I hear it said on the left that the political imperative of this moment is to build a united or people’s front (I prefer the term coalition; it’s more readily understood by people who aren’t conversant in the lingo of the left. But for the purposes of this article I will use the term front). This sounds like a timely and sound idea, but on closer inspection it’s flawed.
A people’s front, unless we are a prisoner of formalism and preconceived ideas, is already a reality. It’s broad in reach, possees considerable power, and shares a common political objective.
Now don’t look for its 10 point program. It doesn’t have one, but in its desire to crush MAGA it is pretty singleminded.
Moreover, its formation, I would argue, goes back to 2016; others might say 2018; still others 2020. Whatever the case, the challenge at this moment isn’t to build or invent something new, as a new election cycle approaches. To the contrary, the challenge is to unite, extend, and strengthen this existing front and its each of its constituent parts in the context of the 2024 elections.
Not least in this front is the Democratic Party. Indeed, just as FDR and the Democratic Party were at the center of the popular front in the 1930’s, Biden and Democrats occupy that position today. Here’s the rub though. By themselves, they are no match for MAGA movement. But by the same token, neither are the other political-social constituencies and movements that makeup this front. Both need the help of the other.
In other words, the two sides of this tangled, and at times contentious, relationship are codependent and only when acting in concert do they possess the power capacity and political reach to decisively defeat the MAGA threat to democratic rule, economic justice, equality, and social progress. To believe otherwise ignores historical and contemporary experience. It’s wishful thinking, not reality based politics. And who needs that at this moment!