Belief-checking Glen Ford’s ‘…Split or get off the Pot’

socialist programs
(Graphic from The People’s Summit: As American as apple pie.  WTH?)

Note: Ford had penned his ‘Sanders Supporters Need to Split or Get Off the Pot’ before Clinton’s six surrogates had steamrolled Bernie’s four at the platform committee meeting at which single-payer healthcare, carbon tax, $15 minimum wage, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, a tax on carbon emissions, and a fracking ban were all shot down by the pro-Clinton arm of the group, as were James Zogby’s call to end Israel’s illegal settlements and military occupation of the Palestinian territories, and so on, but he’d predicted it, of course. Guess she told you, eh, Bern?  But then, she’d already told you that she’d never asked Obama for anything before supporting him in the end, so: pfffft.  (He just happened to make her his SOS in the old ‘keep your enemies closer’ sort of way, see.)  It was good for him that they ended up being birds of a feather, no?.

The June ‘People’s Summit’ in Chicago was denounced by true leftists as a sham summit to squeeze Bernistas into Clinton’s camp in order to defeat that loud-mouth R hairdo they consider even worse than Clinton™**.  This is the list of speakers including: Van Jones revolutionary?  …  Patrick Martin at wsws.org waxed (ahem) eloquently about them, as well as which issues were missing from the scene: war, militarism, and foreign policy (for obvious reasons).  It would be a tough gig to name the most craven and clueless quotes (Mis ‘This changes nothing’ Klein?  Juan Gonzales?), but then it’s pretty much true for all the interviews Paul Jay did from Chicago for TRRN.  Most were vacillating weasel statements were not unlike Valley Gurl founder of ‘People for Bernie’ Charles Lechner: Jay trying to pin him down on anything was like tryin’ to pin jello to a wall.

This says a hella lot about how ‘people-oriented’ the summit was: the organizers rejected a request from Jill Stein to speak.  Yep, a Dem Gate-Keeper rally, although Bruce Dixon at BAR said that the word Democrat was nowhere to be seen, and that the Celebrity Brand Names at the front of the room were oh, so worried about getting Bernie’s lists.  Ford reminds readers that Sanders has never deigned to respond to Stein’s offer to share the ticket with him, in November.  Good; I’d hate to see them on a ticket together myself, especially with him on the top spot.

But I digress.  What I wanted to do is test out a few of Ford’s contentions on you to see if they hold water (to me, they don’t, hence this diary).  I do understand his reasoning that there needs to be a strong progressive party challenge to the duopoly, but he mentions ‘democratic socialism’, which is essentially reform capitalism, which may be an easier sale who knows?  But tags for War, Militarism…don’t yield any answers.  Here’s Glen:

“Many of the 3,000 summit-goers swear up and down they will never vote for Clinton. However, the main organizers hail from leftish organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America that have always folded into the Democratic Party on Election Day. *Kai Newkirk (see below), director of Democracy Spring, schooled activists in “non-violent discipline” to prepare them to run gauntlets of police at the convention site and surrounding streets. But, to the extent that these energies are expended on pressuring the Democratic National Committee to make platform promises that Hillary Clinton cannot possibly keep, they will end up punching air. They need a new party.” [snip]
“Sanders’ remarkable campaign allowed this “progressive” constituency – mainly the white ranks, and youth of all ethnicities – to see themselves as a potentially independent social force, as numerically significant as the white nationalists that gave Donald Trump his victory on the other side of the duopoly. [snip]

At least half of Americans that vote for the Democratic Party in national elections are social democrats whose politics are incompatible with the Democratic Leadership Council corporatists who have turned the party into, as Paul Street puts it, “objectively, the truer and more fully explicit ruling class party in the country.” [snip]

“The Sandernistas – now minus their commandante – can either slither into Hillary’s big corporate tent, or get down to the hard work of building an opposition, social democratic party that reflects the politics of around 40 percent of the U.S. public. This includes the vast majority of Blacks, although older African Americans, especially in the South, will be the last major component of the Democratic “base” to leave the party.”

“Most ‘progressives’ don’t know what fascism looks like in the 21st century.”
As of May 31, Bernie Sanders raised $132 million in small, individual contributions, which made up 60 percent of his total fundraising. With one-twentieth of Sanders’ small donors ($6.6 million) and the active participation of the same proportion of his 12 million voters (600,000), a new, social democratic party would be off to a good start, and could be made self-sustaining for steady growth. The new social democrats, if they are wise, would dedicate much of their capital to organizing in Black America, the most left-leaning and, historically, politically volatile constituency in the nation, whose youth are in a state of divorce from the machinations of a Black Misleadership Class that is almost entirely Democrat.
Independent Black politics will also bloom in sync with the weakening of the duopoly, specifically, the fracturing of the Democratic Party, which is hegemonic in Black America and a full partner with the Republicans in the maintenance of the Mass Black Incarceration State.

The struggle is not against political candidates of the moment, or one or the other of the corporate parties. It is against the corporate duopoly, itself – the two faces of the capitalist ruling class.”

Small beer it is, but this link that purports to show, line by line, that many of those small contributions were made by people multiple times.  It pales beside the width and breadth and resultant ‘favors’ of Clinton’s contributors, of course.

