Emancipate Our Generation from the One Percent with a Revolutionary People’s Party
“We are slain. The party is dead—dead—dead!”
It was the fall of 1852 and Whig Representative Lewis D. Campbell was lamenting his party’s crushing defeat in the presidential election. In defiance of its base, the Whig party had forced through a pro-slavery platform. Feeling betrayed, thousands of voters stayed home on election day and the opposition swept the presidency and both houses of Congress.
Fed up with their party’s refusal to unequivocally oppose slavery, a few thousand Whigs, modernizers, and anti-slavery activists gathered in Jackson, Michigan in 1854 to form a new radical abolitionist party.
Whig voters flocked to the new Republican Party and within two years, they had gained a powerful contingent in Congress. By 1858, they had replaced the Whig party and won a majority in the House of Representatives. By 1860, they had taken both houses of Congress and elected President Abraham Lincoln. The new Republican Party went on to dominate the presidency, Senate and House for the large majority of the next seventy years.
At the time, practically no one had foreseen the collapse of the Whigs, who had held the presidency as recently as 1853. Lincoln’s party rapidly replaced a major party without the help of the internet and the remarkable organizing tools available today.
It’s past time that we follow their example and unite the voting groups that Senator Bernie Sanders brought together during the 2016 Democratic Primary, groups that are practically begging to be assembled into a permanent working class majority. Sanders’ campaign already built the coalition, all we have to do is give it a name.
1. Our Darkest Hour
This year’s resounding rejection of the political establishment proved that an establishment party cannot lead a political revolution. We cannot defeat authoritarian populism from the establishment platform that gave rise to it.
Since the Second World War, American politics has been marked by a familiar pattern: both major parties moving further to the right in unison. This shift accelerated dramatically in the 1970’s, when wages broke from productivity and profits began accumulating at the top.
Over the past forty years, an immense transfer of wealth has created a second Gilded Age of giant trusts, political corruption, and a new economic royalty.
This shift to the right would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Democratic Party. As the major left party in America, working people have looked to it to represent their interests over the interests of big business. We’ve entrusted the Democrats with framing the political debate from the left.
Lacking a voice in government and struggling with tightening budgets, an exasperated working class has turned to the Democrats for decades to level the playing field. Each time, the party has reversed its mandate and carried the nation further into Wall Street’s pocket.
The Democratic Party has long since traded its New Deal alliance with labor for a partnership with big business. After reaching for change within the Party throughout so many elections and receiving nothing but broken promises, a desperate electorate cast itself into arms of a xenophobic authoritarian.
Working people need a party that speaks for them, not just during election years, but in government. We cannot revolutionize this country within the two-party system that has plunged it into oligarchy.
This election decimated the Democratic Party and turned the presidency, Congress, the Senate, the Supreme Court, statehouses, and governorships over to the Republicans. But from the ruins, comes a historic opportunity to break the downward spiral and start anew.
Now is the time to build a people’s party.
2. History is on Our Side
We know that a new party is possible because Bernie Sanders has already built it. During the Democratic Primary, Sanders assembled a new electoral majority in America. He brought together progressives, independents, the working class and young people, many of them from communities of color, indigenous communities, and the LGBTQ community.
America’s electoral system only permits two large parties to exist at any one time, one on the left and one on the right. That’s why there have only ever been two major national parties in our country. The spoiler effect always causes factions to coalesce around a single dominant left or right party.
This means that the minute we exceed 50 percent of the left’s support in the US, the spoiler effect will cause the rest of the left to coalesce around our new party. That is how it has always worked throughout US history.
Sanders and his progressive policies already enjoy the support of more than half of the Democratic Party base over the establishment and its neoliberal policies. Once you add Sanders’ working class voters, young voters, independents, anti-establishment voters, and other supporters, our people’s party has an overwhelming majority over the Democrats, making us the new left party in America.
Because of the spoiler effect, the threshold for replacing the Democratic Party is not half of the electorate, it’s half of the left electorate. Sanders’ has the former and far exceeds the latter. Moreover, our party will be capable of inspiring massive volunteer activity and large turnout on elections while the Democratic Party cannot.
The creation of the Democratic and Republican parties offers a successful model for building a new party in America. After an establishment party ceases to represent its base, popular politicians break from the old party to cement a new electoral majority.
