Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Think Bigger (Draft Bernie)

Think Bigger 
(The People Don't Know Their True Power)
by Cindy A. Matthews

Often when we're afraid, we think "small." We don't stretch our horizons and challenge the powers-that-be. We crawl into our comfortable niches and pull our blankets over our heads and hope and pray everything scary will simply go away by itself.

Alas, the universe doesn't work that way.

Those who are card-carrying members of the Political Revolution know by this point in the game now isn't the time for half-hearted, timid action. As the popular saying says, "Go big or go home." It's time to resist. It's time to let our elected officials know we don't agree with the status quo. 

In more colloquial parlance, "It's time to vote the bums out." 

Even more exciting, more Americans are awake and aware than ever before. They're watching what's happening in the world, and they're educating themselves on the issues. They're more cynical about swallowing the propaganda whole from the establishment. In time, we might actually see the true majority of our electorate--Independents--take power as they rightfully should.

What will these new Independents look like? Our contributors this week take a look at the Draft Bernie movement and think it's time... Time for a Progressive Independent Party. It's time for a People's Party. The corporate establishment party (with its two "flavors"--French Vanilla and Old-Fashioned Vanilla) has got to go, and we can hasten its demise

It's time to show them on Capitol Hill and in the state house We the People are in control. The people don't know their true power, but in time they will. We've got to think big--no, it's more than that. We've got to think bigger. And believe in ourselves that we can make the impossible possible

Do the impossible today. Show up and give a shout about things that matter to you and your fellow human beings struggling to get by. Don't sit on your backside and pull your blanket over your head again. Get out there and make your voice heard to the powers-that-be. Let us feel your power. Be true to yourself. Think bigger. Believe.

The Future Is With The Progressive Independent Party/Draft Bernie for a People's Party

by Hector Danson

The future is with the Progressive Independent Party and Draft Bernie for a People's Party. It's not with the old parties that have failed to get anything done for progressives.

The Green Party has managed to go backwards since Nader. I'm not bashing their goals. I'm saying the environment probably doesn't have another sixteen years. People have had a long time to look at the Green Party. I think many have failed to identify with it. It's perceived to be an environmentalist party populated with protesters and students. That perception isn't entirely true, but that's how it looks. Just go out and ask people why they don't vote Green. They'll screw up their faces and go, "Errghh, it's just not for me." Is anyone surprised by this? It's perceived to be an environmentalist party. Pew Research found the climate comes last on a list of voter concerns. I'm not saying forget the environment. I'm saying a progressive party should focus on the kinds of issues Bernie addressed, and you'll get the kind of following he amassed. If elected, the result will be the removal of all the obstacles politicians use to stop things being done about the environment. The goals of the Greens will be achieved much quicker this way.

As for the Democrats, I'm harsher on those of you who swim in that swamp. How many times do they need to tell you to get lost before you unbuckle yourselves? It's like you're riding a bucking bronco and clinging on for dear life. They covertly sabotage Sanders, rig the primaries for Hillary, blame everyone except themselves for their election loss, refuse to change their neo-liberal policies, appoint Schumer and Pelosi to the top jobs, install corporatist Perez to the DNC instead of Ellison, and you people are still saying "Maybe we can change them." It's madness.

For thirty years, they've made using progressives into an art form. Why do you think they do all these things and still try to get their hands on Bernie's donor list? It's because they want to use us like a piggy bank. For thirty years, they've been duping us with liberal social policies on guns, abortion, and gay rights, while filling the pockets of their corporate donors with right-wing economic policies and endless militarism. Their party is geared towards cheating, fooling, and using progressives. It's the founding principle of neo-liberalism. It's the whole point of them, and you're falling for it again! So, when I hear people say, "We just have to join them to change them," I exhale a big sigh. Would you join the KKK to change them?

You know why progressives won't take over the Democratic Party? Because neo-liberals won't let it happen. They control it and they've spent the last thirty years perfecting ways to stop progressives gaining a foothold. What's more, they'd sooner destroy the party than give it to you. This is being seen in the UK with the Labour Party sabotaging itself in an effort to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the leadership (a progressive). Neo-liberals would rather self-destruct than let a progressive takeover. That's the sad truth. They will never let you win, even if it means their demise. Why? Because that's what the lobbyists will tell them to do. That's what the lobbyists will pay them to do.

But you say, "We can take over the Democrats at the local level." Well, that's exactly where they want you! They want your votes; they want your enthusiasm; they want your hours of slave labor. How else are they going to keep fooling progressives into voting for them? It will be your job! Your kind face and kind heart on a stick being waved at people who end up thinking, "Gee, what a nice bunch those Democrats are." They will keep you in a place where you have no real power. And, when it comes to progression, they'll make sure a neo-liberal gets the big job you wanted. If you don't like it, there'll be plenty of others to fill your spot.That's why they made sure the DNC was kept in their pocket. They simply couldn't let progressives have any chance of taking over.

What about superdelegates? Do you Justice Democrats and Our Revolution bunch think you can change the list of superdelegates, too? Because that's their backup plan. Even if you cling onto that bucking bronco until its batteries die, that's what they'll use to stop a progressive from ever becoming the nominee. So why work for them when they'll just wear you down, use your vote, and spit you out? They've had a lot of practice at doing it.

Lastly, if your argument is that the electoral system isn't geared to accommodate third parties, please get real. What do you think will be the biggest incentive for changing that system? A few activists making some noise while the two big parties still get 95% of the vote, or a third party getting so much of the vote that it makes the electoral system look broken beyond repair? You have to show people something is broken before they want it fixed.

