsed" her----not wholeheartedly, as they keep saying at TOP. And at the same time he's campaigning, he's getting us involved in the soon-to-be-announced groups, working toward the changes that drew us to Bernie in the first place. Some one tell me I have this right, please.

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Wink's picture

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

lunachickie's picture

IMO--for this year, this election cycle, nobody's got time to create a miraculously-assembled Party ready for November. So the closest thing you have to a decent alternate is called, yes, The Green Party. See: the calendar....

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MsGrin's picture

which principles, exactly, if you don't mind explaining?

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'What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark' - Ann M. Ravel, former FEC member

Cassiodorus's picture

No doubt it's about corporate hegemony or something like that.

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

Lookout's picture

...or at least a tree hugger. I like the name Green. I guess because the climate is the ultimate issue of our time and must be our focus. That means leaving it in the ground and building a new green economy as well. Addressing climate change reverberates across the economy and society in many profound ways. Besides as luna said "it's what we got."

green party protest.jpg

Time to change your party registration?

register green.jpg

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

shaharazade's picture

well no don't. Bravo Cassiodorus and thank you. The sanest essay I've read all day. The time is right for realignment of our political duopoly as nobody likes (without a unwashed fear riddled brain) what they know is going down.

I was listening to my local community stations coverage of the Republican convention and could not comprehend how this surreal drivel is being past off as the only reality of politics. Politics are not static. They may shape the here and now but they are in reality dust in the wind.

Yes for now we need to strengthen alternatives to the Donkeys and Elephants. They have merged into the monster con we are presented with as a choice. Though out this country's dubious history there have been political changes within the locks imposed by a complicit two party system. Yes we need to realign and stop thinking in binary double think. This isn't the only reality available or an inevitable turn of events.

I will do what i can to support the Greens for now. Any revolution I'll join however will not include the ruling Junta including Bernie or a any of these acquiescent con artists who tell me this is reality so vote for it or else.. Fuck them all. Reality is what happens and the present situation is not inevitable or some pol cooked up 'lesser evil.' It's the same evil wearing a different mask.

Any pol including Saunders who tells me what you need to do is vote for Clinton because whatever it takes to defeat the Hairball at all costs is a freaking liar. It just shows how fragile this house of cards these fuckers have built is. Supporting democracy in it's basic concept is a civic duty for people who see what is going on. That seems to be a lot of us these surreal days.

We know it's not anything we should support and yet out of fear we refuse to look at what we are supporting. Could and will be worse is a given until we the people globally manage to pry this blood sucking squid off humans and the planets face. Forget about D's and R's and deal with what is really going on. Con vs. con. No thanks, i reject you both. Take the leap and forget about this put up job.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Hope you are doing well!

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

Let's have a multiparty system (for Congress) and lets build explicit coalitions instead of the bullshit "coalitions" that form the two major parties.

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Whether Swillery wins or loses the corporate Dems will move to purge us. Should we convince as many Dems as possible to follow us out the door or counterattack and purge the corruptocrats?

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On to Biden since 1973

riverlover's picture

I turned Green, lots of good that did. Other than Stein and Weber (anti-Schumer) no choice.

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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.

k9disc's picture

Behold the tyranny of the corporate center!

I've been worried about this since 2007. Obama's emotive, but empty rhetoric, lack of progressive action, and his wholehearted support of Public-Private Partnership was my clue.

You have the Crazy Right and the Naive Left, and the Adults™ will come to the Center.

This promotes the corporate agenda and tamps down the spirit of self governance, it's a winner.

Trump is a winner. He's going to deface and debase the Republican Right like no other. He'll make them look Crazy (not hard) despite the media's tut-tutting of the F-word and their "open mindedness" on hearing the grievances of Americans.

Bernie or Bust may cost Hillary the election and allow the Drumpf Devil to coast into the Whitehouse and plate the oval office in gold. Talk about naive...

The realignment has come down from corporate and we're all to come to the center to make the adult decisions to protect America, her way of life, and her "National Interests" from the Crazy and the Naive.

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

Something to keep in mind: if a third party ever does start to capture significant votes, meaning to actually win individual states and prevent any individual candidate from getting a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives will decide who becomes President which would turn us into a quasi-parliamentary democracy. That scenario is pretty much impossible with only two parties, but I'm not interested in seeing more even competition for more than two parties at the presidential level. We need to quickly squeeze out the Democratic Party.

