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Swinging for the Fences

5:47 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Our series profiling independent and alt-party candidates for seats in the November election who have endorsed the New Progressive Alliance’s Unified Platform continues. An introductory piece is here.

By Andrew McCoy
NPA Volunteer

Green party logo

A newly redrawn district offers a chance for a Green upset in Colorado.

Gary Swing of Colorado believes it’s time for Progressive candidates to raise the stakes, and again this election cycle, this endorser of the Unified Platform is all in.

Swing, a Green, is running for Colorado’s newly drawn 6th District seat for U.S House, where major-party registrations are about equally split. He has run twice before for House from Colorado, but in traditionally “safe” Democratic districts.

This cycle is different.

“Every election year we hear the same nonsense about ‘voting for the lesser of two evils,’” Swing says.

“Despite the spirited chants of ‘We Are the 99 percent,’ 99 percent of American voters continue to embrace the greater evils: perpetual wars of aggression, imperialism, authoritarianism, and environmental devastation,” which, Swing says, “is the shared agenda of the two corporate parties.”

So this year Swing is working to give the people a stronger voice. He is challanging not only incumbent Mike Coffman, who Swing calls a “a right-wing Republican militarist,” but the Democrat, Andrew Romanoff – who leads the incumbent by about 10 points in recent polling.

“We still hear the same tired old arguments that have never been valid: Voting your conscience is a wasted vote; a vote for a Green Party candidate is a vote for the Republican, and so on,” Swing says. “Voting Green can’t ‘spoil’ elections that are already rotten to the core.”

Swing similarly pulls no punches in distinguishing himself from his opponents. His clear policy positions unequivocally oppose wars of aggression, the spread of American imperialism, and the national surveillance state. He opposes government policies that privilege corporate profits over the well-being of workers (such as the TPP and NAFTA).

Swing also seeks to empower the American people by pushing for structural change that gives citizens a more forceful voice in policy decisions.

Romanoff and Coffman, meanwhile, support largely similar policies that emphasize balancing the federal budget, though neither has expressed any desire to raise revenue. Both support American intervention overseas in response to vague “security” concerns, and neither has provided any clear policy framework regarding their positions on any specific issue. Campaign contributions from private industries and PACs constitute a significant portion of both candidates’ cash flow.

“The corporate media are already so bored and unimpressed with the meaningless contest between Coffman and Romanoff that they have declared this to be a ‘swing district,’” Swing notes, adding with a wry laugh, “and I’m looking for Swing voters!”

An avid outdoorsman, Swing has climbed all of Colorado’s 637 mountains and backpacked more than 10,000 miles of American wilderness. He says his understanding of the risks of exploiting of our natural resources has made him committed to developing a sustainable path forward.

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FL Governor’s Race: The Man With a Plan

4:41 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Our series profiling independent and alt-party candidates for seats in the November election who have endorsed the New Progressive Alliance’s Unified Platform continues. An introductory piece is here.

By Anthony Noel
NPA Communications Director

As the Rick Scott and Charlie Crist elephant-and-jackass show gathers steam in Florida, a candidate who shares one similarity with Crist – a 2010 gubernatorial run as an Independent – is being largely overlooked.

But for Farid Khavari, an Iranian-American economist and author, that’s where the similarities end.

Khavari’s birthplace means he has no presidential aspirations (although in the cases of both Scott and Crist, delusions might be the better word). And his thoroughly fleshed-out policy initiatives mean Khavari won’t be passing himself off as a Florida Democrat anytime soon.

“Florida’s Democrat leadership serves the Republican Party,” Khavari insists. “There is no opposition to the extremist Republican agenda in the legislature; 40 seats are not even contested by Democrats. This state has been ruled by a minority party for decades – Scott elected by only 23.2 percent of voters, Crist by 24 percent.”

“The only way to make state government work for the people,” he concludes, “is with an Independent governor.”

Khavari began this cycle as a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, a race from which he withdrew to focus on his second Independent run in as many gubernatorial cycles. “I’m waiting until after the election to change my registration,” he said. Though the Green Party has approched him, “I prefer to be an Independent.”

Khavari’s Ph.D in economics shows. “I’m the only candidate for governor with an economic plan which explains in detail how we can solve our economic problems at no cost to taxpayers.” And he really does; a plan so granular that even cyberspace seems to have a little less room by the time one has slogged through it.

Khavari’s plan is a nod to the potential effectiveness of economic initiatives in driving social policy, and he’s not shy about saying so: “I am running to revive Florida’s economy and to eliminate the needless suffering of millions of Floridians caused by bad economic policies.”

Those doubting Khavari’s Progressive chops – easy to do in a state where the word is more recognized as the name of an insurance company than a political ideology – need only study his key issues: A jobs program where “many of the jobs will be created in the course of solving our other problems”; Reduced-cost (and eventually free) higher education and a vastly improved public school system; establishment of a citizens-owned “SuperBank,” restructuring the state’s homeowner’s insurance and health care systems; marriage equality; saving the Everglades; and implementing medical marijuana (Florida is voting on it this cycle) through small growers and dispensaries, “out of the hands of big business. Later,” Khavari adds, he would “lead a ballot initiative for legal marijuana with the same sensible regulations.”

Here’s an overview of his plan for a state bank, from his 2010 campaign.

A lifelong small business owner and holder of two patents, Khavari also pledges to “veto any legislation that benefits a special interest group at the expense of the people,” something he says “only an Independent governor can do.”

Khavari’s been a U.S. resident since 1977. He lived and studied in Germany before that. Born in Iran in 1943, he earned his Ph.D in economics from the University of Bremen with a dissertation on the pricing of OPEC crude oil. (Solar energy is a key component of his economic plan for Florida.)

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard executed Khavari’s father in 1980 for refusing to renounce his religion. Then, Khavari says, the Guard “charged my mother for the bullets and [said she must] denounce her religion if she wanted to keep her house. She walked out of the house and told them to keep it.”

A chapter in his 1990 book Oil and Islam is called “The Lesser Evil,” in reference to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The book detailed Khavari’s long-held belief that “the real threat to the West comes from Iran, not Iraq.” He is a frequent guest on Iranian-language radio programs, particularly in Los Angeles, which has a large Iranian ex-pat community.

