Jim Lafferty on Taking Up the Challenge

Originally published on 9/7/2019

For at least the last 80 years, progressives and democratic socialists have been trying to take over the capitalist Democratic Party and patch up its many holes. And for at least the past 80 years, they’ve failed. What makes anyone think that today, when the Democratic Party is more in the pocket of corporate America than ever, they can do today what you couldn’t do before?

Today, Democratic Party candidates depend in large measure on corporate financing if they are to have any chance of defeating Republican candidates, who are also the beneficiaries of big corporate campaign contributions — now virtually unlimited as a result of Citizens United.  And no candidate continues to get those campaign contributions who sets out to reign in Corporate America, or its friends in high places. Naomi Klein is correct: “We no longer live in a democracy, we live in a corporate oligarchy.” 

Today, if Bernie Sanders were to get about the business of forming a new party … it would be possible to get on the ballot in all states. Such a party’s first forays into electoral politics could be at the local level and under the auspices of local chapters of the new party. And as it grew it could begin to realistically compete in all Congressional and state races. Over and over again, history has shown that when enough people have had enough; when they take up the challenge, and together, plan, organize and fight for what they need, anything is possible. Indeed, history itself is on our side!  

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