But seriously; can this be so?  “At least half of Americans that vote for the Democratic Party in national elections are social democrats”?  Or this?  “…building an opposition, social democratic party that reflects the politics of around 40 percent of the U.S. public.”

What can he mean?  Which candidates were ‘social democrats? Yeah, during this primary season, millions voted or caucused for the Bern; but if he’s even remotely correct, then social democrats may be more tame than I’d guessed.  Now his figures may come to pass in some future, depending on increasing neoliberal ‘austerity’ immiseration of everyday people, the Worker Rumbles around the planet, the effects of corporate grabs on O’s crap trade deals (if people can point the Fickle Finger of Blame at the (ahem) right kleptocratic actors.

But when the Big Unions are all captive to the Dems even to the point of endorsing Clinton, it’s impossible for me to see how working people will flock to a new Social Democratic party, unless there are more break-aways as with the Longshoremen who wised up.  How ironic is it that the ‘Fight 4 Fifteen’ SEIU endorsed…Her Highness?  Never mind Trumka and friends…

Kshama Sawant wants to build a new party as well, but also wants the Bern to run for the general election as an Independent.

Shouldn’t we be asking the folks at the People’s Summit and Ford’s  posited members of a new Social Democrat these questions Jeffrey St. Clair had posed in April?

“If Sanders could turn 30,000 people out for a pep rally in Washington Square Park, why couldn’t he have had a flash mob demonstration mustering half that many fervent supporters to shut down Goldman Sachs for a day? If he could lure 20,000 Hipsters to the Rose Garden in Portland, why couldn’t he turn out 10,000 Sandernistas to bolster the picket lines of striking Verizon workers? If Sanders could draw 15,000 people in Austin, Texas, why couldn’t his movement bring 5,000 people to Huntsville to protest executions at the Texas death house? If Sanders could draw 18,000 people to a rally in Las Vegas, why couldn’t he just as easily have lead them in a protest at nearby Creech Air Force Base, the center of operations for US predator drones? Strike that. Sanders supports Obama’s killer drone program. My bad. But you get the point. Instead of being used as stage props, why hasn’t Sanders put his teaming crowds of eager Sandernistas to work doing the things that real movements do: blocking the sale of a foreclosed house in Baltimore, disrupting a fracking site in rural Pennsylvania, shutting down the entrance to the police torture chamber at Homan Square in Chicago for a day, intervening between San Diego cops and the homeless camp they seek to evict? Why? Because that’s not who Bernie Sanders is and that’s not what his movement is about. He’s willing to rock the neoliberal boat, but not sink it.”

Democratic Socialists USA doesn’t yield much by way of the tags military war or militarism, which is one of the interrelated Triple Evils poisoning our society: poverty, racism, and militarism MLK railed against so often.

Why not the Greens you’d mentioned, Glen Ford?   Stein is far closer to an actual socialist than the others.

Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament.

Well, never mind; we have no idea what arc of electoral time you’re considering, nor do some of believe any longer that voting matters in such a rigged system.  Ahead of a leftist ‘revolution’ must come King’s ‘true revolution of values’ in which we all have one other’s backs, and have shared power.  (The recent Republican revolution seems to be fraying.)

*Kai Newkirk having been the official organizer of ‘Democracy Spring’ silliness; he and his heroes and funders exposed.  Englers (‘media attention’, ‘empathy not solidarity’)>Erica Chenowith>Gene Sharp> billionaire investment banker Peter Ackerman.  ‘You Call This an Uprising?’, by Ray Valentine at orchestratedpulse.com

*‘Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting’ by Jeffrey St. Clair

As you consider Fanon’s harsh words, and just trade ‘Europe’ for ‘Amerika’, ‘NATO’, AFRICOM.

31 responses to “Belief-checking Glen Ford’s ‘…Split or get off the Pot’

  1. A significant fraction of the 12 million will get down to the business of alternative party-building, recognizing that the rich rule through the mechanism of the duopoly electoral system.

    Start with the fact that there are 210 million people in the US eligible to vote if they registered and got themselves to the polls. There are in fact at least 150 million registered voters (trying to find a aggregate number is surprisingly difficult). The popular vote for President was 129 million, of which 66 million voted for the Obama/Biden ticket. Likely, the total turnout for the 2014 mid-term elections was less than 90 million. And as you walk down the downticket races toward Soil and Water Commissioner, the number of votes required to win an election for a candidate become smaller and smaller. But the vetting becomes more stringent because in small rural counties, everyone knows everyone (mostly) and has a long-term opinion of them. Vetting a President of the United States by comparison is mostly a matter of “Trust me”, which is why a media operation to sell that in improbable circumstances is so bloated in national campaigns (and not just in the US).

    Building a party does not start with a new party winning a Presidency. The party’s reputation is as yet un-vetted. How do they govern? How consistent are their actions to their rhetoric?

    Even if Glen Ford’s observation is literally true, how much is significant? Can six million mobilize 100 million voters? Over what period of time?

    But that is looking from the perspective of a totally electoral political party. Is that the “alternative” political party function that Glen Ford is looking at.

    What about a movemental alternative party? What is their strategy to gain policy goals, if not power, in the the “stick to the electoral channels” policing of direct action by those not yet vetted by the PTB?

