Lets Make a Party

Thought experiment time.

In the 2016 Democratic Primary, once all the votes were counted, Hillary Clinton got 55% of the popular vote. Bernie Sanders got the rest: 13,210,550 votes.

The Sanders voters were crushed and defeated and a number of them didn’t go on to vote for Hillary in the General. The majority of his supporters kept up the fight and in 2020 Bernie got over 9M votes while not even competing past Super Tuesday. He also had a similarly focused opponent in Elizabeth Warren who picked up another 3M. 

So in 2016 and 2020 there were about 12-13 Million supporters of Progressive Presidential Candidates. 

Here is where my experiment kicks in. What would have happened in 2016 if after Bernie (and then Hillary) lost, he did a national address and said something along the lines of: “I urge all of my supporters and anyone else who believes in the things I do to help me start a new political party. Today I form the Peoples Party and I want you to join right now”. He could have done the same thing in 2020.

Imagine if overnight a new political party was formed with 10 million members. Would that be a good start? Would it push the party past some tipping point where with some marketing and messaging they could turn that 10 million into 20? I say yes. There are millions of Americans who have consistently pushed for “change”. They are ready and willing to do anything to get there. In 2016 Stein and Johnson got 5M votes. Which party are those voters allied with?? I think my 20M number is actually quite conservative.

So, what would a party of 20M mean in our political landscape? Well, the Democrats currently have 45M and Republicans have 33M. Assuming some of the new party members come from those two, that would put this new party on almost equal footing (in terms of membership).

But, you rightly argue, a party is not just its members. It’s the elected leaders as well. In State Houses and the US congress, there are almost no members who aren’t a D or R. That would take YEARS to build up the infrastructure to support the candidates locally. Fundraising as well. 

Let’s talk about that for a second. Do you believe that everyone in office right now believes in their party strongly enough to not switch over as well? I think that within weeks of the formation of this new party that a number of office holders would switch immediately and I believe their constituencies would reward them for it. And locally, there are organizers in cities around the country ready to support anything that will break down the two party system. 

Fundraising is also not much of an issue. Sanders and Warren in 2020 raised Millions of dollars from online small money donations. A new party would raise a ton overnight and continue to do so as it built momentum.

What I’m talking about here doesn’t need to be a thought experiment. I believe that it could happen for real if national leaders like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would decide to make it happen. 

What I’m arguing for here is something that is extremely bold and ambitious but isn’t that what is called for right now?

The Democratic Party Has Left Us

I was born and raised in a very politically active family. I was 8 when my father, a Democrat, was elected to the State Senate. He went on to serve for over 30 years and during that time I spent a lot of time meeting and hanging out with all sorts of political characters: committee people, ward leaders, representatives, governors, etc. Before I was even born my dad was active in Democtatic politics. And he was serious about it. Especially his hatred for the Republicans. As an example, I clearly remember growing up that anything elephant related (a picture, a statute, a mug) was banned from our home. 

I tell you this to explain that not only do I know a bit about politics but also that I was deeply indoctrinated into the Democrat/Republican divide early on. I was pretty much trained to hate Republicans like they were the most evil and awful people in the world and that I was to be a Democrat for life. 

It wasn’t until later in life that I really started to focus on being active in the political world. After the election of George W. Bush I started to really pay attention to world events and the more I learned, the more angry I got. Bush and his entire Executive Branch were all doing some awful things.

I needed to channel this rage in some way for good so I started actively blogging (many of that right here), posting on Facebook and talking about politics to anyone who would listen to me. I listened a lot do Dan Carlin and the now defunct “Common Sense” podcast and I learned that it wasn’t just the BWH (Bush White House) doing damage and it wasn’t just Republicans, it was all of Congress. They were collectively ceding power to the Executive as a reaction to 9/11. Remember the war in Iraq? Remember Warrantless Wiretapping? This was both parties in Congress.

What I think angered me the most was that nobody else was doing anything about these injustices I was seeing. There was no real opposition from anyone.

And then came Barack Obama. All of a sudden, here was someone speaking directly to me about things that were making me so angry. He was this “Change” candidate that was telling me how things were going to be different. I was filled with so much “Hope” that I was donating my time and money and doing whatever I could to see him get elected. 

