Welcome to the NH Progressive Organizing Project!
(website under construction - last edited 02DEC10 - check back periodically)
People are worried; many out of work and/or losing homes. Prices are going up everywhere. But administration economists claim inflation has stopped, so they recommend foregoing social security increases and cutting other social programs. Wage inflation has indeed halted for many still working. But grocery store prices debunk claims of these insular wizards that inflation is over. Banks and insurance companies are laughing at the taxpayers who bailed them out. The rich get richer, and the poor poorer, in this obscene "jobless recovery". The US has the largest income gap of any advanced country today.
Under these conditions, Palin, Dobbs, Beck, et al, are folksy and visible critics to many well-meaning people who are hurting badly. The much smaller left is either marginalized or apologizing for Obama and the other Beltway Boys. Without progressive vision, many can fall prey to scapegoating myths - those who pull the strings try to pull us apart. We are not alarmists, but at least one deep thinker on the left (Noam Chomsky) perceives the peril of fascism here. See http://www.progressive.org/wx041210.html
Contrary to many party hacks and TV pundits, the recent election repudiated middle-of-the-road liberalism. It did not endorse right-wing ideology. For example, all but one of the 88 congressional sponsors of H.R. 676, Rep. John Conyers’ single-payer universal health care bill, were re-elected to office on November 2, often by hefty margins. People want strong government action on their behalf, not just bogus hope hype.
Nationally, in every incarnation, the Progressive Party has done better than any other 20th century third party (except in 1948, when the short-lived segregationist Thurmond Dixiecrats actually tallied a few more votes). A fourth resurrection is a long shot: however, conditions could change the highly improbable to something just immensely difficult.
Meanwhile, although politics isn't merely local, it certainly starts there. And it is starting here and there all over the country as more and more voters (and politicians of principle, not a total oxymoron!) become disillusioned with the periodic Punch-and-Judy contests now dominated by the banks and large corporations. Our first vital task in New Hampshire is to encourage progressive Independents. There have been, and will be, many - and they need our help and support.
What steps should New Hampshire Progressives take? The Vermont Progressive Party, in existence for just eleven years, already has a solid track record, winning many local elections and having a salutary effect on the major parties in our neighboring state. We should study what the VPP did and how they did it. See the VPP Party Platform at the "Principles and Issues" button. Due to differing conditions here, formation of a New Hampshire Progressive Party may be delayed, but we cannot afford to wait. While anticipating such a party, we must support independent progressive electoral efforts in New Hampshire starting NOW. In a year or so, like black flies in May, the "lesser-evil" arguments will have more force.
Progressive leaders lead by identifying the situation as it is, and then explaining what to do about it.
What are some New Hampshire issues progressives should identify? The recent claim of a 600 million state budget shortfall is the first shoe to hit the ground, and with the recent Republican sweep, the second shoe will drop soon - draconian social cuts that will no doubt exceed what our "bipartisan" Democratic governor could get away with in the past.
Due to the constrained fiscal climate and tax attitudes, gambling has been aggressively promoted, even by certain prominent Democrats. Gambling constitutes a highly regressive tax, in addition to its other social negatives. There is a danger of more gambling here, in spite of Lynch's stated opposition.
Can we envision a state-wide single-payer universal health care system here in New Hampshire? Vermont and California are close to achieving it. Other states are in various stages of considering it.
Regards from Rumney NH,
Marcosa Santiago MD
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