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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:14 PM
Original message
Thoughts on leaving the Democratic Party
i am very torn about whether i should remain a Democrat ... i joined the party specifically to help them defeat bush ... i was previously "unenrolled" (i.e. registered without an affiliation) ...

to be honest, i haven't seen much intelligent discussion on DU about how people are making this decision ... i mean, if you see yourself, as I do, way to the left of Democrats, the "right" strategy is not all that clear ...

on one hand, you can just throw caution to the wind and help a third party build their message and maybe even win a local election or two ... but nationally ?? can one just completely ignore all pragmatic considerations ?? let's face it, the deck is badly stacked against a third party candidate on the national level ...

also, there are a few movements that work both within and outside the democratic party ... i think this is where I might be headed ... perhaps those thinking of "going Green" or just going elsewhere should consider these groups ...

i was not ultimately a Dean supporter during the primaries ... but I think Dean's "Democracy for America" is right on the money ... it seems to me that if you want a voice in government, you need to "meet-up" and do something ... i commend Dean for trying to build this grassroots organization that will hopefully move democrats to the left ...

also of great interest to me, are the Democratic Socialists of America ... their basic pitch is to support democratic candidates for pragmatic reasons but work for economic justice ... here's a link to one of the finest platform documents i've ever read: http://www.dsausa.org/about/where.html ... if you haven't read this and you consider yourself a left-winger, you really should ...

so i guess before i run off to some other "promised land", i might still be leaning toward supporting democrats nationally but organizing with others on the left to change the direction of the country ... whether i remain a registered democrat or not seems to make little or no difference ...
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. In Minnesota, progressives are trying to change the party from within
I'm watching that tactic for another election cycle. Activists already succeeded in taking the state for Kerry and unseating 13 Republicanite state legislators. This bodes well.
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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm thinking very hard about reregeristing as an independent
The democratic party has no vision or leadership at the present time. As an Independent I could vote in primaries... I really want to vote against Feinstein if she runs again in 2006... and it says to the Democratic party that they are loosing a supporter. At the same time, if they get their shit together, I could still vote democratic in the future. I'm sort of hanging in there until after December 13th.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. Above all else, don't limit yourself
You can put your efforts into more than cause. As you point out, you can work at building a third-party, while at the same time helping an org like DFA, which is trying to reform the party from within. My general advice would be to consider each possibility in it's own context and decide for yourself which is the best course of action, if any, for you to take.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. Do what works for you ....
A person can be in the Green Party, and still be wiling to work in cooperation with the democrats when it is beneficial to everyone's interests. The idea of building a coalition of 3rd parties should always be considered as an option with potential.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. a real disappointment
one of the greatest disappointments i had this year was the rejection by so many DU'ers of the Green "message" and those DU'ers who are Greens ...

i'm sure some of this was spawned but the understandable "Nader hangover", but I really felt the disunity created by some short-sighted DU'ers didn't help our cause ...

i'm afraid our politics is too much about candidates and not enough about issues ... as long as that's the case, coalition building will be difficult to achieve ...
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TwentyFive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm a registered Libertarian, but I almost always vote with the Democrats
I left the Democratic party about 10 years ago. I became a Libertarian because they are the strongest supporters of civil liberties. I disagree with them on many issues, but they understand that constitutional principles are more important than winning the next election.

The Democrats are afraid to be Democrats. They are afraid to stand up for what's right - and are afraid to upset the American people with unpleasant thoughts. LBJ and RFK were the last of the really brave Democrats. If the Democrats are to survive, they need to get away from the blow dried, focus group tested politicans - and start electing real people who know the principles of America.

They had their chance with Howard Dean, but chose the safe, blow dried candidate instead.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm going to focus on specific issues/tactics I care about...
...like (1#) voting reform and (#2) electing progressives at the local level in swing states.

If the DNC decides they want to do these things too, then I will help them out. Otherwise, I'll work for what is important to me w/ other organizations.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. Nice to change it from within, but often it is not possible.
Most groups plan to work from within, but the leadership councils won't make it easy.

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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. I'm considering joining the Green party myself.
I've been a Democrat since I registered more than 20 years ago, but if they continue the way they are right now, or decide that their best tactic is to move to the right, so that they no longer represent my values, I'll be out.

I can still work for organiziations promoting progressive causes, vote strategically when I have to, and switch back in order to vote in primaries if there's a particular candidate I want to support.

I certainly won't be giving any more money to the party for the forseeable future.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. "I certainly won't be giving any more money to the party"
I always have trouble with this line of thinking ... i certainly understand that you wouldn't want to support a party or a candidate not consistent with your views ... i often have had the same inclination ...

but when push comes to shove, it seems like you either fully support the democratic candidate or you don't ... statements like "I'll vote for him but i won't work for him or contribute to him" seem irrational to me ... i can't get my head around half-way measures ... in this election, it was simple ... bush had to go ... was Kerry my first choice? no ... but i wasn't going to hold back money and support for him ... it didn't make any sense ...

ultimately, until we can build viable third parties, we need to ensure that democrats beat republicans ... denying democrats the funding they need to compete, while it may be the "feel good" thing to do, isn't going to bring about a more progressive future ...
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I want to assure you
that I did work for and give money to the Kerry campaign, as well as our Senate candidate and the DNC this election. I was referring to what I will be doing in the future.

