Building a Grassroots Party 2.0
A Strategy to Grow
I've written previously about a three-pronged strategy to increase numbers by creating tools to empower the base. Without these numbers, the party will remain stagnated and ineffectual. That is the project. That is the task at hand.
My suggestions relate to the US Green Party, but as Abby Martin pointed out to me, future change may need to come from another party altogether. The organizing principles are the same: to establish a grassroots party online, which is relatively cheap, efficient, and able to grow exponentially as needed.
While the current President received 63 million votes last November, the Korean Youtube music video Gangnam Style has “been viewed over 2.75 billion times.” Who could have predicted that before it happened?
Jill Stein appeared on many television screens in 2016, but one message was missing from most of her appearances:
Go and Register with the Green Party
Presidential campaigns focus on personalities and on transitory issues, but the simple call to recruit new people gets lost in the noise. That is a strategic blunder. All publicity should include a call to recruit the viewers.
A second important point to make is that registering for a particular party, does not mean one has to vote that way. It's not mandatory, but it does send a message to the competing parties when one party's affiliation grows (or conversely shrinks). This act is arguably as important as voting because it signals to the political class, to the ruling class, what America currently cares about.
The existing national Green Party infrastructure must put all of its attention and all of its resources toward building a viable party, which means millions—and then tens of millions—of new Greens. This goal is so obvious and vital that it seems to be routinely overlooked.
How to Drum Up New Members?
Before moving forward, it is imperative to study the competition. Here are three highly relevant websites:
These should be mined for ideas, as they are well-designed and professional, and they appear to be winning the race.
But grassroots alternatives do not come with money, or checkbook activism, and so important differences must be acknowledged in terms of available resources. The only resource, which a grassroots movement can bank on today, is people power. Committed members are the strength of the party, but commitment without the tools to succeed is futile. This is already proven in election after election defeat.
Building Tools to Compete
Three tools need immediate implementation:
1. A landing page (much like the three websites listed above) will collect email addresses and names and help new people register with the party and join a community to leverage their efforts. People want to help, and they should be assisted. The website must aid with networking and provide information and high-quality content for the new members to share easily with their own circles.
2. A message forum can allow the entire party to communicate with itself in local groups, and additionally organized by issues and campaigns. In order to be effective, the party must be organized in some kind of cohesive way. It is not today. A message board forum is a cheap, easy, proven mechanism for achieving this.
3. A media library is vital in today's environment of flowing video, audio and images. It's not enough to type text. Greens need the audio-visual content of the Party at their fingertips in order to create new content, be that videos, audio podcasts, graphic memes, or articles. The Party should be putting its best face forward and archiving all the quality imagery and other content that sells the Party to strangers.
Further, the landing page can be as bold as a complete reinvention and makeover of the Party: Green Party 2.0, for example. I lean toward the Greens because they have ballot access across the country—a huge hurdle overcome—as well as local-level victories to cite.
These three prongs of the larger strategy to recruit millions are easy to digest, logical, and bullet-proof. The only problem I see is that they are not being implemented. We cannot wait for a savior to come along some day, but must act to defend our interests today by organizing.
The failure to offer viable progressive alternatives has allowed the United States to drift rightward, and now toward open fascism. Only by creating a movement that moves will we reverse this pendulum.
As the current regime destroys the last century's progress, people will be motivated to resist. They need a place to resist: a real resistance that will not sell them out to the next corporatist warmonger who comes along from the DNC.