Letters:

February 10, 2017
By

The uncertain future—and response by American left

From the Occupy movement of 2011 to the Bernie Sanders campaign, to resisting the Trump administration, the American left is now faced with deciding what to do next—or how most effectively resist and try to force replacement of President Trump’s policies, while strategizing and organizing towards the future.

The left’s strengths—diversity and decentralization—are also its weaknesses.

Diversity assures that large numbers of people of every ideological persuasion, race, and sexual preference coalesce in a common cause.

Decentralization—in part a reaction against excessive power concentration in totalitarian regimes and in the American dual-party system, but also rooted in Jeffersonian Federalism (itself rooted in the Iroquois League)—assures against a dictatorial ruling elite.

Diversity and decentralization also mean excessively lengthy decision-making processes, confused or nonexistent lines of authority, absent party discipline, and lack of accountability.

What next?

Whether President Trump is impeached and replaced by Vice President Pence or not, the ensuing governing body will continue to busy the opposition by constantly provoking it to react to its policies and decrees.

The left’s challenge is to respond appropriately and effectively to retrograde policies and decrees while at the same time strategizing and organizing towards the future; and to take initiative rather than solely react to fait accompli.

Has the time come to form a third party that brings together existing libertarians, greens, and independents along with Bernie Sanders supporters and the Trump protest voters, to challenge democrats and republicans in November 2020?

Whether there’ll be a unified left that electorally contests the entrenched political establishment or not, there is plenty of organizing to do at local level and in races for governorships, state assemblies, mayors and city councils, school boards, neighborhood councils, corporate boards, nonprofit governances and others.

Whatever path the majority of the left movement chooses there’s certainly going to be plenty of food for thought and action in the years ahead.

Wagner Rios

Jamaica Plain resident

64 Allandale St. project is good

It is puzzling as to why there continues to be such opposition to the proposed development at 64 Allandale St. The developer has scaled back the proposal by several units, taken extra measures above and beyond requirements to protect the neighboring wetlands, and offered to donate $50,000 to the City’s Urban Wilds program to benefit the upkeep and improvement of the woods. Contrary to the signs some have placed in their yards, the development, which will border only a few hundred feet, will not result in the 68-acre woods needing to be saved from anything. Indeed, given the great threats from rapidly advancing climate change the development, which will be constructed at the highest energy efficiency level possible (platinum LEED), will help to reduce that threat. Homes will be built on the two-acre property whether they are less efficient McMansions that are out of place or the attractively designed and carefully landscaped townhouses proposed. As a longtime friend of the woods where I run weekly and volunteer occasionally, I am not afraid of the proposed development.

Alan Wright

Roslindale resident

 

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