Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/25/peoples-agenda-better-nation
Sounds like what FDR and his VP Henry Wallace were working toward during his third term, until the Party decided that Wallace was too progressive…the rest is history.
Rev. Barber I respect you and what you do for the working class of this country, but you have to come to terms with a simple fact…None of the needed policies you fight for, will be realized under the democratic party. Please use your clout and recognition to push your followers to the Peoples Party now, so it will have a chance in 2024.
Henry Wallace is a great example about how U.S. democracy was snuffed out for corporate gain. All of the points made in this article has these groups appealing to one of the corporate party’s (the Democrats in this case) to end their support for a corporate agenda, give up the loads of money that they have been showered on them by their donors, turn their back on their corrupt Party and somehow convince a House and Senate, packed with Wall Street backed enemies of the public interest, to do something beneficial to the average citizen. It simply isn’t going to happen.
Instead the rallying cry should be for everyone to reject corporate Party’s, regardless of their soothing rhetoric. A new Party, that from the onset rejects all corporate influence, is what is needed. You can not have a democracy and unchecked corporate capitalism co-exist, a simple fact that has escaped the majority of Americans because of their warped sense of reality that is reinforced everyday by a sophisticated campaign of misinformation.
While we don’t have a People’s Party yet (at least since Bryan Jennings late 19th century People’s Party faded away), it will be doomed to fail if the Party cannot have a set of defining principles such as universal healthcare for all, an immediate end to imperialism, the dismantling of all nuclear weapons around the world, an end to corporate influence in government and the implementation fo a truly democratic system of government (no more gerrymandering, no more electoral college, everyone votes, no corporate donations or super pacs, etc.).
Personally I would like to see a Progressive party that stands on such issues. Though such a Party will have whatever money can be spared by corporate America to destroy them (…truly 'bipartisan cooperation" between both corporate Party’s), I still believe it they could get on the ballot, people would vote them in. It cannot be a watered down version though as everyone will quickly pick up on any deviation from the founding principles.
Not sure if this can occur in my lifetime as the current junta has been well entrenched for decades, but if we can’t create real opposition, then the world will be snuffed out very soon.
It’s in its infancy, but here’s the platform. It doesn’t have everything on your list, but comes pretty close.
I am an admirer of the Poor People’s Campaign and Reverend Barber. We need many more of both. And to add my two cents to how we achieve the goals they list here, I will comment on the language used by Rep. Jayapal:
‘…“Poverty, unemployment, racial injustice, homelessness—these are all policy choices, driven by structures that both Democrats and Republicans have refused to tackle […] Trump’s victory in 2016 was because people in both parties lost faith in the government to stand up for regular folks, instead of the biggest corporations and thousands of lobbyists that line our door every day in Congress […]"…’
All of this is true as far as it goes, but the language is stale and weak and does not tell a compelling story of why ‘policy choices [are] driven by structures that Democrats and Republicans have refused to tackle,’ much less why they exist in the first place. Congresspeople refusing to ‘stand up for regular folks’…I mean, this is the language used by every single politician who never does so, language easily tuned out for it’s overuse and lack of urgency. We need better than this to shake us out of our apathy.
Tell this story instead, perhaps: ‘Deliberate policy choices are made every day by your members of Congress, choices meant to ensure the continued oppression of the working class through lower wages, prevention of unionization, higher costs on basic human needs, the commodification of the commons and so much more - policies that Congresspeople let lobby shops write for them so as to benefit financially along with them and keep their campaign cash flowing. It is much worse than you can imagine. Simply put, the people’s work cannot and will not get done in such a Congress. Join us in calling out these enemies of progress for the people and in tearing down the rotted, corrupted structures that support them so that we may begin to put the policy needs of the people before the professional, political and financial ambitions of politicians. As things stand today, a people’s agenda is last on the list of those who have created and continue to benefit from the current system. It is our moral obligation to destroy this paradigm. Because, under the current system, you don’t even have a seat in the waiting room, much less at the table.’
Please consider not quoting the same text in the article and putting it in bold in the middle of the article in a different place than where the same darn text appears. It is very annoying and in this case when you follow one of these bold text duplicates by
With those words on December 21, the Reverend William Barber II, […]
It makes it sound like those words are from Barber and not Jayapal.
On the substance of the article, I’m in agreement with most people here that while those 7 points are desirable, they are unlikely to all be addressed by the Democratic Party as it currently is. If we are lucky, they can bring reasonable progress to bear on the first point - Covid. It’s hard to do as pathetically bad as Trump has on this front. To actually expect any results on reducing war at this point with Democrats is not realistic. If we are lucky, getting back into the Iran deal is one move that may reduce war growth but actual war reduction isn’t in the mindset of most of these people.
So I agree with those who say it is time to pressure the Democrats with more third party defection. I’m not yet convinced the People’s Party will have any more success than the Green Party, but it’s worth a try. I don’t even see a possibility that any third party can prevail over the Democrats in 25 years, but I do think it’s possible to cause enough pain for them to get them all to back RCV and at that point they will need to accommodate progressive voices like Barber’s if they want us to vote blue number two (or three if there are two third party candidates in the race worth supporting).
Platforms are at best, aspirational, and very seldom are the best intentions the prime reason those words are put into a platform. Until there is evidence that the People’s party is different in this respect from the Republican, Democratic, or even Green, political parties, I’ll pass on all political parties. As a registered Independent, with a strong Progressive Bent, and an increasingly Socialist inclination, I will keep an eye on them and reward any of their candidates who merit it with my votes, but they’ve done nothing to inspire me to support their party to this point.
And the climate and ecological crises? At least a mention of a Green New Deal would be not only appropriate but necessary. There is no equity on a lifeless planet, except the equity of extinction.
It’s a hell of a drug.