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No Difference

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Reply with quote  #16 
OK, yes, just want to make sure we are talking about the same aspect of our failing party.

When I say failing, I mean exactly that same top-down bottom-emptiness.  I think much more emphasis needs to be placed on recruiting the candidates, which was what started this thread.  This needs to come before the petitioning efforts.  We already know, several times over, that obtaining ballot access, albeit a bit of work, is very achievable.  We should not worry so much about it.

So, maybe now this thread can finally settle into an investigation of how we might go about obtaining the candidates.   I see there are several challenges.

One issue is determining whether a particular district is Left-leaning enough to elect a JP candidate.  Some districts in this country (or state) are drawn so right-slanted (on purpose, by corrupt redistricting commissions) that it may be impossible to have a successful run there.  Should we run a good candidate anyway, even if the money and energy might be better spent in another district where the possibility looks better?  Or should we forego running a good candidate which might frustrate members, not to mention a hot-to-trot candidate?

Next issue is determining if a district can be won running a specific candidate versus a different choice, once we know if we can win that district at all.  It is the candidate that can make all the difference in this case.  Do we rely on a "slate" drawn up by leadership or allow the membership to choose a candidate based on popularity and not necessarily the desired attributes that reflect the party's principles?  (In a moment, we will be hearing from the purist v compromise crowd, but let me finish this.)

Most of all, is our candidate really up to the task?  An example is one Pat Noble who ran for office along the NJ shore.  I guess he was likeable enough by those who were supporting him, but when I heard what he was saying to the press, I wanted to shrivel up and hide; his message was nothing like what his party stood for.  So, inconsistent messaging is a big problem.  The best way to avoid that is to make sure that candidates we choose keep their messaging in speeches, statements to the press, and other public appearances in line with the party principles, perhaps with guidance from leadership?  These candidates serve our party, not the other way around.  It is not unfair, and really only in our party membership's interests, to demand this arrangement.

In addition to making public pronouncements that are out of sync with our message, there is also the problem of candidates appearing without preparation.   Now, I understand these people have jobs and other concerns, but we are running a political party here, not a gossip post.  We can't have candidates making up off-the-cuff remarks that misrepresent us, or worse, are wholesale misfactual and/or misleading.   Those kinds of errors lead to credibility problems for the candidate and the party, and can be embarrassing and could compromise further efforts.  The best way to avoid this would be to prep candidates before all appearances to make sure he/she is up-to-date with the facts.

Then there is behavior.  Candidates need to act a bit refined while they are presenting to the public.  Awkward speech, slang, speaking in cliches, over-gesticulating, hesitation, shifting, avoiding eye contact, are just some of the things they need to check themselves on.  They don't play well in public, and they look even worse on the endless replays on the 7 and 10 news shows.  Perhaps taking some public speaking classes might help, maybe even an acting class, or Tai Chi or ballet.  I don't know.

Finally, of course, it comes down to being able to think on one's feet.  This seems to be the skill of only the most accomplished politicians.  It gives the public confidence in the candidate, and in turn, in our party.  One major trap that every one of us falls into, unfortunately, is the tendency to want to attack opponents (ad hominem and its related fallacies).  Worse yet is attacking the opponent's constituencies -- that can be deadly, and even a later retraction or apology does not always rectify things.

Yeah, so candidates are not so easy.  They are a lot of work.  To do candidates the right way would probably take as much as a year of preparation just to get them to the point where they are both graceful and well-grounded in the principles of the party.

Unless there are people here who think that this would just be a big waste of time and actually a veil for keeping them from getting all kinds of races going.  That accusation has been leveled at me here once before.   It is not my intent at all.  I would just like to see a smaller party like JP actually succeed in mass campaign strategy for once.






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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Ben Eastwood

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Reply with quote  #17 

I think we need to address the point of whether or not the party is swinging too far to the left to be elected in ANY voting district.  For the 10 months before the election that I've been working with the party we were very careful to place ourselves pragmatically no further left than the Greens, and with some libertarian principles as far as adhering to the constitution and strenuously protecting civil liberties.  We have been careful to not tread into the fringes to maximize the potential to be electable. 

  We need to settle on a basic party platform or at least decide where on the spectrum we fall.  We will be unable to get anything accomplished even if we have great candidates, if we cannot get them elected because they are too radical.  America is ready for a 3rd party.  What folks are looking for is what folks think the democrats are, or slightly to the left of that.  Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich...  Neither of these guys is as far left as the discussions about where this party is heading seem to indicate.

