Tag Archives: progressive movement

The Endgame of 2016′s Anti-Establishment Politics

by Robert Reich, 4/25/16

Will Bernie Sanders’s supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination? Likewise, if Donald Trump is denied the Republican nomination, will his supporters back whoever gets the Republican nod?

If 2008 is any guide, the answer is unambiguously yes to both. About 90 percent of people who backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries that year ended up supporting Barack Obama in the general election. About the same percent of Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney backers came around to supporting John McCain.

But 2008 may not be a good guide to the 2016 election, whose most conspicuous feature is furious antipathy to the political establishment.

Outsiders and mavericks are often attractive to an American electorate chronically suspicious of political insiders, but the anti-establishment sentiments unleashed this election year of a different magnitude. The Trump and Sanders candidacies are both dramatic repudiations of politics as usual….

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This Democratic Party Is Going Nowhere. Can Progressives Take it Over and Change the World?

By Alan Minsky, Truthdig, 11/8/14, excerpts:

…the Congressional Progressive Caucus is larger now than the Tea Party Caucus ever has been—yet given its relative influence on the national discourse, the CPC’s anonymity is no surprise. The progressive caucus is simply not as aggressive or as focused a political force as the tea party.

This has to change, and if it does, progressives will go into the next election cycle holding a winning hand. All they have to do is boldly introduce themselves to the public, establish very clearly what they stand for and present themselves as a unified front in 2016. Even if they just hold on to the seats they currently hold, the results will have the appearance of a national victory for a unified insurgent movement.

This might seem like petty gamesmanship, but it’s not. The GOP has been running on economic populism, claiming to represent the interests of working people, and winning elections. To date, the Democrats have failed pathetically to expose this lie—and only leftist progressives can really make the case.

Furthermore, as issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline, attacks on the EPA, Social Security reform or the Trans-Pacific Partnership take center stage in the next year, leftist progressives have to fight back as fiercely as the tea party did in Obama’s first year and a half….

if you list the components of what a leftist progressive platform might look like, it’s clear that many of the policies would have majority support: Continue reading

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7 Exciting, Inspiring – and Overlooked – Lessons From the “99 Percent” Election

[n.b. ultimately 332 electoral votes]

By Richard Eskow, Campaign for America’s Future, November 7, 2012

So, let’s get this straight: A Republican President is re-elected in 2004 with 284 electoral votes, and the pundits tell us he has the “political capital” to push an extreme right-wing mandate. A Democratic President gets re-elected in 2012 with 303 electoral votes, and they’re telling us he needs to “unite a divided country.”


This election was a clear and unequivocal victory for the populist positions the President took on the campaign trail. Don’t believe the hype: This was a great night for progressives, populists, and agents of change. Our political system may be dominated by Big Money, but this was a victory for the 99 Percent.

We’ve been through our Dark Night of the Soul. Now it’s time for inspiration — and for determination to build on these victories in the weeks, months, and years to come. Here are seven lessons from this election that have been under-reported, or overlooked completely, in all the media frenzy, including Occupy Wall Street’s victory, the “Harold and Kumar” factor, Harry Reid’s big mandate, and the fact that “Socialism” sells.

1. Occupy Wall Street won big.

The Occupy movement may have disappeared from the national media eye, but this election was a big win for Occupy’s vision and language. After that movement caught the national imagination, the President adopted its populist rhetoric. That may have hurt the tender feelings of America’s CEOs, especially those on Wall Street, but it help cement his decisive victory.

The nature of that victory was underscored by the victories won by staunch progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, even as far-right candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock went down in defeat.

The President’s populist theme didn’t end with his victory. He spoke last night of a “generous America,” a “compassionate America,” a “tolerant America.” …

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Rebuilding the American Dream – this weekend

[For more background see “Van Jones Live: Rebuilding the American Dream. There are about 25 meetings this weekend in SE PA. See also the video “How the Middle Class Got Screwed” and the article Van Jones on What We Can Learn From the Tea Party”]

“Remember how you felt earlier this year when the people of Wisconsin stood up to their governor’s attacks on working families?

Instead of letting the American Dream slip further and further out of reach, this spring regular folks started fighting back. And not just in Wisconsin — in Michigan and Montana, Ohio and New Jersey. Wisconsin was only the most visible example of a new movement of people refusing to accept supposed “shared sacrifice” where working families suffer while the rich get more tax breaks.

We need a new Contract for the American Dream — and this weekend, in house parties across the country, progressives will be meeting with their neighbors and fellow concerned citizens to begin the discussion that will shape this contract.

Can you attend a house party near you?

We the People are starting to fight back, but it’s time that we really come together as a movement to create a road map for where we’re headed.

And that’s exactly what’s about to happen. This weekend, on July 16 and 17, progressives in more than 1,500 cities, towns and neighborhoods will host house meetings to share our stories, shape a new Contract for the American Dream, and set our priorities for how we can work together as a movement to fix our economy and rebuild the American Dream.

Sign up now to attend a house party this weekend and help shape the Contract for America.

A huge coalition of organizations have come together for these events. Tens of thousands of people are already signed up and the more people who join together to help craft the new Contract for the American Dream, the better it’s going to be.

Thanks for all that you do.

— Diallo Brooks, Director of Field Mobilization

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