“In 2010, we saw the Tea Party yank the entire political discourse way to the right. The Tea Party was powerful because it was boldly ideological; it recruited and groomed candidates; and it created a strong national brand. Our view is that there isn’t anything analogous to that on the left, and there ought to be.”
—– Jon Green, Deputy Director, Working Families Party
I feel exhilarated after reading an Atlantic article about the growing movement on the Left, organized by the Working Families Party, and all the successes they have had — like electing de Blasio mayor of NYC (and almost unseating Rahm Emanuel as mayor of Chicago).
“In short, America’s largest city has gone from being run by a billionaire mayor and a party-machine council to being steered by a progressive mayor and progressive-driven council. In place of debates between Republicans and timid, triangulating Democrats, the fight in New York is now largely between moderates and activists on the left. (Even de Blasio now finds himself to the right of the progressives on the council, particularly on criminal-justice issues.) This is what WFP would like to accomplish nationally—on city councils and county boards, in stage legislatures, and in Congress.”
Although the title of the article is “The Pugnacious, Relentless Progressive Party That Wants to Remake America,” when I shared it on Facebook, it posted as “The Tea Party of the Left.” I had to laugh because when I was running for office, a “Sussex Democrat” wrote into the Cape Gazette, claiming that I espouse “a need for ‘the equivalent of a left-wing Tea Party.'” The implication was, obviously, that there is something wrong with that, and that is why he was going to vote for the Republican who claimed to be a “family values,” nice guy. LOL!
I’m not sure where that quote from me came from — probably from one of my posts on Tikkun Daily. I wish I could track down the source. I don’t doubt that I said it. In fact, I have long believed that progressives ought to do to the Democratic Party the equivalent of what the Tea Party has done to the Republican Party — push it to the Left.
That really wasn’t the funny part of the letter, however. The funny part was that the author criticized me for calling a local state representative “a homophobic good ole boy,” when the author himself is a notorious good ole boy!
His other claim, that he had “met” me and “came away troubled” by my “suspicious” Washington agenda and purported “lack of knowledge of local issues” left me scratching my head, since I have never had a substantive discussion with the man in my life.
Oh well. Such is politics — especially small town, good ole boy politics.
All this simply illustrates the need for the Working Families Party, which is now active in NY, CT, NJ, OR, DC, MD, PA, IL, WI, RI, and soon NM. The Deputy Director says “We wait for people to call us. Usually, they’re people who feel abandoned by their local Democrats.”
So progressives in places where Democrats govern like Republicans, where Dixiecrats still populate the Party, and where the machine often stands in the way of progressive change are the ones who reach out to WFP.
I bet they also get calls from places where Democrats who support Centrist candidates blast progressive Democrats for not towing the party line, scream at them during public meetings, badmouth them behind their back, and sabotage their campaigns. Where’s the phone?
We need progressive change in Delaware, and we definitely need a more civic culture that respects democratic values — like public discourse, civility, heterodoxy, transparency, honesty, accountability, and popular sovereignty, to name a few.
The Working Families Party is on the rise and has already had great successes. Unlike New York, we don’t have fusion voting in the First State, so a WFP chapter really would have to act like a left-wing Tea Party, run candidates as Democrats, and push the Party to the Left.
If you look at public opinion, there really is a progressive majority in this country. We just need to make our voices heard.
Working Families is fighting for a brighter future for America.
One where the economy works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected. One where politicians are accountable to working people, instead of Wall Street lobbyists and corporate CEOs. One where all of us, no matter where we come from, can find a good job, get healthcare when we need it, afford a home, send our kids to good schools, and have a secure retirement.
We’re electing the next generation of progressive leaders and building grassroots power to renew the American Dream. And we want you to join us.