Our local dyed in the wool dim partisans continue to disdain Sanders, alleging that he undermined Clinton. Their dream is to see a Clinton or Obama at the top of the 2020 ticket.
Hold on a minute. I can’t believe the defeatism expressed in almost every comment to this article. No one disputes the fact that the system is corrupt, and that the Democratic leadership led by Senator Chuck Schumer plays footsie with Trump and McConnell. I don’t think anyone here disputes that the Democrats are one of thspit e two parties of Wall Street, i.e., Big Capital. But we can’t dismiss the millions of voters who want progressive change and those officeholders or candidates who want to reach these goals.
To say that the two parties are identical is simplistic. Many progressive groups, such as labor, civil rights, women, seniors, among many others work within the Democratic party for reform. To dismiss them is to demean many in the people’s movement.
To say that this article could’ve been written fifty, sixty, or seventy years ago misses the point. If the Democratic party has been so bad all of these years, I have one question to those who refuse to work inside the party for change–what great achievements in terms of party-building and building the base have you made in the last fifty (sixty or seventy) years?
To get anywhere in our political system in 2018 and in the foreseeable future, one needs to work inside (as well as outside) the Democratic party. Otherwise, one will relegate themselves to the periphery of the political system. Get out and make a change, don’t sit around and bemoan one’s fate.
This just the same bait put on a different hook .
The Democratic PARTY is corrupt and no matter how “Progressive” the views of a given Candidate once drawn into that party those persons views will be marginalized for “pragmatic reasons” and they will in time become part of the same corrupt progress. A bone will be thrown their way once in a while to give the illusion that they have a voice and make headway but at the end of any given term the Environmnet will still suffer, wealth inequality will still exist and the rich will still get richer.
Working the outside of the democratic party gives a person a stronger voice then being inside it. The Periphery surrenders what power it has when it delegates its vote and its voice to the Democrats. That vote and voice then becomes a Corporate vote and voice and one that will promote more militarism and war. This is the same in any political system structured around a two party system wherein the parties success depends on Corporate support.
What in fact needed is for those that would remain OUT of the duopoly and refuse to give their vote to either party , to organize their own resistance. This easier said then done as both existing parties act in Concert, along with the Media and Coporate state to ensure that does not happen. Pointing out this reality is not defeatism. Defeatism is going along with what the duopoly demands.
You don’t need to be inside a political party to make change. In fact, you’re probably less likely to make any change that benefits ordinary people by working inside a party.
Look at the transformative changes of the past decades. Explain how working inside the Republican party ended slavery. What party work and support for which candidates led to women’s suffrage? How did working inside the Democratic Party achieve win the eight-hour workday or civil rights legislation, end the Vietnam War, or achieve marriage equality? What party-building defeated the Republican health care bill? Or raised the minimum wage in Seattle and New York State?
Read your history. Build power outside a party, and people in office,business, etc. have a reason to listen to you. Work within the party, and go the way of PDA, DFA, the Rainbow Coalition, etc.
Yes, but the difference, it seems to me, in many cases, is the Republicans serve the wealthy overtly and the Democrats serve the economic elite covertly.
Boy am I happy about this, I saw the Republican Party becoming a pawn of big monied corporations with the Reagan Administration. The Democratic Party became corporatized with the Clinton Administration. Today lobbyists hired by corporations and conglomerates of corporations, like big pharma, big oil…(everybody knows this, right?) actually write our laws. The lobbyists then pass the laws to their sycophants (really undisclosed illegitimate under the table employees) members of the American Legislative Exchange Council who WE have elected to our house and senate and these wholly owned corporate assets play acting as government officials pass these laws that protect and enhance big money interests at the expense of you, me, and our now fragile ecosystem (also a huge problem on the sate house level too all across our country). This is why we have so much inequality in our country today, a climate in crisis from the use of fossil fuels, toxic chemicals contaminating us, and disease (obesity too) resulting from our damaged food supply. If all of our elections were publicly funded ONLY this problem would waste away, fairly quickly. I think electing progressives over corporatists in both parties is the way toward a democratic revival.