Abraham Lincoln joined with other former Whigs to create the new Republican Party in the 1850’s. Martin Van Buren joined with other former Democratic-Republicans to form the new Democratic Party in the 1830’s. Both new parties quickly assembled a popular majority and both men became president just a few years later.
The formation of each new party ushered in a decades-long period of dominance.
The Democrats dominated the federal government for 30 years after Martin Van Buren assembled it. From 1831 to 1861, they controlled the presidency 71 percent of the time. As well as the House 73 percent and the Senate 80 percent of the time. For about half of that period, the Democrats enjoyed simultaneous control over the presidency and both houses of Congress.
The Republicans dominated the federal government for 72 years after Lincoln and others assembled it. From 1861 to 1933, they controlled the presidency 72 percent of the time. As well as the House 64 percent and the Senate 83 percent of the time. For about half of that period, the Republicans also enjoyed simultaneous control over the presidency and both houses of Congress.
Sanders can be the Lincoln of our times, found a party for working people and usher in a 21st century progressive era.
3. A New Majority
A poll taken two days before the general election shows that Sanders’ progressive populism would have trounced Trump’s authoritarian populism by a remarkable 12 points. It would have been the largest margin of victory in more than 30 years, nearly doubling Obama’s 2008 landslide win which produced large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.
Issue polls consistently show that the majority of Americans are progressive. Their political stances read like Sanders’ campaign platform. They want to reduce inequality, raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy, get money out of politics, institute universal health care, repair our crumbling infrastructure, make college tuition free, take on climate change, regulate Wall Street, raise the minimum wage, institute equal pay, guarantee paid sick leave, and much more. The large majority of Americans stand with Sanders’ progressive populism and an even larger majority of Democrats do.
A Gallup poll taken during the primaries showed that more people believe that Sanders has the makings of a great leader than any other candidate in the race. Americans ranked him as the top candidate in six out of the twelve key leadership traits: inspiring, courageous, consistent, caring, focused and visionary.
In his home state of Vermont, where voters are most familiar with him and his policies, Sanders was as popular with Republican voters as the leading Republican primary candidates. In September, a poll showed that he has an 87 percent approval rating among his constituents, making him the most popular senator in the country. During the primaries, Sanders carried voters who identify as liberal as well as voters who identify as conservative. His progressive populist appeal cuts across party lines to working people of all creeds.
Young people, who have been at the forefront of progressive change throughout history, support Sanders and his policies in record numbers.
This tectonic political shift towards a new party has been years in the making. Affiliation with the establishment parties has been falling for a decade. Only 29 percent of Americans still identify as Democrats and 26 percent identify as Republicans. In contrast, 42 percent of Americans now consider themselves independents. If you thought of independents as a party, they would be the biggest party in America.
A Princeton Study published in 2014 found that the majority of the American public has a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” The study shows that the US is no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy. All of these statistics explain why 57 percent of Americans now say that we need a third party.
The Democrats and Republicans no longer debate between liberalism and conservatism. The only question is how fast America should move to corporate authoritarianism. Republicans say sprint and Democrats say jog, but the direction is the same.
Now the working class has peered behind the curtain and seen through the scam that the major parties are running. Almost across the board, faith in institutions has fallen to historic lows. People have lost confidence in Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court, public schools, the criminal justice system, television news, newspapers, banks, big business and more.
Put simply, these figures represent the loss of the consent of the governed. Our government has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
The nature of revolutions is for social pressure to build up for many years as problems go unresolved. Confidence in institutions plummets and the government loses its legitimacy, but the system persists. Then suddenly, a triggering event punctuates the steady decline and the system snaps. Institutions, like the Democratic Party, that appeared invulnerable just weeks prior are suddenly teetering. Change happens quickly at that point. The old order is thrown out and a new one rises in rapid succession. The establishment in this country is always one large occupy-Washington movement away from collapse.
4. A Historic Resistance
Trump is a false prophet. Over the past few weeks, an enthusiastic Wall Street has recognized and praised one of its own. He wasted no time in packing his administration with the billionaires and lobbyists that he promised to “drain” from the “swamp of Washington.” Trump will inevitably disappoint the working people who swept him into power. The question is, will progressives be ready to welcome them into a new genuinely anti-establishment party when he does?