When he won, I remember taking days off from work so I could watch his inauguration and his first few days. I was waiting to see Guantanamo closed and the Bush people brought to justice. But those few days were a bit disappointing to me. I remember thinking, ok, well he’s new, let’s give him time. But what ultimately happened was that Candidate Obama didn’t match up with President Obama very much. He gave away a lot to corporations to get the ACA passed and then he started killing Americans overseas with drones. The NSA got more brazen. It was kind of awful. I was genuinely confused as to what had happened.

What started then and continues to now is a realization that the two party system that I grew up with, along with the mantra of “Republicans are bad, always vote blue to elect Democrats” was not correct. That it could be possible that both parties were kind of two sides of the same coin. That instead of working for the people, they could very well be working for big money interests instead. 

I had known about lobbyists. Remember, I grew up with a father who was a stage legislator. But I knew him pretty well and while he was lobbied all the time, at the core he made decisions that were focused on the well being of his constituents. It had never really occurred to me that Congress would be doing otherwise. 

But they were doing otherwise. It was the only thing that made sense. Money in politics became a central theme in my thinking. Nothing could change unless we removed it and we couldn’t remove it with the current people in power because they all were corrupted. Somewhere along the line the Democrat/Republican theme became kind of irrelevant and what took over was Big Money/Corporations v. Citizens. When I look back with that lens it really becomes clear to me that we the people have been left behind a long time ago.

What I see now is that there are a lot of people who feel the way I do and they see what I see. And I also think they voted for Obama because they thought, like me, that he could change things. I think they also voted for Trump for the same reason (something I could have seen myself doing as well, but for various direct personal reasons I knew better). 

Americans by and large are working people and they have been fucked over for quite some time and they want to see change happen. Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren. They all exist and are popular because they are speaking to those people. There is a commonality of all of their politics, it’s called Progressivism. It’s about speaking truth to the real power and fighting for the citizens instead of the big companies.

I subscribe wholeheartedly to this message of Progressivism. I believe that money has corrupted the entire American system to the point that it is completely off the rails. If we don’t do something soon, I believe all is lost.

Many would tell you that we should just keep fighting to make sure we get out the vote and hope that voting “blue no matter who” will solve everything. I don’t agree at all. The Democratic party has let us down again and again. Our leader in the House is known for two things: (1) she got the ACA passed (see above) and (2) she is one of the best fundraisers in the party. Do you know where all that money comes from? Large corporations.

The Democratic Party does not speak for us at all. For example, yesterday began the Democratic National Convention for 2020 and the official platform didn’t include Medicare For All, and doesn’t include a restriction on big money donors. 

There are many, many other examples of how the party has abandoned the working families in this country and how they have supported wars and military spending over healthcare and the environment or how they haven’t fought hard enough for workers.

The time to leave the party is now. 

The time to start a new one is now.

And next I will give you my thoughts on how we do it.


It’s been a while since I wrote here but I’ve got some things to say and there’s no better place right? Stay tuned. I plan to publish a couple of articles about what I think we need to do to save our democracy. No bigs.

For those of you looking backwards, you’ll find a lot, a lot of writing through the years. My previous blog hosting died and I lost a lot of the links to the photos in the posts. I’m sorry about that. Just no time to recover it all. But I got the words so that’s something right?

I also had this series of posts about the Democratic Primary. I kind of gave up on that after a while. But between the last post and today I had become a giant Warren fan and I was out there going door to door and I even collected enough signatures to get on the ballot as a Warren Delegate. In fact, today (if she had campaigned in PA, which she didn’t) I may have been “at” the convention as a delegate. Oh well.

So, whatever, watch this space. I’m going to save us all.. Well, you are if you read and share!

Biden Bashing

I like Joe Biden. I think he’s a cool guy and all. I went to school and was friends with his late son Beau. My father is good friends with him.

But guess what? I 100% do not want him to run this time around. He would probably be an OK president, but you know that I don’t want someone who is an establishment person, someone who is a centrist. Joe Biden is not a candidate for our times. He hasn’t been for quite a while. He is very much everything that I didn’t like about Hillary: Pro-Iraq war, connected to giant money interests, a DC player. Medhi Hasan lays it out quite well in his piece “Joe Biden Is Hillary Clinton 2.0 — Democrats Would Be Mad to Nominate Him

The Democratic establishment is all about him, he polls very well (due probably to name recognition), but guess what? He will get crushed by Donald Trump.

