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A very personal insult

Oh, my. Tonight I received the most interesting insult I have ever received.

I went to the Long Island Progressive Coalition forum at the Huntington Library this evening. My good friend Terry Morrone helps organize this local chapter event, titled: What do we want from a new administration and congress?

This event was an open forum. The audience was invited to go to the podium and give a 5 minute speech, and/or respond to presentations by others. David Sprintzen, an LIPC board member, was the timekeeper and stood by the stage most of the evening. I guess he was the host with Terry Morrone.

Many people there expressed hopelessness. And, people expressed that there were similar problems with both the Democrat and Republican candidates. One woman gave a presentation on healthcare, and noted that neither Barack Obama nor John McCain had proposed single-payer universal healthcare.

I could not resist. I decided to speak boldly, and on behalf of myself (not my organizations or affiliations.) I pointed out that “power concedes nothing without a demand.” I said that it was a dead-end to just resign oneself to only these two – Democrat and Republican – as a choice, knowing that neither was ready to give you what you wanted. And, that the only position of strength was to literally threaten them by registering and/or voting for a third party. I suggested people consider Brian Moore of the Socialist Party USA, or independent candidate Ralph Nader, or the Green Party candidate, who would probably be Cynthia McKinney.

David Sprintzen took the microphone after me. I sensed–and afterwards realized I was probably correct– that since he knows that I am more radical than him and that I am into third parties, that he was waiting to answer after me in order to shoot my ideas down.

Boy, did I underestimate his desire to attack and spin.

David Sprintzen answered my suggestion to consider third parties by saying, that QUOTE “Third Parties are an impotent strategy.”

Well, Mr. Sprintzen, I would say that when a man tells a woman she is impotent, she has a right to say the truth back bluntly to him. And, that is: David Sprintzen, I have more balls than you. Your speech did not even make sense. You suggested that the only thing we could do as progressives is to try to choose the best candidate, and once they get elected, try to figure out how to pressure them and make them do what we want.

What kind of strategy is that? Sounds like a strategy for a courtesan at Louis the XlV’s court, not for a voter in a democracy. Why can’t I demand that these people do things now? The candidates are Senators NOW. The Democratic Party holds offices at all levels of government NOW.

I have to underscore that this is my opinion. And, it comes from a very personal place, because of past history of myself and my friends with Mr. Sprintzen and the Long Island Progressive Coalition – which often does not take such a progressive stance. I do try to have patience with him and them. And, I do try to keep perspective with my other affiliations. But, man. Come on. Give a guest a break, and don’t get up and call them “impotent.”

And, by the way, on the healthcare issue, the LIPC is doing everything it can to support an insurance-company based approach that is NOT single-payer healthcare, and includes the existence of private insurance companies. And, the truly progressive organizations and people reject that approach. It is not a progressive approach. It is what Democrats and Democrat-front organizations are trying to sell us this election season.

Kimberly Wilder

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