The previously unremarked ferment within the Omaha 99% has begun to roil the surface. Random reform movements are growing; some coalesce as they explore how to wield power, others flail out against their peers. The Establishment waits and watches, buoyed by their overwhelming control of capital and patronage.
But the phrase "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" has been around for a long time (and in this case does not refer particularly to elected officials, most of whom are just figureheads). The Powers That Be (bankers, industrialists, media higher-ups - the local Oligarchy) know that they must be forever vigilant lest some unanticipated slip-up (the Wagner video, the Johnson video, the OPS pedophile case, etc., etc., etc.) may become the match that ignites a movement that would loosen their grip on power.
One ongoing discussion has to do with how much the erstwhile reformers should cooperate with the Democratic Party (the ostensible "Progressive" player in the electoral arena).
I would argue for reaching the majority of the electorate - the people who don't vote. These are the people who recognize that neither party represents them. They would be receptive to a grassroots movement that shows that it can be effective and represents their interests, beginning in their neighborhoods.
I encourage the independent progressive organizations to spend some time:
1. evaluating how to strengthen themselves and their ties to their own communities.
2. developing a basic common narrative that they can take to the entire public.
3. participate in organizing people power to pressure elected officials regardless of their party affiliation.
4. develop and promote concrete, realistic plans for creating the Beloved Community right here, right now.
Omahans are not the only ones having this discussion. An excellent article reposted in Nation of Change on April 27 explores different alternatives including working within the Democratic party and forming third parties.
My own choice would be to remain outside of permanent alliance with any party while supporting the occasional worthwhile candidates or legislation. Electoral politics is secondary to the real work of community organizing.
Once Progressives develop real (grassroots) power, the party hacks, sycophants, hangers-on and camp followers will flock to join in. Hopefully by then we will be strong enough to withstand them.