I have said it before- I think the Democratic Party needs to be destroyed, and that's why I can see the justification for voting for Trump. If Clinton wins, the Progressive movement will be squelched. This will not be evolutionary, it will be revolutionary. Personally, I have decided I can't vote for Trump- Pence finalized my decision in that regard- but I see the Progressive Party rising out of the ashes of the Democratic Party after a Trump victory.

The Progressive Party needs to start organizing now for 2020.

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lunachickie's picture

but parties were never required in the Constitution, so it's kind of a side issue to this. The House would not always be deciding a 3-way or a 4-way race; it depends on the numbers they pull.

Meantime, we cannot afford to keep talking ourselves out of this move, so we can move forward. We cannot afford to keep worryng about things we have no control over---like what might happen if we do thus-and-so--we must break the duopoly.

GREEN. NOW. JUST DO IT.

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The Constitution is not a side issue, it's THE issue when you start talking about third parties or multiparty elections. While it is obviously mathematically possible for one party to have a majority of the votes in the electoral college with other parties (candidates) splitting the remainder, if a 3rd party candidate is successful enough to win states, especially swing states, Presidential elections will start to be consistently decided in the House of Representatives, and I don't think that is what people mean when they say they would like to see a viable 3rd party. Note also that if Greens became viable in places like WA or OR, but especially CA, then it would be almost impossible for a Democratic or 3rd party to win the Presidency, and one of them would shrivel and die.

I repeat: the Democratic Party must die in its current incarnation; that will not happen if Clinton wins.

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Jay Elliott's picture

There are numerous structural forces that have pushed us into duopoly and will keep us in one barring some massive structural change. But voting third party, especially in this election, seems perfectly reasonable to me. The Democratic Party is deeply corrupt, and already extremely weak. Clintonian control has led to starved state organizations, loss of states controlled, and loss of the Congress after one term on the rare occasions they've taken it. That's because voters don't like New Dems. Only donors do.

Keep Hillary Clinton out of power, and the corporatist hold may crack enough to either take the party back or replace it with a different, more progressive party. As others have noted, more than two significant national parties are unsustainable in the long run. But that doesn't mean voting third party is a waste, especially this year. Even if you wanted to take out the Republicans instead, you can't. They control the Congress, and between gerrymandering and other issues, they will likely stay strong there -- at least against corporate Dems -- for a while. They control the majority of states. Their base has rebelled against their corporate handlers, leading to Trump. But that has the potential to make the party stronger in the long run. Conventions may need the money and approval of the elites, but actual elections need actual voters (well, if you factor out Diebold, which seems reasonable since we'll have thieves on both sides this fall.) Their GOTV troops are still robust. Clinton has killed the Ds'. That's supposed to be union members and the young. Union membership is falling, in part thanks to Democratic policies, the rank and file is not broadly supportive of her, and the young hate her.

The Greens can't win in November. I realize I may be making myself very unpopular pointing this out. But think about it. Stein would have to take EVERY blue state, plus at least a couple of swings. She would have to take California away from Clinton, when Clinton's got a bag man in place to rig scanners and shred uncounted ballots. Obama won there by 20% in 2012, when it was very close nationally. She'd have to take New York. Do you really see Jill Stein taking New York from Clinton and Trump after the theft in the primary? Remember, Clinton has Rove, and Trump has Manafort. The Greens don't have the machine access provided by state leadership control or donors, even if some hacker would help them. What swing state would Stein flip? Colorado, controlled by a close Clinton associate? Pennsylvania? And remember, she HAS to take California, or she needs even MORE swing states, like Florida, Iowa, AND Virginia. And there's no way on earth if no one gets to 270 that the Republican House gives the Presidency to Jill Stein.

The Greens can't win in November. But so what? Clinton is the greater evil. Stopping her is the greater good. If you can't stomach voting for Trump -- which I get -- vote for Stein. If the Greens manage to keep even ONE blue state from going to Clinton, it's a major show of progressive force. The only way progressives will ever get anything politically is if politicians fear them, and know they can't ignore them. If only the Libertarian is on the ballot broadly, that could end up throwing the election to Clinton, just like what happened with Perot. If there's going to be a third party out there on that side, we need a fourth on the other. Getting Jill Stein in the debates to go after Clinton would be GREAT. You know the "journalists" won't, and Johnson might decide to just go after Trump. And it would be great to give the Greens federal funding. I hear a lot of negatives about the Greens organizationally, but since there's all this other good that would come out of a much stronger Green presence this election, let's see if maybe they can get their act together.