In addition to his gubernatorial campaigns, Khavari ran for mayor of Miami-Dade County in 2012.

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PCA “Truth Teller” Seeks Texas Ag Post

9:32 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

This is the first in a series of posts profiling independent and alt-party candidates who have endorsed the Unified Platform and are seeking office this fall. An introductory piece is here.

By Anthony Noel
NPA Communications Director

As 2008 became 2009, nine people died and more than 700 were sickened by products containing ingredients produced by Peanut Corporation of America. Do you remember the headlines?

Peanut Butter Caused Salmonella Outbreak

Salmonella Outbreak In Peanut Butter Leads To One Of Nation’s Largest Ever Product Recalls

Former company CEO Stewart Parnell, who reportedly “told his employees [in early 2009] that the company’s products had never tested positive for Salmonella, despite the 12 positive tests over the two preceding years,” is now standing trial on criminal charges in Georgia, and PCA is no longer in business.

But the story really begins at a PCA plant in Texas in 2006, where Kenneth Kendrick worked for four months.

During his brief tenure, Kendrick repeatedly warned Parnell of unsanitary conditions at the plant, including a leaking roof from which the feces of roosting birds washed in when it rained. Kendrick – who prefers “truth teller” to “whistleblower” – says the plant routinely exchanged shipments with the Georgia PCA plant to which products responsible for the deadly outbreak of salmonella were ultimately traced.

Since blowing the – er, telling the truth – on national TV at the height of the outbreak, Kendrick has experienced firsthand the ins and outs – mostly outs – of exposing corporate fraud. His honesty has cost him employment opportunities in state agencies, he says, leaving him with mounting debt and contributing to his divorce.

If that’s not enough, foods bearing PCA-processed peanuts even sickened his granddaughter, many months after he’d left the company.

In spite of it all, Kendrick doesn’t think twice about whether he’d do it again:

(The above is excerpted from remarks in 2011. See Kendrick’s full remarks here.)

It’s hard to imagine a post in government more crucial than ensuring the safety of the food we eat, even harder to think of a candidate better motivated than Ken Kendrick to make that happen in a state where, since the PCA debacle, more than 350 additional unlicensed food processing operations have been identified. That’s right, the PCA plant in Plainview was never licensed – or even inspected – by Texas authorities, and the ag commission certified it as organic. Site unseen.

There are three other candidates in this race. Republican Sid Miller’s last campaign finance report (July 15) shows that, mingled with contributions from dairymen, a cattle rancher and cotton farmer (i.e., interests he’ll be charged with regulating) are payments from PACs including Scott’s (the OH-based maker of home and commercial ag products), and DuPont, the chemical giant (read: pesticides) for total donations of over $46,000. It also lists his campaign manager as “Ted Nugent.”

Jimmie Ray Hogan, the Democrat, lists no fiscal activity since the primary, during which he listed only expenses – something over $400 for “travel within the district.”

And there are no gubmint reports on file at all from the Libertarian, Rocky Palmquist. (Big surprise.)

Kendrick, meanwhile, who describes his campaign budget as “on a shoestring,” has received one $25 contribution while spending about $30 with VistaPrint.

He has also shown integrity and a sense of duty to the greater good which we at NPA feel is without peer.

For these reasons, for his endorsement of the Unified Platform, and because we believe truth tellers are the only ones protecting us from corporate malfeasance, the New Progressive Alliance takes the rare step of giving an early, full endorsement and our highest ranking of 5 to Kenneth Kendrick, Green Party candidate for Texas Commissioner of Argiculture.

And truth teller.

Read the rest of this entry →

Stein Endorses Unified Progressive Platform

6:49 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Received late last night by the New Progressive Alliance via email, from Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein:

8 May 2012

To: New Progressive Alliance
From: Jill Stein
Subject: Endorsement of NPA Platform

This is to confirm that as a candidate for President I endorse the
platform of the New Progressive Alliance.

I thank the NPA for the hard work that went into developing this
excellent statement of progressive values.

As you know, I worked actively with the NPA as a board member until I
took a leave of absence to work on my presidential campaign. I hope
to see the NPA flourish and make a major contribution to the revival
of the progressive movement in America.

2012 is shaping up as a year in which we have a golden opportunity to
create a permanent progressive presence on the national political
scene. I am currently involved in Green Party ballot access drives
with the goal of putting our progressive ticket before more than 94%
of the voters in America. I am also working hard to qualify for FEC
matching funds that would give credibility to our campaign and provide
us with funding to undertake several important initiatives. But this
is not a short-term effort to make a splash in one election. It
involves organizing permanent organizations in as many states as
possible and helping elect local and state officials who will organize
in their areas.

We all know that no matter who is elected president on November 6, we
will face enormous challenges over the next four years. We have to
make this election the springboard to what will follow. Every vote we
get in this election, every volunteer that we activate, and every
donor that we discover will put us in a better position to meet the
challenges that will come.

I would like to invite NPA to jump into the fray and demonstrate that
they can make a decisive difference in the electoral arena. There is
much to be done. The Internet and social media have given us exciting
new techniques for political action – and these are ideally suited to
the skills of NPA activists. This is the year to show that we can
revitalize the progressive movement in America and rescue our democracy.

I respectfully request the endorsement of NPA and their full
engagement in the exciting work before us.

Forward!

Jill Stein
Candidate for President of the United States
Green Party

The New Progressive Alliance was founded by MyFDL readers in 2010. Through electoral activism, we aim to unify Progressive independents, third parties, and other organizations to create a strong, uncompromising voice for Progressive principles, policy, and reform at the national level.

Our mission is based on Noam Chomsky’s long-held belief that the American electoral process is upside down, and it is up to citizens to state what they expect of their elected officials and to support only the candidates who pledge to fight for those interests. The Unified Platform is the NPA’s statement of expectations for candidates seeking our support. In addition to the platform content sourced from current and legacy Progressive organizations, much is the result of ideas provided before and during its writing, by readers of MyFDL.

FireDogLake and its affiliated sites are officially neutral as regards the NPA, its mission, and goals. We thank Jane Hamsher for maintaining a forum where people are free to coalesce around issues that are important to them.

