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To Democratic Voters – Up Your Demands; To Trump Voters – See How He Didn’t Deliver for You

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/26/democratic-voters-your-demands-trump-voters-see-how-he-didnt-deliver-you

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Try ‘upping your demands’ of Biden at ANY of the Wall Street “Left” sites and see what happens. You become a Ruski agent for demanding that Joe does ANYTHING to earn your vote and your comments can disappear quickly, even if it’s something are 87% of Dems want. You see, we are obligated. We owe it to him. Fealty to the Party and Wall Street is the most important thing. I guess the 100,000,000 that don’t get off the couch just don’t understand that.

87% of Democrats Support ‘Medicare for All,’ Though Joe Biden Doesn’t
~https://www.newsweek.com/87-democrats-support-medicare-all-though-joe-biden-doesnt-1522833

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Let’s recall what happened when the Democrats last controlled Congress and The White House:

The appointment of a Wall St and corporate-friendly cabinet.
A too-small stimulus while The Great Recession raged.
Passing RomneyCare by the skin of their teeth.
Negotiating with Republicans after the Rs publicly announced they’d vote NO on everything.

I’d been a member of the d-party base: I hated all of the above, and I’m not part of that base any more.

Now we’re supposed to believe that they’ll be pressured into a living wage, MFA, a green economy, etc?
Might I remind Ralph Nadar of what kind of Democrat represents swing states/districts: Conservative.

Meanwhile:
Trump delivered the tax cuts and deregulation Ralph, and corporations got them: Trump’s base loves it.
Trump is stacking the courts: Trump’s base loves it.
Trump didn’t start a war, he may have gotten us out of two: Trump’s base loves it.
Trump cracked down on Muslims, immigrants, and he’s building his wall: Trump’s base loves it.
Trump is “owning the liberals and pissing off the media:” Trump’s base loves it.

I put that last item in quotation marks because that was the actual response given by a long time Republican operative when he was asked what his party stands for in the age of Trumpism.

So, despite your claims, Ralph, one base is holding their noses while the other is thrilled.

And to the noseholders who are eager to flame me, please feel free, but when you do, can you point to something I wrote above that isn’t true?

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The demands have been “upped”. People have made it quite clear what it is they want.

The response to this point has been, “Pound sand you lousy takers.”

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Are work won’t stop when we vote Biden and hopefully a few more progressives in office, it will begin to support everything the people want and demand Joe Biden to deliver along with the congressional corporate dems. or vote some out in two years and six years.

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Remember the down ballot? get progressive put in place and move middle grounder to a more progressive venue. PLEASE NOT ANOTHER FOUR YEARS OF TRUMP.

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good lists
Dont forget that BO let the Bush Criminal Cabal go free, even gave the bastard the medal of freedom, no consequences for 9/11 negligence and an illegal war.

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carrots and fantasies of unicorns. We’ve seen this movie.
Wall Street, I mean Ol Joe, has worked his entire career to kill some of the things we need, and has already said NO to the rest. Believe him when he tells you “Nothing will fundamentally change”. damnit, he meant that.

But, I support your right to vote for him, and pretend.

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Oh, but there were indeed consequences. Obama went on to:

  • Continue Bush’s GWOT, conducting ten times the drone attacks that Bush/Cheney perpetrated, including attacks on at least five countries we were not officially at war with
  • Assassinate American citizens
  • Start/join a war in Syria (arming Al Qaeda in the process)
  • Start/join a war in Libya (turning the wealthiest country in Africa into a hellhole)
  • Rekindle the war in Iraq
  • Up our aid to the KSA in their war on Yemen
  • Surge the Afghan contingent of troops to 100,000 – only to see zero progress made in that war despite the phony stories planted in the media by his military intelligence team

So yeah, Obama was really good at killing people.

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Biden and the Democrats are taking in record amounts of corporate cash.
With that corporate cash, they are trying to buy the hearts and minds of voters.

So a vote for Democrats tells Biden and the party that being a corporate sock puppet is smart.
And a vote for Democrats tells corporations that their money matters more than you do.

And the research confirms precisely that. From Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page:

“When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

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Establishment democrats and so-called moderates are funded by corporations and that’s who they serve. Corporations like low labor costs, a small slice of the pie going to labor, leaving more for top management and return on capital (ROI).

For this system to work with equitable sharing for all, strong competition is needed to keep corporate profit margins (as well as prices) down, but Reagan stopped enforcing the anti-trust laws, and corporate-funded politicians, in their own interests and the interests of their funders, have followed suit to this day. Hence too large a share of the economic pie goes upwards.

