Going on the offense with the 12-Point Platform
[I'm leaving this sticky, since this plan is going to dominate my blogging life for the next six months. So, the more commentary, the better! --lambert]
My center is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.
Something I've been noticing lately is that there's too much news to react to. Ferguson; Gaza; ISIS; Iraq; Ukraine; NSA; and the ongoing clusterfucks of ObamaCare, permanently high disemployment, the failure to prosecute criminal banksters. And that's before we get to campaign 2016 (already underway), as well as the 2014 skirmishing. MR SUBLIMINAL Hillary! Warren! Also too climate change.
It's almost like the elite is gaslighting us, isn't it? If we've got too much to think about, we won't think at all, right? Worse, as a blogger, I'm reacting. I'm being pushed around, and there's no chance to push back. So I want to push back. I want to go on the offense.
Things become simpler when we know what we want. Let's take all the news stories I listed above and reorganize them:
Solutions from the 12-Point Platform:
|2. Medicare for All||ObamaCare clusterfuck|
|4. Job and Income Guarantee||disemployment|
|9. Enforce the Bill of Rights||NSA|
|10. End the Wars||Ferguson; Gaza; ISIS; Iraq; Ukraine|
|12. Carbon Negative Economy||climate change|
Solutions from the 12 Reforms:
|10. Justice Starts at the Top||Criminal banksters|
More empowering, no? Suddenly we don't have limitless, random news stories anymore. Instead, we've got 12 points and 12 reforms. Tops. All news goes in those buckets. These are the themes we can keep pounding on. Three yards and a cloud of dust is fine by me!
So I plan to take one point each week, on Wednesday, until November 7, 2014, election day. That's 12 weeks, so that will cover the 12 Points (if I throw in some extras here and there due to rounding errors). Then between November 7 and the start of Congress, January 3, 2015, I will do the 12 Reforms. I will also have to be more clever about getting the word out via twitter, etc. (I think I'll go over and tweet the points and the reforms to Gwen Ifill tomorrow.) Who knows, maybe T-shirts!
In the week before each Wednesday post, I'll write up research for the upcoming Point, in addition to regular blogging and gardening and so forth. So in this coming week, I'll be posting on the living wage, prior to a post on Point #1. Any posting that you, readers, do on that topic will be greatly appreciated!
Other than advancing my values and interests, and because I hate being pushed around, why am I doing this?
1. To define "the left"
Nobody knows what "the left" is. Conveniently for all factions and parties of the political class, "liberal," "progressive," and "the left" all mean more or less the same thing, which means that "liberal," "progressive," and "the left" mean nothing at all. Some factions would throw "Marxist", "Socialist", and "Communist" into the mix. Equally conveniently, "Marxist", "Socialist", and "Communist" have all become mere sounds that trigger engineered reactions, exactly like "liberal," "progressive," and "the left."
Rather than worry about what the left is, the 12-Point Platform defines what the left should do; that is, it's an operational definition. Anybody who supports the 12-Point Platform, the 12 Reforms, and the Single Value is on the left. People who support individual Points or Reforms are allies of the left. (Anybody who supports the Single Value without supporting any of the Points or any of the Reforms isn't on the left; they don't want to do what the left wants to do.)
The 12-Point Platform is reformist. There is no point to abolish capitalism, as communists would like to do. There is no point to abolish the State, as anarchists would like to do. There is no point to replace democracy with aristocracy, as conservatives would like to do.
The 12-Point Platform is not about identify politics. The Platform is designed to set society's baseline for public purpose high enough for all so that each will benefit, regardless of their gender, race, ethnic/national origin, age, etc.
The 12-Point Platform is not partisan. It makes no matter who supports the Points and the Reforms, or who passes and implements them. Again: Those who support the Platform, Reforms, and Single Value are the left; those who support individual Points or Reforms are allies of the left.
2. To enforce compliance
Since the Dean campaign of 2004, much of the left has pursued a strategy of "more and better Democrats." Much of the left has also devoted a lot of attention to tactics: Petitions, polling, messaging, the election cycle, strength in the district, and so on. After a decade, it's time to be honest, look at outcomes, and say that strategy and those tactics have failed.
Looking back over the last decade, it's clear what the problem was: Since "better Democrats" were never defined, there was never any real reason to elect "more" of them. The people doing petitions (MoveOn), polling (Kos), messaging (everybody and their sister), and all the rest of it have had the same effect on political outcomes that fans cheering on their team in a bar have on the action up on the TV: Nothing. No matter how knowledgeable in tactics and statistics the fans are, they are down in the bar, and whatever happens on the screen happens on the screen. The disconnect is total. FDR said:
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
The 12-Point Platform, the 12 Reforms, and the Single Value are FDR's "something." The vague "better Democrats" is replaced by a clean and simple checklist you can use to enforce compliance on your candidates. Either your candidate complies, and supports A Living Wage (#1), or they do not. Either your candidate complies, and supports Medicare for All (#2) or they do not.
Your vote is your own, but I would say vote for the candidate that's most compliant, and don't vote for the non-compliant. The12-Point Platform replaces voting for "the lesser evil" with voting for "the greater good."
UPDATE So, I hear you ask, we went through all this in the spring. Why did you wait so long to start? Several reasons: A financial collapse caused by the price of fuel in a hard long winter was a big stressor; it's a big undertaking I was reluctant to leap into; I've been gaslighted as much as anyone else; and bad faith shown in the massive MMT flame war discouraged me, pretty much in that order. For whatever reason -- certainly no objective reason -- I'm now a bit less stressed, and since November 7 is approaching....