    One wonders where we would be if the Green Party had in the late 1970s seen its best shot at electing Soil and Water Commissioners under a Green Party banner? In rural and now many urban counties, Soil and Water Commissioner is a vetting ground for County Commission and City Council. And those local governments are a vetting ground for legislatures, which are the vetting ground for Congress or governorships, which are vetting grounds for President. One wonders. There is a lot of direct action that a Soil and Water Commissioner can do that is not labeled by the PTB as “political” but still puts policy in place directly. Widespread promotion of voluntary rainwater retention for water conservation and for improving water quality can get a Soil and Water commissioner known for doing direct action that is imaged as “private” but if successful at mobilizing a community can have significant and measurable benefits, which include providing a base for asking corporations to join in voluntary actions. That become an education for all the private homeowners who have done more than what corps are doing. Or the corporations buckle under for fear of community antagonism. Self-help is ultimately political.

    So just exactly how does Glen Ford imagine these alternative party-building activities proceeding out of the rump of Berniecrats (Sandernistas) who don’t seek that alternative in a grassroots revolution from inactive precincts up in the Democratic Party. Because that is another possibility that takes advantage of the DLC’s tendency to stick to the low-hanging fruit in campaigning.

    But most of all, what Glen Ford ignores is the history of successful splits in US political parties. There were the actions of already elected officials and not of constituencies.

    At least half of Americans that vote for the Democratic Party in national elections are social democrats whose politics are incompatible with the Democratic Leadership Council corporatists.

    If you consider a post-racist, post-identification politics, New Deal Democrat, that might fit the label “social democrat”, and that does include some members of the PTB (after all FDR was certainly in that category, else he would not have been a target of assassination for being a “traitor to his class”). Social democrat here, like in Europe, does not come anywhere near socialist except in the extension of infrastructure to social institutions, like education and health. So that is at least 40 million voters, not at all evenly distributed geographically and not all mobilized during primaries. That’s likely to be true.

    It is helpful to look at US parties, not like European parties, but like European post-election governing and opposition coalitions. Primaries in the 20th century progressive movement’s view were where the dominant party in the big tent coalitions occurred. In the Republican Party, movement conservatism enforced an ideological conformity on party elected officials that grew ever narrower and narrower until this year, in which the ideological rules were exploded and the post-Trump Republican party will likely (win or lose) look more like the ruling or opposition coalition post dissolution of a strongman government.

    The question for alternative parties is who can act as the linchpin party that can command a sufficient number of votes that other members of the coalition can put the coalition over the top and break the duopoly. This strategy obviously is what is behind the demand that the New Deal Democrats split from the Democratic Party controlled by the remnants of the now defunct DLC. What is interesting in this approach is conceding that the Republican Party is a hopeless right-wing party devoid of any elements that could be part of an alternative party coalition to break the duopoly. The illusion that, outside of a few hundred original Tea Party members, the Tea Party was more than an astroturfed entity financed by PACs connected to Texan ex-members of Congress held sway among lefties briefly. The rapidity with which Tea Party candidates clicked heels and marched to the tune of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner (and now Paul Ryan) likely ended that illusion.

    Where are the folks who are not bosses being shaken loose from the Republican part of the duopoly? There are a lot of union members and former union members hanging on the GOP, especially in rust belt states.

    They want to be on the “winning” side, even if their presence is actual proof of abject defeat

    That’s almost as silly as the Clintonistas slam that they want ponies and unicorns.

    What they want is to affect policy, and until the Sanders campaign no one had a good idea of the size of the progressive movement seeking to change the Democratic Party. Now we can at least estimate that the size is somewhere between 12 and 40 million voters.

    What the post-primary Sanders strategy seems to be is a probe of the Democratic Party internal processes to see if they is any flexibility to coalition partners or has the marching order become neoliberal domestic policy-neoconservative foreign policy-a policy of which Barry Goldwater would have been proud.

    They preach the gospel of merging mass social action and electoral politics, but their failure to break with the Democrats puts their mass networks at the ultimate service of what has become the uber-corporate party.

    Those mass networks are not commandable like some parties. That is the fundamental failure of this perennial complaint. There is a lot of discussion back and forth among the Sanders constituency on exactly this issue. It makes me think of the days in which Occupy Wall Street had surprisingly reached into geography that no one imagined could be mobilized — Oklahoma City, Birmingham AL, Jackson MS, Mobile AL, Valdosta GA. Sure those movements did not last but a week or so. One of the slogans at that time was “The Beginning is near.”

    This is where the Sanders experiment is at the moment — and a lot of other experiments that have come out of Occupy Wall Street — are.

    That break must come when the Sanders movement is strong enough for it to have some effect. Despite the mobilizing of 12 million primary votes of one sort or another, that is not enough to deal with the Democratic establishment. But individual Sanders supporters would be well served to do whatever they do with open eyes about where the Democratic Party stands at the moment. And any break should not come until after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in which the current state of the Democratic Party will be showcased in all its — will it be stultified or fermenting — glory. The Sanders delegate are now a large enough number to have an effect on the tone (if not the process) of the convention.