I don't see any point in throwing money down a sinkhole which is what I feel this party is becoming. I put myself on a rollercoaster this election and I won't do it again unless I think that the candidate is viable, and I feel that the candidate at the very least, doesn't completely violate my values. That second issue is a very real concern to me if the party decides it has to move farther to the right in order to appeal to the so called "center". There's also the fact that if blackbox voting and other electoral problems aren't dealt with, it will be just about pointless to even bother. The Democrats must address this issue, otherwise nothing that any of us do for them will accomplish anything.

You're right, it was simple in this election, and I treated it as such. Bush had to go and this was an election that we had to win. But we didn't. By four years from now, so much damage may have already been done that it won't even matter.

There are other things that I can do to promote a progressive agenda than supporting a party that is in the process of rendering itself defunct.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. It's not that big a deal. I have been Independent, a Green, a Libertarian
and a Democrat. The only downer is possibly not being able to vote in some sort of meaningful primary. Otherwise you can be a member of any party and vote for a Democrat candidate if you choose or contribute money to them.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. Joined Dec 13, 2000, left July 6. 2004
When they are going to do something about stuff such as elections, wars, I may look at them. Until them, I'll stick with Moveon and other worthwhile groups.
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journalist3072 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
14. Abandoning the Party
I've actually considered this myself. I have toyed with the idea of switching and becoming a registered Independent. But then I realized that even if I do that, I would still be voting overwhelming Democratic, because the Democratic Party most represents my views on issues like education and affirmative action.

I just want the Democratics to refocus on getting their message out, and holding George Bush accountable. During the presidential campaign, I sent the Democratic Party money twice, and I really don't feel like my financial contributions were put to good use.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
15. I left to join the Greens SPECIFICALLY because the democratic...
...party failed to oppose the war in Iraq.

Lots of issues are important to me, but American foreign policy is the trump, and especially the occupation of Iraq. I will NEVER vote for a cnadidate who does not vigorously oppose "the war." :nuke:
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itsrainingkarma Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. this is stupid...
NPA, Independent, Green, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian... what diffirence does it make... no candidate is every perfect... no candidate will ever agree with you on every issue... people who make decisions based on ONE things are idiots... you weigh every aspect of the candidate and every aspect of the party and you go with it from there... I'm a hardline Leftist but i supported the war in Iraq... why? because no one should ever have to live in fear... and if i was president right now we'd be stopping the atrocity in the sudan and we'd be doing something about any other country that finds it necessary to commit genocide... when our founding fathers said we had to keep things safe for themselves and their posterity they wern't just talking about America... it is my belief that they were talking about any person who ever seeks freedom from oppression... mind you this is my opinion... but i'm an idealist... how about an idealist party
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I don't expect agreement on "every issue..."
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 10:35 PM by mike_c
...but opposing an illegal war of aggression-- a war crime by definition-- is hardly "stupid". Failure to oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq is evidence of utter moral bankruptcy, IMO. Not the sort of thing I want in a president.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. yikes ...
i disagree with most of what you said ...

first of all, i don't agree that single issue voters are idiots ... if you see the abuse of American power around the world as the greatest evil, it seems perfectly reasonable to make that your overriding issue ... if you believe American foreign policy is being conducted to cater to corporate interests while innocent lives are taken, how could you ever support a candidate who endorses such madness? you can disagree with the conclusions made by voters who think like this, but to call them idiots is absurd ...

next, you say you're a hardline leftist who supported the war ... you cited your belief that no one should have to live in fear ... do you think there might just be a few Iraqis living in fear of the U.S. ?? to believe this war is just under these circumstances, you had to believe the "big lie" that we were "liberating" the Iraqi people ... all we've done in Iraq is remove one tyrant from power while destroying the health, the infrastructure and the society in Iraq ...

the U.S. goals were never noble in Iraq ... it was always about global power, oil, a foothold in the Middle East ... we are not the world's policeman ... we belong, or should belong, to a community of nations ... we have violated the long-held international standard for war: imminent threat ... to argue that what we're doing in Iraq is a humanitarian effort defies logic ...
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bermudat Donating Member (985 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
19. I changed my party affiliation
from Democrat to Independent after the election. The DLC and DNC absolutely positively do not have a clue. Democrats in Congress are getting ready to roll over and allow Gonzalez to be AG. Senator Reid is going to be Senate minority leader, another soft spoken, mild milquetoast. I am far past disgusted.
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ElkHunter Donating Member (300 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
20. welshTerrier2 ...
...DSA is a great organization. I was a member or the predecessor organization, Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, and was a founding member of DSA. I remained a member for about a dozen or so years. Even though I am not currently a member I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend that you join.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. thanks for the tip, EH ...
i'm considering joining DSA ...

right now, i'm trying to assess where to put my political energies ...

i've been doing a few things with a fairly new group in Massachusetts called Progressive Dems of Massachusetts ... they are really just getting started and trying to define their mission ...

i'm also interested in the "Dean thing", Democracy for America ... i think when democrats fail, they fail because they don't build an adequate grassroots infrastructure ... where I live, the Democratic Party is little more than a name ... the "party" doesn't do anything ... that's why in "liberal" Massachusetts, we keep electing republican governors ...

I've read most of the DSA website and I'm very impressed ... perhaps someday the democratic party will "get" their message ...
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