Staring into the Right-Wing Abyss: Why We Must Revive the Democratic Party

On the date of this writing, the Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House. This means that right-wingers will be setting the agenda. If they succeed at winning the next election, and solidifying their majority, we face the potential of a generation of right-wing rule.

What sort of agenda can we expect? We’ve already been told that the tax cuts that failed to stimulate the economy two years ago, will be increased. This is an environment where the deficits have returned to the tune of 170 billion dollars. Listen to Rush Limbaugh. Read the National Review. Right-wingers make no secret of their subversive agenda. They want to bankrupt the Federal government. They want to minimize the public sector. They want to create a world of “haves” and “have-nots” – and they don’t want you to even have a choice in the matter.

They want to continue to relax air and water quality standards. They want to continue headlong toward “globalization”, exporting American jobs to third world dictatorships. They want to continue the energy dependence of the United States, while they pursue a strategy of “world empire” to secure the oil reserves to fuel that dependency. They want to strengthen the hand of large corporations, ushering in an age of “corporate feudalism”. Meanwhile they continue to push for “vouchers” in order to destroy public education. They continue to talk “privatization” as a back-door way to abolish Social Security – a program they have hated since its inception. If they could, they would abolish the minimum wage, abolish any vestige of a safety net, eviscerate organized labor and allow our already festering ghettos to devolve into the kind of hell holes one regularly finds in the third world.

The problem is that they can achieve this corrosive agenda, if something isn’t done.

The right-wing has been organizing for forty years. For forty years, they have been training activists in how to spread their simple message of “no government and no taxes – for the wealthy”. Beginning around 1990, the religious right organized a nationwide takeover of local Republican organizations. They formed a committed activist core of religious fascists who do the one thing needed for power. They show up to vote. That is the source of Republican control of the Congress. That is the reason this past election was a Democratic loss. [If the opposition doesn’t gain seats in off-year elections, they lost.] They have not gained control of the Federal government by “moving to the center”. They gained it by activating right-wing fanatics. Because in low turn-out elections, dedicated activists can swing elections. Without a revitalized opposition, George W. Bush will win re-election, quite possibly carrying a larger Republican majority into Congress with him. Sometime in the next 6 years anywhere from two to four Supreme Court vacancies will open, giving Bush the chance to remake the very constitutional fabric of the United States. That will be an unmitigated disaster, if the left doesn’t do something to stop it.

If one thing is clear from our apathetic disaffected electorate, it is that people want a real choice in who they vote for. Many examples exist of candidates – the late Paul Wellstone comes to mind – who were regarded as “too liberal”, who went on to win. The fact is that the United States is accumulating a host of serious problems, such as health care, poverty, a declining manufacturing base, over-development, inadequate schools, oil dependence with all of its geo-political nightmare scenarios, and many other problems besides. People want action on these problems, and they know the right-wing offers what conservatives have traditionally offered. Nothing. There is no right-wing consensus in the United States, but without a clear and united voice in opposition, right-wing government is what we are going to get.

It is time for a progressive resurgence. It is time for activists on the left who want action on serious problems, and who fear the results of right-wing malfeasance to unite and offer workable solutions. The left will not prevent a right-wing regime change in the United States by splintering into factions. No third party has anywhere near the political strength to emerge as a majority party. The Democratic Party will not stop the rightward drift by positioning itself just left of the reactionaries. The Democratic Party has to return to its progressive roots. It has to return to the activist, optimistic, effective strategies for solving problems demonstrated by Democrats like Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton and even Jimmy Carter. [Remember the “moral equivalent of war” for energy independence? Not such a bad idea was it?]

It is time for progressives to come together, organize, articulate workable alternatives, and build a progressive agenda for America. We Green Democrats are committed and concerned Progressives. We represent a broad spectrum of opinion but are committed to the core progressive principles of equality, democracy, social justice, and environmental sustainability. Our focus is on these basic principles that unite us. We are progressives who have come together to re-energize the Democratic Party. Because can we not afford to lose anymore ground to the right. In fact, the nation can no longer afford to ignore the accumulating problems of a nation that has lost its progressive bearings.

So stay awhile and look around. At this site you will find lots of ways you can become a Green Democrat, and help turn the progressive tide.

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