On January 20, The 48 percent of America that voted against George W. Bush is holding a counter-inaugural. Whereas the Presidential Inaugural will be held in just one city, is open to well-connected ticket holders only, and will need to be protected by unprecedented levels of security, the counter-inaugural will be much more democratic: Open to everybody, in cities and towns across the nation, no admission charged, and no formal wear required.
At the same time that grassroots progressives groups are organizing counter-inaugural protests for January 20, what is the leadership of the Democratic Party doing? Well, last night I was contacted by Democratic leadership organizations three times. Wow! Unfortunately, not one of these organizations asked me for anything but money.
Why in the world would any true progressive send any money to a political party that engages in such accomodation of the radical policies of the Republicans? I have supported the Democratic Party in the past, but since Election Day 2004, we have seen little but cowardly retreat from the Democratic leadership. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Democratic Party is devolving into little more than a parasite on the back of the grassroots progressive movement, asking for money, but refusing to stand up for progressive ideals when the going gets rough. The Democratic Party is on the verge of falling apart, and if it does, I say good riddance.
In a month, I’ll be moving into a new house in a new town. When I make this move complete, I will have to re-register to vote. Up until the last few weeks, I had planned on re-registering as a Democrat. Now, I can’t bring myself to register in any way than as a true independent - with no party at all. All across America, other Democrats are doing the same, leaving the ranks of the Democratic Party in search of a way to be true to their progressive ideals.
Participation in the nationwide protests of January 20 is a good first step in a declaration of independence by America’s liberals. If the Democratic Party won’t work for us, then we’ll do the work ourselves. Let James Carville sit in his comfy Washington D.C. office and write checks to do-nothing politicians. America needs leadership that doesn’t wait until an election year to speak up against injustice. The progressive grassroots will be on the streets no matter where we are in the election cycle, and we won’t give up until we get the job done.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Protesting the inauguration... and the Democrats
Irregular times has a great post on the counter-inaugurals that will be happening all around the country on January 20. In particular I really enjoyed reading their take on the uselessness of the Democratic Party: