Over and over the issues concerning many progressives has been brought up here and on many blogs. Occupy addressed many of those issues, despite the notion that there were no demands. There are plenty of demands in Occupy if you are paying attention. Despite all of this...It is difficult to see that Obama has retreated from his soft approach to banks, his detached approach to mortgage foreclosures, the continued eroding of civil liberties in this country and indeed, the world, support for austerity in Europe that is eroding their economy and will ultimately affect us, endless war...now fought with drones....name your issues, progressives. There has been little success on these fronts.
The question is to how to build the kind of dissent within the democratic party that will push back on these issues and demand some accountability, the kind of dissent that will result in better Democratic leaders and candidates.
The issues have been discussed and re-discussed over and over. What hasn't been approached, outside of Occupy, is how to build dissent within the party and push for those issues, push further left, push Obama left. Many don't connect the dots here: Wisconsin is a shinning example that organized dissent can and does work. Although I favored a national strike rather than a turn to electoral recall, the good people of Wisconsin and others are fighting a good fight for progressive ideals. It takes hard work, long hours and much communication with each other, not endless, tedious debate that degenerates often into a clash of egos.
Few are asking here: how do we push Obama and Congress further left on the important issues that Progressives know are critical? If this site is about electing better Democrats, than how do you make Obama a better Democrat? Organized dissent, that's how. There's no better place to do it than here, where you have a wide following and an even wider audience. It's not too late, but you've got to start asking some tough questions, and leadership is required from the owner of this site and the front pagers. Don't wait for the economy to grow worse next year as many are predicting with Europe faltering. There is no better time than during an election year to bring up important issues, contrary to what many say here. If you want these issues addressed not only on the campaign trail, but afterwards too, you've got to decide the issues are worth organizing over, and worth applying ceaseless pressure. Realize you will lose some battles, but always keep the end goals in sight.
Some suggested questions to start:
1. What kind of organization and pressure would it require to stop the erosion of civil liberties in this country?
2. How to do we stem the flood of foreclosures happening now, and set to increase drastically once the paperwork clog is worked out? What kind of pressure would it take on this administration and Congress to keep Americans in their homes?
3. Many progressives feel we undermine the most profound principles this country was founded on by killing civilians overseas, the collateral damages of war, with the use of drones and our troops. Many progressives feel we should redirect war funds to humanitarian concerns both here and abroad. What kind of a dissent movement would push this President, and Congress, further left on these issues?
4. How do we get insurance companies out of the equation in terms of providing health care? How do we build a national movement for universal health care? Corporations got the bailouts, but jobs still aren't being created to the drastic extent needed? How do we change that?
5. How do we end the concept of bailouts and too big to fail, when the rest of Americans are faltering, and there aren't enough decent jobs for those who can and want to work? What kind of organized dissent will it take to create economic justice?
Some of those questions may not be your thing. You may not agree with some of the questions. But I bet you have some of your own. I've seen them here posed and debated endlessly.
Dissent will ultimately make Democratic candidates stronger as they are pressured to address the issues that we all know must be addressed if we are to preserve the quality of life that is necessary for a flourishing culture. Organized dissent and pushing Democratic candidates and politicians further left would also help to drown out the media obsession with Republican talking points; the Occupy movement has already helped in this regard, but further pressure is needed to not only shift the debate, but to see some action through policy changes. If protest isn't your bag, there are many ways to organize effective dissent; too many cooks in the kitchen is exactly what we need right now.
Progressives, and I know most of you are progressive...this is about rescuing our country from the corporate elite. It is our country; it belongs to all of us. Who is going to step up and help save it? Who will help push the Democratic Party back left where it belongs: representing the people and not the corporate interests?