For a Full Court Press
I highly recommend reading Jeff Roby’s excellent post, "For a Full Court Press". He writes a follow-up called "Toward a Method of Activism" that is also worth reading. Mr. Roby’s basic idea is that we on the left who want progressive policies will try to get all four hundred thirty-five members of the House to sign a pledge on which there will be a short list of legislative initiative points. Those who refuse will face stiff primaries from the left, and certainly a withdrawal of votes and campaign money. Those who sign and then renege will face the same consequences. Those who sign and stick by the pledge get our full support.
I think we can apply a more basic strategy for this year. Because all Democrats in the House of Representatives and some Democratic members of the Senate are up for re-election, they require our money and votes. We the People, therefore, have power over them in spite of party hacks’ pathetic attempts to convince us otherwise. I propose a method based largely on denial: Don’t support progressive policies? Won’t do everything in your power to get them passed? Then you get no money or votes from us. MAKE these right-wing bozos and castrated liberals fear losing the left, and watch them pander to us like nobody’s business.
Money may buy political loyalty, but for the sham that is our system of government to maintain its illusion of legitimacy, the politicians still need our votes. Why else do you think the Republicans do everything in their power to prevent the left from voting? Why else do you think the Democrats go to such great lengths to exclude independent candidates from the ballot? Why else do you think the corporate-owned media deliberately ignore, marginalize, and exclude genuine left-wingers in election cycles and during issue-discussions? The powerful are terrified that if We the People stop drinking the kool-aid, they will lose power — and that fear is completely justified.
It is getting late, and deadlines for filing petitions to get primary and independent candidates on the ballots are approaching. But we can begin laying the groundwork for Mr. Roby’s Full Court Press idea now.
EDIT: My own contribution to this idea may be read here.