Activist Chooses to Be Active
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
October 29, 2012
agreeing with the general thrust of my co-editor Ernie's essay, here
I am making phone calls into Wyoming and Colorado and Nevada from
Obama headquarters in San Francisco.
doing may be the electoral equivalent of pissing into the wind, but
simply accepting that the game is rigged and giving in to political
depression, with a metaphorical blanket of despair over my head, is
simply not where I can go in 2012.
what one can do, even if the parameters are constricting and lead to
a cynical mental state. There's always a glimmer of hope in the
democratic process, corrupted though it may be, that the will of
voters might prevail in a relatively honest ballot-counting.
each state and municipality, there are all sorts of other, important
races and referenda and candidates on the ballot other than the
So I keep
sending out donations to liberal and progressive candidates -- more
money than I've contributed in many years -- and to making phone
calls into swing states for Obama (even if I have severe policy
disagreements with him in a number of areas) and good
liberal/progressive candidates, both on a statewide and local level.
liberal/progressive Left, that which is still alive, lost an
opportunity to help build a viable third-party for this 2012
election. If the hard-rightists behind Romney/Ryan are the only
realistic alternative to Obama, then, given their extremist,
reckless views, Obama is the candidate we have to vote for.
Court appointments would be more intelligent and civilized and
less-ideologically crazy. His support of Social Security, Medicare
and Medicaid -- even with his cavils and willingness to compromise
-- would help keep those vital programs reasonably alive in a
rightist era. His support for environmental laws and financial
oversight are at least on record and could become stronger. His
centrist foreign and domestic policies often are not the ones I
would favor, but they are far and away better than those that would
take precedence if the Republicans took power.
it's a no-brainer. A "revolutionary" party is not on the ballot. And
there is no way I am going to permit those oligarchical forces
behind Rmoney and Ryan to gain total control without putting up a
So I keep
sending out checks and punching phone numbers at Obama HQ -- and
taking nasty heat from a good share of Republican voters who happen
to answer. But I've also "met" so many good Democrats and
Independents who realize the stakes involved and are proud to have
already early-voted for Obama and also for good Democratic statewide
As I see
it, the next task after November 7 for the progressive left is to
start trying to help create a new lib/rad/independent party (the
"New Democratic Party"?) that can organize both on a grassroots
local level and a statewide and nation level so that the 2014 and
2016 elections will offer something other than the limited and often
corrupted two-party choices we have today.
Obama were to win this election, we have a number of years to make
something happen in the way of electoral reform, financial reform,
grassroots organizing. I'm willing to offer my energies and support
in helping make sure it happens -- and I think there are millions of
others out there who might be similarly interested.
So, to sum
up, my electoral advice at this late stage is to support and work
for and vote for Obama and start thinking seriously about coming up
with a viable alternative party to the Republicans and Democrats
that in the future can capture the progressive/liberal/independent