Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 22:50:09 -0400
Sender: Progressive News & Views List <PNEWS-L@SJUVM.stjohns.edu>
Subject: New Party, Uniting the Left etc.
From: Mark Prejsnar <email@example.com>
By Mark Prejsnar. 22 September, 1995
A writer (Kimchal was part of the address, I'm not sure of the full name)
recently posted here with some good points about left unity and third
parties. They concluded by asking what people thought of the New Party &
wondering about its level of support.
I've posted my thoughts previously about the NP. In short, tho'
not currently active with them (mostly because there is no presence in
Georgia) I consider them to be the most creative and promising force to
emerge recently on the left. Their support and membership from what I
know is indeed growing in areas where they have chapters. As I have
stated, their strategy of "fusion" is very creative & is successful in
convincing many working class people that one can reject most of what the
Democrat machine does & yet still have an impact; but it is a hard & long
row to hoe, because it can't deliver too many benefits until substantial
electoral reform eliminates the outlawing of fusion in most states, and
in my opinion it's somewhat distracting & exhausting to have to accomplish
that first, since electoral reform is a narrow & sterile issue.
I believe the issue of third parties and elections in general are
going to become vital to us as the next Presidential circus develops. I
think it is crucial for the left to do several things:
- Tell people long & loud that the Republicrat machine is not
"two parties." The 2 wings stand for essentially the same things. In my
opinion until we start saying that much more loudly & being heard over
the media, we won't get anywhere. Also, in most respects these are not
"parties" but voter registration mechanisms: they don't involve people as
active members who vote on & decide the "party's" direction; they simply
ask people to vote for their standard, and proceed to look after the
interests of the wealthy.
- Encourage people to vote if they wish to, but try to keep
their attention on the fact that within the Republicrat structure no real
change will come. (Bothering to favor boycotting would be distracting &
unproductive--it's better to use the Circus as an occassion to address
more substantive issues.)
- Support the progressive third parties as best we can, where
they are active.
- Most importantly: use the Presidential Circus as a springboard
to talk about issues: why do tens of billions go to the CIA while the media
& Repubcrat hacks tell us about how welfare cheats & poor inner city
youth are threatening people's income? Why are the pol's always telling
us that ordinary people (gays, minorities, women, the unemployed) are
the source of problems obviously created by the economic system, by
racism, deunionization, the collapse of community---things the Government
and the right-wing and the business class are resposible for?
- As more & more folks are saying these days, we need a greater
degree of organizational unity so we can say these things & be heard
(tho' still allowing for substantial diversity & disagreement).