Wednesday, September 08, 2004

$1 a Year for a Third Party

According to Peter Feaver, a political scientist at Duke, "those who are against any war" are "about 10-20% of the American population" (January 29, 2003). That's about 29.4-58.8 million individuals, as the US population is now estimated to be 294,209,710 (September 7, 2004). If every American who is against any war contributes $1 a year, or, alternatively, if 1 in 10 Americans who are against any war contributes $10 a year, to the project of creating a mass political party on the left, the party will have an annual budget of $29.4-58.8 million. About $10 million should be enough to put its presidential candidate on all 50 states and run a spirited presidential campaign -- the rest would be spent on movement organizing and local electoral campaigns. That's a financially feasible project.

Unfortunately, as of now, just 12.9 percent of the working class are being compelled to spend 2.6-5.1 times more than the projected budget of a political party on the left that collects a due of $1 a year from "10-20% of the American population" who are "against any war":
The allocation of resources is unprecedented. The federation is spending $44 million, and that is being added to by its affiliates, to make a total of $150 million. Gerald McEntee, head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says his organization alone is spending $40 million. The Service Employees Union is spending $65 million. And it’s not just money — it’s man- and woman-power. McEntee says AFSCME’s offices will “basically close down” to put staff on the streets" (Roberta Wood, "AFL-CIO Gets Down to Nuts and Bolts," August 21, 2004)
That's a big waste. Leftists -- especially working-class leftists -- need to spend what they have to build their own political party, rather than contributing either money or time or both to the Democratic Party.

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