You all belong to the second largest citizen organization in America. You have over 8 million members devoted to progressive goals. You should be having a strong impact on the actions of our government, but you certainly are not. With all the activity by your organization before the 2014 elections, the nation had the lowest voter turnout since 1942, which was in the middle of World War II. The voters ignored your support of Democratic candidates, and gave the Republicans a huge majority in the House of Representatives, gave the Republicans the majority in the Senate, and dominated the race for governors of our states. There are now over 31 states with Republican governors.
When an organization so large fails so greatly, there should be some very serious thoughts about how your organization has failed.
I am a Liberal, now called Progressive, and am joined by many who are very concerned about the future of our nation. I have been a Democrat all of my life and twice won the Democratic nomination to the US House of Representatives, once in Maryland, and once in California. I lost in both General Elections because I was opposing heavily funded Republican incumbents in Republican majority districts. In the 1988 California election, only 6 members of the 435 members of the US House of Representatives lost their seats. After this election challengers from both parties met in St. Louis and invited the Media to attend. I had an opportunity to speak there and after my talk, I was encouraged to write a book about our electoral system. I have since written 3 books about US politics, plus many op-ed columns that have been published in America, as well as in many foreign newspapers.
In 2008 I was a delegate for Obama in the Colorado Democratic county and state conventions. After observing Obama break promise after promise, and actually offer to cut billions of dollars from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, I changed my registration to Independent. I could no longer support a Democratic party that cared more for their rich contributors than for the 99% of the people who need representation in our government. Incidentally, the number of registered Independents now outnumbers the Democrats or Republicans in many states. It is no accident that so many voters have failed to vote for either party.
The major changes in the Democratic Party occurred in the 1990s when Bill Clinton was President. Clinton spoke much about turning the Democratic Party toward the “center”. Clinton joined the Republicans in supporting the passage of NAFTA, which cost us 5 million jobs and 60,000 factories. Clinton also joined the Republicans and helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Law that had regulated our banks and protected us for over 66 years. This certainly opened the doors for the financial crash in 2008, as banks had enjoyed an era of lawlessness. We are now familiar with the term, “Too big to fail.” It means that no matter how criminal the behavior of a financial institution, the government will bail them out with our tax dollars. And, of course, also never charge an executive for criminal behavior, but simply fine the corporation, as if it were a person.
For many years, unions depended on the Democratic Party to protect them. Those days are over. Every piece of legislation sponsored by unions has failed because the Democrats value the large contributions from corporations more than the needs of American workers. And we now have Democrats pushing so called free trade agreements that give incentives to corporations to outsource our jobs and move factories out of our country.
You, the members of Moveon.org, need to recognize these changes and act accordingly. Recently, you were asked to vote on whether you would like Elizabeth Warren to oppose Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary election. Only 190,000 of 8 million Moveon.org members voted for Elizabeth Warren. This means a mere 2 ½ % of 8 million members bothered to vote for Elizabeth Warren. This clearly shows that most of the membership has lost their trust in the Democratic Party.
I do not believe that the 8 million do not like Elizabeth Warren. I do believe that they recognize that no matter who is the Democratic nominee for President, it will not make any difference to how our government will behave. Even if Elizabeth beat Hillary Clinton and also beat the Republican nominee as well, President Elizabeth Warren would still be powerless to achieve the goals that the 99 % yearn for. A President needs a Congress and a Senate that represents the people and not corporations. Today, our Congress and Senate are swimming in oceans of dollars donated by rich corporations and rich individuals. The money from defense contractors will keep these so called representatives voting for wars. The money from rich corporations and rich individuals will continue to protect them from paying their share of taxes. The money from dirty fuel companies and dangerous chemical companies will keep our government from fighting Climate Change, and from spending money to build a huge clean energy system.
There is a solution that will avoid this debacle. We must build an American Labor party that will represent the 99%. Many nations have Labour parties that have won the majority of seats in their parliaments. Australia’s Labour Party passed a Minimum Wage that increases each year. They are now enjoying a Minimum Wage of over $ 16 per hour. The American Minimum Wage does not automatically increase each year. In fact, it has not changed in over 5 years! It remains a paltry $ 7.25 per hour. We do not have a political party that represents the needs of the 99%. Recent polls reveal that the majority of Americans want a new party that will represent our needs.
I really believe this is a great opportunity for the members of MoveOn.org to help build an American Labor Party. I suggest that Moveon.org urge Elizabeth Warren to run for President as a candidate for an American Labor Party. I also suggest Bernie Sanders run with Elizabeth as the Vice Presidential candidate for the American Labor Party. Since each state has different election laws, it is imperative that we all begin organizing in every state NOW! Moveon.org’s 8 million members can make a huge difference! We can regain control of our government if we work for it. For the sake of our children we should do it now.
More information about the type of political party and candidates we will need are on my web site: www.BoldThoughts.org The successful movements in history have 3 stages: Educate the voters, Organize , and Mobilize. Telling your friends, your newspapers, the Media, and all good organizations about the blogs on my web site can get the ball moving. In the 1980s Canadians voted out both of their major political parties. If they can do it, we can.
I believe the following question can be the winning theme in 2016, “ Do you want a government of killing or a government of caring?” Defense money can be better spent giving our children Free college. Free college will enable bright poor students to become doctors, engineers, or other professional vocations, instead of going into the military with the risk of losing limbs or lives. America’s population is only 5% of the world’s population. Why are we fighting wars for the other 95%?
Howard M. Greenebaum is an author and writer of columns with Solutions. He lives in Oregon and is an enthusiastic supporter of Vote by Mail.