...and I have no patience
for either of you (major political parties).
Happy Saint Valentine's Day, comrades.
BTW, there's an update at the bottom of this entry.
Yesterday, minutes after I had posted a link on The Facebook to the Redacted Tonight VIP interview with Sandernista Nick Braña of draftbernie.org (below the fold), some algorithmic magic displayed for my perusal a link to a group called Progressive Army against Trump and Republicans. I was intrigued enough to click through, but the pinned post at the top made me recoil. Run-on sentences aside, it was bad enough that I had dropped in on several #Resistance groups' meetings, including Socialist Alternative, at which working with the Democratic Party was considered an option. For this group, the Democratic Party is the One True Vehicle of Resistance.
In the interview, Nick Braña develops a sound diagnosis of the malaise in the Democratic Party: beyond its addiction to corporate funds, the party is designed and built to prevent a true progressive takeover. His prescription of #DemExit seems right to me as well. But forming a whole new party for the millions of progressive DemExiters doesn't make much sense, unless it's accompanied by sincere outreach to the Greens, Socialist Alternative, and other such groups to join in coalition. I don't see the need to invent a whole new wheel.
Braña is quite correct about the formation of the Republican Party from the ashes of the Whig Party in the 1850s. He may be correct that the conditions for forming a new party are even better now than after the Compromise of 1850, the Whigs' pro-slavery platform, and the demoralizing loss to New Hampshire Democrat Franklin Pierce. My perception is that the media landscape of the 2010s is far different, and that Americans are more hard-wired for the partisan dichotomy.
In the 1880s, here in Texas and elsewhere, farmers angry about railroads ripping them off started the Populist "prairie fire" just by getting together and talking, often one-on-one. Even in the age of the Internet, with its ability to spread information to millions at light speed, the closest we've come to that is the Tea Party movement, which became electorally viable only through an infusion of Koch Brothers cash.
So I bristle at anyone proclaiming that "the left needs its own version of the Tea Party." Who will bankroll a left-wing infiltration of the Democratic Party infrastructure? (Do not say "George Soros.")
The one rationale that I can see for a completely new People's Party is that Braña wants Senator Bernard Sanders himself to lead the movement. Sanders has his reasons for remaining independent; he will not join the Green Party, and, despite his socialist roots in Vermont, apparently will not join Democratic Socialists of America or Socialist Alternative. Thus, if the plan hinges on Sanders's presence, perhaps starting from scratch is the way to go. But I'm still not convinced.
UPDATE: Sometimes my newswatch runs a few days slow. The Braña interview was posted last Thursday. By Sunday, Ajamu Baraka was able to post a link to this Meet the Press interview with Sanders himself. At least as of now, Bernie is not taking the helm of any splinter party, even if they name it the Bernie Is Awesome Party.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.