It seems that many Democrats are determined not to change, not to learn any lessons from the 2016 election. Instead of trying to figure out what went wrong, they are clinging to denial and self-righteousness. During the election, “I’m With Her” was used to silence internal opposition. Gung-ho Democrats dismissed the idea that liberals could have legitimate qualms about full throated support for Hillary because of her war-mongering, close relationship with Wall Street, and only passing concern for the economic struggles of large segments of the population.
Maybe "head in the sand" is too mild.
Better to say "head in their ass"
Here is Glenn Greenwald on the election
The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much — when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.
That message was heard loud and clear. The institutions and elite factions that have spent years mocking, maligning, and pillaging large portions of the population — all while compiling their own long record of failure and corruption and destruction — are now shocked that their dictates and decrees go unheeded. But human beings are not going to follow and obey the exact people they most blame for their suffering. They’re going to do exactly the opposite: purposely defy them and try to impose punishment in retaliation. Their instruments for retaliation are Brexit and Trump. Those are their agents, dispatched on a mission of destruction: aimed at a system and culture they regard — not without reason — as rife with corruption and, above all else, contempt for them and their welfare.
Glenn has a follow up article on the shameful treatment of members in the party trying to defeat Keith Ellison from heading up the DNC.
Democrats need to out-lie republicans. Clearly, a fact-based America has come to an end. It is time for democrats to join the surreal world of infotainment. The United States Asylum is our new reality. Let's try to enjoy and live up to our new, true creative potential.
Why should everyone line up behind Ellison? Aren't we supposed to be reaching out to the White Working Class, which Democrats have completely ignored since time immemorial, or so I've read repeatedly? Perhaps there's another candidate that rural representatives would like to see head the DNC, right? Maybe they have legitimate concerns about Ellison?
Ellison is from my state and he is a good dude.
"a commitment to economic and racial equality on the domestic front and to being a voice for peace not for war in foreign affairs"
A Democrat commitment to get the money and revolving doors out of politics was off the table. Everything else revolves around that commitment. Democrats ignored it and reaped the whirlwind.
Sadly I think there is a lot of (post?)truth to this statement.
As long as both parties greedily take money from billionaires and corporations - regardless of leaders chosen - both parties will remain parties of billionaires and corporations. Part of Trump's success was his claim that he couldn't be bought, but Trump is, and always has been, a charter member of the 1%. What passes for democracy in this country is now just a board game for the 1%. The rest of us can only hope they throw a few crumbs our way. Any real change in this country will require a systems wide crash and overhaul. Until then, any "reform" of the Democratic party will amount to the same old product in a new wrapper.
An increasing percentage of the public refuses to identify with either party, a huge percentage of the public refused to vote. Hell, tens of thousands of people across the country voted down ballot but not for the president. We don’t live in a post-fact free world. The Democratic Party just doesn’t speak to those people, address their needs and concerns and often backs policies that harm them. So, they don’t take part in the system, no point. A good portion of those that do don’t care about facts, but if we had a truly left of center party in this country that wasn’t so thoroughly corrupt and didn’t cling a failed set of ideas (doesn’t fail them or those funding them), we’d crush them. Given what the Democrats have done though since the election, I have zero faith in them. You can also quote me on this, the corrupt and out of touch DNC will push for the neoliberal Wall Street hack Booker in 2020, and will work to install someone well to the right, someone friendly to Wall Street and corporate interests, of Ellison to run the party.
Joan, while I've come to think that political forecasting is a job for a fool, I can't help myself. I see the Right Wing Attack Machine as being very powerful. Right wing radio, TV, and Internet spew powerful messages of fear and hate everyday. They spent decades attacking Hillary. "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Whoever the democratic front-runner is in 2020, that person will be attacked viciously. The 2016 election changed everything. Perhaps if Trump and the worst republican liars are truly shown for what they are, then perhaps 2020 can return us to a somewhat reality-based era.
Time will tell. My local DFA group (I am "Policy Director") slid in a dig about Stein costing Clinton the election in there last newsletter. I have threatened to quit the group and go Green if we do not publish a retraction and an apology. Let's see if I get it. Prob gonna be Green real soon.