To contact NPA facilitator Anthony Noel, email tonyn_at_newprogs_dot_org.

Jobs for All with a Green New Deal

2:56 pm in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

by Jill E. Stein

Jill Stein is a member of the NPA Steering Committee. She wrote this op-ed in anticipation of President Obama’s speech before a joint session of Congress, September 8.

President Obama’s new job proposals are intended to send a political message that the President cares about the dismal state of the economy. But America needs a decisive and immediate solution, not a limited gesture for the unemployment emergency facing 25 million workers in need of full time jobs that aren’t there.

We need a Green New Deal that will establish government’s responsibility to guarantee the right to a job for every American willing and able to work. The roots of this lie in the Employment Assurance concept that the Roosevelt administration used to tackle the great American depression in 1935. Let’s turn the unemployment office into the employment office: if the private sector fails to provide you a job, you go down to the employment office to get work that keeps you afloat until things turn around.

The “green” in the Green New Deal means that we can solve our jobs problem as we build the economy of the future – a sustainable, green economy that protects the environment as the core foundation for economic prosperity. The Green New Deal would tackle multiple environmental threats to our economy – not only climate change, but also the converging water, soil, fisheries, forest, and fossil fuel crises that imperil our fundamental needs for food, water and energy. Other countries are already making major investments for a secure, carbon-free future. America needs to catch up.

The Green New Deal would enable us to build sustainable energy, transportation and production infrastructure: clean renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, intra-city mass transit and inter-city railroads, “complete streets” that safely encourage bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing of the goods needed to support this sustainable economy.

The Green New Deal would also address the enormous, urgent need for social infrastructure – for public education, health care, child care, elder care, youth programs, and arts and culture.

Since a Green New Deal would go where the unemployment is, severe pockets of joblessness – where the poor and people of color are suffering rates as high as 30% – would not be bypassed.

It is time for the White House and Congress to admit that Obama/Bush approach of showering money on Wall Street has failed. Decades of hard-won experience – plus basic economic theory – show that government spending is essential in a recession to stimulate demand and put people back to work. Both major parties, as well as Obama, instead have used the recession caused by Wall Street abuse, costly wars, and bogus trickle-down economics as an excuse to slash funding for vital programs. As a result, seniors, working families and the poor are footing the bill for tax giveaways to the wealthy and large corporations. This is not only wrong it’s also guaranteed to destroy jobs and weaken the economy.

We have put America to work through public works programs many times since the 1930s. We did it with the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in the 1930s and CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) of the 1970s. These programs employed millions of workers to provide socially needed public infrastructure and public services like education, health, child care, elder care, youth programs and arts and cultural programs.

How much would such a full employment policy cost? Surprisingly, the final cost is almost nothing. It pays for itself over the course of the business cycle according to Philip Harvey, a professor of law and economics at Rutgers in his paper, Learning from the New Deal.

Assuming that for every two public jobs created, an additional job would be stimulated in the private sector, we would need about 17.5 million public jobs. Harvey notes that all these jobs increase tax revenues that defray the cost of the program. Government saves money on unemployment insurance and other safety net programs. As working people spend their earnings, business booms and stimulus programs can be curtailed. The bottom line is simply this: Full employment through a Green New Deal is cheaper than rampant unemployment.

An initial investment is required, of course. The first year net cost for 17.5 million living-wage public jobs, $666 billion, would be less than Obama’s ineffective $825 billion stimulus of 2009. The net cost per job would be only $28,600 compared to $228,055 per job cost of Obama’s indirect stimulus.

The cost could readily be covered through a combination of needed tax reforms – such as taxing Wall Street speculation, off shore tax havens, millionaires and multimillion dollar estates – in addition to a 30% reduction in the trillion dollar bloated military-industrial-security complex budget.

A Green New Deal that decisively ends unemployment and the escalating Bush/Obama recession is within our reach – technically and financially. All that’s needed is the political will to stop throwing money at Wall Street and start building the sustainable prosperity American workers deserve. In spite of Washington’s slavish addiction to serving Wall Street, that political will may finally be catching fire in the American electorate.

Jill Stein is a medical doctor, an environmental health advocate, and former candidate for Governor of Massachusetts for the Green-Rainbow Party. She can reached at thegreennewdeal_at_gmail_dot_com

2012 Begins Today! We Need Your Help!

8:09 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

We stand this Labor Day at the traditional start of another presidential campaign.

Since Barack Obama’s election nearly three years ago, millions of words have been devoted to dissecting what went wrong. Were we naive to believe in “Change we can believe in”? Do Obama’s and other Democrats’ one-eighties on the issues indicate that our elected officials are merely pawns used to lend an air of democracy to the emerging corporate state?

Can there really be a meaningful difference between the two major parties when the results – rampant unemployment, perpetual war, environmental degradation, and the erosion of our social safety net – are the same, regardless which party is running things?

First conceived at MyFDL in February 2010 amid such questions, the New Progressive Alliance has steadily worked to create a lasting counterweight to their all-too-obvious answers. MyFDL readers and diarists figured heavily in the NPA’s founding – indeed, it would not exist without you. Now, we’re counting on you to take the lead as we move forward!

Today, Labor Day 2011, the NPA’s founding formally ends. Over the summer, a small group of NPA volunteers worked to create and ratify the Unified Progressive Platform, and to tweak the cyberstructure that will allow us to challenge both major parties through relentless electoral activism and popular dissent, throughout the 2012 campaign and beyond, at every level of government. Our organization is in place. It is time for the hard work that we must do to begin in earnest.

It will take thousands of volunteers working together across the long term to reform our broken system. Whether you consider yourself a follower or a leader is not important. Whether you can donate just an hour or two per week or 10 or 20, we have important work to do. Click here to see all our volunteer opportunities and to contribute your talents.

Like America, the NPA belongs to you. Are you ready to begin working for the kind of country you wish to live in?

In Solidarity,
Anthony Noel
NPA Facilitator

Draft: The Unified Progressive Platform

11:05 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

NPA StuffIt is with great pride, excitement and humility that the New Progressive Alliance (NPA) herewith presents, for review and comment, our draft of the proposed Unified Progressive Platform (UPP).

