By Bill Willers
Dear Representatives Kucinich et al.:
There has never been a better time for the emergence of a strong third party as a permanent entity. Objective critics of the “system” have now understood that it is rotten beyond repair. Corporate “persons” rule in this two-party setup. “Reforms” are hopelessly inadequate. It should not be necessary to elaborate. What is necessary is revolutionary transformation rather than “change” as a mere campaign buzzword.
As it is, truly progressive members of Congress who identify themselves as democrats are eclipsed – virtual nonentities really – by the Democratic Leadership Council which long ago took its place beside the GOP in the corporate sphere. Simply consider the media effort to “disappear” presidential candidate Kucinich following his unexpected strong showing in the first ABC “debate”, going so far as to cut him out of a widely-distributed photograph of the democratic presidential hopefuls, and then barring him from a future ABC “debate”. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are allowed exposure primarily to the extent that they appear more “centrist” and “bipartisan”.
Past efforts at anything “independent” or third party (e.g. the Green Party) have been grassroots efforts and failures for that reason. The only way for progressives to have a voice that can be heard throughout the country would be through a recognized Progressive Party, and that would have to emerge from within Congress – from within the Progressive Caucus, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus the values of which are so similar to that of the progressives.
If a contingent of true progressives – that might include such representatives as Kucinich, Grijalva, Lee, Conyers, Baldwin – were to hold a press conference and announce the formation of a Progressive Party with platform to match, the earth would move. There would be a rush of support from progressives, the Green Party, unions, democrats who understand the betrayal from the DLC stranglehold, minority groups, independents seeking change and even from some “moderate” Republicans. And there would surely be renewed interest from the millions who have long since turned off in disgust over the systemic rot that has by now become utterly transparent…….
I fundamentally agree, that recent efforts to form new parties have been a failure is because they were grass roots. The republicans gained prominence more quickly because they cannibalized the disintigrating whig party for candidates. Abe Lincoln was a former Whig.
Put pressure on the progressives to quit the party. Then we will get more leverage on them and they will quit dismissing us. The party will already have elected members, so they can’t claim we are fringe.
I don’t believe a grassroots movement is possible with blogs like kos, anyway. I don’t think kos is grass roots. Kos is a partisan operative and a major player. Most of that blog is dominated by professional wonks, very closely aligned to known candidates. They are netwonks not netroots.