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Wanted: A Massive Education, Organizing Drive So Progressive Vision Can Vanquish Trump


#1

Wanted: A Massive Education, Organizing Drive So Progressive Vision Can Vanquish Trump

Les Leopold

As Trump stumbles, and maybe crumbles, progressives are confronting a painful truth: Trump is a reflection of a much bigger problem ― the rise of runaway inequality and the failure of the liberal establishment to address it.


#2

Here is the problem in a nutshell. Right wing ideologues backed by business, the wealthy, and the Republican party have developed think tanks and foundations that popularized the notion that each individual succeeds or fails on her own or his own. There are no other reliable supports with the possible exception of one's immediate family. Anyone relying on public support programs has been defined as weak and dependent on government handouts which over time deteriorates into intergenerational dependency. Over the same period, say the last 40 years, the Democratic Party, Labor Unions, and others traditionally considered "left" or "progressive" have become stuck in reaction rather than developing and articulating a socialist vision of unity and interdependency. Globalization of investment and the outsourcing of all kinds of jobs have accelerated this process but did not create it. Under Clinton, the Democratic party became the junior league of the Republican party. Not only does America need a Progressive party, it needs a united movement of progressive foundations, think tanks, and universities devoted to the goal of articulating and popularizing a progressive vision of life in a future America.


#3

Actually, on the topic of silos, there is great overlap across organizations.

The real problem is that all the silos are funneled into one big D-Party silo where they become secondary to the same interests that control the R-Party. Who are Ds looking to as potential candidates in 2020? Surprise, surprise:

People are noticing. People are staying home.

So, Mr. Leopold, perhaps you should consider the data gleaned by organizers in TX, where minority voters, if only they'd register and vote, could control the state political agenda. The number one reason given when asked why they don't register and vote? Because nothing changes when I do.


#4

Occupy Wall Street was the power of non-organization and was the one site that people came to and which inspired others to do the same after the media came into the picture. This author's heart is in the right place but all he can see is a gigantic mass movement like those in the past, however, this is the present and people want the freedom to come and go as they choose or their schedules allow them. Occupy was an idea that drew people to it because there were no leaders, no specific agendas, no organization to answer to. In time sheer size caused some organization to be attempted on a voluntary basis but mainly the site evolved a modus operandi direction that was freewheeling and open. Someone started up a kitchen, someone else started a lending library and so forth because they wanted to! They were inspired people. It is not usually stressed that Occupy grew because it was non-organizational. The press complained that it had no leaders to give interviews and no agenda to be quoted ...and they were right about that. People came to Occupy ... they didn't join the Occupy organization or some such. They came as they were and whomever they were. Each person had a voice. Each person Occupied...they didn't just join Occupy. They were Occupy.

This author wants a monolithic organization (he mentions sending out educational organizers by the thousands like back in movements before we were born and I'm a senior). Perhaps he thinks Trump/Repubs will be a force in opposition that organizes people to fight it like did the draft and the war in Vietnam. I look at the very powerful Women's March and to my eyes, it's success did not come from an organization nor did it result in all those people joining progressive organizations. They came, they participated, they went home. They were all supercharged by their collective response and it stayed with them but they didn't join some umbrella organization. When the call comes again those women (and men) will remember and that is a major victory. They were 'organized' by their participation... maybe for some you could say they were even radicalized or became progressives? Whatever! In any case, the march inspired America. Like did the original Occupy as it inspired others (900 other encampments eventually! Why was someone counting?) to Occupy in their towns and cities. But it was an idea that made people come to Occupy and an idea that had so many come out to march! Most of those people in the march did not belong to some group. They shared an idea...voluntarily. They didn't need to join a group to do that.

Bernie Sanders is a one man Occupy of the US government and has been for decades. People were inspired but his race was sabotaged by servants of oligarchy who feared the very reform that might see them lose their status in favor of reformers. History weeps at what might have been if democracy had been allowed to truly choose the candidate that the majority of voters (including the independents) had wanted.