During the NPA’s founding at MyFDL in late 2010, readers voted to identify 10 key values. Work on this detailed yet succinct statement of core Progressive beliefs – which has proceeded over the past three months at NewProgs.org – has kept true to those values.

Along with comments and ideas readers expressed during the NPA’s founding and input from the organization’s volunteers and members, this document includes platform material from five historic and current Progressive organizations: The Green Party, United Progressives, Socialist Party USA, Populist Party (1892), and Progressive Party (1912). At the NPA site, this document is color coded to indicate the various sources of each line of text. Though MyFDL does not support color coding, the draft below is otherwise identical.

We believe a Unified Progressive Platform is key in creating a broad, principled alliance focused on putting the American people first, and countering the war profiteers and corporate opportunists who have overrun our government.

The parallels between our current situation and that in which the first Progressive Era took shape are striking, and while it never elected a president, that first Progressive push won the eight-hour workday, four Constitutional Amendments, and (up until both parties sold out completely to the military industrial complex) occasional other Progressive victories: Social Security (which this president is okay with cutting), Medicare (ditto), and Civil Rights (wouldn’t surprise us).

We believe the best social and electoral answer to the oligarchs who now control our government is a united call for a second Progressive Era in America – one whose victories, this time, are made permanent.

Anthony Noel
NPA Facilitator
tonyn_at_newprogs_dot_org

In reviewing this draft, bear in mind that a platform is a broad document laying out core beliefs and policy objectives. Actual policy work flows from, as opposed to being included in, this document. At this stage the NPA seeks overall impressions of our communication and approach to the issues identified at it’s online founding, while encompassing changes in the political, social, economic, and foreign policy climates since that time.

Preamble: A New Progressive Alliance

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

- George Santayana (1863-1952)

Perpetual war. Rampant unemployment and under-employment. Environmental degradation. Self-interested corporatists run amok.

The difficult times America now faces, though challenging, are hardly new.

Our nation’s first Progressive Era addressed and surmounted similarly daunting challenges. It won Americans the eight-hour workday; women’s suffrage; direct election of Senators; the federal income tax. Though entry into World War I ended this amazing era, the Progressive conscience lived on, and prompted enactment of Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Compensation, Civil Rights, and Head Start.

Nonetheless, WWI – the supposed “war to end all wars,” was in fact anything but. Ever since, whether on foreign shores or here at home, we have unwisely and needlessly relied on war to prop up our economy. From foreign adventurism to the so-called “War on Drugs,” this ideology and its perpetual application has cost us dearly.

Those who nurtured the first Progressive Era ran the social and political gamut. They were Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Independents, Anarchists, suffragettes, farmers, immigrants, freed slaves, lawyers, teachers, trade unionists, physicians, ministers, and businesspeople. In short, Progressives were America’s working classes.

In just 25 years – from 1892 to 1917 – the Populist Party and then the Progressive Party delivered a one-two punch that shook the federal government from its complicity with elites in the oppression of workers, families, farmers, and small businesses. One hundred years later, our oppressors are re-entrenched. We must rise up again to put them in their place – and this time make our victory permanent.

The New Progressive Alliance (NPA), is a completely volunteer organization of concerned Americans. We herewith propose a platform in hopes of uniting all who hold with Progressive values. With individual rights. With workers. With the poor and the unemployed. With non-intervention over imperialism and perpetual war. And with the belief that we must treat the earth as it truly is: Our only home.

Context: Our Proud Heritage

From the Populist Party Platform (1892):

The conditions which surround us best justify our cooperation: we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling-places to prevent universal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; [small] business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection […] The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.

From the Progressive Party Platform (1912):

“The conscience of the people, in a time of grave national problems, has called into being a new party, born of the nation’s sense of justice. We of the Progressive party here dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the duty laid upon us by our fathers to maintain the government of the people, by the people and for the people whose foundations they laid.

“We hold with Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln that the people are the masters of their Constitution, to fulfill its purposes and to safeguard it from those who, by perversion of its intent, would convert it into an instrument of injustice. In accordance with the needs of each generation the people must use their sovereign powers to establish and maintain equal opportunity and industrial justice, to secure which this Government was founded and without which no republic can endure.

“This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources, its business, its institutions and its laws should be utilized, maintained or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.

“It is time to set the public welfare in the first place.”

Peace, People and the Planet: The Unified Progressive Platform

 

1 – Peace First

A world of increasing population, diminishing resources, and unstable climate is a world poised for conflict.

Add to these existential challenges the concentration of power in the hands of a global financial and corporate elite perpetually bent upon the concentration of wealth, and the current proliferation of wars and civil unrest become nothing short of inevitable.

It is evident that the U.S. is a major part of the problem, using its overwhelming military power to consolidate its strategic hold over much of the world, and to defend and advance the interests of U.S.- owned corporations and various strategic partners.

It is further evident that allocating an ever-increasing proportion of our national treasure toward defense – and often imperialism in the guise of defense – is impoverishing us as a people, and if anything, making us less secure.

For these reasons, and knowing full well that in so doing we challenge the hitherto unchallenged supremacy of the military-industrial complex, we affirm first and foremost that we oppose war as an instrument of foreign policy. We must reinstitute non-intervention as the United States’ default military position, as it was for the first 140 years of our history. We therefore support the complete and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and other regional conflicts.

We further support the immediate dissolution of private security contracts for these conflicts, and the immediate cessation of payments to private contractors who are in any way associated with them.

Further, the United States must reopen all its agreements for the siting of military bases in other countries, and must immediately vacate those we are requested to by the host countries.

We reject the militarism on which our culture and economy are increasingly based, and support the transition to an economy and national security rooted in scientific inquiry, peaceful technologies, sustainable industries and agriculture, education, and the arts.

As we shrink our global military presence we must also shrink our military budget and redirect spending to critical societal needs such as job creation, saving the environment, and a real social safety net.

New definitions of national and global security must be debated and adopted to support the peaceful and equitable resolution of future conflicts.

Our goal is a world in which war is obsolete. That cannot happen until the major powers stop instigating and providing materiel support for war.