 


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We came, we saw, we gathered signatures, we sued, we gathered signatures, we got Rocky on the Ballot in Vermont. That was the easy part, now we have to get this Justice Party Started!
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #18 
I am baffled.  On one hand, I understand completely where this line of thinking arises from.  It is the result, I think, of constant bombardment of ideology, rhetoric, and professional apologism from our corporate press who want the pendulum to continue to swing to the right as it best serves the interests of corporate profits and further consolidation of wealth.

But OTOH, I did not expect this suggestion coming from our own corner.  How much more would we on the Left like to surrender to the wealthy, the elite, the few ... and in exchange for what, Ben?  What will we get in return for giving up even more, taking even more up the?

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Robert

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Reply with quote  #19 
I don't understand this concern about winning elections. Why would anyone think Justice Party candidates can win elections? I think Rocky Anderson made it clear that the main goal is to create a movement to change America, to make the government more responsive to the people and less responsive to corporate interests. He certainly didn't run in 2012 to win an election. I think we should be worried about how to build such a movement not winning or losing elections. Where I differ from a lot of people is that I think the government is a lot more responsive to the people than many acknowledge (the politicians are very focused on polling numbers) and is not as subservient to corporate interests as many claim (some politicians are there to serve corporate interests but others are willing to take on the corporations). Therefore, the job isn't quite as big as many people say it is in my opinion. All is not lost but things are moving in the wrong direction and trend is worrisome. As more money gets concentrated in the hands of a smaller percentage of the population that can only be bad for democracy. As has been said many, many times, we need a strong middle class for our democracy to work.
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #20 
Which politicians (names, please!) are willing to take on the corporations, as you claim?

Note that Kucinich just signed on with Fox "News" to be a political analyst.   If Mr. K has sunk to that level now, I don't see much hope for the rest of the RW crew in Congress, including the RWers who claim they are not RWers.

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Ben Eastwood

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Reply with quote  #21 

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Difference
I am baffled.  On one hand, I understand completely where this line of thinking arises from.  It is the result, I think, of constant bombardment of ideology, rhetoric, and professional apologism from our corporate press who want the pendulum to continue to swing to the right as it best serves the interests of corporate profits and further consolidation of wealth.

If you've been paying attention through the last year than I don't think you'd be baffled.  Who said anything about us swinging to the right?  I say stay right where we have been for the past year, as American Progressive Capitalists (If folks have to insist we jump onto the 'progressive' bandwagon).  There actually is a published set of core values and a vision statement posted here on this website that we've been following since the party started.  It is a result, of wanting to set up a bedrock foundation of progressive capitalist ideals, right where we have been saying for the past year we have been.  As the country shifts rightward, it is hard enough to take up the fight and be effective from where we want to be, then go so far left as to be irrelevant.  It is from a strong preference to be an effective political force for change. 

But OTOH, I did not expect this suggestion coming from our own corner.  How much more would we on the Left like to surrender to the wealthy, the elite, the few ... and in exchange for what, Ben?  What will we get in return for giving up even more, taking even more up the?


Who's saying anything about surrendering to the wealthy?   I am not giving up anything, which is why I for one will not swing any further left than the greens.  Henry Wallace is a good example of the sort of political sensibility I believe the party represents.   Nice use of dramatic hyperbole though  

 


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We came, we saw, we gathered signatures, we sued, we gathered signatures, we got Rocky on the Ballot in Vermont. That was the easy part, now we have to get this Justice Party Started!
No Difference

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Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #22 
Ben:  My guess is that you are not being destroyed by this rightwing-driven economy the same way I have been.  At any rate, I won't work for any organization that seeks to give away any more of what is left of the social safety net, especially when industry stubbornly continues to not hire workers.

I guess that the Greens are fairly far left.  But I won't get on board with Progressive Capitalism, because that's what this country has been trying to do for a century or more and we see the results.  They have been devastating particularly to the poorest of us all.

(Hyperbole?  Where)

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Robert

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Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Which politicians (names, please!) are willing to take on the corporations, as you claim?


I am not a political junky who watches committee meetings on C-Span all day (in fact Cablevision took C-Span away a number of months ago and now requires that I pay for it so I don't watch it all) so there are probably many people who know more about this than I do but the name Henry Waxman comes to mind. Certainly Ed Markey must be considered as another. I know for years Chuck Grassley from Iowa went after the pharmaceutical industry with regard to their communications practices such as paying for ghost writing of scientific articles.

What is it about Fox News? One of RFK Jr's sons, Douglas Kennedy, also works there. Hey, maybe that's where the jobs are. We all have to pay our bills.
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