Where we differ is that I believe that the Sanders “revolution” was a campaign and not a movement, because if it was a movement, Sanders would have won or Stein would be doing much better in the polls. Sanders added much needed fire to a forming movement, but it isn’t yet a full fledged movement with the power to change the course of this country either electorally or through community education, solidarity building, civil disobedience and resistance on a large scale.
The time will come when our votes have power, but they have little now because we are very much a divided populace. The electoral system is rigged to maintain the status quo; no political organization knows this better than the Green Party.
The Movement for Black Lives, the Standing Rock Sioux. Occupy all bear hallmarks of actual movement building. Each has a shared set of demands, each educates and organizes within their communities, each one uses protest and resistance, and each practices solidarity building. When these three groups come together under one banner, and are joined by white allies from the environmental movement and Labor, that’s real evidence of a viable movement. When we see activity in community after community like we saw in the Vietnam protests or the civil rights movement, we have a movement with electoral power.
Folks are not just going to vote green in this highly propagandized electorate, until the movement has reached into communities of all stripes, educated citizens on the alternatives, and empowered them to act in their best interests. Until that point, the US electorate will continue to do this awful dance with the one-party duopoly every four years.
A June Quinnipiac poll (page 7) revealed that 87% of those polled didn’t know enough about Stein to even have an opinion of her. The question and responses don’t reveal how many of those 87% never heard of her, but I’m pretty sure it’s a considerable portion. The poll also included Sanders. While much has changed since this poll, there has been little movement in Stein’s overall polling numbers since then, even though more people are now more aware of her candidacy. The left actually has a candidate to get behind, but hasn’t (nothing new here really), and that’s because there’s no viable social movement educating and driving voters towards an alternative vision in between elections.
How I wish we could just vote ourselves out of this mess–what a time saver–but history teaches us a much different lesson. We the people are going to have to fight for our democracy; systemic change starts with movements and ends in the ballot box, not the other way around.
On a personal note, I’m familiar with your posts and am generally in agreement with your comments. Thank you for this exchange.