23 Jan Still tilting at windmills, hoping to bring the left back to its senses…
HERE, MY GOOD FRIENDS, IS HOW WE UNITE THE LEFT AND WEATHER THE TRUMP YEARS (which we can limit to four, if we’re smart):
A. Put massive pressure on the Democratic establishment, now, to support the progressive policies backed by strong majorities of Americans, per poll after poll. Here’s how, practically speaking, we can apply that pressure:
Change your voter registration from Democrat to whatever and then write the DNC a handwritten letter telling them why you did so.
1. Tell them that we refuse to support the party of “superdelegates” and primaries rigged to assure the victories of corporate, far-right, neoconservative candidates (Third Way/New Democrats who largely reflect the GOP establishment’s values and agenda);
2. Tell them that our presidential hopefuls for 2020 are Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Zephyr Teachout, Kshama Sawant, and Nina Turner… unless they want to draft Medea Benjamin or Amy Goodman. And that we reject, out of hand, party favorites like Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Rahm Emmanuel, Michelle Obama, Al Franken, Kamala Harris, or any of the other corporate-financed frauds and neocon DINOs they’re likely to try and ram down our throats in 2019 (in the next rigged primary, if we don’t act now);
3. Tell them that, in order to restore the left’s credibility in the eyes of mainstream Americans, they need to demonstrate that they are capable of being reasonable and respecting the choice of the electorate; NOT BY CAVING TO TRUMP’S WORST IMPULSES, but by trumpeting their willingness to work with Trump on the few progressive policies he promised (which are very popular, by the way — part of how he won):
b. Invest in our crumbling infrastructure, modernizing (GREENING) it and putting millions of Americans to work;
c. End the GWOT and reduce the threat of WWIII by working with Russia against ISIS/al Qaeda, forgoing the genocidal neocon agenda which has resulted in the deaths of millions of Muslims (from Clinton-Obama);
d. Reinstate Glass-Steagall, so the taxpayer isn’t on the hook the next time Wall Street’s casino economy goes bust;
e. Resist PhRMA’s predatory pricing through drug-reimportation and allowing the government to negotiate lower prices; and
f. Protect Social Security and Medicare from any and all cuts/regressive restructuring designed to “save” the programs (the hollow promise of the Paul Ryan/Barack Obama “Grand Bargain”).
If we don’t press Democrats to battle for progressive priorities — when the incoming, hard-right president and GOP are on the record in favor of them… well, then we are just plain STUPID. Joining the grassroots right when they are on our side is the best way to achieve true unity and resist the way the neo-fascist state has divided Americans against one another along cultural/educational/class lines.
4. Tell the sore losers to drop the “Russian hacking” allegations, as the Deep State has failed, thus far, to produce even a scrap of evidence supporting these highly provocative and inflammatory claims. What little they’ve come forward with, to date, has been roundly debunked: http://invitation2artivism.com/?p=1653
5. Finally, tell the Democratic Party to battle like zealots for the smart, popular, progressive policies that Trump and the GOP haven’t offered, but which deserve our full-throated support and could help us win back working class voters and vulnerable populations abandoned by the Democratic Party over the last few decades:
a. A $15 minimum wage, indexed to inflation (so we don’t have to keep fighting this battle);
b. Tuition-free public education at the college level;
c. The end of the privatization/charter school movement, which has always been a hollow, right-wing farce;
d. Universal healthcare based on a single-payer model/Medicare-for-All (rather than the ACA, which leaves 20 million uninsured, even at full implementation, and does nothing to rein in skyrocketing costs);
e. Restore the Smith-Mundt Act and prohibit the propagandizing of the American public;
f. Repeal the 2012 NDAA and restore Posse Comitatus (the U.S. military should never be deployed on American soil against the American people, unless we’re actually courting another Civil War);
g. Cede no ground on a woman’s right to control her own body and make her own choices, with regard to reproductive health (Sec. Clinton was signaling retreat on third-trimester abortions and even found herself supporting unfounded attacks on Planned Parenthood waged by the bogus Center for Medical Progress; such “commitment” to a woman’s choice/freedom clearly falls short of our values);
h. End the practice of global assassination and restore the rule of law (repeal the PATRIOT Act and stop allowing the vacuum-collection of all of the world’s personal data);
i. Close GITMO and end the practices of indefinite detention and torture;
j. Prohibit fracking until the evidence supports that it is safe (so far, all of the evidence points to the opposite conclusion: earthquake-causing and water-polluting, terrible for carbon emissions…);
k. End “broken windows” policing, the Drug War, and for-profit incarceration;
l. Make access to potable water a HUMAN RIGHT and stop Nestle from privatizing our last reserves;
m. Restore integrity to U.S. elections (pass Instant-Runoff Voting; end gerrymandering; end dark money; replace hackable, unauditable voting machines with proven methods and countable, paper ballots; bring international monitors on board); and
n. Do everything possible to nullify or eliminate the corrupting influence of money out of U.S. politics (Lawrence Lessig’s “Republic, Lost” offers a lot of sensible prescriptions for addressing this problem, which, more than any other, has led us to this neo-fascist moment in our history).
There are scores of other horrible policies in need of reversing, passed under the last few U.S. presidents, but these items would be a fine place to start. Here is the DNC’s mailing address:Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
B. PRONG TWO: COMBATING THE FAKE NEWS — And while we’re “reading the Riot Act” to the corporatist, institutionally racist “Democratic” establishment, now is an excellent time to drop our subscriptions to propagandist rags like the NYT, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Mother Jones, The Nation, BuzzFeed, etc. — and stop watching corporate news of all flavors (ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN-Fox-PBS-NPR). Hit them where it hurts: subscriptions and ratings. Unlike their Facebook pages, let them Tweet to themselves, sans “Followers” (stop being a follower).
MOST IMPORTANTLY, DON’T FORGET TO TELL THEM — IN WRITING — WHY WE’RE DOING SO, in order that they are clear that journalistically derelict faux-liberalism, in the service of a bloody, environment-collapsing, right-wing corporatist agenda (and WAR, WAR, WAR), is nothing we’re willing to support with our dollars… or our time.
And while they contemplate reforming themselves, some sensible places to get one’s news in the present, chaotic period, include: The Intercept, Consortium News, Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!”, Truthdig, Jacobin Magazine, CounterPunch, The Humanist Report, The Jimmy Dore Show, Black Agenda Report, WikiLeaks, The Sane Progressive, FAIR, the ACLU, RT… anyplace that regularly gives a platform to genuine progressives and non-partisan experts like: Glenn Greenwald, Kshama Sawant, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Randall Robinson, Michelle Alexander, Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson, Arundhati Roy, Mahmood Mamdani, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Zephyr Teachout, Daniel Ellsberg, Eric Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, John Kiriakou, Alfred McCoy, David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Col. Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Bill Binney, James Bamford, Helen Caldicott, Diane Ravitch, Thomas Frank, Brian Stevenson, Nomi Prins, Naomi Wolf, Robert Fisk, Jane Mayer, Ralph Nader, Laura Poitras, John Perkins, Norm Finkelstein, Juan Gonzalez, Antonia Juhasz, Matt Taibbi, Juan Cole, Ta Nehisi-Coates, Stephen F. Cohen, Phyllis Bennis, Jeffrey Sachs, Tariq Ali…