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Time for a Third Political Party?

March 18, 2013

Diane Ravitch’s blog post today referenced an article in the Jacobin quarterly by Micah Uetrecht titled “Strike For America: The CTU and the Democrats”. In her post Ravitch provided the following quote from that article:

“The union has been unafraid to identify the education reform agenda pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his party nationally as an attempt to exacerbate inequalities within the education system, strip teachers of power and erode their standards of living, and chip away at public education as an institution, and to call such Democrats enemies. Rather than continuing an insider strategy that has netted so little for the rest of labor over the years, the CTU has entered into open opposition with the neoliberal wing of the party.”

After reading Uetrecht’s article and a comment on Ravitch’s blog in response to the article, I commented:

I agree that we need a “powerful alternative to the two entrenched political parties” … but I think that alternative may lie within the democratic party itself. I think it is time for unions to back only progressive democrats and if there ISN’T one running in a given district they should pour money into those districts where a true progressive IS running. I think that erosion of support for democrats AND republicans who back school privatization is a sign that many voters are catching on to what both parties are up to. The Progressive’s “Back to Work” budget isn’t a pale alternative to the Ryan budget: it assertively backs the kinds of initiatives we need to reduce poverty and provide more equal opportunities for all.

As noted in an earlier post, it seems to me that NEITHER party is addressing the needs of the majority of voters in this country. Instead, BOTH parties embrace nearly identical positions on de-regulation and privatization of public services, albeit to different degrees. At the same time, BOTH parties completely ignore a large group of disenfranchised voters who sit on the sidelines because they accurately perceive no difference between either party.


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