Slice and dice the results as one will, the 2004 election was won by a small, but dedicated and well-organized, alliance of dominionist theocrats, corporate plutocrats and neoconservative hawks of the far right dedicated to advancing Empire abroad and elite rule at home. Through media control and the expert use of sophisticated propaganda techniques, for nearly 40 years they have played to real and legitimate yearnings for meaning, spiritual values, and strong and secure families and communities to gain control of the Republican Party, neuter the Democratic Party, and advance an agenda destructive of the values they claim to serve.
Although there are some wonderful visionary Democratic politicians, there is little hope that the party will provide leadership in setting a new course for the nation so long as the corporate-dominated Democratic Leadership Council controls it and it depends on corporate funding.
Moreover, the real contest isn't between liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. It is between a group of ideological extremists who seek power by any means and the principled conservatives and principled liberals who share many basic values and are ready to work together to solve real problems. The need of our time is to break free from political categories grounded in the mindset of 5,000 years of Empire and create a non-party political movement with a long-term agenda grounded in a vision of a just and sustainable future for all that reflects the best of both liberal and conservative values.
As suggested by Van Jones in “A Phoenix from the Ashes” (YES! Winter 2005) the foundation for such a movement now exists in the extraordinary alliance of organizations that formed in the build- up to the 2004 election to liberate the nation from the grip of the far right. We must devote serious attention to building this movement, constructing its vision and agenda, securing the integrity of the electoral process, opening the political system to a wider variety of parties and voices, rebuilding the Democratic Party to inject vision and vitality, and supporting moderate Republicans in wresting control of the Party of Lincoln from the far right.
David Korten is the author of The Post-Corporate World and chair and co-founder of the Positive Futures Network.