You are hereElections
The most remarkable thing about the Occupy Movement is that it is happening without funding. Yes, donations are starting to pour into Occupy Wall Street, but not at the level that could really boost this campaign to replace plutocracy with popular participation. And most of the other occupations around the country are poor or penniless, with their futures in some doubt because of that status.
Lately, the phrase "public servants" has struck me as ironic, not because government officials fail to serve the public, but because much of the public serves them. The public is the servants. Activist groups and individuals devote themselves to bettering the fortunes of political parties or politicians, at the expense of pressuring government officials to represent public demands.
Nobody favors eliminating elections, and nobody favors eliminating activism. But there are those who cannot see how prioritizing money-marinated, gerrymandered, cable-news-controlled, unverifiable elections will reverse the train wreck in progress. And there are those who cannot see what it would mean to engage in activism that wasn't aimed at promoting electoral victories.
Here's a way to make this work within a Democratic Primary or in the general election of 2012.
Nobody can just announce that they are running in the general election as a candidate of the people, of peace, of justice, of decency, because all the corporate media would want to talk about was Spoilerdom.
And running instead in only non-swing-states, or asking voters in swing states to swap their votes with people in non-swing-states, would lead to only that same conversation about Spoilers and the mechanics of theatrical electioneering.
On July 30th the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party passed a resolution proposing that a primary challenge be offered to Obama next year. The Progressive Caucus's certification expired at the same time, and while other caucuses were routinely recertified that day by the state party, the Progressive Caucus (I'm told by its chair, Karen Bernal) would not have been, had a vote been held. So the recertification was tabled, and the Progressive Caucus is in limbo. It no longer exists, but it may yet continue existing.
I asked Karen Bernal about the resolution and the response to it on Sunday. Here's that audio: mp3.
Here's the resolution:
"Zeus did not want man to throw his life away, no matter how much the other evils might torment him, but rather to go on letting himself be tormented anew. To that end, he gives man hope. In truth, it is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man's torment." -Friedrich Nietzsche
Had enough hope yet?
Had enough waiting, praying, expecting, wishing you actually believed it but pretending you just might, anticipating the let-down, taking in the impact of disappointment, betrayal, humiliation, and powerlessness, and finally, time after time, smashing your forehead into a concrete wall that had always been standing there as big as day?
The majority of U.S. citizens favor protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; taxing the rich; cutting military spending; and protecting the environment. We don't have a candidate . . . yet. Potential candidates supported on this site will be notified and encouraged to run.
Stop Hoping! Start Changing!
Should Obama be challenged in a primary?
If nominated, should Obama be challenged in the general election?
Add your voice to the movement that will recruit the next U.S. President.
How often have we been told that we can't have a serious nonviolent movement resisting our government's destructive path as long as the Democrats are better than the Republicans?
How often have we been told that we can't back third-party candidates as long as the Democrats are better than the Republicans?
This week has seen an inordinate number of realizations that the Democrats are as bad as or worse than the Republicans. And what has the response been?
Activist groups are proposing not to donate money to President Barack Obama. Some have even suggested declining to volunteer for him. Most responses have been even weaker than that. Citizens have transformed themselves into pundits and announced that Obama will not be reelected.
For the majority of people in the United States -- a majority does not vote, a majority believes the government is broken, a majority thinks our public policy is headed in the wrong direction -- the fact that we call this place a democracy is apparently outweighed by the fact that our national government almost never does what a majority of us want done. Some of the things we don't want done include the destruction of the planet's environment, the mass slaughter of war, the spreading of violence, and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny aristocracy while millions at home and billions abroad suffer horrifically for lack of readily available resources.