The role of the United States military is neither to police the world nor build its nations. Intervening militarily in foreign lands for these purposes is incalculably expensive in human lives and fiscal resources, and is morally indefensible.

2 – Full Employment at a Living Wage

Peace + People + Planet = Economic Sustainability

Perpetual war simply has no place in the above equation. The costs of supporting our war-based economy, coupled with bailouts of unethical and in many cases lawbreaking for-profit institutions, are directly attributable to the lack of investment in a new economic paradigm that does not profit on death and financial speculation.

We recognize that our national and global economic systems are embedded within and dependent upon the earth and its resources. We therefore support measures to restore a more broadly shared prosperity and to build a more equitable society.

As we work to make these changes, it is important to bear in mind that the biggest task before us is transitioning our economy from an unlimited growth model to a sustainable, or “steady state” model.

We therefore support, as the first critical step in advancing these “new-economy” criteria for economic success, a commitment to full employment at a living wage.

Full employment policy maintains that maximizing employment is the key to a healthy economy; that both the private sector and the public sector have a role to play in job creation; and that the best results are achieved when both sectors are committed to the policy.

In line with this thinking, we believe that where the private sector cannot provide jobs for all who wish to work, the public sector must be the employer of last resort, through a combination of job banks and workforce development programs. We support a permanent, WPA-style jobs program wherein, when possible, public sector jobs are “green” jobs, or jobs in the service sector which contribute to a more positive future for all. All work must at a minimum pay a local living wage that covers basic needs – food, shelter, healthcare, childcare, transport.

Alternatively, a universal basic income or federal guaranteed livable income, implemented via an earned income credit or negative income tax, could be used to ensure a minimum standard of living.

Full employment at a living wage with price stability must be a national priority. The Federal Reserve must work harder to redress the imbalance between its inflation control and full employment mandates.

Trade policy must favor fair and balanced trade relationships that include universal labor and environmental standards. Banks must be required to create low-interest set-aside funding for small community businesses, workers cooperatives, and family farms.

Corporate tax policy should discourage and punish outsourcing and off-shoring. Corporations that seek to exploit labor markets and circumvent environmental protections should be ‘outed’ and penalized for their lack of corporate responsibility and citizenship.

As a counterweight to employment trends that have decimated the American workforce and middle class – e.g., reduced wage scales, reduced benefit packages, increased job insecurity due to outsourcing, off-shoring, contract labor, part-time work, etc. – we support workplace democracy and the right to organize unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike when necessary – for both public and private employees. We further call for enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act.

3 – Saving the Environment

We envision a sustainable society that recognizes our interdependence with the planet and utilizes resources such that future generations will benefit rather than suffer from the practices of past generations.

To this end, we support science-based policies to curb and mitigate the effects of climate change; carbon taxes on fossil fuels to reflect true environmental costs; elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels, nuclear power, waste incineration, and biofuels; clean fuel mandates; adoption of energy efficiency standards that reduce energy demand economy-wide; building an efficient low-cost public transportation system; adoption of a national zero waste policy.

A sustainable society needs clean, green jobs based on renewable energy, energy conservation, organic agriculture, local food production/distribution, mass transit, waste management/recycling, and other environment-sustaining practices.

Energy independence is essential to peace, security, and prosperity. We promote a planned transition away from fossil fuels, including nuclear energy, to a cleaner energy generation/distribution system based on solar, wind, geo-thermal, hydropower, and other renewable energy sources.

The strict comprehensive protections of the Clean Air and Water Acts must be maintained and enhanced. In particular, safe and adequate water supplies for all citizens must be maintained and privatization efforts must be vigorously resisted.

Land-use practices should honor the interconnected and interdependent nature of all life, respect ecosystems and other species, and at the same time provide for human needs in a responsible and sustainable way. The chemical treatment and genetic engineering of crops run counter to these criteria and should be ceased.

Urban environments should limit sprawl, maximize green space, and their planning and construction should encompass light rail, connecting downtown areas to pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhoods which offer the full range of everyday services.

Rural land-use policies should promote livable communities to minimize urban migration and favor small-scale farmers and ranchers. National parks, forests, and seashores are not for sale.

Oceans, forests, and biodiversity are indispensable to life on this planet and deserve special attention and protection.

4 – A Real Social Safety Net

We stand firmly in support of strengthening, expanding, and protecting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance by any means necessary.

Unemployment and home foreclosures, a lack of financial system protections, failure to collect revenue sufficient to fund government operations (including illegal wars), and failure to provide for America’s future have all but destroyed this country’s social fabric. Through the worst possible fiscal management, our social safety net hangs by a thread.

We propose to expand the real social safety net to the benefit of all Americans through raising taxes primarily on corporations and the wealthy, and by targeting public and private investment toward education, research and development, and infrastructure.

We must also:

- Remove the income cap on Social Security withholding to increase revenue, and include previously excluded income masquerading as capital gains.

- Provide equal access to free, quality education from Pre-K through vocational schools or public universities; expand access to lifelong learning; and stop the privatization of public education.

Further, we favor a New Deal-style Home Owner’s Loan Corporation set up under existing federal home loan entities, to eliminate troubled loans and to resolve what is perhaps the most significant impediment to sustainable economic recovery.

With this, however, must come the recognition that home ownership can be one of many approaches to providing the safe, adequate, and affordable housing necessary to create and maintain strong, stable, sustainable, and inclusive communities.

Comprehensive housing policies that foster integrated community development, serve broad social, economic, and energy goals, and leverage federal, state, and local resources should be used to provide community-specific housing solutions, including shared ownership, supportive housing, transitional housing, cooperative housing, and rentals (conventional, affordable, and resident-controlled, as applicable).

We support pension reforms designed to safeguard retirement monies belonging to working Americans.

Current law provides a virtual monopoly over investment options to Wall Street and the financial industry. Not only is this hard-earned money placed at risk by a system that privileges and enriches some at the expense of less-sophisticated others, but the investment choices often work against workers’ best interests, by funding corporate mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts that undercut workers’ rights, employment, and retirement.

