Like many another progressive and Bernie-ite, I am pessimistic about the future. I don’t feel that the practical voting choices for President amount to much, I feel that we must get rid of Trump – he is crazy, dishonest, and dangerous – but I am concerned that Biden is in the hands of the corporations. Yet at the end of the day, all we can do is soldier on.
At the Universal Unitarian meeting yesterday, everyone admitted to pessimism. They cannot really discuss the political situation, but it is the political situation which makes them feel down. But their emphasis was on consolidation with people of like minds and moving ahead with our lives and our society.
On November 4, the day after election day, there is likely to be one out of three possibilities: Trump will lose, and we can count on Biden coming in; Trump will win; or the election outcome will be uncertain, because the counting is going on, or because Trump says he will not leave office as there has been fraud in the election. What will we do?
Regardless of the outcome, we should soldier on. But more than that, we should realize that we can no longer trust the political system, which has two major parties that are corrupting it, and a large number of minor parties that are frozen out of the system. If I had a plan, I would say that anyone left of center who is not committed to one of the major parties should be prepared for a true attempt to form a second party – one that may destroy the Democrats, but bring together a swath of third parties to continue what Bernie Sanders started.
Some would say that this is a waste of time and will not succeed. They said that when Bernie Sanders tried unsuccessfully to change the Democratic Party, and they were right. But the reality is that there are millions of people who are dissatisfied, and change is the only thing that can make a difference.
For example, 69% of all Americans now support Medicare for All. 58% support voting by mail. “61% say “significant changes” are needed in the fundamental “design and structure” of American government to make it work for current times.” That latter poll was in 2018; I would suspect that it is higher now. We know that there are some well known leaders who support all three of those aims, because they were speakers at the meeting of the Movement for a People’s Party on August 30: Cornel Wild, Nina Turner, Chris Hedges, Danny Glover, Jimmy Dore among others. There could be a meeting to adopt these programs, followed (and preceded) by an email vote. If there were sufficient publicity, I’m sure that millions of people would send in their written support.
In the past four years, we have seen how hundreds of organizations have sponsored “polls” on various subjects. Those are really attempts to get donations, as we know. But if we had a national meeting sponsoring a detailed program for Medicare for All, voting by mail, and significant change to the system, I’m sure the people would vote for it.
I see two major points in doing this. If Biden should win and the Democrats take both the House and the Senate, there’s every change that the Democrats would pick up the ball and run with it. But even if the government remained stalled, this sort of effort could continue the fight that Bernie Sanders started.
It’s too early to give up. Band together and move ahead NOW.
Michael T. Hertz