I think the time has now come for all of the progressive and socialist third party organizations in the United States to band together and become one. If they do that, they will become a powerful draw for those of us who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020. And as a result they can truly become a major party.
Movement for a People’s Party sees itself as a strong hope for a third party. But I don’t see that it can do it alone. I attended one of their Zoom meetings recently, and I don’t think they had a lot of attendees. MPP needs the support and unity of the other parties that have the same goals and beliefs. Progressives and socialists should start being together. And here’s how.
First, I think that there should be a national convention. The leading speakers should be those persons whom progressives and socialists can trust. They are the ones who should be invited, like Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. William Barber, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, members of the Squad, Jill Stein, Angela Davis, Nick Brana, and others of the same sort and stature.
The convention agenda should be one that brings people together. A central point should be creating and accepting a unifying platform. Medicare for All is an obvious point, as is Free college for all. Fighting climate change, making Black Lives Matter, ending mass killings, gun control, no more Super PACs, increasing minimum wage, tax the rich, end wealth and income inequality are all ideas that progressives and socialists can agree on. If a unifying platform is adopted, the likelihood of having a united organization is very likely.
The convention agenda should be one that brings people together. A central point should be creating and accepting a unifying platform.
I think it is unlikely that a central leader could be agreed upon, at least at this first meeting. But it would be important to elect a ten person board to make decisions for the new organization. That board could then decide on a temporary leader, which could be changed from time to time. The board could then work to bring all of the third political parties into the organization for the purposes of rallies and protests that all could agree on. The organization could then support progressive and socialist candidates in local and state elections, including elections to the Congress and the Senate. That way, a unified approach to elections could be adopted.
Any party or organization that is progressive or socialist should be invited to the convention, including but not limited to the Green Party, Vermont Progressive Party, Socialist Party, Peace and Freedom Party, Working Families Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Oregon Progressive Party, Women’s Equality Party, I.W.W., and Movement for The People’s Party. Each party should be allowed a vote on any issue brought before the convention. Although Democrats who supported Bernie Sanders do not have a separate party, as a group they should be given a vote and recognized as an organization.
The goal of the convention should be to try to found a united organization which could eventually become a single party, intent on gaining representation in local, state and federal governments. Could this effort succeed? Yes, it could, if the participants focussed on founding a unifying organization rather than making it into an organization like the one from which they came. The progressive and socialist parties have far more in common than things which divide them. They need to band together if they are going to create an American society different from the one that we have now.