... We are on a bullet train heading toward a gaping chasm full of environmental and social catastrophes... We need radical change now, but no political vehicle for it.Quick, slightly flippant answer: we need to stop behaving predictably.
[Some argue] we need to take it one school board and local election at a time.... Well, I don't necessarily disagree, but time is not on our side. However, I'll admit that even if an informed and incorruptible person like Nader was elected to the presidency, she or he wouldn't have the kind of dictatorial powers necessary to arbitrarily make the kind of changes we need (nor should he).
What to do, what to do...?
More serious answer: Nobody knows what will work, but the necessary precondition to finding what will work is to stop doing things that not only don't work, but make things worse (like pinning our hopes on the Democratic Party).
Once public discontent breaks out of the vessels designed to contain and tranquilize it, the elites start getting worried. That's when they stop pushing and start making concessions. There have been several such phases of "instability" in American history, and every one of 'em had positive effects.
Considerable intellects like Karl Marx have proven unequal to the task of mapping out in detail what will happen or must happen to bring about social change, and none of us in in that league. But let instability be our watchword. Get the genie of public discontent out of the bottle of the party system. Stuff will happen. I don't know exactly what form it will take and neither does anybody else. But once the water overflows the levee, it will find its own course.
Sorry for the mixed metaphors. Sniffing those Pythonic vapors always does that to me.