[Marxism] POST MILWAUKEE: Where we're at, and where we're headed...

Don DeBar b.corti at worldnet.att.net
Tue Jun 29 05:41:21 MDT 2004

Dear Greens and Friends:

Here we are:

Bush and Kerry have the same position on the war, USA Patriot, NAFTA, WTO, etc., etc. There is only one candidate for president with the political stature and media profile to posit an alternative effectively - and that is Ralph Nader.

Politics is about power and nothing else. If you can enforce your demands, the system responds - if not, you are ignored. This is not of my doing, so please don't kill the messenger, but it is a fact, and it should provide context for the rest.

With Nader, the Greens have the power to deny Kerry the election - in other words, they have real power to affect the outcome of the election. Without him, that power evaporates. How to wield such power could, and should, generate much thought and discussion (hopefully in that sequence), but in its absence, there is really little point in talking further.

Nominating a (presumably) well-intentioned unknown who further announced, in essence, that he would not challenge Kerry where he is weakest constitutes a per se surrender of our power to affect the outcome of the election. And what do we get in return? Kerry has only moved further from our positions as the campaign has progressed. The anti-duopoly vote will, if Cobb has any success, be divided. The Green Party lies apparently exposed as weak and sectarian, even where, in fact, it is not. And Greens will now be divided in the petitioning effort between those who are party loyalists above all to those who see the strategic and tactical necessity of working with the Nader campaign.

These are the objective conditions which exist today. How they came to pass is another matter. Suffice to say that, no matter the intentions of those involved, the process of selecting a candidate, whether by nomination or endorsement, is insufficient if it does not produce the result desired by a majority of the membership, and the apparatus that permits such a condition to come into being is inadequate for a serious democratic political movement.

The objectives of progressives at this moment must be to organize the left and center, to demand an immediate pull-out in Iraq, to demand immediate repeal of USA Patriot and NAFTA, to demand top-to-bottom reform of the electoral system, including decisive campaign finance reform which effectively and finally takes the influence of money out of the process, and a restructuring of the law to curb the power of corporations over society. hese things are actually, in one fashion or another, wanted by millions of Americans. The purpose of a progressive political movement must be to wield this power to achieve these goals. Surrendering such power as we have (had?) without a single concession is a foolish and dangerous act that betrays the needs of humanity for no good reason and in sastisfaction of no discernable objective.

Our only remaining lever is Nader's candidacy. We need to act - not talk, but act - to get him on the ballot in as many states as possible. Time is short, but the situation is urgent. Let's get to work! 

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