Corporate-sponsored pension funds should be jointly controlled by management and workers. Federal law should be changed to allow funds to be securely invested both locally and in socially beneficial programs. Consideration should be given to the creation of a National Pension Authority with the power to hold assets and address pension fund deficits as they develop.

We must revise corporate and personal tax codes according to recommendations in the FY 2012 People’s Budget, a product of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, such that all businesses and citizens contribute their fair share toward the support of a more equitable society.

The need for financial industry reform is critical and cannot be overstated. In addition to reinstating Glass-Steagall; curtailing speculation; outlawing derivatives outright or submitting them to review by an FDA-style financial products regulatory commission; and breaking down financial institutions of excessive size and influence, the entire Federal Reserve and central banking system should be converted to a public system which places the needs and interests of the country ahead of profits for a private cartel.

5 – Medicare for All

We support Medicare for All as the single most effective approach to cutting runaway health care costs, and providing high-quality health care for all Americans.

Americans spend far too much on healthcare and get far too little in return. Studies show we spend twice as much as other developed countries but consistently underperform them in quality of care, efficiency, and fairness.

The best solution to our overpriced, under-served situation is the simplest. We need to move to a universal, single-payer system: Medicare for All.

A bill supporting this change – H.R. 676, The American People’s Universal Health Care Bill – was first introduced in the U.S. House in 2003, and has been reintroduced in each Congress since, including during the health care reform debates of 2009, when it was actively refused consideration.

Medicare for All will cut the exorbitant cost Americans pay for health care by eliminating for-profit insurers’ duplicative overhead and administration, underwriting, sales and marketing, CEO pay and bonuses, and profit margins; by improving leverage for product/service package negotiations; and by emphasizing preventive care.

That Medicare for All was not enacted long ago renders the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution a travesty, and our lack of universal health care a national embarrassment.

6 – Fair Trade

We support reformulation of all international trade relations and commerce practices in order to protect the labor, human rights, economy, environment and domestic industry of this nation, and of partner and recipient nations.

Trade policy, as currently defined by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), and the nascent Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) privileges capital and corporations at the expense of people and the planet. It facilitates labor outsourcing and the rape of our environment. It enriches the few while worsening the plight of the many. Recognizing this, we support trade policy reformulation which enables local industry and agriculture to take precedence over corporate domination. No more NAFTAs!

We must also:

- Evaluate and address trade imbalances through direct negotiation, currency management, business engagement, and consumer action.

- End tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas (e.g., deductions for shut-downs, special depreciation on offshore plants, and deferral of foreign source income).

- Prohibit U.S. corporations from avoiding or evading payment of their taxes by banking abroad or locating their charters offshore.

7 – Human Rights/Civil Liberties

We are dedicated to the preservation and expansion of diversity; and to protecting, respecting and expanding the rights and civil liberties of all citizens.

Our country was founded upon a set of principles and ideals that have their most eloquent expression in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. A commitment to equal rights was present at our creation and remains a core value of American life.

We therefore support equal rights for all people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, or other status, including the right of same-sex couples to marry, and the right of all women to make decisions about their reproductive health.

We further support ending criminal prohibitions on the use and sale of marijuana and advocate its immediate legalization and taxation, and more broadly, an end to the so-called “war on drugs,” another perpetual war which has distracted us from our far more pressing responsibilities of caring for and expanding the chances of success of all our citizens.

We support the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an international standard that all nations should strive to meet.

With rights come responsibilities. We must remember that life is both individual and social, that freedom must be balanced with equality and justice. Among the reasons for establishing the Constitution given in the Preamble is: to “promote the general Welfare.”

To an increasing degree over the past forty years – and particularly during economic crises – this charge has been ignored by both major political parties, who have instead seen fit to promote the special welfare of the rich and powerful.

We must, as the Progressive Party stated in its 1912 platform, “set the public welfare in the first place,” thereby returning the general welfare clause to its pride of place in government policy making – and making government good again in the minds of a people who have been wrongly taught to believe it is the enemy.

Further:

- The USA Patriot Act is an Orwellian abomination wrapped in a snide misnomer. It violates key privacy and due process protections and contains vast potential for the abuse of power. It must be repealed.

- We must close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility; try individuals accused of terrorizing the United States on our own soil; stop playing extra-jurisdictional and semantic games (e.g., using black sites and calling POWs “enemy combatants”); and end the U.S. government’s terrorizing of its citizens to justify imperialism.

8 – Campaign Finance Reform

We support comprehensive campaign finance reform, including caps on spending and contributions, at the national and state level, and/or full public financing of elections to remove undue influence in political campaigns.

Our democracy is at peril. In a system where money equals speech, the rich can afford to drown out the rest. They own mainstream media outlets, fund the Commission on Presidential Debates, bankroll think tanks and policy institutes, fund academic research, finance artificial grassroots (“astroturf”) organizations – in short, have built a propaganda empire that manufactures consent for all things contrary to the public interest.

In addition, they underwrite influence factories like the American Legislative Exchange Council, institutionalizing and streamlining the quid pro quo process, matching corporate contributors with legislators-for-hire in a highly structured arrangement that leaves voters entirely out of the loop. The recent Citizens United ruling was the coup de grâce. American democracy is now for sale to the highest bidder.

Therefore:

- In line with public financing, all qualifying candidates must have free and equal access to radio, television, and press coverage. All qualifying candidates must likewise be included in any and all public debate forums, and the full array of candidates beyond the two major parties must qualify.

- We support uniform ballot-access laws that make it easier for all political parties to include their candidates on the ballot.

- We support the adoption at local, state, and federal levels of ranked choice voting, as a mechanism to ensure that campaigns result in an intelligent exchange of varied perspectives.

- We support the abolition of the Electoral College, such that the President of the United States may be elected solely through a direct popular vote.

- We support efforts to ensure that the membership of the United States House of Representatives is substantially increased in order to adhere to the original intent for that body to provide this country’s citizens with proportionally equitable representation.

- Corporate law must be rewritten to overturn Citizens United. In the absence of comprehensive campaign finance reform, legislation such as the Disclose Act would impose transparency on the current system. A constitutional amendment would establish that money is not speech and that corporations are not persons.

9 – Corporate Accountability/Reform

We must reduce the economic and political clout of corporations, end corporate personhood, and require corporations to serve society, democracy, and to safeguard the environment.

