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Ten New Year's Resolutions for Progressives
by Carl J. Mayer
December 28, 2004

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1) I will never, ever, let so-called progressive leaders and corporate Democrats tell me I have to vote for a pro-war candidate to end a war and achieve peace.

2) I will never, ever, vote for another Democratic candidate who voted for trade deals that ship American jobs overseas and doom American workers to compete with child, slave and brutalized labor abroad.

3) I will never again buy the argument that in the interest of expediency and winning I have to settle for a corporate Democratic candidate. From 1980 through 2008, the Democrats have used this argument every year. The result: the Republicans have had, and will have, control of the White House in 20 out of 28 years. There is one word for this strategy: losing.

4) I will never be Shrummed again. The architect of the Kerry campaign, Bob Shrum, typifies the corporate Democratic consultant that has driven the Democratic Party over a cliff by recasting Democrats as Republicans. He is 0-8 in presidential elections. (But he collects at least 15% of the millions of dollars of corporate money he raises for the party; good for Bob, bad for progressives.)

5) I will never, ever vote for another corporate Democrat who refuses to stand up for single-payer national health insurance that covers all Americans and eliminates the wasteful insurance bureaucracy and cracks down on Drug Company gouging. It was good enough for Harry Truman; it should be good enough for today's leaders.

6) I will never again believe billionaires (e.g. George Soros) and so-called labor leaders who are flown around the country on corporate jets (e.g. Steve Rosenthal of the AFL-CIO) who tell me that progressives have to abandon their principles and issues and just concentrate on tactics and turnout to win a race.

7) I will never, ever again believe internet entrepreneurs (e.g. who tell me that we can fix the Democratic party by sitting in front of computers and sending money to headquarters rather than organizing and fighting for the democratic principles that made this country great.

8) I will never, ever believe a group of so-called leaders and celebrities (e.g. Michael Moore, Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon) that voted on principle for Ralph Nader in 2000, and then turn on Nader and his principles in the very next election. As a progressive, I will not be led by people who play into the hands of corporate Democrats by attacking -- with corporate money -- fellow progressives.

9) I will never, ever accept any advice on how to run a political party by a group of corporate Democratic Leadership Council, tasseled-loafer wearing sell-outs who have managed to lose at the national, state and local level for twenty years. These people have convinced Americans and progressives to abandon the economic programs that made the Democratic Party great and instead play politics on Republican turf: culture, values etc. This is like coming to a knife fight with a badminton racquet.

10) I will stop deluding myself. The lion will not lie down with the lamb. Progressives either have to devote themselves to removing corporate lobbyists and interests from the perennial loser Democratic Party or they have to build their own party. Anything else is a fool's errand.

Carl J. Mayer, a lawyer, is the author of Shakedown: The Fleecing of the Garden State and Public Domain, Private Dominion. He can be reached at 609-462-7979. His email is

Other Articles by Carl Mayer

* Michael Moore: Court Jester for Corporate Criminals
* Kerry and the Sopranos: Why New Jersey is in Play
* No Self-Respecting Progressive or Green Can Vote for David Cobb
* History is on the Side of a Nader Candidacy
* Cobb's Cool-Aid