    The other thing to watch is whether Sanders capitulates to the demand that he actually “endorse” Hillary Clinton for President. Where he is now is that he personally will vote for her but for others it is a matter of conscience and principle. This is an essentially a “kiss the ring” demand on the part of the Clintonistas. Refusing to do so, even if it is just symbolic nonsense spoils the coronation. We should not get in the habit of crowning Presidents else a family name become the modern US counterpart of the Roman cognomen Caesar.

    Most ‘progressives’ don’t know what fascism looks like in the 21st century.

    As I read Glen Ford’s argument here, it looks like how communities of people of color are treated routinely in the US, and especially how black communities are treated. Which should make these same black communities the focus of the Sanders people moving to alternative parties.

    Given how the black misleadership class mobilized these same communities to back Hillary Clinton, this puts the struggle for an alternative party in the very black communities that Glen Ford has been struggling to organize for a generation. Those black millennials from these communities who supported Sanders will have a bigger fight with their elders (save folks like Ford) as they move to organizing alternative parties. Black unity is seen the key political tactic for ensuring civil rights; alternative parties threaten black political unity. The millennials’ best argument is that for over a generation, if ever, black unity has been superficial and has gotten slack to the point that the failure to turn out in 2014 (because of the choices) has open rampant racism and the nomination of Trump. And that the community still operates at the sufferance of the PTB.

    Those are the workers who can be organized, the double- and triple-shifting health care institution workers, the agricultural workers, the fast food workers. But for now they are being herded into traditional unions like SEIU who then broker with the Democratic Party.

    The notion that an understanding of fascism lies in the way black communities are treated (and muslim communities are treated) makes sense for the Sanders veterans only if they see the same treatment coming to middle-class white folks — which widespread warrantless wiretapping and all the other practices that have been reported on, especially since the Snowden leaks, maked credible.

    It will also most likely be on display in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

    Footnote: Two (2) of the six (6) “free speech zones” at the Democratic National Convention are in Delaware.

    • er…could you please repeat that, son? ;-)

      i’ll have to try in the morning to sift through all this, you night owl, you… that is, if things with papa bear get sorted; so many crises to contend with, so many conflicting opinions…

      thanks, and nice to see you.

    • for now; morning’s still full of conference calls, and so on.

      given that Ford said ‘vote’, not ‘have voted’ here: ‘At least half of Americans that vote for the Democratic Party in national elections are social democrats”, he certainly seems to mean ‘in recent times’, not in FDR’s era to me. i suppose he could have been making the claim based on what candidates say, not what they do, but even then i’m not buyin’ his percentage claims. bernie is an FDR without the wobblies and other strikers, imo.

      i’d submit that even the ‘socialist’ parties in europe aren’t even social democrats any longer, unless one considers that crazy graphic up yonder as a list of socialist programs. whose brain blow-out was that, anyway?

      i can’ say i remember much about the history of successful part splits (whigs, know-nothings, et.al., even), but i assume you know very well. ;-)

      but i do agree that the reagan/tea party (astroturfed but effective as hell re: elections, imo) revolution is wildly coming apart at the seams. and you’re asking one my questions: what time frame for electoral wins, esp. for president? sadly, at the few ‘librul’ sites i check in with, they’re wild for the queen of chaos, and are furious with those Dogs in labour who are still supporting corbyn.

      given that Ford was talking about ‘voters’, i have to imagine he’s not thinking of movemental politics, but as st. clair had posed, direct action of workers, both blue and white collar, POC (and yes, mainly the millenials have bitten for sanders, as well as the comfortable blogging class ) as well as other affinity groups…will be the underpinnings of a leftist revolution, although again: i have no idea how it plays out. i do see a number of writers arguing for those who abhor the red queen to vote for that loudmouth man in order to a big nail in the Dem coffin, and i can sure see why that’s so attractive. one big question about him is ‘if he’s elected, will the levers of power be denied him?’

      well, your footnote was astounding to read, but not shocking: democracy in action.

      oh, and i saw a headline early this a.m that bern is eager to bring his voters to the convention to ‘change the tone’, i think it was.

      • In recent times, probably slightly less than half of Democratic voters were voting for FDR nostalgia (or the Kennedy version of liberalism) or some other form of “progressive” political positions. Those times seemed to end around a decade ago, which is when those slightly-below-half of the Democratic base became restive. Obama beat Clinton by appealing to that part of the base, which is why so many in that base have been frustrated with his performance. Even today, a substantial minority of Democratic voters are nostalgic for the New Deal social democratic programs they thought Clinton and Obama would restore. And they have projected that nostalgia onto Hilllary Clinton. The only way it happens is if the Congress is more toward FDR than she is.

        It is a profoundly important question: Will the “deep state” deny Trump the actual levers of power if he is elected? How would we know?

        • well, i’m trying to hear your first paragraph, but yeah, then they are simly schmoozed by the ‘listen to what i say, not what i do’.

          how would we know? good question. answer: leaks from think tanks, or…his mouth? “i love waterboarding!” was a headline today. cool: go get waterboarded, then.

  2. You have both given us a lot to digest here. (I’m in particular going to chew over this: “. . .It is helpful to look at US parties, not like European parties, but like European post-election governing and opposition coalitions. . .”)