Perhaps we need laws that require the re-structering of corporate charters such that the corporate bottom line is not just maximizing share holder gains. How about a little social and environmental value added? While we are at it the FCC could issue licenses that require broadcasters to donate campaign ad time during elections. These are just a couple of ideas out of so many many ways we can employ to rebuild our democracy, in a capitalist economic system, IF we elect intelligent-compassionate-tough ethical progressives.
I hear you, but what does resistance actually do? I look at what the “Water Protectors” did–occupying the actual site for so long–yet, in the end, work went on as usual. Yes, we are more aware now, and those First Americans became my heroes, but still, work went on as usual (it broke my heart). We can sit, stand, lie down, starve, protest loudly or softly, let our voices raise the roof, but in the end, what changes? I watch as our countryside in slowly turning to ash and oil. “They” have the water canons, the bullets, the clubs, the military riot gear, the gas, etc. We have our voices. All voices are stilled when shot in the head or thrown in prison. Protest, protest, protest. Great! But I want to know – what does CHANGE look like? The Noisier we are, the harder they will work to eliminate us. “They” are struggling to stay on top of the pile! They MUST maintain control and power. And they have all the money.
How does the Light overcome the Darkness? The Light stays Light. It will happen outside of politics. Small enclaves of change are happening everywhere in the world–even in the U.S.! It’s PEOPLE. The Change is within people. Will any of us ever live to see the day when a major corporation looks at itself and says: Oh my God, we have been destroying the earth! We must stop, now! Ha! Perhaps, but most likely not. My favorite kids story: The Lorax. It’s coming true!
If every soul became a beam of light, the darkness would be gone. How does the light reach the darkness? That should be our major focus. How do we reach the actual soul and humanity of those who are in the dark. CHANGE the way we protest?! I’m not sure. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. My road started during the “Equal Rights Amendment” (ERA) protests in the 70’s. I’ve been writing, talking, doing a little feet on the ground protesting, ever since then…now I’m 70 and feel: What have I really done? What has changed? One step forward, two steps back–backlash always coming on stronger than the last time. I’m tired, probably a bit cynical too. Again I ask, what will change look like?
And this goes to show how really stopped the lib/progs have become. They are working solidly Dem districts while generally ignoring swing districts and Rethug districts (all of which are locations where the vats majority of voters don’t even vote). This shows an absolute lack of strategic thinking by the ‘progressive’ wing of the Dems or really, really stopped electoral politics.
Excellent post!!! History matters.
I do think we need another party or parties or move to voting for individuals not parties. I think any momentum towards progressive thinking and ideas is helpful so while the democratic party may be hopeless I think these individuals can help bring truth to power if they speak up and shine a light on the dysfunction within the democratic party. Face it - we have been living in a revolutionary period since 1980. The revolution has been neo-liberal right wing and they have succeeded in so many ways. There must be some kind of counter-revolution if we can find the right people to lead and if the American people overall want a progressive nation. That is my worry. Do the American people want progress?
The solution to ending the ruling Oligarchy in the U.S., if that’s your goal, is to support the DSA ( Democratic Socialists of America ) rather than the Green Party. A true reboot, if you will.
That’s where the new energy and real progressive agenda is being formulated. This coalescing of community has been going on for almost 6 or 7 years now, and has been strongly invigorated by the Sandernistas since 2016.
Meanwhile, the Greens have sputtered out. Their circular firing squad has finally learned how to shoot themselves someplace other than through their collective feet.
Progress means moving on and the momentum is definitely with the intersectionality of the young DSA and the new blood of a Democratic Party left, influenced by the organizing power of the Sandernista campaign in 2016.
Unfortunately for them, the Green Party is in the dustpan and headed for the the historical dustbin. They had a chance, now it’s gone. But be kind when you break the news to them. Old age and feebleness has made them very cranky and mean, apparently.