National and multi-national corporations have become too powerful. In addition to ending corporate personhood and implementing campaign finance reform, corporate economic and political clout should be diminished, and corporate citizenship increased by improved tax/regulation compliance and enhanced shareholder democracy/governance.

We must also:

- Change corporate charters to reflect a “triple bottom line” orientation that measures social and ecological performance in addition to financial performance. Social responsibility requirements should be comprehensive, strict, and enforceable. Corporations that routinely violate their charters should face dissolution.

- Enforce and expand anti-trust laws at all levels.

- Increase legal jurisdiction over multi-national for-profit entities, in accordance with the U.N.’s evolving “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”

10 – Infrastructure Investment/Ownership

We support the establishment of a publicly funded infrastructure bank to capitalize large-scale physical projects, and direct monies toward associated research and development.

Forty years of defunding the public sector has saddled America with an outdated and crumbling infrastructure. In all that time, the private sector has not stepped forward to remedy this steadily worsening reality.

Since 2007, Congress has floated proposals for public-private capitalization of a national “infrastructure bank” to invest in energy, environmental, telecommunications, transportation, and water systems infrastructure projects. Infrastructure investment of this type offers immediate job growth and sets the stage for long-term economic expansion, and we fully support its immediate institution.

Along with natural resources and the public airwaves, public infrastructure like highways, railways, electrical grids, water systems, and the Internet rightly belong to the commons and should be managed and allocated in the public interest, free from interference by corporate agendas.

UPDATED: The Platform is Up!

8:01 pm in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

NPA StuffThe draft Unified Progressive Platform – the centerpiece document of the New Progressive Alliance (NPA), the organization MyFDL members founded in voting last fall – is now up at MyFDL!

Your votes identified 10 key issues, and work on this detailed yet succinct statement of core Progressive beliefs has kept true to them. Incorporating the platforms of five historic and current Progressive organizations; your comments here during our founding; and the input of NPA volunteers and members, the draft UPP will prove key in helping to convert the growing populist revolt against the oligarchs who now oppress us into a united call for a second Progressive Era in America.

The draft’s ETA is noon Pacific, 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, and we need your ideas and feedback. Our goal is a platform our Steering Committee – which now includes Kevin Zeese, Cornel West, Cindy Sheehan, Jill Stein, David Swanson, Paul Barrow, Alan Maki and Richard Winger (with more prominent Progs on the way) – can ratify by early August.

After ratification, it will be presented to Progressive individuals and organizations of every political stripe, in seeking to unite Americans in the battle against the culture of perpetual war and un/underemployment our elites have instigated and seek now to make permanent. Any candidate seeking the NPA’s endorsement will have to sign onto the UPP very publicly in order to win that endorsement – and will be kicked to the curb the minute they espouse or vote for policies which run counter to it. Because public servants serve us – not the other way around.

Since our founding by MyFDL readers last fall, the NPA has registered as a 527 non-profit, and our volunteers have been hard at work. In addition to crafting the UPP:

- Our highly functional web site is now up.

- “Primary Obama” bus ads are rolling in DC.

- Our volunteer corps and State Founder recruitment is in full gear, with many talented, committed Progressives joining our ranks daily. (We are a 100-percent volunteer operated, non-profit organization).

- Paid memberships and donations are rolling in; our mailing list continues to grow exponentially.

- Volunteers are attending conferences, summer festivals and other events, helping to spread the word.

- We’ve helped build awareness of the still-growing Iowa Health Care Not Warfare Campaign.

- We’re an endorsing organization of the October2011 effort.

- We continue efforts to mount a primary challenge to Barack Obama, pursuing the list of potential candidates voted by MyFDLers last fall.

We encourage all who were present at the NPA’s founding last fall – and anyone else who believes in the need for a second Progressive Era – to review the UPP and let us know what you think.

We believe the 2012 election will be like no other in our nation’s history. By re-instituting Progressive values, the American people can make it a year our elites will never forget. We look forward to your input on the platform, and we thank you in advance for taking time to help.

Anthony Noel
NPA Facilitator

tonyn_at_newprogs_dot_org

What Progressives Don’t (part two of two)

7:45 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

In yesterday’s first part of this diary, we talked about the 1912 Progressive Party Platform. About how starkly its wording applies to the conditions under which we now live, 100 years later. About what real Progressives believe in and fight for. In short, what Progressives do.

And we promised, here in part two, an object lesson in the lengths to which false progressives and other protectors of the “profits before people” status quo will go in quashing dissent. In other words: what true Progressives don’t.

The lesson comes by way of the blog at the website of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

On June 14, one Mike Hersh – who is identified variously at the PDA site as the group’s “Maryland State Coordinator,” as “PDA Staff,” and as “PDA National Staff” – put up a post called “The High Cost of Voting for Spoilers.” (Hersh is also – although “hopes to be” seems more accurate, based on his own web site – a political campaign consultant.)

The PDA’s blog appears to have begun in January; I could find no archives dating further back. In those six months, no post has come close to Hersh’s in terms of reader comment. Despite being open for comment literally for months – they are still open, in fact – few have received more than eight replies.

By contrast, “The High Cost of Voting for Spoilers” got 89 comments in just one week, and would have had more – but Hersh shut it down Tuesday night.

That’s right. This “progressive” shut down the Progressive Democrats of America’s most-discussed blog post of the year. In mid-debate.

So, what happened?

After throwing everything in the cupboards – and then the kitchen sink – at the six commenters who took issue with his post (five, including the author, supported it) Hersh knew the jig was up – that’s what happened.

Too many commenters – too many for Hersh’s liking, at least – refused to accept his “facts,” let alone the smarmy, know-it-all, accusatory style so symptomatic of so many who purloin the term “progressive” for their narrow interests. You know their rigmarole:

- Gore lost because of Nader voters.

- Democrats are the better choice and anyone who doesn’t see that is willfully blind – but saying this is not the same as promoting lesser-evilism.

- The (insert name of neolib org here) supports and encourages open debate and discussion. (Unless, of course, we shut it down.)