    I’m not a political person at all, but I saw on rt news how the attempt to depose Corbyn is, at least in public, appearing to be quite different from what would occur in US halls of power. There, a gleam of hope still exists for him to stay on as leader of the Labour Party and even bring new leadership in the form of MP support, were an election to be held promptly (I don’t know if that will happen but given that Britain still has PAPER BALLOTS votes do count there still, and that’s the name of the game.)

    Corbyn does have union support. Britain has a chance to show the world how democracy ought to work, and I for one am rooting for that to happen. It would spread to this morbid country so tangled in all the machinations of the plutocrats that even PAPER BALLOTS is a bridge too far.

    I say it has a chance in Britain because their system is flexible enough to allow for rapid changes in leadership, and if the Brits press the advantage, that is what they will get. Unlike us.

    And by the way, Pepe’s latest is absolutely terrifying. “Here Come the Harpies!” indeed. All those Bernie delegates should refuse to attend the convention – either that or raise hell. This isn’t about platforms, which are never adhered to anyway. This is about the earth and its survival, not to mention ours. Nothing is acceptable except throw the blighters out, every one of them. We want, we NEED new people!

    I think Noam Chomsky needs to be put to bed with a hot warm toddy and some blankies. We’ll wake him when we’ve fixed things.

    Thanks to you both.

    • corbyn and his allies have been takin’ a serious drubbing. his rival angela eagle is accusing him of being too soft on his Remain stance. yeah, it’s true, so what? following the process of of new elections, mandates is a bit tricky for neophytes like myself.

      but O just announced that #brexit won’t happen™. the twittersphere is exploding with new hashtags against the tories, pro-corbyn. didn’t merkel and holland say that it could be years until article 50 might be invoked?

      yeah, platforms are made to be ignored, which is why i really think clinton’s surrogates were all about givin’ bernie the finger.

      bernie and his delegates may srsly believe that clinton will be indicted before july 24 or whenever it is; silly folks.a great surprise for her/s: she was found blameless in benghazi! isn’t there a song of the same title?

      ooof, i’ll check out pepé. the three harpies had been chaos queen, rice, and power, of course.

      i like your suggestion for chomsky; he’s the new Intellectual version of rebecca solnit. 2012: ‘Please, radical leftists, spare us the bitterness and negativity; we need hope and incremental victories and you provide neither’

      “O rancid sector of the far left, please stop your grousing! Compared to you, Eeyore sounds like a Teletubby. If I gave you a pony, you would not only be furious that not everyone has a pony, but you would pick on the pony for not being radical enough until it wept big, sad, hot pony tears. Because what we’re talking about here is not an analysis, a strategy, or a cosmology, but an attitude, and one that is poisoning us. Not just me, but you, us, and our possibilities.”

      she deplored a few things about him, though; you must take note of that!

    • ha! three new harpies (four, really pepe reckons as in: Maddy’s being a soul mate, in by brain-holey dotage i said: ‘hmmmm; this sounds familiar! when i clicked into the pdf, i laughed at myself. from the end of may at da café: ‘Next Gen Amerikans Must Embrace US Hegemony as Vital to Global Peace!”

      yep, thd saw it was clearly the deep state’s agenda for a queen’s presidency. you must have been busy gardening at the time.

      his was funnier, i admit.

  3. “Hot warm?” Gee, me too. “Hot RUM toddy” and don’t hold the rum.

  4. Since I am neither a “delegate’ or a member of the committee that creates the Party’s Platform for the resellable purpose of the attendees at the Convention, I am obviously, far behind the eight ball. And that being the case, all this political hoopla between the Bernies and the Hillaries, don’t really count for much, given that no one will be thinking of such an “eminence document” while at the ballot box, nor among the down ballot candidates attempting to get elected or re-elected. As such, a ‘throw-away document if there ever was one.

    In contrast, if this Platform Document has any viability, we, the Native Americans and Chicanos, would be presenting our Chicano Manifesto, and done with a tad of anger and angst.

    In closing, is this Ford that person in charge of the Black Agenda Report, and if so, I submitted my application a few months ago in order to participate, but I was readily ignored, given that my application received no response.

    Jaango

    • yep, ford is the editor of BAR. their commenting software is srsly messed up, and in my case lately, it’s a catch 22: i was registered, but now my account doesn’t appear w/ my e-address, yet if i try to re-register, it says my address is already taken.

      meaning: don’t take it personally. i emailed ford once about it, got no response. i just wanted him to know how many folks might be experiencing what i had been.

      well, only a few brand names were chosen to be on the platform committee, including the rockefeller/dem gate-keeping keeping bill mckibben. ‘no fracking’ was turned down, as he knew it would be, and besides:

      “From 2010 to October 2014, the Obama administration approved more than 1,500 permit applications for offshore drilling plans that included fracking at hundreds of wells across the Gulf of Mexico, according to the documents. An unknown number of permit applications have yet to be released, so the scope of offshore fracking in the Gulf is likely larger.” etc. (the link)

  5. Now, here’s to some “fun” when it comes to drafting a Platform Policy Document for the Democrats.

    Shifting the traditional process to include the following:

    1. The Chicano Manifesto
    2. The Women’s Manifesto
    3. The African American Manifesto
    4. The Asian American Manifesto
    5. The Democratic Manifesto

    Consequently the Delegates would take a vote for “approval or disapproval” and thusly, at the first Platform Committee meeting in January=February in 2017 would incorporate all the Manifestos into one formal document. And in doing so, all down ballot candidates could extrapolate from any of these Manifestos or particular elements to meet the requirements that would attract democratic voters in far greater numbers.