I think you’re greatly exaggerating their power and effectiveness. A very small percentage of the public goes to those sources and, generally, those that do are older. What’s the average age of a Fox News viewer, or the average age of someone that listens to Rush Limbaugh? Those ideas are deeply unpopular too. If what you were saying was true, the right’s positions on issues would have far more support than they currently have. The right wins right now because people are simply not voting or taking part in the system. The data is clear on this, it is also is clear that the left’s ideas are popular. Neither major party has been offering the left’s ideas though.
I enjoy your posts but gotta disagree with you on this one. Don't know if I've read or heard anyone make the following analysis:
What passes for public discourse, what is allowed and what is not talked about is a complete façade of lies; politicians in and out of government spout it, the msm repeats and embellishes it, and advertisers promote it. Now, I believe that many if not most Americans are long past saying, 'just gag me with a spoon' about the obvious public mirage(s). Donald Trump understood it very well, and many of his tirades and what seemed free-association riffs hit on many of the lies that prop up the good ol' USofA, and people ate it up (he also falsely claimed that it originated with him, but Sanders was calling out the lies long before Trump realized that it was a wining strategy.) Of course Trump really doesn't give one good shit about anything but Trump, but it did get him elected.
But the point is: In a land where there is no reality based truth, there is no sanity.
Wow. That Greenwald article is great, and so are the articles with links embedded. Thanks for posting.
I think Trump has "reached out to the white working class" quite efficiently, hasn't he? If you're advocating appealing to the racist element as he did, you might not have much of an audience here...
Ezra Rosser, this piece is well-stated TRUTH. Thank you!
Rosser's point that the Dem establishment has its head in the sand is obvious. Funny,u in my family we were repeated admonished to 'look to our own actions' when we were thwarted in some endeavor. Our parents called it ACCOUNTABILITY. Seems the Dems supporting Hillary never heard that word.
Yes, the left's ideas are popular, but that's only part of the story. The right says we can't afford them and anyway most of the help would go to "those people." Constant, years-long attacks on democrats does filter down to middle-of-the-roaders. They "learn" that you can't trust any politician, so why even try to understand or vote? My daughter has a colleague who insists that Hillary murdered people. It's not just old people. Here in "liberal" Minnesota, many high schools had mock elections. ALL the rural schools voted heavily for Trump. Yes, there is hope with the 20-somethings. Democrats do offer better policy on the vast majority of issues. I wish they were farther left, but reality intercedes.
West Coast elites moved here to get away from East Coast political dysfunction. Two snots from NYC's snob class. No thanks. And, we're more progressive than elitist. We just didn't want a rehash of the same old brain-damaged fights. Give us new brain-damaged fights or give us slow death. Which just happened, btw.
Once again, you're talking about a small percentage of the public and there are maybe two dozen "middle of the roaders" in the US. It’s obvious to most that exist in objective reality that we can’t afford the status quo. Our health care system is far more privatized than any other in the developed world, and most can see that it isn’t affordable. Neither party supports single payer, and the media is openly hostile to the idea, yet a strong majority supports single payer, in part because it would save money aggregately and most people would see a massive net benefit. They’d pay a little more in taxes, but the difference would be more than made up by far lower out of pocket expenses. Look at polls, even among “Tea Party” types, regarding Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (among other issues). The right wants to gut Medicare and that is opposed by 80% of the country, easily. The people you are talking about are in the 20%. The same is true with many other issues. The left’s ideas are popular, and when someone like Sanders comes up that can explain things to people, the left wins. The arguments against the ideas are silly, and don’t hold up to scrutiny. If the left can’t win nationally even though its ideas are popular, maybe it is because the vehicle they use to push for policies nationally (the Democratic Party) doesn’t share its values and is a corrupt mess of a party? Seems obvious, the left’s ideas aren’t being offered, period. If the left can't win given the trajectory Reagan set us on decades ago and given the popularity of its ideas, then it should re-think the means it is choosing to reach its ends.
I’m obviously not going to convince you, but I don’t find your argument to be logically convincing. Seems anecdotal.