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Wake Up! The Party’s Over

In the Nov. 6 New York Times Frank Bruni wrote: “we’re coming out of this election with four parties: the Paul Ryan Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, the establishment Democrats and the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders brigade, which is raring to use the muscle that Sanders flexed during the primaries for legislation more progressive…” The op ed columnist has a point, but one that needs to be expanded upon.

The Sandernistas frequently insisted that Bernie, the democratic socialist, was the candidate who could defeat Trump, not Clinton, that status quo politician who hauled more baggage than the passengers’ hold of the Titanic. There were very good reasons why Trump was too terrified to debate the scandal-free Bernie, who attracted crowds rivaling those at The Donald’s rallies. Nevertheless, “the establishment Democrats” deliberately undermined Sanders’ insurgent campaign, with the Democratic National Committee conspiring against Bernie, acting in cahoots with the Clinton camp, as exposed by WikiLeaks. Worse, in sabotaging Sanders’ candidacy, despite his followers’ constant warnings, the Democrats went on to nominate a deeply flawed, tainted candidate so pathetic and beset by troubles of her own that Clinton was unable to beat a complete buffoon she should have made mincemeat out of.

The words “Democratic Party” and “Republican Party” never – not once! – appear in the U.S. Constitution. Not only were they not established by America’s founders, the Democrats and GOP per se did not even exist when our framed rules and new nation were ushered into being by a revolution against monarchical rule. Over the years these private clubs have usurped political power and in the process become completely corrupt entities serving the interests of their corporate overlords, and not the people.

As stated, this duopoly includes the Democrats, who by miserably failing to defeat an epitome of the 1%, who would have been a pushover for a decent candidate and campaign to knock over with a feather the Democratic Party has proven itself to be a completely outdated, inept, worse-than-useless organization. As former Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb is believed to have said, “The Democratic Party is where progressive ideas go to die.” Why anybody who considers him/herself to be progressive would want to be a part of and to “work within” such a bungling, strangling entity is totally beyond my ability to comprehend.

Life is short and we may have little time as authoritarianism – if not fascism itself – rises in America, and why should leftists spend their valuable time and energy and money dealing with a party of complete losers? Instead of voluntarily working inside of the constraints of a bureaucracy that seeks to control individuals of conscience and consciousness in order to carry out its pro-Wall Street agenda, it seems to me that it would be far easier to simply create a new political party without the baggage and constrictions of the old one. A united front organization that has progressive political, social, cultural, ethnic, economic, gender, ecological policies, that is pro-labor, pro-union, pro-immigrant, pro-human rights, pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-peace, anti-climate change, anti-police brutality and militarization, anti-interventionist, anti-surveillance state, anti-corporate, dedicated to a sweeping redistribution of wealth and power. An umbrella “soak the rich” group that can unite all people on the Left, from Black Lives Matter to the Black Bloc to the Greens to every variant of socialists (although “national socialists” need not apply) and anarchists, etc. Call it the “Alt Left.”

In pursuit of its humane goals, this new progressive political party should not confine its activities solely to the electoral arena but pursue direct action, especially in militant opposition to the rise of the fascistic “alt right” under a Trump presidency. What Bruni called “the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders brigade” should leave the failed Democratic Party and participate in the creation of this new independent political organization and movement. The extensive network of contact lists and other resources generated by the Sanders campaign should be made available to this Alt Left effort.

Let the Debbie Wasserman-Schultzes, Donna Braziles, John Podestas, Hillary Clintons, et al, keep their bankrupt “establishment Democrat”-ic Party. After all, it’s their right. But it’s also our right to create our own party, “to use the muscle that Sanders flexed during the primaries for… more progressive” policies free of these corporate hacks’ checks and balances, whose blindness and blunders have only brought about disasters, from the Iraq War to the Libyan intervention and now to Trump. Who needs such miserably useless politicians? Why should the students who staged walkouts to protest the election results be constricted by and affiliated with such egregious failures?

In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote: “in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

In that revolutionary spirit, it’s time for everyone who considers him/herself to be progressive and left-of-center to declare his/her independence from the wildly discredited, ineffectual Democratic Party and to found a new organization dedicated to the propositions of equality and social justice for all. The Democrats have proven they are unable to fight Trump; come then, brothers and sisters, it’s up to us: Surely we can do far better without them. We certainly couldn’t do any worse than the Democrats have.

As the Clash sang, “Should I stay or should I go?” It’s time to go and to wake up, smell the fascism and to abandon the Democrats’ sinking ship. The party’s over – and it’s time for a new one.

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Ed Rampell is a contributor to the new book on America’s former Poet Laureate “Conversations With W.S. Merwin” and co-author of “The Hawaii Movie and Television Book“.

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