Economic, social and environmental justice though independent progressive politics.
For the sake of economic, social and environmental justice, the US needs a competitive political party for ordinary people. We lack such a strong challenger to corporate duopoly. Yet none of the leading left parties or potential parties seems oriented toward building it effectively. This pledge aims to create more activists--both within and outside of these organizations--who dedicate themselves to that purpose. Signing this pledge shows you want to join a movement toward that end.
Explanation: Creating real progressive change requires building a winning political party for the 99%. But any left party or party-to-be worth building has to be oriented to becoming politically successful. At minimum, this requires all of the following:
Find the pledge below that corresponds to your affiliation-- the Green Party, Movement for a People’s Party (MPP), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), or for those who are not affiliated with any of these groups, the General Pledge. Read your pledge and then sign it if you agree. To help you join and build this movement, you will be connected with other signatories in your group/area, as well as the host of this pledge, Progressive Party Builders.
Links to printable pdfs of each pledge can be found at the bottom of this page.
To its credit, the Green Party runs candidates who are independent and critical of the duopoly (#1 under "Explanation" above). And active members do have opportunities to influence party decisions (#4). But the party often does not engage in bottom-up and viable election campaigning (#2 and #3). Rather, it regularly runs a lot of weak candidates, including many at higher levels, who lose by huge margins. They discredit the party among the general public and waste precious resources, time and energy. The state ballot access they may gain has little value when there are too few candidates who, having won and served at the lower municipal level first, are strong enough to make good use of a statewide Green ballot line.
Pledge:“I commit to deciding if in the near future the Green Party can become a true bottom-up party that focuses on winning elections. If so, I will act now with other like-minded Greens to make that happen. If not, I will help build a new progressive party that does adopt these objectives. I give Progressive Party Builders permission to connect me with other Green signatories and to contact me about its own party-building efforts.”
The Movement for a People’s Party plans to run candidates who are independent and critical of the duopoly (#1 under "Explanation" above). However, the MPP does not meet any of the other criteria for left third party success:
Pledge: “I commit to deciding if in the near future the MPP can become a bottom-up, democratic organization focused on winning elections and sharing power internally. If so, I will act now with other like-minded MPP members to make that happen. If not, I will help build a different group--a new progressive party that does adopt these objectives. I give Progressive Party Builders permission to connect me with other MPP signatories and to contact me about its own party-building efforts.”
The Democratic Socialists of America arguably has taken certain steps toward evolving into a viable left party, which it occasionally has referred to as a potential longterm goal. To some extent at lower levels, DSA has built its organization and backed viable progressive candidates (#2-3 under "Explanation" above). It also has remained open to internal debate about group decisions (#4). However, critically, DSA does not run its own candidates who are independent and explicitly critical of the duopoly (#1). Almost all of its endorsed candidates are Democrats, and very few openly question the two-party system. The Democratic Party may seem open to progressivism. But it actually opposes genuine, enduring progressive policies, and it stifles the few Democratic politicians who are committed to them. The Left can never really take over the Democratic Party, because it is fundamentally controlled by its rich donors and a nationwide network of establishment politicians who serve them. We need to start creating a clear, compelling alternative to the corporate-dominated major parties that regularly runs its own candidates.
Pledge:“I commit to deciding if in the near future DSA can become a real political party, with its own (non-duopoly) candidates. If so, I will act now with other like-minded DSA members to help make that happen. If not, I will help build a different organization--a viable left party that does adopt this objective. I give Progressive Party Builders permission to connect me with other DSA signatories and to contact me about its own party-building efforts.”
We need a progressive party or party-to-be that embraces all four of the above critical objectives, if we want it to become a successful challenger to corporate duopoly. No leading left party or party-in-formation currently does this.
“I commit to helping build a new progressive party--an independent, bottom-up, democratic organization that prioritizes winning. I give Progressive Party Builders permission to contact me about its own such efforts and to connect me with other signatories in my area.”