From left, Lila Garrett of KPFK's "Connect the Dots," Alan Minsky, interim program director for KPFK, Dorothy Reik, president of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains and Russell Greene, president of the Progressive Democrats of the San Fernando Valley at the monthly meeting of the Progressives at Abuelita's on Sept. 18. Minsky spoke about his reporting for Truthdig from the Republican and Democratic conventions.
Hoping to build a larger coalition from the ranks of the Democratic Party, about 22 members of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains (PDSMM) gathered on Sept. 18 for their monthly meeting to hear Alan Minsky, interim program director at KPFK radio (90.7 FM), report from the trenches of the Republican and Democratic Conventions.
Dorothy Reik, PDSMM president, Tom English, Julie Levine and David Troy joined Russell Greene, Chair, San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America, and Lila Garrett, host of KPFKs Connect the Dots to strategize on how to attract new members from within the general population of the Democratic party.
Regardless of the outcome of the Nov. 6 General Election, according to Minsky, Progressives are planning a big push starting on Nov. 7. When Obama is re-elected, there has to be a movement within the party to push a leftist agenda, he said. We need to mobilize and make specific demands; we need to charge up the base; they are with you!
Reik remains optimistic about adding new recruits from those Democrats who feel shut out by mainstream politics. I think Progressives main accomplishment has been having our positions adopted by the California Democratic Party platformpositions against the war and ending the death penalty, for example, Reik said. Seven of our members are delegates to the state party; we need to work on getting our positions on the Democratic National Party platform.
During the meeting, Minsky told the group that he feels that mainstream Democrats could easily be recruited to the Progressive side with a little more awareness of the inherent inequality of the political system that shuts out everyone but the very rich. When I got to Charlotte, NC, I felt a lot of Progressive affinity within the rank-and-file. he said.
Minskys reporting from the Democratic convention, Want Hope and Change? Build a Real Left, can be read on Truthdig at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/want_hope_and_change_build_a_real_left_20120907/.
Overall, he said, he found universal support for most of the Progressive checklist including single payer healthcare, taxing the wealthy, revoking Citizens United and removing big money from politics.
He did, however, receive some resistance to the Progressive idea of legalizing marijuana and bringing an end to all foreign wars.
In his article, Minsky imagines a transformation of thought regarding the blind acceptance of the political status quo that he asserts does not work for the poor or middle class.
So we readers of the left blogosphere desperately have to move beyond registering poignant critiques of the evils of Romney and Ryan, and the betrayals of Barack and Biden, Minsky wrote in his article. When political power is concentrated in the hands of the few, the rest of us have virtually none of it. We need to stop turning a blind eye to this reality, study history and understand what it takes to build a movement that captures the imaginations and hearts of the tens of millions who, only four years ago, exhibited a deep desire to change these conditions and improve their lives. Real change, in contrast to hologrammatic optimism, requires real courage.