Presidential elections have shown that fear isn’t enough to motivate voter turnout. Americans are only driven to the polls in large numbers when they have something to believe in.
In 2008, the country saw the highest voter turnout in 40 years. Americans came out in record numbers, believing that they were electing hope and change. In contrast, turnout fell to a 16-year low in this election, when neither major party candidate gave the electorate much to look forward to. From 2008 to 2016, the number of Democrats who said their vote was chiefly motivated by opposition to the Republican candidate more than doubled. Turnout fell when people weren’t enthusiastic about the candidates.
Millions at home and abroad are counting on us to mount an effective resistance against Trump. In order to do so, we must give the electorate something to believe in, not just something to oppose. People are craving a promise of better days; a North Star to guide them through the long night ahead.
A resistance run from the establishment party that voters just rejected will not inspire enough Americans off their couch and into the streets. On the other hand, a resistance run from a new people’s party, one that lays out a path to ultimate populist victory, will galvanize Americans in record numbers.
We’ve already seen this dynamic at play. Recall the stadiums full of energized Bernie supporters rallying for change in city after city. A resistance from a people’s party will be equivalent to the oceans of people that the Sanders campaign mobilized, compared to the tumbleweeds that the Clinton campaign could muster.
Each time that Trump reneges on his economic populism, our party will be there to offer voters a real alternative to the establishment. A united left will fill the streets blocking him at every turn and laying the foundation for a massive counter-reaction in two and four years. Our party will replace the Democratic Party in short order, just like Lincoln’s Republicans replaced the Whigs.
Outside of the opinions of Washington-insiders, the Democratic Party is tarnished beyond repair. The American people are wise to its corporate allegiance and there is no changing that impression. It will not foment an effective resistance to Trump and people will suffer for its impotence.
Social movements succeed when they don’t succumb to incrementalism. Our principles are the source of our power.
Sanders began his campaign with no money, little name recognition, an anointed opposition, an antagonistic media, and a hostile party establishment. Any one of those hurdles would have doomed a lesser candidate. But we were successful nonetheless because there is a currency more valuable than all of those things: integrity. Sanders’ reputation is the source of his power. The source from which all else springs.
Our movement wins when we cast out the conventional wisdom of incrementalism and shoot for the stars. Sanders ran as a democratic socialist in a country scarred by 45 years of Cold War propaganda. Yet the Democratic Party still had to cheat in a hundred different ways to prevent him from becoming the nominee.
Raising our demands doesn’t just invigorate the movement, it’s good strategy. During the Civil Rights Movement, Whites confronted with Malcolm X’s radical message of Black liberation flocked to Martin Luther King’s peaceful call for equality. Following the New Deal era, an 88 percent top tax rate sounded reasonable compared FDR’s proposed maximum wage. Faced with Bernie’s call for free public college, the Clinton campaign consented to free college for the working class. Movements succeed when they aim high and refuse to back down. They lose when they become absorbed into the establishment.
Authoritarian populism cannot be defeated from the establishment that created it. It is as true now as it has always been. We need a new people’s party to galvanize resistance and show us the light at the end of the tunnel, a future where our vision will be realized and our struggle will be vindicated. Never underestimate the power of hope in dark times. In the words of a forthcoming Star Wars movie, “Rebellions are built on hope!”
5. The Next Recession
Another recession is looming and neither Trump nor the Democrats will offer working people any solace. When you place the electoral rebellion that seized both parties this year into the context of economic cycles, you realize that Americans waged a political revolution at the peak of the boom-bust cycle. When financial recklessness crashes the world economy again, a fury will erupt in this country the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1930’s.
Americans will no longer be content to wait in an orderly line to cast a ballot for change. The country will be poised for a real revolution, similar to the one that surrounded the Icelandic Parliament and forced the government to resign in response to the Great Recession.
If progressives are not ready to direct the public’s rage into a constructive systemic overhaul, we run a grave risk of the authoritarian right hijacking the narrative and ushering in nightmares that we can scarcely imagine. We would be remiss to ignore the lessons of history.
We could see the full-scale implementation of Trump’s most racist policies. Or he might start a war, as leaders often do to distract from dire domestic conditions. He may invade Iran or flood Syria with ground troops, either of which would provoke a war with Russia.