    Now, having said all of this, here is the First Element of a presumptive Chicano Manifesto:

    “Old” England Versus the “reformed” European Union and at the behest of the Plus Five Nations…

    In today’s Great Britain, Nigel Farage went before the European Union and delivered a wonderful but short-sighted speech and where he rubbed his Brexit vote and victory in the face of the European diplomats in attendance and course, this speech was not well received or well-accepted by Europe’s wide-ranging elite. And if you don’t know or ever heard of Nigel Farage, he’s leader of Britain’s Independence Party, and a minor coalition partner in the British Parliament. However, Farage can’t and won’t visualize the “power” of political coalition-building, ala the historical precepts of the United States and its substantive allies. As such, this American ‘exceptionalism’ will continue to exist for the next 25 years or so.

    And now that Great Britain is demonstrating a tad of Buyer’s Remorse, a four million signature petition is now in the offing and thusly, requesting another Brexit vote. And since the British Parliament has to vote to ‘affirm’ this Brexit vote, political leaders are caught between a rock and a hard place, and consequently, the issue of Brexit will be discussed, debated and even challenged during the next three to five years and perhaps, even longer?

    Therefore, the “role’ of the United States will not be given short-shrift among the anti-immigrant forces when, “reform” is taken into consideration, in the years ahead. As such, the Census Bureau has predicted that our United States will become a “majority-minority” nation in 2043 or thereabouts. And into this political mix will be the reformation for the dynamism of a multi-culturalism movement that is gaining strength each day and as envisioned among progressive voters for each of the forthcoming election cycle. And that too is in the future of today’s Great Britain.

    Simply put, America’s “majority-minority” will come to express and utilize this dynamic progressive movement to cast aside the newly-established “old” England when it comes to the arenas of politics, economics and finance and which, when implemented, will place the new “old England” into the obvious fringe category that personifies their ‘anti-multiculturalism’ as the onset for their prevailing national failure. Consequently, the United States, Mexico, Canada, Ireland and Scotland won’t be demonstrating much, if any, empathy for this “old” England.

    Of course, like the neo-liberal mantra among the conservative defense contractors that hover over our Pentagon, this neo-liberal mantra in “old” England will have a particular political role to play, as well. Thus, the defense spending that is currently ongoing in Great Britain will be sizably reduced with regard to the ‘defense’ of the North Atlantic seas. And that’s where the Plus Five Nations will step into this national security and defense breach, and done at the behest of both NATO and the European Union. Unfortunately, should a trade embargo placed over this newly-established ‘old’ England, England will come to realize that the subtlety and nuance in international relations and where the lives of our men and women, wearing our nation’s uniform will not be jeopardized by the out-dated ideas that animate anti-immigration and which is the preface for or the ‘stand-in’ for any nation’s bigotry and racism. Although I won’t, taking a tangent or off-road with regard the Palestinians and the Israelis is just one exemplar of many.

    In closing, the Black Lives Matters Movement will eventually come to the realization that in having established an international regime to combat both bigotry and racism, will occur, prove effective, and done without fail. Human interaction requires this of all of us—Native Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans and African Americans, and for whom we are our nation’s stalwart Progressive Coalition. And consequently, our achievements to be successfully crafted in the political arena, is our Future.

    Jaango

    • i’m not sure that i’m reading you right, jaango, but my take on farage doesn’t seem to tally w/ yours. for quick comparison, i’d have to say that he’s the brit equivalent of the R candidate with the orangutan on his head.

      but yes, some of the EU nations are once again seeking an EU military they swear won’t compte with nato! ;-)

  6. wsws reports today that Bern is adopting the nationalistic rhetoric of the Trumpers & encouraging the dems to run against him from the right on economic matters. hey, who cares if the Vietnamese are de facto slaves in the sweat shops as long SEIU members can get their $15/hour? this is not surprising at all on the Bern’s part.

    the fact of minorities becoming majorities does not make for a progressive outcome in & of itself. Are there no prisons? will affirmative action put some of these people into managerial slots at the national Wal Mart? are there no DeRay McKessons & Condi Rices to provide positive examples to the booming Hispanic populace of how one is supposed to integrate successfully into the historically white-dominated power structure? 2nd & 3rd gen immigrant families are subjected to the same propaganda & economic forces as those whose families came over on the Mayflower and can jump on a nationalist/chauvinist bandwagon just as fast as aunt & uncle wonderbread do today. the people who own this country are well aware of this and are probably grooming a whole class of minority Glen & Glenda Becks (shudder) right now.

