Bernie Sanders is not going to put in his name.
So, who can we support? Obama?
An Independent progressive environmental activist, Ted Glick, says a Green Party candidate is our best hope. Or, perhaps an “alliance” candidacy in which the Green Party was one of several main components. Like an Independent version of the 1980’s Rainbow Coalition.
Such a candidate can’t win, but Glick suggests that at least it will:
- let Obama and all the other centrist Democrats know that they cannot take the Left for granted when it comes to major policy issues.
- probably lead to Obama saying better things on the issues as he campaigns. Though we know from what happened after Obama won in 2008 that this doesn’t mean he’s going to do what he says, it will make it harder for him to completely backtrack, give issue-oriented movements leverage in their efforts to get him to do the right thing during a second term.
- help progressives in our on-going efforts during 2011 and 2012 to defend against the continuing efforts of the ultra-rightist Republicans to break unions, shred the safety net, take away EPA’s power to enforce environmental laws, undercut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, and everything else.
-And potentially, if the Left can show maturity, determination and flexibility, it can help the process of a coming together of issue-oriented progressive Democrats, third party activists and labor, issue-based and community organizers.
Glick would like to build a “third force” of progressive Independents.
I wonder how realistic that is. Progressives are a fragmented bunch, and Independents are, by their nature, difficult to organize. Are there any figures out there with the heft necessary to command the respect of such a motley bunch as progressive Independents?
William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.