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Submitted by info on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 04:26
OPP member Barbara Ellis has put together a post explaining the purpose of 3rd parties for her political friends who still cling to the Democratic Party as the only hope Americans have for the nation's survival. Read on.
"...when the variety and number of political parties increases, the chance for oppression, factionalism, and nonskeptical acceptance of ideas decreases."-- James Madison
"The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day."-- Theodore Roosevelt
"How many more decades are we going to give them before we get rid of this least-worst, this lesser-of-two-evils mind set and start breaking this corporate grip . . . and have alternative candidates from alternative parties that stand as if people mattered first and foremost?"--Ralph Nader
Why Third Parties?
They rarely win, but 3rd party candidates are essential.
By ROBERT LONGLEY (About.com/Guide)
While their presidential candidates stand little chance of being elected, members of America's third parties have historically promoted concepts and policies that have been incorporated as important parts of our social and political lives. Here are some major examples:
Women's Right to Vote. Both the Prohibition and Socialist Parties promoted women's suffrage during the late 1800's. By 1916, both Republicans and Democrats supported it and by 1920 the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote had been ratified.
Child Labor Laws. The Socialist Party first advocated laws establishing minimum ages and limiting hours of work for American children in 1904. The Keating-Owen Act established such laws in 1916.
Immigration Restrictions. The Immigration Act of 1924 came about as a result of support by the Populist Party starting as early as the early 1890's.
Reduction of Working Hours. You can thank the Populist and Socialist Parties for the 40-hour work week. Their support for reduced working hours during the 1890's led to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
Income Tax. In the 1890's, the Populist and Socialist Parties supported a "progressive" tax system that would base a person's tax liability on their amount of income. The idea led to ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1913.
Social Security. The Socialist Party also supported a fund to provide temporary compensation for the unemployed in the late 1920's. The idea led to the creation of laws establishing unemployment insurance and the Social Security Act of 1935.
Read more ...
Submitted by info on Sun, 07/24/2011 - 05:31
July 23, 2011
. . . Obama's campaign promise to "change Washington" looks like pure bait and switch. There has been no change, but rather more of the same: the Wall-Street-owned Democratic Party as we have come to know it. The idea that the Republicans are for the billionaires and the Democrats are for the common man is quaint but outdated. It's more accurate to say that the Republicans are for Big Oil while the Democrats are for Big Banks. That has been the case since the modern Democratic Party was re-created by Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin.
Thus, at every crucial opportunity, Obama has failed to stand up for the poor and middle class. He refused to tax the banks and hedge funds properly on their outlandish profits; he refused to limit in a serious way the bankers' mega-bonuses even when the bonuses were financed by taxpayer bailouts; and he even refused to stand up against extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich last December, though 60 percent of the electorate repeatedly and consistently demanded that the Bush tax cuts at the top should be ended. It's not hard to understand why. Obama and Democratic Party politicians rely on Wall Street and the super-rich for campaign contributions the same way that the Republicans rely on oil and coal. In America today, only the rich have political power.
Obama could have cut hundreds of billions of dollars in spending that has been wasted on America's disastrous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, but here too it's been all bait and switch. Obama is either afraid to stand up to the Pentagon or is part of the same neoconservative outlook as his predecessor. The real cause hardly matters since the outcome is the same: America is more militarily engaged under Obama than even under Bush. Amazing but true. . . .
Who runs America today? The rich and the multinational corporations. Who runs the White House? David Plouffe, whose job it is to make sure that ever word, every action of the president is calculated for electoral gain rather than the country's needs. Who runs the Congress, on both sides of the aisle? The lobbyists, who win in every negotiation. And who loses? The American people, who have said repeatedly that they want a budget that sharply cuts the military, ends the wars, raises taxes on the rich, protects the poor and the middle class, and invests in America's future not just in Obama's speeches but in fact.
America needs a third-party movement to break the hammerlock of the financial elites. Until that happens, the political class and the media conglomerates will continue to spew lies, American militarism will continue to destabilize a growing swath of the world, and the country will continue its economic decline. Read more ...