Michael Moore’s to do list for a revolution: an intervention for liberals

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/14/michael-moores-to-do-list-f.html


I am not sure if trying to rehabilitate the democratic party is as revolutionary as replacing it, but either would certainly be an improvement.


In most cases, I side with Michael Moore, but in this case I think he’s dead wrong. The democratic party connot reasonably be considered a party for the left, for liberals, for progressives. The way the DNC treated Bernie Sanders is unforgivable, and most especially today, those willing to forgive and forget and give the blue team still more money, time, atrention,and love… these people are deluding themselves. The way Sanders was shut out could have been a means justified by the ends, if Hillary had won. But now? Hell No!

Michael Moore still has my attention, but I vehemently disagree with him on this one. It’s not the democratic party that’s broken beyond repair, it’s the entire two party system. Let’s be honest with ourselves about that.


The Rebel State California is already participating. Let’s keep up the good work Americans!


Not only was Moore right in that Trump would win, he was right in how Trump would win – notably that the Rust Belt and Angry White vote would prove instrumental in getting Trump elected.

While I agree with @anansi133 that the Democratic party is fundamentally broken, I don’t see a true multi-party system coming to fruition in our lifetime. I’d welcome a reinvention that sees the Democratic party become a true Progressive voice versus being the spineless “Republican lite” party.


That’s certainly been the conventional wisdom. And conventional wisdom hasn’t panned out very well for either party. When Hillary started asking republicans for votes and for money, she helped me notice something that’s easy to forget: parties are a means to an end. Ultimately it’s not the party that needs to be steered, it’s the nation.


I say just leave the Democratic party at the side of the highway as establishment roadkill.

Step one: Start a grassroots effort in each state to implement Instant Runoff/Ranked Choice voting.
Step two: Complete passage of the National Popular Vote bill in each state (or at the very least, those that really matter).
Step three: Now that third parties are FINALLY an actual, viable, choice, start one! A good one. A party that has term limits for its organizational core leaders to avoid corruption, and can reinvent itself as needed to meet the changing concerns of progressives.


The notion of someone as either a “Republican” or “Democrat” is so deeply ingrained into our national political identity that I simply can’t imagine a system with more than two major parties. I’d love to see this happen, but how?

Even with the previous election having two deeply unpopular candidates, the 3rd party vote still was still only like 7% of the total vote.


The first order of business for the new DNC chair should be to convene a private conference of those Dem politicians who Get It (e.g. Franken, Duckworth, Gabbard, Warren). Bring in guys like Plouffe and Axelrod who actually know how to win 21st century elections. No Clintons or their cronies allowed. No clergy or bankers. No advertising execs or social media gurus or pollsters. Sanders should be a keynote speaker. So should Moore.

Day 1 focus: what went wrong and making amends to our voters. Day 2 focus: identifying and nurturing new talent for 2018, from dogcatcher to Senator. Day 3 focus: a return to core progressive values. The theme of the conference should be “Adapt or Die,” because that is what’s on the line for the party.

If the new DNC chair is Ellison I can see something like that happening. If it’s Dean (as much as I like him) it has zero chance of happening.


I am convinced that a very large reason for that is the fear of “throwing away” one’s vote, due to both the Electoral College and the lack of Instant Runoff/Ranked Choice voting. Fix just those two things, and third parties could become a real factor in U.S. federal elections. I would ABSOLUTELY have voted third party this time around, with Hillary as a backup, if I could have done so without fear of what ended up coming to pass.


You know, I’d completely forgotten to check to see if Johnson got over 5%…

I agree, but that’s baked into the system along with a winner-take-all Electoral College. Changing that situation will require a party of the left (I use the term loosely in re: the DNC) with the will and the power that will push to reform that broken system. Right now they don’t even have the will to make changes such as:

  1. All Electors to be allocated by percentage of popular vote and to be accountable to that vote.

  2. Preference voting as a national standard

  3. Minimum standards for electronic voting machines (receipts and paper backups, open source code, etc.)

  4. Voting day a national paid holiday.

  5. No campaign ads or airtime for declared candidates 200 days or more before election day (I’d love to see it get down to 6-8 weeks like other civilised countries, but I’m realistic).

Do those things (none of them are impossible) and then maybe we’ll start seeing real campaign finance reform. The Democratic party can be a vehicle for that, but first its leaders must choose: adapt or die.


They can’t do it nationally. But could, say, California pass it, and show people in other states hope much better it is?


I suspect that the intention is not so much “rehabilitate” as “eviscerate and rebuild”.


Maine’s doing that already.


Absolutely. What I’m talking about isn’t limited to action at the federal level. Some states also allocate Electors in the way I described above. The Dems have to focus on a pipeline that starts on local boards of education and goes all the way up to POTUS.

If California Dems have the guts to push it through, not only will they still win due to massive goodwill but other states will adopt the system as quickly as they’re about to adopt pot legalisation.


Even with IRV and no EC we’d still have FPTP and Duverger’s Law would still leave us with a two party system. So far as I understand things (which isn’t incredibly far), even with IRV you’d still have tactical voting reinforcing a duopoly. To fix things would require a rewrite of the Constitution, which would be more likely to give us a worse system than what we have than to fix anything, given the influence of American corporate oligarchy/plutocracy.


I propose we establish a Pirate Party!

Who’s with me?


That’s OK, because with preference voting (or IRV or Ranked Choice) the parties of the duopoly will have adapt themselves toward supporters of popular third parties in their neighbourhood of the political compass or be replaced very quickly in the duopoly by one of those insurgent parties.


Oh, I don’t doubt IRV would improve things, and I’m all for it. It would at a minimum help improve the dynamics of the elections since slagging/demonizing your opponent would be far riskier. I expect it would also push parties into better representing/delivering for their constituencies (for better or worse, depending on the constituency). I was just doubting it would eliminate Duverger’s Law and open up a realm of third parties being a real factor in U.S. federal elections and the comment I was replying to suggested.