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(113,555 posts)
Tue Jun 24, 2014, 07:08 PM Jun 2014

Breaking out of the two-party (ballot) box

NEARLY SIX years into Obama's neoliberal presidency, there are growing signs of discontent within the Democrats' traditional voting base. While both of Obama's electoral wins can be attributed to the turnout of young, female, Black, Latino/a and working-class voters, these are precisely the groups that have most suffered from the economic crisis and his administration's commitment to austerity. This is part of the reason why, for the first time since 2000, there is a space opening up in mainstream politics to the left of the Democratic Party.

In Seattle, socialist Kshama Sawant's campaign for City Council was able to gain support from constituencies, including some unions, that would normally support the Democrats. In Lorain County, Ohio, union activists angered by their local Democratic mayor and City Council broke ranks and ran their own independent slate of two dozen labor candidates--nearly all of whom won. This represents a flexing of labor muscle in the face of Democratic betrayal, rather than a firm break, but it points to the potential working-class audience for an independent political alternative.

These are relatively small and localized examples, but they reflect a real and growing frustration and impatience that reaches beyond the radical left into the American working class. Sawant's victory in Seattle may have been aided by the support of a hip indy newspaper and a base of lefty volunteers, but her campaign themes were solidly working class, and her votes came overwhelmingly from households making less than $40,000 a year. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio remains a solidly committed Democrat, but his "tale of two cities" campaign also reflected an economically populist break away from the status quo.

What direction all this takes remains to be seen. While space is opening up for independent political challenges, progressives who see possibilities for creating a left-wing within the Democratic Party will also step forward. Adolph Reed's recent article "Nothing Left" criticizing liberals' commitment to the Democrats was a cover story for Harper's and led to an interview on Bill Moyers' show.

More at http://socialistworker.org/2014/06/24/breaking-out-of-the-two-party-box .

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Breaking out of the two-party (ballot) box (Original Post) TexasTowelie Jun 2014 OP
IMO the change is in the party labels. Dem doesn't mean liberal any more than Rep mean conservative. L0oniX Jun 2014 #1
Labor party is the new green party? Omaha Steve Jun 2014 #2


(31,493 posts)
1. IMO the change is in the party labels. Dem doesn't mean liberal any more than Rep mean conservative.
Tue Jun 24, 2014, 08:47 PM
Jun 2014

Reps are having their own identity problems with the TP vs conservatives. Likewise the liberals are not falling into place with the Dems anymore. The Dem party has moved so far to the right that it is attracting Rinos which might as well be brothers to the Dinos. Then there is an effort IMO to re-brand liberals as something they haven't been and the attacks are coming from both parties. I think liberals embarrass the Dems or shame them and they don't or won't look at themselves as to why. The are not FDR Dems. Yea I know FDR wasn't perfect but he went a long way into the right direction. I even wonder if some Dems are pro human, equal and constitutional rights anymore other than giving lip service. They don't seem very willing to do battle to defend it ...maybe they've given up with this fucked up SCOTUS. I don't blame them ...SCOTUS is off the chain. It doesn't help that Obama has selected Reps and insiders to his admin ...wanna talk about being demoralized? Of course the fawners don't and won't talk about that unless it is the form of attack snark or alerting. Well they don't need my vote ...they will get plenty enough to replace mine with those from the Rinos. I don't see much of a problem coupling up with progressives, populists and socialists as long as the direction is away from the centrists, 3rd way, DLC and corporatists. This fucking country is owned but I am still a liberal and always will be.

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