This crash is likely to be worse than 2008 because the banks are larger, corporations and governments are drowning in debt, and central banks used up their monetary policy ammunition in response to the first Great Recession. The traditional monetary mechanisms to stimulate a recovery are exhausted and will provide no respite this time.
The nature of the recovery will also be different, in that millions of jobs will be permanently replaced by robots and intelligent algorithms, never to return. The establishment parties have nothing to say to this. We will.
When the economy crashes, people will scorn and abandon the parties that brought them ruin. If Americans don’t find a populist home on the left, people furious with the system will rush to the only populism they see: Trump’s authoritarian populism. Just like they did in this election.
The global financial system is so fragile that were central banks to raise interest rates or stem quantitative easing, it would trigger the collapse. It is of the utmost importance that progressives launch a populist party before such a scenario can materialize. We must do it now, while the opportunity to carry the revolution to the left is still open.
At a time when people are pouring out of the establishment in droves and another recession awaits, it’s highly dangerous for the only electorally organized form of populism in this country to be on the right wing.
The situation in this country is reaching a breaking point, where the revolution will either break to left wing populism or right wing authoritarianism. If change is ultimately to go towards the left, it’s imperative that we give populists a major progressive party.
6. A Transformation at Our Fingertips
Social science teaches us that achieving critical mass is easier than we think. “Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.”
Another study examined the past hundred years worth of revolutions around the world. Author and political scientist Erica Chenoweth discovered that, “No single campaign in that period failed after they’d achieved the active and sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” The study also found that nonviolent movements were about four times larger and much more successful.
We are way beyond these numbers, we just need to align and exert ourselves.
Prompted by many of the same concerns, anti-establishment parties are rising in Europe. In Greece, the democratic socialist Syriza Party overthrew one of the establishment parties and gained control of the government in 2015. In Spain, the left wing populist Podemos Party was founded in 2014. One hundred thousand people joined the party in just the first 20 days. Last year it became the third largest party in parliament and today it’s the second largest party in Spain.
Let’s join the international rebellion and stand in solidarity with the billions of people around the globe who are influenced by American foreign policy.
In the words of Noam Chomsky: “In the US, there is basically one party - the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population.”
Chomsky, Michelle Alexander, Naomi Klein, Cornel West, Chris Hedges and many other scholars are telling us that the Democratic Party is too entrenched and that we need an independent alternative to succeed.
Starting a progressive party in America is an inevitable task that we must carry out if we intend to halt the slide into authoritarianism and create a system that guarantees a dignified standard of living for all. There is no better time than now, when the public is clamouring for a reordering of our political system.
7. A Future that Almost Was
We came close enough to President Bernie Sanders to taste victory. He would have taken office with the biggest mandate in modern political history. It would have been a glorious rebuke of the establishment and an epic triumph of progressive populism over xenophobic authoritarianism.
Throughout the Sander campaign, I warned superdelegates and Democratic elites of the great risk in nominating another establishment candidate at a time when the people were determined to escape it.
I inundated them in polling data, swing state numbers, favorability ratings, and electability memos. I tried to explain that the public’s deeply entrenched anger with the system had reached a boiling point. But the party wasn’t interested.
The Clinton Campaign and the Democratic Party robbed us of that glorious future when they rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders, despite every indication that the general electorate did not want Clinton. The party’s devotion to the establishment was so consuming that they picked the least popular nominee in history over the most popular politician in America.
Democrats had every opportunity to prevent Trump’s ascension. President Obama could have kept his campaign promises to reduce inequality and alleviate the suffering of the working class. Instead his tenure was marked by a sharp increase in inequality. He also pursued job-killing trade deals, started new wars, and affirmed that the banks are above the law by refusing to prosecute financial executives.
The Democratic Party could have allowed the voters to nominate Sanders. The party could have refrained from intentionally elevating Trump with it’s “pied piper” strategy. Hillary Clinton could have adopted a more progressive platform. In each instance, the party’s corporate mentality led the way. President Donald Trump is a creation of the Democratic Party.
My time on the Sanders campaign taught me that the party sees progressives as the enemy. Its concern for working people doesn’t register compared to toeing the establishment line. Discussing the relative merits of Sanders’ policies compared to Clinton’s was the last thing Democratic elites wanted to do. The thought of supporting Sanders out of principle was an foreign concept. Only a small minority had the courage to endorse him.