So no, the US isn't going to become a three party country long term. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't vote third party, especially this year. If you want any national party in the near future that cares about non-1%ers, you have to break the Democratic Party this cycle. Voting Green would help with that. (For the record, I will probably vote Peace and Freedom, although I am fully prepared to vote for Trump. If voting for Stein stands the slightest chance of keeping California away from Clinton, then that's what I'll do.) And if the Greens reflect your policy preferences and that's the party you want as the second party in the country, here's your chance to try to make that happen. We don't get a shot at actual party replacement very often, again because of all those structural forces.

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Cassiodorus's picture

"Realignment" is ours.

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

Jay Elliott's picture

My TLDR point is that the way to realignment is by breaking the current Democratic Party, either by voting for the Republican or voting for a third party in this particular election.

I see a lot of people arguing in various places that we'll elect Clinton and then yada, yada progressives will win. I don't see that happening. I'm prepared to vote for Trump if need be, but I have no illusions that a Trumpian Republican Party would be sweetness, Universal Basic Income and Equality. At best, in terms of policy outcomes, his election would stop the TPP, and he might have the courage to stop the Russian War and veto Social Security privatization. Maybe. Stopping the TPP is big, of course. But the biggest advantage would be stopping the Clintons finally. I don't think they'll have the same success with Chelsea, and we'd buy time in the next four years with a weak Trump regime and a Democratic Party already starved and hobbled by Clintonian greed.

I'm not confident it's possible to bring change peacefully now through the electoral system, to be honest. But since the alternatives would be ghastly, it seems reasonable and logical to try.

And I am honored that you replied to me, even to scold me. Really.

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Cassiodorus's picture

The Republican Party, it needs to be said, is not primed for survival. Markos Moulitsas, that man of vague CIA connection and Hillary Clinton overlordship, showed definitively that it was in steep decline by November 2008. It stays alive today because the Democrats do not represent any sort of real opposition and would prefer to coddle the Republicans. The fact that such a strategy has represented rather severe losses for the Democrats in Congress does not mean in any sense that they're going to stop doing it.

This, then, is the glue holding the two-party system in place. The Republicans stay around because there is no real opposition and voter turnout is abysmally low; the Democrats operate out of fear of the Republicans, which has to go a long way because they have nothing else to offer. The Republicans will crack first because they're not liberal sheep.

Any sort of real opposition, then, should smash the Republicans once and for all.

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

I can't stomach voting for Trump, and especially Pence, but the objective must be the reincarnation or destruction of the Democratic Party. I happen to believe that Greens are a distraction and a diversion from what is really needed. Fundamentally, progressivism will be massively suppressed if Clinton wins, and Teapartyism will be the only avenue to be anti-establishment and non-apathetic (or hopelessly discouraged)- in other words, Fascism .

At this point, I frankly want Trump to win, although I could no more vote for him than I could vote for Clinton. I want the Democratic Party purged. This whole Green thing is a misdirection, the relatively trivial discussion of how we can waste our votes for this election since we cannot vote for Clinton; we need to talk about what we are going to do next. It is not Stein, but who can carry the banner toward 2020? Sanders did what he did, and it was revolutionary, but we all know he is not the candidate for 2020.

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davidincleveland's picture

have to acknowledge the force and beauty of your argument.

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mimi's picture

I see the corporate media and the corporate for profit online internet monopolies align all of us towards their will and their profits.

That train has already left the station. The corporate coup over the people's power to decide how they want to be governed has been successful. Now expect the chaos. And expect the corporate media to smooth over the chaos as a "healthy thing for America's democracy". WTF.

Other than "occupy" the corporate media I don't see anything democratic coming up in the future.

I have given up on America. Since Obama didn't fight for a public health care system for all Americans, didn't close Guantanamo, didn't stop the US military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, allowed more military involvement all over the world, didn't fight for the end of the death penalty, I have given up. To me you have become a slave of your own corporate powers. Your police forces are allowed to behave like ... ah, no words online for that word I have on my tongue. And I just don't blame one single politicians for it, it's not only Obama, it's both parties' elitist establishment who are willing to support all the value gaps of social and racial justice for the American people and promote with it social inequality and racial injustice and that not only inside the US, but world wide.

Basically you have lost all control of most of your daily lives' activities and are lulled into what corporate America sells you as "good for you".

You know Turkey thinks about re-introducing the death penalty and purged almost 50 000 people of their livelihood. If they had the death penalty I think it's against the EU rules. They couldn't and shouldn't become member of the EU. The US has never even gotten to the point to abolish the death penalty. Do you really think people will just ignore, where the US stands on that?

I don't see how you can re-align? To whom and to what exactly?

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mimi

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