Comparing the Sanders organized outreach and Occupy's lack thereof isn't valid except that both were OUTSIDERS and that is the point. Something is happening to America which isn't happening because of any one person or group. It would be wise to speak to the understanding of people and not to what you think is their need for education. Sure most people don't know everything they should about a lot of things but still a whole lot of people came out to march didn't they? They already knew plenty on their own and learned even more from being on the march. They already knew. They weren't part of some group but they knew. They were mostly ordinary regular people who would not call themselves by anything but the loosest of labels. Progressives? Many. Liberals? Many. Non labeled? Most!

Climate Change will cause people to organize themselves out of necessity as time goes by. That is the way it is in America.

There are those who are willing to be led (and misled by a Trump or a tea party). They take strength like a gang of bullies banding together. But there are also the majority of Americans who want to participate but do so only voluntarily and don't want to be led by anybody nor do they want to make some long term commitment and join in some group etc. This isn't the Depression era thirties nor the Civil Rights era nor the anti-war Sixties either.

This is an end game era which comes just before catastrophic climate change knocks the whole world for a loop! This is the last of the Good Times before all hell breaks loose era! People want to help and they sense something really big is about to happen but they don't know what form it will take. They aren't much excited about joining a group either because nobody knows the answer.

Maybe the author could try organizing some communication between those silos he mentions. That might work better than asking people to drop their silo and join one for everyone. Maybe in a different era that would have worked. Have the various silos coordinate between each other and you might have something there.

This is an end game era and people sense that old ways are not their ways, if you know what I mean. If we are lucky, this country will elect a Sanders or a Warren next time which will help.

But this is new territory ahead. Nothing like what is coming has ever come before. The only thing that can bring people together is themselves and an idea that they all share - left, right, progressive and all the labels out there. New territory needs new ideas!


#5

The fact that voting changes nothing hits the nail on the head. These days there's little difference between the two parties, mainly the domestic culture wars; i.e. sex & reproductive rights, keeping religion out of public policy, acknowledgment of global poisoning/warming crisis, and a few others. Things have been deregulated and privatized for decades, unions busted, offshoring production, etc. These are a few areas that need to be addressed by a progressive agenda and a good place to start. Then the real changes can start to happen but only if there's a concerted struggle united in a new vision going forward. It won't be easy, there will be stiff resistance and a good amount of violence I suspect, however the movement has to have a real leader to consolidate actions to forge ahead.


#6

People have lost respect for the idea that Democrats represent them. They know Republicans don't but they think Repubs are winners and it is an identification thing. The Dems really shocked this country by betraying democracy. They expected to win and then the way they sabotaged Sanders would be swept under the rug as time passed but instead... they were outsabotaged by the repub gerrymandering. The Dems lost and were left looking like incompetent or corrupt fools who bet the farm on an unpopular candidate and gave us Trump. As you say, both parties are now being exposed for what they really were. Trump shows the true republican face and the democrats were caught with their pants down after sabotaging Bernie.

I hope to hell it doesn't come to violence anywhere. That scenario we can't win. In fact I sometimes wonder if Trump isn't trying to provoke unrest by what he does? Maybe Sanders will run again but I'm guessing that Warren might too! Let's hope there isn't a Dem clown car next time with a dozen or so saviors running! Lol


#7

Please see my comments to Skeptic Tank. The women's march showed real solidarity and made the newsreels but 5 days later it was forgotten by the powers that be(PTB). That's the problem. There has to be real change specified and fought for or the PTB forgets or ignores it. Stopping commerce, traffic, boycotts, massive demonstrations brought about by social media, are just some of the ways to affect real change. Yes there will be arrests, violence, new rules, the rulers will use the power of the state to quash movements. That's happened in the past, the violence, but sometime resulted in some change for the better. Never easy though and won't be going forward. The pending disaster,(industrial pollution) unfolding now will make any of these actions all the more urgent or Earth herself will force the issue and that will be uglier than anything mankind has ever seen, and time's short.


#8

I disagree that the extent of the Women's March will soon be forgotten by anyone! It erupted into existence seemingly out of nowhere (we know better of course) for most people. Women organized other women and many of whom had never been on a march nor were they political. That will not be forgotten.

I think many Americans are impatient and expect that if something like the march didn't suddenly change anything then it was a failure. That isn't really how it works. Things take time especially in government. Yes Trump is an ass but he is actually an aberration. The march created a perception among the PTB and among the public that people are not apathetic. That bears fruit over time.