    • here’s the link; did you happen to dig up bern’s times piece? not that i don’t take the author at his word, but..

      it still vexes the hell outta me to pretend or be so ignorant about the trade deals for multinationals being portrayed as ‘about job loss’. there is sooo much more to them than that, and the results already are simply hideous for the rabble class, the planet’s health, food sovereignty, and the tribunals’ judgements for ‘lost income and profit’ ( nafta one is afoot now re: bakken). if bern had spoken of the tpp in ‘loss of national sovereignty’ terms, he’d be right: the language specifies that the lowest form of protection from banksters, big pharma, environmental protections, a host of other sectors. and the most dangerous language imaginable on property rights. grrrrr.

      • nah. i used my nyt hit today to look at their wonderful viddy of juno’s trips around jupiter.

        i don’t typically go out of the way to listen to “Democracy….when? wait for it, wait for it…………NOW!” but i caught this this a.m. on our local pacifica station.

        http://www.democracynow.org/2016/6/30/a_classic_state_capitalist_how_donald
        some of this is not surprising in the slightest. the man’s a frickin real estate speculator for heaven’s sake. living off of KKK enthusiast daddy’s & the state’s moolah. but who was his biz partner & mentor in the ’80’s? yes, that little boy that nobody liked who grew up to be…Roy Cohn. ugh. not that HRC is any better. not that bern is any better either, for running this phony campaign only to inevitably throw his hat in the ring for the queen of the harpies (“here’s your crown your majesty!”)

        • oy; i will say that i looked up our fridge repairman’s honoring of trump being a ‘self-made man’, never mind my wtf? and never told him what long history refuting that i’d found, but cohn loomed extra large in ‘angels in america (tony kushner/mike nichols, and yeah i love an alt love story). but:

          i’d been colleting tweets for one side of #brexit and #savecorbyn as it seems like folks here wanted to disucss it, and i’m working on another Modi post.

          anyway, via @redkahina on twitter june 28, via Rosa Luxembourgeoise

          • yeah, pacino/cohn, i tho’t was the best part of AiA. pacino doing some decent acting for once. more than decent, quite good.

            i took a quick look this a.m. at the NYT note about rapper Lor Scooter in Baltimore being gunned down, apparently, for once, not by the cops. Just dripping w/snide condescension. i mean, just how is it someone from the ‘hood can rap about dealing crack & then go round telling kids, be cool, stay in school? The Times can’t figure it out!

            • i kinda like pacino, really, but i suspect i’m not all that discerning. serpico? but was kushner’s portrayal of cohn by way of another self-loathing closeted homosexual gone cruel and bonkers? maybe it was even so; i dunno. but i dearly loved ethel rosenberg’s er… conversations with roy.

              oy: i saw a tweet saying that no one at the pulse in orlando died…until the swat team burst in.

              i’ve liked DN on certain issues, interviews (stephen cohen, but followed by the punk from the kyiv post, wth?) but as with trrn, so much now is all about i) st. bernie, and ii) a no-trump bid…it’s creeping me out.

              • yeah, DN is kind of like thom hartmann, only much better. thom is such a tool but on occasion he’ll have a great guest on. ok, DN is not quite that bad. so humorless, no sarcasm, ever.

                pacino has to be sure done some great stuff. like a lot of good actors, he’s also been in a lot of disappointing junk or mediocrities. not quite sir anthony paycheck, i mean hopkins, bad. but a man’s gotta eat, i guess.

  7. Alternatively, watch’all GOT?

    • on the lighter side. certainly true of whatever from the savage mules & war pachyderms.

      • couldn’t resist….we’ll march all over the battlefield, cuz all god’s children got guns.

        unfortunately i can’t find the clip from this movie on the superwebs where he says, “Bring me my Stradivarius! i’ll teach them to fiddle with ol’ Firefly” and then pulls this machine gun out of a violin case & starts shooting. good times.

  8. lo-bleepin’-l to both. and yeah, the bern cared about USians’ jobs. most of what he weote went right by me, i admit.

    someone should have edited it. $836 (or some figure) less than what? in 1973.

  9. So evidently social democrat is the new liberal or progressive. I’ve got a problem with all this talk about new political parties. Seems to me its just trying to compete in a rigged and corrupted system that in no way represents democracy, so what’s the use? Maybe they think they can elect ten percent of the 535 politicians supposedly representing 330 million people within 20 years, what’s that going to get them? Why aren’t any of these people like Ford and Hedges calling for a boycott of this ridiculous system? It doesn’t seem we’ll ever get anywhere with this system of government.

    • i was actually shocked by this notion of ford’s. now as per st. clair, if he’d called for a movement in aid of blocking amerikan bidness machine activities en masse over and over, it would have made sense. it’s a movement that underpins an actual revolution, not electoral politics in a rigged system.

      as thd noted, ford’s been trying to change the capitalist system for a long time, while some of his ideas and conferences were pretty unrealistic, and poorly attended in the latter case. old sourpuss (‘the cancer in occupy’) hedges i dunno about, don’t watch, so i have know idea what he’s saying.

      but a movement has to have a fairly well-articulated vision, and steal enough power to make a difference. then, if proven, some posit that ‘leaders’ can maybe involve themselves in electoral politics, although i’m not sure what that would look like, myownself. but democratic socialists? tame bunch altogether, and capitalist reformers to boot.

      hey: your last diary at c99 went pretty well, considering your message, no?