To conclude, this can't go on. We're spreading ourselves too thin again. In the

election, some progressives gave up and didn't vote, some voted Green, some wrote in Bernie, some held their nose and voted for the Evil Queen. We ended up with zero voice. If we'd all decided to vote for a progressive party, we could have made a ripple in the pond. But there was no progressive party, at least not one that many people see as representing them. Please, give up on the broken parties. Help form a new one. The Progressive Independent Party and Draft Bernie for a People's Party are viable solutions. They deserve a look.

Bio: Hector Danson is a writer and researcher who’s lived in the US, UK, and NZ. He supports Draft Bernie and the Progressive Independent Party. He believes a new movement with a blank slate and a whole lot of momentum is the only way to gain representation for progressives.

The Strongest Case for a Third Party
by Dirk Droll

With all the flurry and convolutions in politics today, I often find myself buried under all kinds of details and arguments, writing possibly overlong articles about topics which should, and perhaps could, be much simpler.

An example of that is the splintering of last year’s Bernie supporters into groups such as those that went Green, others that want to try and reform the “Democratic” Party (for example, the Justice Democrats), and those who want to start a new party, like the very intriguing-looking effort which calls itself “Draft Bernie for a People’s Party” (draftbernie.org).

My head being filled with gazillions of details and arguments, and easily

becoming hypnotized by things like current memberships or donation levels or alternative media support for some of these approaches, it’s easy to feel uncertain. But, when I stop deliberating and ask myself where my heart is leading, I find it quietly rooting for Draft Bernie. And perhaps that is the simple answer I am looking for--the choice made by my heart. My heart is so often right.

This reflection allows me to remember how, before all the bustle of last year’s primaries, I had already decided years ago to never again go for the ruling party duopoly. I had started voting Green, and also for other small parties and independent candidates, before Bernie Sanders ever showed up on my radar screen. The reason was quite simple--both mainstream parties are hopelessly corrupt. Voting for corruption makes no sense. My strategy was simple: build momentum until one of the duopoly parties will be replaced by a new one. A sound strategy for me and every other American who realizes voting for those who harm us makes no sense whatsoever.

When the Justice Democrats formed their most convincing argument (to me) was there are just too many barriers in place which keep third parties from ballot access, debate access, media coverage, and momentum building in the face of our winner-take-all-electoral system. That’s why new parties have almost never replaced the dominant ones in our country and why independent candidates rarely won elections. Nick Brana, who is the brain behind Draft Bernie, not only pointed out the precedent of how Abraham Lincoln succeeded to form a new party by leaving the Whig Party and taking millions of disenchanted Whig partisans with him, he also made an argument that sounded even stronger to me than the one about barriers stopping third parties

It's an argument somewhat reminiscent of something Debbie Lusignan (a.k.a.
The Sane Progressive, who tends to make very sharp observations) once said, namely that the “Democratic” Party is designed to prevent take-over from within and has a history of successfully co-opting any such attempts and firmly suppressing the progressive elements within it. The point? Barriers within the DNC (and for sure the GOP as well) are actually higher than the barriers against new parties. This is even more true when new parties arise from a sundering of an old party, bringing with them a lot of energy and millions of already connected members.

I don’t know the details of all the mechanisms the “Democrats” have for internal suppression. Nick Brana seemed to hint in an interview that he knows quite a bunch of them, but he didn’t go into much detail. Still, having myself witnessed the corporate shills who form the DNC exerting their tight top-down control over everything which happens inside the “Democratic” Party, such as primary election outcomes, the party’s political platform and the DNC chair selection, the argument about insurmountable internal barriers rings very true. 

In complete contrast, The People’s Party, which Nick Brana hopes to build, would actually let the party base vote on the platform and its officers (making it possible to recall them whenever they turn to corruption). And that strikes me as a necessity to have a people-representing party as opposed to an establishment-representing party.

So, I think these are the points of interest on which my heart has fixed and why

it keeps whispering into my reason’s ear:  Draft Bernie,  Draft Bernie,  Draft Bernie…

Of course, there is the worry that Bernie might never chose to join, or that he might wait too long. Brana has an intriguing response to that, too: after some time the effort might not need Bernie. Others who rose with Bernie might be able to take his place, or even others we haven’t seen, yet. In the meantime, the mere hope or wishful dream Bernie might lead the blue exodus into a true people’s party – like the biblical Moses led the Israelites into the Promised Land – might be enough to keep the fire burning, energize people, and help realize my original hope from years ago of a third party, carried by other disenchanted independents like myself, rising to power and giving us – the people – political representation again in our broken United States of Adversity.

And so, even as I am rooting for all the current efforts to revive our clinically dead democracy, my heart quietly keeps whispering:  Draft Bernie,  Draft Bernie,  Draft Bernie…

Bio: Dirk Droll blogs for a better world on his own Beanstock’s World and other sites.



  1. Someone once described the Douglas DC-3 aircraft as "a collection of parts flying in loose formation." I think this is what the organizations on the Left will have to be. As long as we're all flying in the same direction against this right wing coup, we'll be doing something positive. Whether the Dem's will ever join the formation remains to be seen, but I think for now we'd better leave them in the hangar.

    1. Great analogy! I agree, the Dems should stay in the hangar if they can't act like progressives. The Perez chair pick sort of proves they ain't interested in cooperating with other progressives.


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