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Introducing Dialogue for Democracy: Democrats, Libertarians, and Alternative Left Parties Talking It Out


Every election year, animosity between Democrats and activists to the left of the Democratic Party greatly intensifies. In 2012, this animosity is supercharged due to the unprecedentedly stupid and myopic attacks on Barack Obama from the right, the lingering and systemic economic crisis, and controversial decisions by Obama concerning national security, individual rights, and foreign policy. Proponents of alternative parties insist that the Democrats are, at best, the slightly less evil twin in the corporate duopoly. Democrats insist that advocates of alternative parties are stubborn, childish, and unrealistic (perhaps even “f***ing retarded,” to borrow Rahm Emmanuel’s vocabulary).

This animosity is understandable, but unfortunate. The true dialogue and debate that ought to be taking place concerning the future of this nation should be between Democrats and the parties and activists to the left of Democrats. We should not be ceding any more ground to Republicans than we already have. And, in order to reach clarification and arrive at new thinking on economic paradigms, we ought to bypass the GOP altogether and invite the Libertarians to contribute to the outside-the-box discussion on where to proceed economically.

In order to facilitate such a discussion–one which includes Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, socialists of all types, and others, while excluding bigots, misogynists, and incipient fascists, politicalcontext.org is pleased to initiate Dialogue for Democracy.

We invite interested participants to submit essays of any length–from single, short and sweet paragraphs to developed position papers and everything in between–on the following subjects:

–How can Democrats prevent “lesser-evilism” from morphing into “incremental rightward drift”?

–How can Democrats hold their own party accountable for its seeming beholdance to corporate material support (and resulting disproportionate corporate influence)?

–Is there a “progressive glass ceiling” in the Democratic Party, preventing true left progressives from rising to leadership positions seemingly reserved for corporate-loving right-centrists?

–What projects can Democrats and members of alternative left parties engage in that will make communities, the nation, and the world better, while building bridges of understanding between such groups?

–Should progressives accept the inevitability of corporate money in the electoral process?

–Is the anti-capitalist movement dead? Or is capitalism dying?

–If electing Democrats makes a few people’s lives better than they would be under Republicans, does that make alternative parties’ goals unethical and unaccountable? How, for example, can someone opposed to ObamaCare justify ignoring the lives it might save?

–Why do Democratic presidents appoint center-right political and economic actors to their cabinets?

–Have progressive Democrats traded identity politics for economic justice?

–And for Libertarians: what does libertarianism contribute to the discussion about social and economic justice and a future beyond the excesses of corporatism and capitalism?

Here’s why you should participate in this discussion: You have strong opinions on these questions. You post them to Facebook. You get in arguments with your friends about them. This is your chance to write informed, articulate, accountable posts about these issues rather than just react to other people’s unwarranted banter. This is your chance to participate in a dialogue about the future of progressive politics in America–and possibly about the future of the nation and the planet as a whole.

Please contribute to this discussion by answering one or more of the above questions, in the form of a post of one or several paragraphs, along with a short biography, to editor@politicalcontext.org.

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