The US needs a new populist party

Peter Camejo, The Avocado Declaration

History shows that the Democrats and Republicans are not two counterpoised forces, but rather complementary halves of a single two-party system: “one animal with two heads that feed from the same trough,” as Chicano leader Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez explained.

Since the Civil War a peculiar two-party political system has dominated the United States. Prior to the Civil War a two-party system existed which reflected opposing economic platforms. Since the Civil War a shift occurred. A two-party system remained in place but no longer had differing economic orientation. Since the Civil War the two parties show differences in their image, role, social base and some policies but in the last analysis, they both support essentially similar economic platforms.

Steve Hynd details how in 1888, Kier Hardie, disgusted with the sell-out Liberal Party ran for election in Britain for Parliament as an independent labor candidate. He lost, but got elected as an independent in 1892.  This was the birth of the Labour Party, which for decades was “singularly responsible for the UK’s policies of women’s suffrage, of worker’s rights, of universal healthcare, universal education and a social safety net for those who struggle. It’s policies have been copied, in some form or other, the world over.”

There’s a lesson here. Rather then continually hope that the elitist Liberal Party would live up to their name and not kowtow to the wealthy while pretending to support working people, Hardie and the rest formed a new party and 32 years later controlled the government. Yes, it takes time. But it can be done.

That’s what we need here. A new party genuinely of and for the people and the willingness to spend years to make it happen.

Meanwhile, many Democrat supporters are ironically blind to the way in which they’ve already settled the fact that they can be bought and sold by corporate interests and are only haggling over the price. People, this is not about “nuance”. This about political prostitution and having had enough of it.

It’s that “one animal with two heads” moving together lockstep on war and economic agendas, accentuating their differences on social issues, pretending to be very different. But they aren’t.

That’s why the US needs the birth of a new party like what happened in Britain in 1892. And the Labour Party changed politics forever worldwide.


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