Quit The Party?

Lots of people are really upset that the House and Senate voted to censure MoveOn. Me, too. There is a LOT of talk about “quitting the party” to “send a message.”
There is a problem with that thinking. Ralph Nader ran in 2000 to “send a message” to “the Democrats.” It didn’t send a message and got maybe half a million Iraqis killed. Maybe more.
The reason it did not “send a message” was that the Democratic Party is not a top-down organization. It is a bottom-up organization. IT IS US. You don’t “send a message” to yourself, you ACT. The way to act on this is to show up at party meetings, vote, run for office and take over the party. It is also to fund outside organizations like Commonweal Institute so they can reach the public, create popular understanding and appreciation of, and demand for, progressive values and ideas, and turn them around from this nightmare we’re living under.

5 thoughts on “Quit The Party?

  1. I couldn’t disagree with you more.
    First, Donna Brazile did a piss-poor job of running Gore’s campaign and that, coupled with the Establishment Media jumping on board the Bush-Cheney campaign’s “Smear Gore” bandwagon, cost Gore more votes than Nader did.
    Second, George W. Bush and the members of his junta are responsible for the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, NOT Nader, NOT those who voted for Nader, and not even Gore for failing to wage a better campaign.
    Third, the Democratic Party is not “us” on the left, it’s a group that keeps kowtowing to the GOP when it isn’t capitulating to it, a group that has watered-down its pseudo-progressive, corporate-approved goals during the Reagan era in an effort to become a clone of the Republican Party.
    Bush is the most unpopular man to call himself “President” in American history and the GOP is wildly unpopular for aiding and abetting him, but Congressional Dems keep running to the right. The three Dem ’08 front runners are from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party; Clinton and Obama whored themselves out to large donors and industries right away, while that “former” DLCer Edwards is running as a faux populist. I imagine his newfound populism would quickly be replaced by his DLC persona if he were to win the White House.
    Enough is enough. The Democratic Party has lost its way and betrayed both the Netroots and the grassroots too often to be seen as a viable party for liberals any more. Instead of trying to dynamite the party’s old guard out of power, we should all abandon the Dems and focus on building the Green Party into a viable third party.

  2. The fact remains that if you want to change the party, EITHER party for that matter, there’s only one way to do it. That’s to be an active member of the party and fight for what you want. Take my word for it that neither party wants this to happen. That’s why there aren’t any membership drives, any encouragement to join and attend meetings. But ultimately there are only two ways to affect change — either from within the parties themselves by taking them over, and all that requires is enough like-minded people to force change. Or from outside, via revolution.

  3. “Ralph Nader ran in 2000 to “send a message” to “the Democrats.” It didn’t send a message and got maybe half a million Iraqis killed. Maybe more.”
    Man, I hate that kind of logic. It’s enough to keep me away from here.
    AL GORE WON THE GODDAMNED ELECTION, BLAME HIM FOR ROLLING OVER AND BEING SUCH A LOSER. STOP BLAMING NADER.

  4. MJ, Bush has maintained a fairly consistent 70% disapproval rating for the nine months that the Democrats have controlled Congress, and the Democrats have REFUSED to stand up to him with anything more than rhetoric.
    In the meantime, they’ve seen their own disapproval ratings climb to numbers not seen since the Repugs impeached Clinton, and they’re STILL ignoring the will of the vast majority of the American electorate.
    And MJ, you provide the best reasons yet to abandon the Democratic Party when you wrote, “The fact remains that if you want to change the party, EITHER party for that matter, there’s only one way to do it. That’s to be an active member of the party and fight for what you want. Take my word for it that neither party wants this to happen. That’s why there aren’t any membership drives, any encouragement to join and attend meetings…”
    If that doesn’t tell you how corrupt the Democratic party has become and how vital it is that we write it off as irredeemable in favor of building up the Greens, I don’t know what will.

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