by Greg Jan and Laura Wells
The “unsinkable” Titanic sunk one hundred years ago, on April 15, 1912. Exhibiting similar arrogance and inertia, two Titanic political parties are now barreling full speed ahead toward ruining this country, as well as much of the planet.
It has now been over three years since financial speculation and greed plunged this nation and the world into the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet leaders of the two Titanic Parties refuse to implement even the most basic reforms, such as reinstating the Glass-Steagall law that separated commercial from investment banks, or breaking up the “too-big-to-fail” banks, such as Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America.
It’s time to let the “too-big-to-fail” banks go under. Encouraged by the “move your money” campaign of the Occupy movement, people have already moved billions of dollars from big banks to local banks and credit unions. In addition, more than 17 states and municipalities have started looking at moving money from Wall Street institutions to publicly owned banks in partnership with local banks and credit unions.
As the Occupy movement has understood, the problems are systemic and interconnected and cannot be addressed by a finite list of demands, demands which will not be met by the Titanic Parties controlled by the 1% and their reckless corporations.
If America does not soon abandon its two Titanic Parties, then this country will surely be drowned as the party leaders continue to ignore the many icebergs in front of us. Decades of people’s efforts to redirect the Titanic Parties have proven to be utterly futile — especially in recent years, in the face of ever-growing sums of corporate cash.
It is time for the emergence of a strong “third party” to oppose the insane policies of the Titanic Parties. Such parties have emerged a few times in the past. The Republican Party actually began as a third party in 1854, and within just a few years it was able to replace the Whig Party. “Third parties” are a time-tested American alternative to the disastrous course of today’s Titanic Parties.
Many formerly stalwart supporters of the Titanic Parties have bailed out. They found a library or post office that was open, filled out voter registration forms, and switched to an independent political party such as Peace and Freedom or the Green Party, with values that are incorruptible by corporate funding and lobbyists.
Let the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic serve as our reminder of the madness of trusting those who are “in charge”, who continue to maintain a course of business as usual when the facts clearly show we are heading straight toward the icebergs of disaster. Let’s not go down with the sinking ships. Let’s abandon the Titanic Parties, before it’s too late.
Greg Jan is a Founding Member of the Green Party of California, and Laura Wells was the Green Party candidate for Governor of California in 2010.