      • I try to convince myself that we could take a number of tactical approaches at once but every time I dig deep into electoral politics I just can’t envision gaining any power, not the kind of power we need to gain, or take away from those that have it. I say all the time, it depends on what you want. Some people want fifteen bucks an hour and free college and are content with allowing the power remain with the plutarchy and live in a fake democracy. Me, I want to take the bastards down. They’re criminals, psychopathcs, evil people perpetuating evil systems of control. I’ve never been one to bow down to anyone and I certainly won’t now.

        There are some on C99 that get it, but mostly it’s the Bernie crew from DK and they’re still holding out hope their Bernie will become the nominee if Clinton is indicted or he’ll run third party. As Cass said recently, nothing will be done there until after the conventions, until then it’s still the Bernie show. The problem I have is the proclaimed disgust and abandonment of the Democratic party on the one hand, and the incessant complaints and contradictory signals (like supporting Bernie’s democratic party revolution) about the Dem party. They’re done with it but then they say they’ll vote down ticket. That’s not really done with it is it.
        They can’t have it both ways, fighting the establishment while supporting the establishment (the Dem party). Just won’t work that way.

        • there will never be any reforming the dem party, most especially from the inside. someone, maybe michael hudson, noted that in many ways, the labels have switched to the point that in europe, the socialists have become the worst neoliberal warmongers, and in some respects, in the US as well. but dems are so captured by the party they refuse to wake the hell up, most especially the clintonistas. i asked one commenter (citizen of earth?) on your diary the reason he/she could have ‘bernie for peace’ as an avatar given…well, you know all that.

          i went back a few times over the next couple days, no response, so i gave up going back. but yeah, it’s like no one learned from mister hope and change, isn’t it?

          i’ve had some hope that the Leave vote in the UK would begin to trigger more Leave/remain votes, as folks see just what fascists the elites at the center of the club are willing to do to everyday people to keep their financial power, make wars on brown people everywhere, and maybe soon with russia, who knows? the Remainers’ fearmongering lies now are almost worse now than before the vote.

          but where i was rambling was meant to be this: our government, and its pretense of democracy, and capitalism itself with its insane classism and racialism, needs to be found illegitimate in the eyes of millions who would have to be willing to really stop the machine so strongly that the people could begin to imagine how we want to be governed with shared power, and of course…all should have power, not just those who are like us.

          as an aside, i dunno about cass; he refused to believe that klein’s book was anything but an anti-capitalist tome…but of course it wasn’t.

          but still, the seeds of revolt are growing globally, so the question becomes: will they sprout here last of all in the bastion of sleepy, easily conned and distracted exceptionalism?

        • big al, i’d meant to ask in what ways you don’t/won’t bow down. i’ll readily admit that i do bow down since i pay our taxes (save for my obama don’t care penalty), and that went called three times a year for jury duty, i do my best to beg the current jury commissioner that i’m unable to serve, but i can’t get to a doctor who might provide my…excuse.

          a serious movement: “no taxation without representation” ? nah, how far would that catch on in…2016? ;-) (no, we forget half our nation’s roots, even though history records a lot of it incorrectly…)

          sounds as though the cannons in the park are booming out that thar’ be fireworks at dark, and the john wayne speechifying at the finish…

          • More metaphorical I guess. I’m the type that would not shake Obama’s hand if presented. I would tell him to his face he’s a war criminal if I had a chance. Sure I pay taxes, I’m on a federal government pension after 30 years with the fed for crying out loud. We’re all caught in some type of boxes.
            I was referring to continuing to allow the supreme criminals on the planet, basically evil people like Kissinger, Albright, the Rothchild and Rockefeller cabals, the Bilderbergers, the Club of Rome, the CFR and Tri-Lateral Commission, the pardon my French, fuckers who destroy lives for their own pleasure and gain. The elitism involved drives me most, the money and wealth and power they get from it. I believe we’re all equal, no one is better than the next. We all have our right to freedom in our lives without being controlled by a class of people who have the power.
            In that respect, I will not bow down to them, let them continue without speaking up, fighting against them in whatever ways I can. Demanding that’s what we do instead of settling for more BS.
            Instead of apathetically continuing to allow them to rule over us. A small example is the proposed tax on Wall St transactions progressives love. I say screw that, abolish Wall St., Stop how these bastards are making so much money, accumulating so much wealth instead of taking some “alms for the poor”.
            Don’t know if you saw this one but I guess that’s what I mean.

            http://globalrevolutioncenter.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-lefts-fake-revolution-vs-the.html

            • that’s the diary i was speaking about above that you’d published at c99, isn’t it? (if not, i’m worse off than i’d thought.) :-) but yes, it’s an expanded list, and a good one for radicals. especially give the current seemingly unstoppable of food and water piracy and privatization, i’d have to add: total food sovereignty, no more transgenic foods, patenting of heirloom seeds, etc. water’s much more complex, of course….

              all trade deals must be beneficial to the people, not profits, tribal sovereign rights restored, decommission nukes; gads, ya could go on forever, eh? but again, to my mind, the folks who voted for #brexit may have triggered the ‘shot hear round the world’, only this time…for the rabble’s eventual peace and prosperity. time will tell, of course, and my stars: what a Sisyphean task!.

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