Too often in recent discussions I’ve seen us focus on the “cult of personality” and avoid the core of the progressive movement—“policy.”
All candidates are merely vehicles for the vested interests of the people supporting them. At the moment, those vested interests are incompetent and gutless, as are most of our representatives. How else can you explain the fix we are in? Behind the entire process is the reality of the process itself. Incumbency, endorsement (as enforcement of the status quo), and big money donors are killing the process, the people, and the planet.
As to policy, how can the constant return of incumbents in supermajority numbers ever be healthy for any system of governance? You can’t make a stagnant pond vital again by just standing idly by and doing nothing. You have to introduce fresh water into it. Public service—especially inside a political party mechanism—can only be representative if all the players are changed on a reasonable and regular schedule. If it looks and acts like the status quo, it is the status quo. Change is the only constant in nature and that should apply to all party leaders and elected officials (PLEOs) more than most ecosystems. Our Democratic Party is status quo at almost every level.
Marginal change, gradualism, and incrementalism, especially reflected by minimal turnover in PLEOs and legislation, is unhealthy for everyone. Positive transformative policy cannot survive the stringent requirements of maintaining the status quo no matter the good intentions of the people in power. Power corrupts beginning with the fierceness to hold on to it beyond any reasonable need and before the survival of the system itself.
The Democratic Party is in a crisis—a crisis of conscience. The very soul of the Party and its future are at stake. If we—the Progressives—can’t change this broken-down party, then it will fade as the Republican machine is fading. While it fades—like the Republicans—it will emit heat but no light. Grasping for power on the part of political insiders in both parties is so evident to those of us who are not in a position of power.
If the Democratic Party rejects the Progressive change, there will be no new members, no reason to believe in the party, and eventually no Democratic Party. We are the change. We are the future. We are the only ones left who believe that the Democratic Party can be changed into an effective organism of political change for the people. Everyone else is registering Independent. Reality bites—dig it.
If you are an agent of change, the proof is in the pudding. You can’t just pin a button on yourself or put on a label and be the change: you have to vote, act, and enable the change. If you claim to be an agent of change and you are a political insider, the onus of proof is much, much higher because you have your hands on the levers of the machine. We are watching every party leader and taking notes.
Progressives want both a change in the players and the policy of this Party and our government. But to paraphrase John Edwards, changing one set of corporate executives for another set of corporate executives is not change. Changing the players but not the policy and the process that enables the policy is not change. That’s just a dog-and pony-show—and that act is getting old.
Read the policy positions of the Progressive Swarm, promote them, organize around them, recognize the problems, and do something about it.
Anything else is just the same ole’ same ole’… It’s a movement brother, not a candidate. The movement is about policy, not personality.
by Brad Parker
Brad Parker is an award winning artist, songwriter, producer and musician. He has recorded, toured and produced hits in North America, Europe and Asia. Parker owns Indie label Riozen records and is a co-founder of “muzlink.com”. Brad is a prolific political writer and speaker as well. Parker is very involved with Democratic political organizations including: President, Valley Democrats United, Vice President, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, Platform Committee of the California Democratic Party and Delegate, CDP Central Committee from the 42nd Assembly District.
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Copyright 2008 LA Progressive