Fulani's endorsement of Buchanan

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at yale.edu
Sat Nov 13 12:48:34 PST 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-lbo-talk at lists.panix.com
> [mailto:owner-lbo-talk at lists.panix.com]On Behalf Of Doug Henwood
> Statement by Dr. Lenora Fulani
> My critique of the liberal
> left is perhaps best understood in clinical terms. I am a
> developmental psychologist by profession, and I have a diagnosis of
> the Left. I think they're deluded. They actually believe that they
> can take over the Democratic Party. ...The American Left, like the black
> establishment - and the two are closely connected - refuse to take
> seriously the need to build an independent movement. They won't
> partner up with politically incorrect allies, which is just what you
> need to do if you're going to go up against the corruption of the two
> party system.

Actually, on this point Fulani shares the same viewpoint of many folks on this list, except she argued a number of years ago that hanging out with 1-5% on the far fringe is a delusion as well. I remember back in 1993, Fred Newman of Fulani's party gave a speech at their New Alliance convention (broadcast on C-SPAN) where he explained the logic of their organization merging into the Reform Party. The idea was that while they had no respect for Perot or the politics of the Reform Party, it had a chance (unlike a marginal left party) of actually becoming a viable third party. And their viewpoint was that once the 2-party structure was undermined, that would create room for a fourth party of real leftwing values.

But until the two-party system was undermined, any left third party was a delusional dream. So in the meantime, any opportunistic alliance to smash the 2-party duopoly was their goal. The Buchanan alliance is just the continuation of the same strategy that led Fulani's New Alliance Party to merge into the Reform Party in the first place.

The idea is not to win - Fulani even says in other speeches that she probably wouldn't ally with Buchanan if he had a real chance to win - but to break open the 2-party system.

I think this is a foolish strategy, but it honestly seems more strategic and rational than most other left third party strategies, which never really have a convincing roadmap on how to get from where we are to a viable alternative. At least Fulani has a strategy and gameplan, even if her party is made up of cultists and other scary political operatives.

--Nathan Newman

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list