And that’s not counting the fact that women are kind of skeeved by him and he’s had a few credible accusations about inappropriate behavior. If you look into his record in the Senate you will find someone that was not really too good on woman’s issues over the years. Remember Anita Hill for example? There are dozens of reasons why women should not support him. Many are outlined in this incredibly thorough look at him.

Here is what I want to say about Joe. If he jumps into this, he’s going to be a terrible distraction and he’s going to take away a ton of the glorious progressive energy in the race. If he doesn’t loose the nomination, he will loose in 2020. I’m sure of it and you should make yourself aware and be sure of it too!

Um. No.

I’ve been an early fan of Tulsi Gabbard as you can see in the early posts of this very blog. And since then I’ve liked her a lot. Along the way, however I’ve heard a number of people complaining about how her positions were kind of anti-American and some went as far as calling her a Russian agent. I was fairly certain that this was a reaction to her anti-war stance and her anti-establishment progressive views.

That was until I saw this video:


In it, she maintains a position on Donald Trump and the Mueller “findings” even though not one of us has seen the report yet. She even goes further and suggests that we were maybe on the brink of a civil war.

This video reeks of propaganda and I have to say that it seems really suspicious. What the hell is she talking about? Is she a Russian agent? I mean, it’s possible she’s been compromised in some way or even complicit. In either case, I get a super weird vibe when I watch this video and my support for her has dropped by a lot.

What do you think?

I’ve been a bit lax in writing lately. It’s hard to keep up when one doesn’t have many readers. I think I may have 3 at this point. Also, I’ve been caught up in the Mueller report drama. I just can’t believe all the media generated around something almost nobody has read yet. It’s a sign of how messed up politics has become these days.

My old blog crashed and I haven’t spent the time trying to recover it but if I could, you would be able to read back 15 years or so now. I was a writing maniac during the Bush years (W not HW) and I considered that period to be pretty much the worst in terms of damage done. All the judges they confirmed, all the corruption, all the lives lost due to 9/11 and Iraq. Ugh, it was terrible.

And then we elected Barack. I was a hard core supporter in 2008. I was out there knocking on doors, I was making phone calls, I was talking to all my friends and neighbors. I was convinced that Obama was going to right the ship. In some ways he did but in many others he didn’t and in even other ways he made some things worse. President Obama wasn’t the same guy as Candidate Obama.

I became a bit more disillusioned with politics after that letdown and in 2012 I actually voted for Romney because in my mind Barack didn’t deserve another term. Generally I vote out incumbents unless someone really shows me they aren’t part of the Bullshit DC politics class. Many of our current Congressman and Senators are.

I made a conscious decision to not let this blog be about current politics so I won’t get into how I feel right now about the world but it does touch in this one way: We have to keep fighting for change until we get someone who actually will try and do what they say they plan to do.

I’m not a fan of establishment candidates who preach that we need to get along with the Republicans (although we have do to something about the gridlock in congress). Democrats who are centrists and are old school elites are inherently defective in my mind. They truly are getting played left and right by the GOP. This is why I was excited by Sanders in 2016 and I’m excited by him again now, as well as others like Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren (who I like a lot more than Bernie).

This is why you won’t see me throwing much praise to Kamala since she’s proven to be very much an establishment candidate (recently she hosted an AIPAC summit at her office, bleh).

So I’m watching, and I’m paying attention to things and soon we will dig into campaign finance results (coming after the March 31 deadline).

Oh. And a PS. Pete Buttigeig is pollling 3rd in Iowa..

Pete makes $500

In looking at the blog history it would seem this is becoming the Pete Buttigieg fan blog but I assure you its not.. Its just that he is capturing the zeitgeist right now and I’m pretty excited about it because he’s one of the few candidates I really like in this race so far.

By capturing the zeitgeist, I mean that he is gaining traction every single day and everybody seems to be talking about him and when he talks to interviewers he blows them away. Every Single Time. It’s fairly incredible.

The most recent interview (a great one) was with with Mehdi Hasan on the Deconstructed podcast. I urge you to give it a listen.

