New Party, New Narrative

One thing I’ve been discussing with the comrades is a new political party. The Bernie Sanders left is now extremely well-networked and mobilized. This all goes back ten years or so, to the Occupy Wall Street movement. But the Sanders policies have been firmly rejected by the Democrat Party. So….What’s next?

It’s hard to say what the next move will be. We’ll have to see what happens in the wake of COVID-19. The next major action will likely be on the streets, in mass protests, demostrations and disruptions. But at some point we’ll need a political party to translate mass action into political policy.

A new political party will need a new narrative, a new and better story of what America can be, something positive. Both Republicans and Democrats simply exist as alternatives to each other; neither party has a positive message for all Americans, nor do they have a policy agenda that can address the coming crises of the 21st century. This gives us an opportunity to craft a new narrative.

A new narrative has to be centered on the basic idea that we are all interconnected, so like it or not, we have to work together and rely on each other. It is only our collective efforts and our cooperation with each other that can address the global crises to come. Hard-working individuals won’t cut it. Government stimulus packages won’t save us. We need a new way of structuring society.

As an example, If we had a universal healthcare system, run by the government, then we could respond quickly and efficiently to COVID-19. It would just happen, and plans would have already been set up to deal with a pandemic. As it is, we have to go, hat-in-hand to the government and wait for those clowns to figure shit out. Why? Because the exploitative for-profit healthcare industry has no profit incentive to address the crisis: they pull in the profits when times are good but in times of crisis they wash their hands and ghost us.

A new narrative of this nature could catch like wildfire. I think people are ready for a narrative that says that we are stronger when we are working together to build a sustainable economy that works for everyone, an economy that gives a fair and equal share to everyone and provides basic necessities to everyone.

We can craft a new narrative, a vision in which people can see themselves as a part of something bigger than themselves, contributing to a new society that is greater than the sum of our individual parts. This is what we mean when we talk about a cultural, spiritual, and political revolution.

It’s holistic. It’s just. It’s sustainable.

It’s solidarity…..And it’s an idea whose time has come.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

4 thoughts on “New Party, New Narrative”

  1. IF… IF you are one of those who practically never touch your own face, then you are rare – actually weird. But of course that is kinda a reverse weird since picking your nose is, despite being more normal, socially weirder. I only say this to acknowledge that there are individuals who long ago, for whatever reasons (I think of hunters who train themselves to walk through the forest without swinging their arms at their sides), are an exception to this. However, odds are its not YOU or me.

    So with that caveat, I am watching (almost daily) press conferences with our president where he waxes eloquent for however long addressing coronavirus crisis management and the economy. Invariably, he spends a disproportionate amount of time deflecting blame, praising himself, digging deeper into denial, talking about his own poll numbers … you know… all that pertinent stuff, and as he blathers on, he has his aids, experts, and other teammates standing there behind him in close proximity waiting their turn to correct a lot of the crap the president just said AND to tell the rest of us to stand 6 feet apart or more (the very thing they are NOT doing as they tell the rest of us.

    Anyway, meanwhile, as the president drones on and on about his narcissist anxieties, I look at William Bar patiently waiting there at his flank, nervously twitching and adjusting his glasses, rubbing his eye, itching his nose or forehead… and he is not the only one, but it has me thinking….

    These people are going to get sick. We are watching them infect one another in real time. The numbers coming out of New York (and Lubbock, for that matter) are reflective of transmission which largely happened two weeks ago.

    Look. A lot of these people won’t be here in a month. I don’t want to hope that, but all the presidential denial, deflection, and distraction will create a lot of openings in the ranks – esp of idiots who don’t take this stuff seriously. There is still a lot of luck in that, but the one way Coronavirus sorta discriminates is by attacking those ill prepared.

    Any narrative is yet to be written. The next two months will determine the climactic chapters of that story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good point…..In targeting those who deny it’s existence (and as a consequence failing to take the appropriate precautions) and by doing it’s worst damage to the demographic most easily swayed by the denials, delays and conspiracy theories of the right-wing pundits (and the President who parrots them), this virus is certainly not without some sense of irony…..


    1. New York is hit hard largely BECAUSE you can’t put millions of people in that close of quarters AND unleash such a powerfully contagious bug among them without widespread infection. I would have thought they would have clamped down sooner on Broadway shows and restautrants and sports. This should have been a no brainer.

      On the other hand, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is entirely a stupidity problem. Denial is killing New Orleans. They don’t have subways that millions ride as a matter of necessity; they have skyrocketing infection simply because they refused to be smart about it.

      Now we have a new story. Escape from New York – NOT starring Kurt Russell.

      Snake Plissken… I heard you was dead.

      Yeah… I cant say I blame NY’rs for running if they can, but they really MUST be smart about where they land. Otherwise, they will not improve their own lot AND will harm the rest of us. But honestly, NYC was ripe for this, just by design. No ones fault, per se, but IF we had been REALLY on the ball, we might have tried to drain the city of as much people BEFORE hand as possible. They are sure running now.

      It turns out you really have to ANTICIPATE the future in APOCALYPTIC terms about 2-3 weeks in advance. AND you have to be vigilant about handwashing and isolating as much as possible.

      My wife is a nurse – scratch that – a soldier on the front lines of this crap. I just want to thank all the idiots for exercising your civil liberties into your own grave. Now STAY HOME for the rest of us!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Coronavirus is exposing some pretty significant chinks in Uncle Sam’s armor. The selfishness and denial of folks who have been spreading the virus so carelessly is certainly one of them, as you point out. Your frustrations are more than understandable.

        There’s also the fact that our healthcare system is incapable of addressing these kinds of issues. We have a system where there are folks getting filthy rich off of helping the sick (which itself is a form of psychological/spiritual sickness) but who will not be held accountable for failing to prepare for a pandemic.

        In sum, here in the U.S. we have extreme individualism and selfishness as well as no accountability for the powerful and those who run the show. In short, we have individualism with no accountability…….That’s not a good combination for weathering a pandemic where we must cooperate and work together…….


Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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