Progressive working group might consider principles first

A meeting scheduled for tomorrow in Minot to bring together the politically active with progressive beliefs to discuss an organizational strategy should be received as a good sign by those on both sides of the political aisle.

Clearly, progressives in North Dakota face tough prospects in a virtual one-party state. The Democrat Party has been marginalized to the point of almost irrelevance. It will take considerable effort and change for the party to gain ground anytime soon – or else it will take a complete collapse of the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, even many partisans on the right recognize that healthy debate benefits everyone, and healthy debate in our system requires multiple functioning parties.

As progressives parlay, they are considering whether to organize under the Democrat banner or to empower a third party.

One suggestion might be to focus on what, exactly, the progressive message is and whether or not there is even a market for it in North Dakota. For all the conspiracy theories and gnashing of teeth, what has diminished the left nationwide is a lack of coherent, universal message. Identity politics has long supplanted a working class agenda, as demonstrated by the working class having abandoned the Democrat Party. A party can only purport to represent a demographic group for so long before the public notices that the allegedly represented loathe the self-appointed champions.

Perhaps delineating a statewide progressive movement from the sputtering Democrat Party is a means to rejuvenate the left. It will also take development of a core set of principles that appeal to North Dakotans.

Hopefully, progressives in North Dakota can help rejuvenate loyal opposition. The state and its politics would be better for it.