Recent events in the West Virginia Democratic Party have progressives wondering whether they belong in the two-party system. Some believe they can change the Party from the inside.

The crisis in the WVDP follows a declining trend in the party’s position. The WVDP controlled state government for nearly a century, leaving W.Va. under corporate control and with some of the worst rankings in the country. The Republicans, since taking power in 2014, have done nothing to improve our conditions.

A system which uplifts corporate-sponsored candidates, marginalizes progressive candidates, and gives free rein to outside interests does nothing to solve our problems. The working class of W.Va. desires a change in the status quo. But from where will that change come?

Instead of trying to fight our way into a party where progressive ideas are unwelcome, ignored, and even sabotaged, it is more logical to join and help build an existing, newly reformed party that shares our values. 

The West Virginia Mountain Party, an affiliate of the Green Party, was founded on the very principles and policies that the WVDP continues to resist. As a true working-class party, the Mountain Party upholds the principles of ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence. Our platform supports a Green New Deal and a just transition for displaced extraction workers, unionization and labor rights, an overhaul of our criminal justice system, and a government and economy centered around the working class of West Virginia rather than out-of-state corporations.  

There will always be apologists for the two-party system who will be the Mountain Party’s harshest critics, defending a system greatly designed to prevent the development of alternative political power. Regardless, the Mountain Party is ready to mount a real challenge to this failing system. The Mountain Party is the progressive alternative to the conservative Democratic Party. Since the WVDP shuns and marginalizes its most progressive voices, the Mountain Party welcomes with open arms those looking for a true working people’s party.

Denise Binion is chair of the West Virginia Mountain Party

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