I write this with sadness. The people – over a very long time period – have turned their backs on progressive structural reform in the country. Beginning with the election of 1968, white voters would, by and large, rather vote for perpetuation of white privilege than tackle problems of wealth and income inequality. The election of 1972 highlighted this tendency in stark relief. Routinely, Democratic primary voters have given us the most conservative, corporate-friendly candidates. Republican voters have given us increasingly fascistic ones.

You can blame the corporate media, with its incessant propaganda, and blame big money, but for me the buck has to stop with ordinary citizens. Union members allowed their unions to become passive, bloated corporate entities. Ditto for Black churches. Our fellow citizens are lazy, inattentive, led by their fears, and are making terrible choices. Only a real catastrophe can get them to change, just like losing a devastating war was the only thing that made Germany and Japan reasonable (for a while).

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“Let’s recall what happened when the Democrats last controlled Congress and The White House…Now we’re supposed to believe that they’ll be pressured”?

  1. There were no demands when Democrats “last controlled.” What happened when Democrats had power but did not face overt progressive political demands is not an absolute guide to what would happen with intransigent progressive demands.

  2. Making nonnegotiable demands - ‘enter into a binding agreement if you want my vote’ - is a win-win strategy for progressives and left-liberals - whether or not they negotiate:

a) If the Democratic establishment that controls Biden enters into a binding “compact” with its large left flank, and honors that compact - binding planks in open and declared negotiation with progressives, enforced by pre-electoral progressive cabinet short lists - progressives will have succeeded in forcing the Democratic Party left, and the essential role of progressives will have been affirmed;

b) If the Democratic establishment rejects negotiation with its large left base, more progressives will break with Democrats; and, in the event that Biden loses, progressives will not simply ‘own’ their insurrectionist vote, but respond to Democrats, 'We did not make you lose; you lost because of your anti-democratic refusal to represent the will of voters (on issues like the massively popular M4A);

c) If D’s enter into formal and binding negotiation and compact with its large left base, and break that compact, this will delegitimize the Democratic Party in the future: ‘loyal opposition’ progressive arguments calling on progressives to ‘vote for a Democrat now, force him/her left after election’ will be undercut; and bait and switch weasel worded ‘don’t worry progressives, there’s something in it for you too’ will be more clearly exposed for what they are.

Upshot - if Democrats are forced to negotiate, progressives win. But if Democrats either refuse to negotiate, or break a negotiated compact, progressives also win by disabusing more LOTE voters, and by strengthening arguments for a third party.

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There was immense pressure applied during negotiations leading up to the passage of Romneycare.
Single payer advocates were physically removed from hearing rooms, Congressman John Conyers wasn’t even invited to hearings (in what was to be the most transparent administration in history):

~https://www.healthcare-now.org/blog/doctors-single-payer-activists-arrested-make-history-at-senate-finance-roundtable/

~http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/march/obama_to_single_paye.php

In fact, when liberal groups were eager to put pressure on Democrats on healthcare reform, Obama’s righthand man, Rahm Emanuel scolded those liberals meeting at The White House, calling them “Fucking retarded.” He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items. Of course, those lawmakers gave us a Republican healthcare plan.

CodePink protested vociferously against Obama’s wars and drone campaigns, but as Medea Benjamin stated: “We’ve been protesting Obama’s foreign policy for years now, but we can’t get the same numbers because the people who would’ve been yelling and screaming about this stuff under Bush are quiet under Obama.”

Occupy Wall St famously formed and coined the term “the 99%” during the Obama years. He co-opted their term, while destroying their movement and outlawing their tactics:

~https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2012/03/the-anti-protest-bill-signed-by-barack-obama-is-a-quiet-attack-on-free-speech.html

Black Lives Matter sprang to life during the Obama years. Obama, in his typical way, kept the movement at arm’s length. Now, of course, from the safety of the sidelines, he’s a big BLM supporter. But once upon a time:

~https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/us/obama-says-movements-like-black-lives-matter-cant-just-keep-on-yelling.html

As a reward for his not listening to anyone but his right flank, Obama presided over the loss of 12 governorships, both houses of Congress, and 900 elected seats at the state level over just four years. At which point, Democrats held the fewest elected positions since 1920.

And did they move left? Nope. They nominated Hillary and now Biden.

The Democrats are the party of moderates. That is their base. They join with Republicans in hating, blaming, and stifling progressives. They will agree to no such compact as you propose. They will laugh at the notion and tell us we have nowhere else to go. I for one, have somewhere else to go.

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Yuck. Thanks for the trip down a disgusting memory lane.

Yup, no past progressive action - occupations, protests - got anything from Democrats.