#9

I think it as unforgettable, visionary, largest worldwide protest march in history. I'll not forget.


#10

Somehow some people here in America can read about press censorship and media consolidation and yet they accept whatever the press spoon feeds them without a second thought.

No the media does not feature the march like they would have other stories. There are no in depth background pieces nor erudite analyses of why it was so successful. Instead the media calmly let it go to sleep and leave the imagination of the public. So many accept that lack of aftermath coverage by the press thinking the march didn't make that big of a splash!

You rightfully speak to its lasting merit. It simply amazed people with its success and even if the corporate conservative media tries to play that down, it remains a fact that people still talk about it and refer to it.

It was BIG! It was so big, the PTB played hands off. That shows power in those pink hats now don't it? Conversations of women and girls talking about their participating in the march (and how it felt being the first time for so many) are still going on. It isn't quite a secret handshake lol but every single woman feels proud she has that pink hat and recognizes what it stands for. Empowerment. It stands for people matter. It stands for millions of women around the world.

It mattered...

...a lot!


#11

Right on, Wereflea!   ALL organizations – clubs, churches, governments, societies – are like cesspools;
they eventually become corrupt as the biggest turds sooner or later float - or fight - their way to the top.

Organizing Corrupts – Absolute Organizing Corrupts Absolutely!


#12

Because it's true - and it's NOT just an idea.  DamnocRatic "think tanks" worry about 'OUTREACH' to voters of this or that group, without considering 'ACTION' to actually HELP this or that group.   Or they don't worry about us at all, 'cause we're just a bunch of hopeless "Deplorables." And Trump is not the real problem, he is only the festering pustule at the surface of a deep infection that permeates our entire society.


#13

"Wanted: A Massive Education, Organizing Drive and Progressive Vision to Vanquish Trump"

We have the online means to educate massively, to organize, to share our progressive vision, to vanquish Trump and oligarchy, to establish democracy. We only need to have secure, encrypted online referendums and one to introduce a bill.

Direct Online Democracy


#14

Mr. Leopold is onto something here. We progressives should heed his words, and soon, before things devolve very much further!


#15

I would like to draw your attention to "Rebooting the American Dream" by Thom Hartmann.,. Barrett Koehler,. Publ. In it he discusses several times in our history when we experienced runaway inequality. In each, the solution was to increase the marginal income tax rate for the super-rich to confiscatory levels. In 1953, during the Eisenhower administration, the marginal income tax rate was 91 per cent. That tax money then trickled down to the middle and lower class, stimulating the economy.
Try it; you might like it.


#16

America already has a progressive party and a united movement - and we only need one of each.

Let's work at improving that which has already been established, and not waste time, energy and money forming competing groups.

INDIVISIBLE should be expanded to embrace all progressive principles, then ally with the GREEN party for action at the polls - concentrating on electing congress critters for starters (not presidents).


#17

Sounds good. Do we have a platform or structure to get going on it?


#18

Presidents often allow the CIA to pose as, or fund, terrorists or "anarchists" to discredit those who want equality, or change the way we vote, or make the (legal) psyops on we, the people, easier. Scare us, then have another war, it's all good, right?


#19

All well and good. But like most of my fellow Progressives, you forgot to mention the wars and the corrosive effect those have on civil and humane society here at home.


#20

I am not a conspiracy theorist type. I do not believe 9/11 was a false flag operation.

However I do believe that things like the Gulf of Tonkin affair happen (because it did) where a government exaggerates or misrepresents (or misinterprets) facts to manipulate us. I have a hard time accepting that agents of our country attack our country or its personnel so as to start a war or some such. That is not to say that our people do not assassinate (they do) or attempt to overthrow another government (regime change) and so forth. Notice that Bush/Cheney's bogus WMD's was a long process of manipulation and propaganda but not a false flag operation.

My feeling is that they don't need to do such things as you say because they achieve the same ends through other means of manipulation like the WMD's charade.

But in your comment, you say >>> ..."scare us, then have another war..." - yes I believe that in spades! In fact, that is the traditional war to begin a war. Scare us first using propaganda and such, then you go to war!