The Party establishment is addicted to corporate money. They have contempt for working people and progressive policies. They spend their days wooing donors. They endorsed Clinton’s neoliberalism. They think they’re entitled to the progressive vote. When they retire they become Wall Street lobbyists. And they see no moral dilemma in rigging an election to ensure that this vicious descent into oligarchy never ends.
There is no future for progressives in the Democratic Party.
The Party delivered a country on the cusp of progressive renewal to an authoritarian. Our movement finally went on offense against the establishment during the Sanders campaign. If we stay inside the confines of the party and define our movement in opposition to Trump, we will begin to lose our progressive character. We will become defensive instead of assertive. Reactive instead of proactive. Instead of pressing for single payer we’ll settle for not privatizing Medicare. That’s exactly what the establishment is hoping for. That we will lose sight of our vision and retreat to a defensive pattern.
A new progressive party gives us a path to victory.
8. Don’t Fall for the Classic “Reform” Trick
Reforming the Democratic Party has been the progressive movement’s strategy for decades. It always goes further to the right. Put simply, it’s time to stop doing things that don’t work.
Establishment Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Harry Reid are supporting Rep. Keith Ellison for Party Chair because they know that as long as they keep the progressive movement contained inside the party apparatus, they will continue to control it. They know that progressives are more strongly poised to break the shackles of the establishment and form their own party than they have even been. The prospect terrifies them.
The kind of reform we’re talking about goes well beyond operating a tumor out of the Democratic Party. Corporate money and a contempt for progressive policies runs through the party’s veins. By the time you were done cutting away the corruption, there would be almost nothing left of the party.
To reform the party, one would have to replace the most of the members of Congress, the senators, the governors, the state legislators, the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC, the DLCC, the DGA, the state party chairs, the state central committees, and the staffs of these institutions.
We don’t have 30 years to navigate stacked, arcane rules and pry every entrenched official from their fiefdom in the state parties. Even if we could accomplish this absurd task, we would still be left with a tarnished party brand. If such a thing was possible, the many reform movements that have preceded ours would have done it already.
Even if you threw Ellison into this toxic mix, you can’t mold a corrupt piece of clay into a populist hub, no matter how many configurations you try. It would be like making him chairman of the Republican Party and asking him to “reform” it into a progressive party. No one believes that’s possible, yet they’re equally ludicrous. There is hardly anymore appetite in the Democratic apparatus for progressivism than there is in the Republican Party.
It’s the same story with appointing Sen. Elizabeth Warren as vice chair of the conference and Sanders as chair of outreach, a newly created position. Democrats are merely admitting that they have a public relations problem. We’re going to hear some spiffy new soundbites, but behind the facade, the party will keep raking in the corporate cash. The Party sees the world through the lens of the establishment and it won’t have an epiphany about the need to serve working people any time soon.
As if looking to confirm this, just days after the election, the Democrats held a planning meeting at a luxury Washington hotel with billionaire George Soros, financial elites and other rich donors. How many times must they fool us before we say “Enough is enough!”? Leave the Democrats to their antics. They’ll be fighting over an ant hill when we create our people’s party.
We’ve been settling for the Democrats for decades and we have little to show for it besides Trump. Routing the progressive movement back into the establishment parties for so long is what got us into this mess. Playing it safe turned out to be extremely dangerous.
The movement has spent an untold amount of energy battling and “reforming” America’s supposed left party, only to receive endless betrayal in return. Reforming the Democratic Party has become code for, “fall in line progressives.” We need an intervention in the movement. To realize for once and for all that the Democratic Party will never be a home to working people.
If we aren’t willing to move beyond it now, then when? To what appalling lengths would the Democrats have to go before we seize an opportunity to leave the establishment parties behind? What line could you possibly draw that they haven’t already crossed?
9. Our Finest Moment
Amid the ruins of this election lies a historic opportunity. If we take it, we will galvanize a massive resistance to Trump and revolutionize America.
It’s our move and the establishment is holding its breath, watching and praying that our movement will recede. Hoping that we’ll let this opportunity pass.
Regardless of how you look at it, launching a people’s party is easier and more promising than trying to reform the Democratic Party for the hundredth time.
