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November 6: Knowing What Time It Is


In four months, on November 6, a hugely important election is being held. Every left-of-center activist and organizer should figure out, if they’ve not already done so, how they can contribute to the absolutely strategic, essential objective of taking away Republican control of at least one, if not both, house(s) of Congress.

Success in this work won’t be the revolution. Our achievement of this objective will be primarily a defensive success, making it harder for the Trump-dominated Republicans to achieve more of their dangerous, regressive objectives. However, removing their control of the House and/or the Senate should provide a springboard for a progressive political counter-offensive leading toward the 2020 Presidential elections.

When I say “every left-of-center activist and organizer,” I really do mean it.

Moderate and progressive Democrats and Independents will overwhelmingly take up/are already taking up this work. A small percentage of moderate grassroots Republicans who are troubled by Trump will do the same. But it should be more than these groups.

Anarchists who disdain, for totally understandable reasons, our big money-dominated, non-proportional, winner-take-all electoral system should seriously consider the dangerous implications of continuing, if not strengthened, Trump/Republican control of the White House, the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court. “I am the law,” pathological liar, would-be-strong-man Trump would be emboldened, and our situation would be even worse than it is now, especially for immigrants, people of color, low-income people and women, as well as our disrupted climate.

We really don’t have lots of time to get it right on the climate. We’re close now to climate tipping points. This alone is a reason why climate denying Trump Republicans need to be set back.

Kick-ass revolutionaries should consider if near-fascist conditions are really the best political terrain for them to agitate for a fundamentally different political and economic system. History says no.

Green Party members who keep saying that “there is no (or little) difference between Democrats and Republicans,” who support GP candidates for higher offices who rarely get more than low-single-digit percentages of the vote, should seriously consider if they want to keep being seen as, and sometimes being, Democratic Party spoilers in very close House and Senate and other major races. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to focus resources on support for candidates running for school board, town councils and other local races, building broader bases, winning or doing well, and developing electoral skills? The number of GP members in office has dropped dramatically over the last decade, by about 40% between the mid-2000’s and 2016.

Some who’ve read my past columns, like this one, will not be surprised to learn that I’ve left the Green Party. For the first time in 43 years, going back to 1975, I’m no longer a member of an organization working for a third party political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. But I’m still part of the plurality of the electorate who are registered Independents.

I continue to support the objective of a consistently progressive party that is effective, visible, and deeply rooted among working-class people and people of good will. We don’t have such a party right now.

I want a multi-party electoral system with public financing of elections, proportional representation, candidate debates that include all candidates, fair ballot access laws and more.

But I know what time it is, politically, and that’s not where we are today. Today we are in a bad place.

From now until November 6 we need to be fighting hard for a massive repudiation at the polls of the Trump-run Republicans. That is, far and away, the objective that should unite us all at this perilous time.

Ted Glick has been a member and sometimes-leader of independent politics and third party groups since 1975. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.

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