But I believe I am proposing something quite different from all the cases you describe - a formal demand by an organized bloc of the near-half (43%) of Democratic voters well to the left of the Democratic Party to represent their views in return for their vote.

(And yes, as I’ve also acknowledged before, the LOTE-minded bloc is nowhere near there; but, while actions may be spontaneous, they also may start as an idea, as an ideal.)

As stated again and again - this would be a norm in a parliamentary system, where a liberal party had to negotiate a binding platform with a slightly smaller left political party to form a coalition government. Essentially, I am arguing that - despite the US system - progressives should act like such a left minority party, and demand shared rule in return for their vote.

“The Democrats are the party of moderates” who will join the right in attacking progressives?
Who will “agree to no such compact”? Perhaps. As said many times, I don’t know if the D party would move. But, as stated in last post, 1) it’s never been tried, and 2) I’m OK with their rejecting the will of nearly half their electorate, and a majority of all voters (M4A,e.g.), because that will only delegitimize them further, and - in that event - make more LOTE voters go third party…a move I made in 1996…meaning, as I said, if they say yes, progressives win, but if they say no or welch, progressives still win.

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That’s always tempting, but in fact these things are systemic, not questions of one or another character of population.

Genetically, populations resemble their parents and offspring. Any population in times and places of revolution is genetically almost identical to populations before and after.

That brings the rest of the difference down to culture, customs, systems of social interaction, geographic circumstance, historical event, media environs, and the usual cascade of reactions.

May our customs of interaction recognize systemic change!

Unfortunately, Trump DID deliver for his supporters. Some of my Trump-loving federal government co-workers are now “TSP Millionaires” - they now have more than a million dollars in their retirement accounts thanks to Trump - who has been very-very good for big business, and therefore very-very good for hte stock market.

Their income taxes also got substantially cut too…

They love him.

“for me the buck has to stop with ordinary citizens…our fellow citizens.”

Yes, “ordinary…fellow [U.S.] citizens,” both liberal and right wing, are - among other things - a huge, sad disappointment. And - and I think this is what you’re driving at - for the U.S.'s progressive minority, this is - among other things - deeply alienating. Alienating not just when we read a mainstream newspaper, but, also, in lived interactions with the vast majority of our “fellow citizens” in daily life.

Such progressive disappointment and alienation - not with particular ideologies or specific political outcomes, but with “the people” who failed to ‘live up to’ hopes - is not new or unique to the U.S. now, but, if you look back over the last 200 years or so, is one progressive reaction to defeats…if that helps any…

(It has a relationship to Benjamin’s “left-wing melancholy.”)

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“Unfortunately, Trump DID deliver for his supporters. Some of my Trump-loving federal government co-workers are now ‘TSP Millionaires’…thanks to Trump - who has been very…good for big business, and therefore…for hte stock market.”

There you go again with your nonrepresentative, small sample size anecdotalism. Before, you invoked your fellow workers as evidence that young people didn’t believe in Social Security anymore - a “finding” undercut by polled youthful views of SS;

(h ttps://commons.commondreams.org/t/trump-is-a-health-hazard-the-choice-is-clear-on-labor-and-workers-rights-in-november/81923/8)

now, again, your co-workers supposedly show how Trump “delivered.”

Only about half US citizens, including Trump supporters, own stock - and a lot of those that do, not very much, so that they “are not significantly affected by…the stock market.” So your new millionaire co-workers are a non-representative minority.

h ttps://www.forbes.com/sites/teresaghilarducci/2020/08/31/most-americans-dont-have-a-real-stake-in-the-stock-market/#398c3eb21154

So saying Trump “delivered” because of your unsupported claim that his particular policies boosted stocks for “some” of your ‘fellow workers’ fails to explain how he “delivered” - fails to explain greater support for him or any other Republican.

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I found the Gilens and Page paper very interesting - thanks for pointing it out. I was at first very surprised in reading their work that they found that the interests of the economic elites (top 10 percentile of income) are way more in line with the opinions of median income citizens than with the interests of the corporate interest groups. They find that both the corporate interest groups and the economic elites have a big influence on policy - but not always agreeing with each other. When they do both agree on a new policy or both agree on blocking new policy - well, of course, that’s what happens.

I have often felt that we too often view almost all politicians as people who have “sold out” - but it might be more accurate to realize that most of them are economic elites who never “bought in” to a people’s agenda. When they appear to move toward corporate interests - it isn’t because they’ve moved from allegiance to a people’s agenda to a corporate agenda. Instead, it is because they are moving from the interests of the economic elites to a corporate agenda.

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