Yes, the “outside” is less organized than the “inside”.
That is why you must join us.
Yes, we know. There are more “Our Revolution” chapters than “Movement for a People’s Party” chapters. There are more progressives in Congress in the Democratic Party, than in the US Labor Party, which does not exist yet.
What has a new party or “third party” accomplished since 2016? Nothing, or so it would seem. If we look at elected candidates, that’s the correct answer. Yes, we want to be honest — and that is the truth.
This might seem hopeless for the prospects of a new party. It seems to prove the conventional wisdom that a “third party” in the United States is “impossible.”
It seems bleak for our prospects until we acknowledge the other side of the coin. There has been no political revolution “within” the Democratic Party, either — and that’s where all of the time, money, and energy went after 2016.
Almost all of the activists and organizers who swore a “political revolution” in 2016 followed the lead of Bernie Sanders and entered the Democratic Party. And since 2016, there is little to show for the political revolution, especially on a federal level, which must be “taken over” for a successful political revolution.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the star, and it is true, there are a few more progressive insurgents in US Congress. A few percent of Congress can use the bully pulpit, and that is good!
But these progressive insurgents — overlooking that they’ve already been forced to endorse establishment Democrats — will have no legislative power in the Democratic Party. The party will not allow it, and progressives in the party simply do not have anything close to the numbers required to pass legislation.
A few candidates are not going to “take over” the Democratic Party, and the political revolution is decades away from a “takeover.”
That is not an insult. Just like we admit the truth, progressives inside the party must admit theirs, too.
If you think about the trajectory of the progressive movement, and the strategy of pining our hopes on “primarying Democrats” — well, think it out. At this rate, we will reach climate apocalypse before a political revolution comes to pass.
We need your help working on the “outside.” With most progressives working on the “inside,” our current strategy will not work. Are you a proponent of the “inside/outside” strategy? Then prove it. Instead of 98% working inside, and 2% working “outside,” let’s try 50/50 and see what happens.
Even the modest concessions we saw in FDR’s “New Deal” in the early 20th century were forced by pressure from the “outside.” Social security, and high tax brackets (for example), were not a product of “progressives” taking Democratic legislative seats. Rather, “New Deal” policies and programs owe themselves to left and labor movements outside the Democratic Party, who forced the Democrats to compromise or else.
The party’s continued dominance must be threatened for change to happen. And if it still doesn’t, we must be ready to replace the party.
A new party that stands for “the people” — for what the majority wants — would be something new and incredibly popular. That’s why in short order it would wipe the floor with establishment parties.
That is exactly what happened recently, in Mexico, when a new party MORENA swept government in 6 years. That’s the term of (1) US Senator.
There’s no reason why it can’t happen here, if we un-tie ourselves from the Democratic Party. Or at the very least, take much more of the political revolution “outside” the party.
If you felt the energy during Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, you know what a political revolution feels like. You’d also have to admit that 2018 was not it.
There’s a reason for that. 2015–2016 had us fighting directly against the establishment. Bernie became popular so quickly because he spoke about the endemic corruption in our political system, not only in the Republican Party, but the Democrats, too.
In the following years, however, politics became politics again. From 2016–2018, the political revolution chose to make nice with the establishment it once fought. We became friends again, on some level, with the corrupt Democratic Party and “the way politics works.”
Looking back, taking so much revolutionary momentum into a counter-revolutionary party was a big mistake. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent one. If we refuse the Democratic Party, if we build outside of it and threaten its very existence as an institution, we can revive the political revolution.
Nothing will be impossible again.