Our party will represent the views of the overwhelming majority on the issues. It will make Bernie’s electoral coalition into a permanent new majority. It will give disillusioned Trump supporters a genuinely anti-establishment home. It will ensure that the revolution breaks towards progressivism instead of authoritarianism. It will replace an establishment party with a progressive party. It will break our country’s spiral into oligarchy. And it will give our movement a path to victory.
We have just witnessed the most spectacular failure of an attempt to defeat authoritarian populism from an establishment position. If our movement aspires to more than slowing authoritarianism and neoliberalism until we get both, we must shake off the inertia and create our own party.
Starting a new party will take work, but the hardest part is simply deciding to do so. The minute we do, it will take off of its own accord and blossom into something beautiful and transformative. The ingredients are at our fingertips, just waiting to be combined.
Once we’ve replaced the Democrats, America will be left with one progressive populist party and one authoritarian populist party. One party for working people and another for big business and reactionary conservatism. We will sweep like wildfire, winning across the country and changing the course of American politics, just like Sanders would have demolished Trump.
This disastrous election won’t be in vain if it marks the moment that we liberate ourselves from the political establishment.
Ours will be the party of the future, of expanding the frontiers of human freedom and well being. The old guard will crumble. We’ll once again feel the energy, hope, inspiration and power of fighting for the world we know is possible.
10. Our New Lincoln
Together with his fellow congressional progressives and campaign surrogates, Bernie Sanders can be the founder of our people’s party.
Bernie is already an independent and he plans on remaining one. All we need now is for other congressional progressives to switch their party affiliation in unison. For them to say, “Hey, let’s all join Bernie as progressive independents. And while we’re at it, let’s all be independents under the same banner.”
After the primary, Sanders worked with Democrats to prevent Trump from winning. Not even his help could save the Party establishment from a public desperate for change. Now that the election is over, he’s free to form a truly progressive party and make permanent his working class majority.
We will be the face of the resistance. Each time that Trump and the Republicans assault minorities and working people, we will rise in greater numbers until we are an unstoppable tidal wave of progressive change.
We will shatter Podemos’ record in Spain and register a million people to the people’s party in the first twenty days. We can encourage each new joining member to write a short anecdote on social media about why it’s personal for them. We will never stop trending.
We can launch with a founding convention and massive rally, broadcast to the country, where members could construct and sign the new platform. Next we place the platform online and open it to public signatures, as a huge national referendum for change.
Bernie could use his millions of progressive emails and vast social media reach to build the new party. His surrogates could tour America speaking to the real change that it represents. His supporters would set the internet ablaze making certain that the entire country knows about it within days and learns more with each passing day.
We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers and sisters on the picket lines and deploy to front line sites like the DAPL. We form state and local constituent branches that invite their Democratic and Republican members of Congress to debate the issues with us in townhalls across the country.
The party would adhere to Bernie’s high standards of integrity and refuse donations from corporations, billionaires, super PACs and dark money groups. A party of, by and for the people.
In 2018, we take on the entire political establishment with a two-tiered strategy. We challenge Republicans in districts where Bernie’s message resonates but Democrats have been incapable of making gains. We challenge establishment Democrats in safe blue districts that voted for Sanders in the primaries this year.
In 2020, we run a presidential candidate. Our overwhelming majority on the left leads any remaining Democratic voters to join us in the general election. Our progressive populism demolishes the Republicans after four years of Trump, and sweeps in our down-ballot candidates in Congress and statehouses. After this election, our progressive party is the new left party in America. Our working class majority is left with a corporate authoritarian party as its only opposition. A 21st century progressive national consensus leads us into a future to believe in.
Reflecting on this day, historians will note that for decades the establishment parties had grown increasingly removed from their working class base. The final straw came in the election of 2016, when Democratic Party bosses blocked a beloved progressive populist during the primaries, resulting in the election of an authoritarian president. Shortly afterwards, Bernie Sanders led progressives in Congress and across the country in founding a new party to represent the interests of the working class. The People’s Party quickly replaced its Democratic Party rival, marking the end of the Second Gilded Age and the beginning of the Progressive Era four years later.
Bernie is a man of the people. If we show him that we’re ready to found our own progressive party, he will listen. Our darkest hour will be our finest moment.
“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
- Victor Hugo