Anyway, all this energy has ignited his fundraising (which, weather you like it or not is a great way to tell who is making headway) and they just blew away their March 31 goal of $500,000 which is a big deal. They are hiring new staff and building a lot of institutional foundations. I urge you to drop him a few dollars if you can.

Anyway I just want to reinforce to you how crazy it is that we show support for candidates by giving them money. At high dollar levels (for rich people and businesses) this makes complete sense since their money buys them access (read : bribery). But at our level it essentially means: “I want this person to be president and I want to help them get there so I’m throwing them a few of my hard earned dollars”. Think for a second how crazy that is. That our voting system is so messed up that we can’t expect the best candidate to win on their own so we are putting up our own money to help them. Why do we do this??

Mayor Pete

Nobody so far has captured any kind of real energy this election cycle than Mayor Pete Buttigieg. This guy is pretty incredible. As an example, just read this interview with the Washington Post from the other day and tell me that he doesn’t make you feel like “oh, this guy knows what’s up and I have total faith in his leadership”.

The sad thing is that even though everyone I speak to totally loves him, none of them think he can win.

It seems to me that mostly they feel this way because he’s not got name recognition or because he’s gay and America isn’t ready for a gay president or because he hasn’t raised a lot of money or because he’s a small town mayor and not a Governor or Congressman.

I say all those reasons are stupid and short sighted. If the Trump election taught us anything its that people can beat odds as long as their message resonates with people and Buttigieg _resonates_ with everyone who hears him speak.

I will say that he is at a significant disadvantage when you consider the way we vote. I will continue to say this over and over again until you become outraged enough to speak out about the evils of plurality voting yourself when talking with others about this election. Of course if you haven’t read about it, see my post here.

Warren Town Hall

So I watched the Elizabeth Warren Town Hall last night on CNN. Here’s the deal.

I thought it was ok. Nothing special, but just ok. I really like Warren and I think she would make a fine president and I agree very much with many of her views and her plans. However, there is something odd about her that I can’t put my finger on yet. I think it has to do with genuineness. There is something kooky about how she comes off.

First off, know this: I firmly believe she is a genuine person and she believes in what she’s saying. But still, she seems like she’s trying to get across her points and all her interactions with the people asking questions are just stepping off points to get to where she wants to be. It’s like she’s a politician, even though I trust her.

This was demonstrated perfectly with her “I’m gonna go get a beer” moment. I mean, I think it was genuine? Maybe? I don’t know. But if it was staged, why do it? She doesn’t need to pretend to be a regular person because she already is. What’s going on here?

Like I said, I love her and I’d love to see her win, but I feel she needs to just drop the act and be herself because she’s coming off fake. It this is the way she is (also possible) then its a bit kooky and I need to get on board with it I suppose.

As an aside, one thing she talked about yesterday was the repeal of the Electoral College. This is a great idea and something I’ve been begging for for quite some time. Interestingly, it’s not very hard (relatively) to do since it doesn’t actually require a constitutional amendment. There is an effort underway that has currently passed in 13 states including New York and California (in PA where I live the bill is stuck in committee and has been for a 2 years now). The effort is called “The National Popular Vote interstate compact” and the way it works is simple. States pass a bill saying that if a point comes where enough states (equaling 270 electoral votes) pass bills, then they all will immediately switch to allocating their electoral college electors based on the proportional vote tally of the popular vote. This is because the constitution allows the states to determine how to allocate their electors.

So, if you want to know more you should head to the NPV website here.

Biden and Beto

I just finished reading an article about the impeding entrance the the 2020 race of Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke. My initial impression is this : Please No.

Three reasons:

First, both of these candidates are going to be running as Centrists and I feel that a Centrist as president will get nothing accomplished (the landscape is totally different than the Regan years) and anything they do accomplish will not be anything I care about (since I’m a very strong Progressive).

Second, I think that a Centrist will get crushed by Trump because he senses ad preys on weakness and lets face it, a wishy-washy “lets all get along” Centrist is inherently weak.

Third, the electorate (I’m convinced) does not want to be led by a white man (with the exception of Pete Buttigeig). My own fiancèe tells me this daily but her view is indicative (I believe) of many younger voters, especially women.

I will say this, if one enters the race, I very much hope that the other does too so they will cancel each other out. I’m already stressed that the next nominee will be someone who gets like 16% of the vote in the early states and that’s sad.