Tea Party, Not Progressives Make a Statement

Norman Solomon is a nationally syndicated columnist on media and politics. He wrote the weekly "Media Beat" column from 1992 to 2009. His latest book is "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State" (2007). Solomon's book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" was published in 2005. A documentary based on the book was released in 2007. Solomon is also the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts.He is currently national co-chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign, launched by Progressive Democrats of America.

Sept. 15 – TRNN With the Tea Party’s success in the state primaries, Progressive Democrats wanting to throw their hands up in frustration are advised instead to put them to work in grassroots organizations, and vote for a Democrat.

In an interview with The Real News, Norman Solomon, a member the national advisory committee Progressive Democrats of America, said that rather than forsaking the Democratic party for grassroots progressive movements, the two should be used simultaneously to keep Republicans out of congress, while working to bring more Progressive Democrats in.

“What I think we need, more long-term, is serious engagement. It's not either/or, but it's both grassroots organizing outside of an electoral focus, as well as working to elect people who represent our values,” he said.

Despite criticism that once elected, Democratic Party members exchange their social agenda for a corporate one, Solomon said withdrawing support from the Democratic Party isn’t the answer, as it hasn’t successfully steered it to the left in the past.

“…you could argue that if ever there was an instance where progressives cost the Democratic Party something big, i.e. the White House, through not voting or through supporting Nader, it was 2000. Well, in no way did that result, in the last decade, per se, [in] moving the Democratic Party in our direction,” he said.

He added that strategically, the party could work on appealing to the average American.

“I think it's partly a challenge that progressives need to find better ways to just talk to the general public overall,” he said.

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