The 1% has been busting our camps as they’ve busted our chops for years with economic warfare and “divide and distract” politics. Well, if they’re not going to let us occupy the parks, we’ll occupy houses. However, there are still a couple of houses we must occupy with committed 99%ers…and one senate. I suppose we actually need to occupy a set of these in every state.
Its high time that we, as a movement, start transforming our power into the political arena. We need to find qualified and committed people to run for office on all levels who subscribe to the first Declaration of Occupy Wall St. and any subsequent Declarations from the movement. Click through to Vyan’s recently recommended diary for details on a continuing discussion on the grievances of the occupy movement and a proposed process for composing a more formal document and action plan.
In the meantime, how do we start organizing politically? How can we take this decidedly street based, internet savvy movement from the parks to the halls of power? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure, but I have some ideas. Follow me below the fold to hear my thoughts and please and get your thinking caps on to help brainstorm in the comments.
We’ve been double crossed and flat out lied to by our political leadership so many times that its sickening. But this isn’t just some “throw the bums out” rant. I think most of us here agree that we’re not just sick of Republican corruption, but also that of Democrats. Democrats sold us a bill of goods in 2006 and 2008, but social and economic justice have not been forthcoming. They have passed weak legislation where they’ve been able to pass anything at all. The health care law was a give away to insurance companies. There has been no accountability for the ruination of the economy, let alone the war crimes committed under the Bush Administration. Heck, Obama has continued many of the criminal policies of the Bush Admin. And while many of us feel righteous anger at the deceit of those in charge of our government, we often feel powerless to do anything about it.
Unless we’re going to prepare for a full scale revolution, which I don’t advocate and I don’t think has the support to succeed, we must take the reigns of political power through the electoral system. In order to do this, we must challenge Democrats and Republicans who support profits over people and the 1% over the 99%. We must find and support primary challengers to Democrats who are not supporters of the 99%. We could even help fund Republican 99%ers where it is currently impossible for Democrats to win. There are simply too many people locked into supporting one political party or the other for us to win certain districts without infiltrating both political parties.
The idea of creating a third party does not appeal to me because the current system is a winner take all system. The problem with creating a “99% Party” or some such is that it would probably pull much more from the left (and therefore the Democrats), allowing the solid Republican base to put crazies in many more districts that would ordinarily vote for the Democrat. If we run people in primaries on both sides, it doesn’t split the vote, it just endangers the sick bastards on both sides who have kissed the corporate ring and subscribed to “neo-liberal” aka “neo-conservative” views.
Challenging Republicans in the primary would allow someone to take the message directly to the Republican base, who doesn’t actually agree with the policy that Republicans tend to vote for. It would potentially put places like Utah and Idaho in the mix for a take over by the 99%. Once in congress, they could caucus with other 99%ers across the aisle to implement the agenda of the Occupy movement.
Okay, so now the fun part. IMHO, we need to form a PAC or SuperPAC (?) to funnel the energy generated by this movement into supporting candidates who support our cause. I would love to do that, but I’ll need some help. I am writing this diary to see if anyone out there is interested in being that help. I’m not sure how to go about doing this, but perhaps others do. A recent poll found that 58% of Californians agree with the ideals of the movement, another recent poll found 41% of Massachussetts residents “approve” of the movement. While the numbers have been up and down and generally all over the map, the point remains that there is a large sector (30% to 60%) of the American public that agrees with Occupy. If you look at the Tea Party and the amount of damage they did in the last election by organizing and mobilizing with PACs, there is something to be said for the far more popular ideas that are espoused by the Occupy movement.
We can do this, but we need to work together and work quickly.
Cross Posted at Daily Kos