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Galindez writes: "We need Greens, socialists, independents, and progressive Democrats to band together and, from the bottom up, take over the Democratic Party and change the rules of the game - then we can build multiple parties."

Bernie Sanders supporters. (photo: Chicago Tribune)
Bernie Sanders supporters. (photo: Chicago Tribune)

I Am Angry and I'm Not Giving Up

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

01 July 16


don’t like many of the things that are happening and have happened in this election cycle. We have a rigged political system that favors the two major parties, and the establishment of those parties that know how to play the game. We have to change the system if we are going to bring the progressive change we need in this country.

I know that many of you, like me, have that passion for justice that Bernie talked about in Albany. I know that many of you have been fighting for a long time and are frustrated. We thought that this time we might finally win, only to see the rigged system keep us from crossing the finish line first.

Voter suppression is real in this country, and the establishment is good at it. They make the rules and they are happy if the rules favor the establishment candidate. We have exposed many problems with the current system, and we must fight to change them. We must work for open primaries and automatic voter registration and to abolish superdelegates, to name a few things. I am as angry as you are and I am going to stay in the movement we have created together and fight.

I am not going to unregister from the Democratic Party. That is like taking your marbles and going home because you’re not happy with how the game went. We did that in the 80s and let the “new Democrats” take over the party. If you stayed and fought, I thank you for hanging in there. This is not the time to give up.

This is time to press forward. Victory is in sight. It may take years of hard work, but the future is bright. We have won the hearts and minds of people under 45 years old. Bernie has united us and breathed new life into our movement. We were always here, we just were not united and we were preaching to the choir and not growing like we have over the last year.

Bernie Sanders is not the messiah. He will not perform miracles that will force the establishment to surrender and give up power overnight. The Democratic Party establishment is not going to just resign en masse and let us have control. We have to earn it. We have to do the work necessary to transform the Democratic Party.

I attended the first Green Party congress in West Virginia in 1990. I thought the decision was to build at the grassroots level and not try to focus on national politics until there was a strong enough base. A month later the Green Party was endorsing Ralph Nader and spending all of its energy on national politics. The thought was that a strong national figure would help us build faster. We should have learned that the roots were not ready to sustain that.

It has been over 25 years, and the progress is still very slow. The reason is that the system is rigged. We will not succeed in building a viable third party until one of the two major parties changes the system while they hold power. The only way that will happen is if we take over one of the parties.

We need Greens, socialists, independents, and progressive Democrats to band together and, from the bottom up, take over the Democratic Party and change the rules of the game – then we can build multiple parties.

We had setbacks in St. Louis. The establishment pushed back and rejected many of our proposals. The platform fight is not over – that was just the drafting committee. The committee as a whole meets in Orlando next week. We need to continue to fight for a plank against the TPP. We need to fight for language to ban fracking. We need to fight for single payer health care.

Bernie understands this and released the following statement on the platform process:

“I am glad that we have won some very important provisions in the platform drafting process so far, but much more needs to be done.

“There is very good language in the platform that calls for breaking up the largest Wall Street financial institutions and a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. I am glad that the platform drafting committee is on record to expand Social Security, to create millions of jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and to end the outrageous tax loopholes that enable the very rich and large profitable corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

“Unfortunately, however, the platform drafting committee voted down some very important provisions. Despite Secretary Clinton’s opposition, as a candidate for president, to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, her supporters in St. Louis voted down a proposal to keep the trade deal from coming up for a vote in Congress. The Clinton delegates also voted down definitive language to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Despite the growing crisis of climate change, they voted against a tax on carbon, against a ban on fracking and against a requirement for 100 percent clean energy by 2050.

“The platform drafted in St. Louis is a very good start, but there is no question that much more work remains to be done by the full Platform Committee when it meets in Orlando on July 8 and 9. We intend to do everything we can to rally support for our amendments in Orlando and if we fail there to take the fight to the floor of the convention in Philadelphia. It is imperative that this platform be not only the most progressive in the history of the Democratic Party, but includes a set of policies that will be fought for and implemented by Democratic elected officials.”

It is no longer about this election. We have to build a movement for the long haul. I went to a meeting of Iowa’s Citizens for Community Involvement this week. It was a meeting of their Fight for 15 campaign. I plan to go to the August Polk County Democratic Central Committee meeting. (The July meeting will take place while I am in Cleveland at the RNC.) I might consider a run for office. I will not walk away now – I am angry and I will stay in the fight.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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