This is just one of the mistakes by which these incompetents “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”. I gave up on the Dems during the second term of that oily used car salesman, Bill “I feel your pain” Clinton. Nothing about the party since has inspired me to register with them again. I now vote for the person that I think best represents my political positions. I voted for Jill Stein here in Washington because I knew that my vote would not enable the godawful Trumpo the Klown to win as Washington was a lock for Hillary. Idiots have accused me of “helping to put Trump in the White House” and other nonsense. Not true. I also supported Sanders and his attempt to change the political landscape and saw him sabotaged and sidelined by the Usual Suspects of the DNC and their friends in the corporate media who were only comfortable with Wall Street Clinton. The M$M didn’t even pay much attention to Sanders until he won the New Hampshire primary and even then he was written off. The other tragedy is that so many Democrats still insisted on voting for Hillary in the primaries because they are stuck on establishment candidates that have a D after their name. I really believe that Sanders could have beaten that reptile Trump if he had been the nominee as about 100 million Americans who could have voted stayed home because they were fed up with the two choices.
The tragedy of the American system coming apart at the seams continues. BTW, after reading about the Gilens and Page study of how corrupt and bought off our Congress is to special interests, it is hard to have any enthusiasm for the multi-billion dollar dog and pony show of American electoral politics. I’m tempted to use that cynical line I heard many years ago - “Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over. They’re done.”
From the article: “The system would remain in place even if the Democratic Party attained a majority; and should that circumstance arise, the system will set tight limits to unwelcome changes, as if foreshadowed in the timidity of the current Democratic proposals for reform."
It is time to think way outside the box.
I voted for Stein and Bernie as well and I agree with pretty much everything you say here, but I’d add this footnote:
After the Dems screwed Bernie (who could have won) in the primaries and at the Convention, he was released from his “promise” to support the Dem. His failure to Go Green or Independent was an historical failure and IMO he now lives down to the reputation of “sheep-dog” whose sole role is to co-opt leftists and lib/progs for the ‘nicer’ capitalist party. He’s been quite successful at that as we spin our wheels in LemmingLand.
I tried to change “stopped” to “stopped” multiple times, but the auto-check defeated every attempt. I guess I’m just stoopid.
I agree with you. Although I supported Sanders he was not all that I hoped he would be. That said, what politician is? Most of them are busy doing what has been called the “Potomac Two-Step” as they sell out their constituents and the country. My regard for the American people in general took a big dip in 2016 and since then, when I see the undying support that so many of these fools give to that troglodyte in the Oval, it seems more and more like a cult, a dangerous cult. It was reported that “alt-right” violence has taken a big upswing since that piece of trash was installed in the White House. Remember, he was the one who told his idiots to beat up on protesters at his rallies and then said “don’t worry, I’ll pay your legal bills”. Yeah, right. The Mango Mussolini is an appalling hypocrite and chiseler who has been sued for money more than 1,300 times. I’ve also seen him referred to as “Twitler” as an obvious reference to the psychopath who “led” Germany to ruin. His right-wing cultists resemble Hitler’s SA.
One last comment. I have seen the movie “V for Vendetta” and the timeline is not made clear but it seems to be in the late 2020s. In the story there is a widespread civil war in the United States. Considering Trump, especially if this idiot country is astonishingly foolish enough to actually re-elect him, that could actually come true in one way or another. I have even heard libs/progs say that the only way to take our country back is to have a revolution. Even Chris Hedges says so, although he wants it to be a peaceful one. Good luck with that.
I really like “Mango Mussolini”. It’s much more compact than the Tweeting Idiot of Orange that I use.
ann, here’s the thing: there’s no substitute for not knowing your “isms” if you’re going to complain about someone pointing out system critiques. I know them, because I devoted years to their study. You are intelligent enough to do the same.
The “system” being referred to is obvious: it’s our electoral system. There are process within that system–such as obtaining officer and leadership positions within both parties–as well as nomination process which act as a class-base centrifuge that eliminates candidate who cannot appeal to the donor class. This is why we get the same politics over and over again regardless of the face attached to the letter.
This is as simple as I can make it and it should be clear to you.