I know many people who visit Irregular Times agree with the following statement:
We believe that the greatest need of our nation is to redirect the resources of our government from destruction to creation, from war to peace, from military spending to social spending, from sickness to health, from selfish desires to universal needs. The future of humanity and our planet are at stake.
The question is, “What is the most effective strategy for wresting control of the government of the United States of America from the moneyed interests, the corporations, and the military industrial complex that now effectively control it?”
The answer is NOT leaving the country.
The answer is NOT the Republican Party.
And the answer is NOT the Democratic Party as it is now organized and controlled.
I know many of us have been asking ourselves how we can further progressive and liberal political goals in America when both the Republican Party (to a huge extent) and the Democratic Party (to a significant extent) have largely sold themselves off to corporate interests.
Well, what if there were a progressive organization dedicated to building a principle-driven party? What if that organization were able to take the Democratic Party back from the corporate interests? How would such an organization go about it? What about a strategy like this:
- Create local “homes,” chapters, and caucuses inside existing Democratic Party structures at the state and local level (why reinvent the wheel?) where like-minded people can work together to articulate public policies that support human rights, economic equality, and social and environmental justice. Engage in a movement to bring progressives back into the Democratic Party and to revive the Democratic Party through active involvement in its existing structure, by becoming precinct chairs, party officers, members of committees, delegates, etc.
- Organize in each of the 435 Congressional districts in the entire United States. Build progressive Democratic caucuses in every one of them. Form state-level progressive Democratic caucuses in all fifty states.
- Once the networks and caucuses are adequately populated, identify and promote progressive candidates and issues on which to organize and win. Progressive legislators will provide the representation to advance the progressive agenda and to pass laws that promote the progressive vision at all levels of government.
- Maintain links to the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Progressive Caucus so that PDA also operates at the National level (while continuing to help progressives organize at the state and local level). Together with our allies we will champion electoral and campaign finance reforms, give greater voice to third party campaigns, and address the serious issues that are undermining our democracy.
Was that the sort of principled yet pragmatic solution you had in mind? Well, there’s an organization from which I’ve taken these quotes, an organization that is already at work to implement this very strategy. It’s called the Progressive Democrats of America, and with your help they can accomplish the kind of change you envision. Visit their website. Read their detailed plan for action. Then, if you’re able and so inclined, either send them on a donation or get directly involved as a participating activist. Here’s a real chance for us all to stop simply complaining and do something to help change the direction of the most powerful nation on the planet.