So, after providing numbered answers to “three questions” Hersh thought crucial, and which he excoriated his critics for “refusing to address” (though we had, repeatedly, with the sum of our comments); after it was clear that any point which discredited his thesis would be met with obfuscation at best; and about 36,000 words into the Hersh Vortex of Circular Logic, I got a notion (and yes, I’m kind of embarrassed it took me so long).

I posted the following:

OK, Mike, let’s try this. A simple yes or no answer will suffice. No qualifications or explanations. After you answer, I’ll ask you another question. Fair enough?

Do you consider a vote for Canada’s NDP “voting for a spoiler”?

Just a reminder: yes or no.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

His response:

Anthony—

I already answered that, [no, he hadn’t] but here it goes again. No, voting for NDP was not “voting for a spoiler.” Under the very different Canadian system, and considering they were already an established, effective party with seats in parliament, and representing more than 1% or 2% of the electorate: No.

(Good thing I asked for no qualifications or explanations, huh?)

Hersh continued:

Everyone—

At this point, let’s all admit some of us are not talking about the same things. A few people on this thread are unwilling to agree with the basic premise. As long as those people refuse to accept the terms, this is a waste of time.

[Translation: So many people are telling me my basic premise is flawed that I don’t have time to keep responding!]

At this point, I am closing this thread and inviting people to learn more about PDA, comment on the other blog posts, and get on with their lives.

Clearly, about midway through typing in his 50-word answer to my yes-or-no question, it dawned on the poor guy what my next question would be:

“So, Mike, if a vote for the NDP in 2011 was not ‘voting for a spoiler,’ because ‘they were already an established, effective party with seats in parliament,’ a vote for the NDP at its founding 50 years ago, when it had no seats, would, by your definition, have constituted ‘voting for a spoiler.’

“My question, then, is exactly how new political movements and parties can come into existence without being what you degrade as ‘spoilers’? If you got your wish and no one supported new parties, how would anything ever change?

Hersh knew the legs supporting his premise had been cut out from under it, and didn’t want to admit it. So he picked them up and ran away.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is not what Progressives do. On the contrary, it’s how major-party operatives, and those who seek to be, have co-opted, fear mongered, and quashed populist movements – like the Progressive Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries – out of existence.

We must take back the Progressive mantle from these “Falsies” – false lefties, false liberals and false (a.k.a. small “p”) progressives.

Me must again imbue activism with the meaning, and with the peaceful militancy, which made that first Progressive Era the most beneficial period in our nation’s history – by far – for working Americans.

That era, not coincidentally, also united the largest percentage ever of people of all political stripes in pursuing and advancing the common good. It brought together Americans who embrace non-intervention, industrial justice, environmental protection, equal access to education, and care of our youth, our aged and our downtrodden.

True Progressives must reclaim this proud heritage. The first step in doing so is exposing “small p” progressives and other duopolists for the enablers they are, and the hateful things they do. Things true Progressives don’t.

By the way: Last Monday – one day before he shut down dissent at the PDA blog – Mike Hersh began shilling posting right here, at MyFDL.

Anthony Noel
NPA Facilitator

Cross-posted at Docudharma, The Malcontent, and Antemedius

What Progressives Do (part one of two)

11:02 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Take a look at this. Though it’s nearly 100 years old, it could have been written yesterday:

The conscience of the people, in a time of grave national problems, has called into being a new party, born of the nation’s sense of justice. We of the Progressive party here dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the duty laid upon us by our fathers to maintain the government of the people, by the people and for the people whose foundations they laid.

We hold with Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln that the people are the masters of their Constitution, to fulfill its purposes and to safeguard it from those who, by perversion of its intent, would convert it into an instrument of injustice. In accordance with the needs of each generation the people must use their sovereign powers to establish and maintain equal opportunity and industrial justice, to secure which this Government was founded and without which no republic can endure.

This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources, its business, its institutions and its laws should be utilized, maintained or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.

It is time to set the public welfare in the first place.

That’s the introduction to the Progressive Party Platform of 1912.

The Progressive Era was – by far – the most productive in our nation’s history in defining, advancing and securing the Social Contract. Seige is now being laid to that precious contract by corporatists disguised as candidates, looters held out as leaders – and an opportunist named Obama.

The Progressive Era flourished from the 1890s to 1920s. Then as now, true Progressives questioned and ultimately chastened the major parties which were complicit in the oppression of American families and workers. The same two parties which are complicit in that very oppresion today. Quoting again from the 1912 document:

THE OLD PARTIES

Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.

From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
The deliberate betrayal of its trust by the Republican party, the fatal incapacity of the Democratic party to deal with the new issues of the new time, have compelled the people to forge a new instrument of government through which to give effect to their will in laws and institutions.

Unhampered by tradition, uncorrupted by power, undismayed by the magnitude of the task, the new party offers itself as the instrument of the people to sweep away old abuses, to build a new and nobler commonwealth.

Liberals are fleeing from the “L word ” – who can blame them, based on their unconscionable abandonment of common people – and are doing their best to purloin the “progressive” label as their own.

We must stop them.

We’ll do it by creating a new voice for Progressivism (with a capital “P,” as distinct from the small “p” purloiners of the Progressive tradition).

As Progressives did then, so must we unite Americans who embrace non-intervention, industrial justice, environmental protection, equal access to education, and care of our youth, our aged and our downtrodden. As they did, we too can coalesce into a force which does not tolerate the lies told by both parties as they strive to protect the wealth of elites, and their own standing as the well-paid protectors of the elitist class.

In tomorrow’s second part of this diary, we’ll show the lengths to which “small p” progressives go in attempting to quash mounting public dissent – and disdain – for the Donkey and Elephant show which has enriched a tiny percentage of the populace at the expense of the rest of us.

In the meantime, I invite you to read the 1912 Progressive Party platform in its entirety. Alongside the platforms of other organizations engaged in the fight for justice for all Americans, it is one of the central resources through which the NPA’s Unified Progressive Platform of 2012 is being drafted. Look for the initial draft of this document – and please, provide your feedback on it – in mid-July at NewProgs.org.

Thank you.

Anthony Noel
NPA Facilitator

Cross-posted at Docudharma, The Malcontent, and Antemedius.