Home | About | Donate

Why We Need a New Democratic Party


Why We Need a New Democratic Party

Robert Reich

It is time for a New Democratic Party.

The old Democratic Party has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests.

It has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

The election of 2016 has repudiated the old Democratic Party.


Looks like this article echoes policy papers of the Perot campaign in 1992, and Nader campaigns in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Correct then and correct now.


A "new" Democratic Party is going to be hard to build when forces are already aligning against Keith Ellison to head the DNC. Bernie came out strong on Saturday with his op-ed piece in the NY Times and has endorsed Ellison, who supported him in the primaries, heads the progressive caucus in Congress, and has spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights and against US military interventions abroad. The election to head the DNC will be the first test.

Second, repudiation of the neoconservative worldview has to be part of the Democratic Party reform. At least some of Trump's appeals was based on his rejection of the Democratic Party's absurd Russia-bashing campaign, used as an excuse to intervene further in Syria and provoke conflict in Eastern Europe along Russia's borders. Progressives are sick and tired of the Democratic Party's blanket support for and funding of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, warmongering, and acquiescence in or outright initiation of senseless military interventions abroad that only drain blood and treasure, and make America less secure.

Finally, the biggest hurdle will be winning back the millions of voters who felt their economic dislocation had been ignored by Democratic Party elites. Trump co-opted Bernie's populist campaign directed to them and rode it to an electoral win based on a handful of upper Midwest states.


Another outline of what is needed article with nothing about how to actually achieve it. Given that the Democratic party has been a co-conspirator of the corrupt two party system, the party will have to supply specifics on how to realize this "New Democratic Party" and wrest control from the centrist DNC establishment before they'll regain the trust of all the constituencies they have betrayed. Long on words and good intentions and short on actions won't cut it, anymore.


Small note: wildlife, animals, wilderness should be accounted amongst the vulnerable that will be in desperate need of defence and protection.


Great post, joesalt! You hit all the major points - why do the people who supposedly are in charge not see it that way and act on it? But we do need a comprehensive plan on how to address these issues one by one - who will come forward and present it?


There has been ample evidence that we should never trust the Democrats.

We should not be trying to revitalize a decaying corpse.

We should be putting our progressive eggs in the Green basket in order to decimate the corrupt two (really one) party system.


The Greens are just as much of a decaying corpse. Their votes have decayed each cycle. They couldn't even get 1% this cycle.


Ellison, Sanders and whoever is left should simply declare themselves the new Democratic leadership by fiat. The old party leadership sabotaged the vibrant progressive movement, which should have been their legacy, and are responsible for the election of Trump and their own demise. Whether the opposition coalesces under the old Democratic banner or as a new organization, it needs to form in the next few weeks and be up and running well before inauguration day. The old leadership is completely discredited, and any resistance should be regarded as their rejection of any willingness to represent the anti-corporate majority of the American public. The ‘new democratic party’ of the Clintons can join the ‘old republican party’ of Bush, Romney and Co. and happy exist as a combined and irrelevant party of dead and useless ideas and policies. Anyone willing to envision a future better than Trump or Hillary cannot allow themselves to be shackled to the rusting skeleton of a sunken ship.

In my wildest dreams, i envision an opposition which forms a shadow government, lays out clear and sane environmental, economic and foreign policy, conducts diplomacy with heads of state, who do not regard the new prez as relevant, and crafts a platform whole and ready for the next transition, whenever and however that opportunity arises.


That Russia bashing, that blind support for Israel and that Neoconsertive Worldview are all memes being advanced by the mainsteam Media as well.

If that MSM gets onboard with Democratic Party reforms then it just another con. When the MSM reports on the Democratic Party as much as it does on the Green Party, then and only then can any reforms be seen as more then window dressing.


Well actually, he endorsed Bernie Sanders and it was only when he had to choose between Hillary and Trump did he pick HRC.


Sounds like Sanders is already working on it. Maybe you two should get together on this. And if you want a party that is responsive to its constituency, and provides a mechanism for constituency activism, you might want to look at Australia's Online Direct Democracy party. Lots of good ideas there. Just imagine, a Democrat party that was actually democratic. What a radical notion.


This morning I'm contemplating the intelligent idea of Bernie Sanders .. supported YUGELY by we the people just taking over the DNC.. Rip it down.... replace everyone...have a civil war within the DNC... and have Bernie be "our guy" Let him re-write the foundational goals, bylaws, charters... whatever... rebuild it from the ground up with NO CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP... Basically , just take Bernie's platform and turn it into the DNC platform.. (***Remember, many who went to Trump were Berners who could not stomach Hillary (and her status quo) ) Michael Moore sees this as the only solution.. I think it is... I trusted the DNC and voted Hillary... and that wasn't enough to beat an obvious racist psychopath like DT... Who is fit to lead this "Revolution"? Only Bernie...and perhaps Elizabeth Warren. They already have our trust.. There is SO MUCH important work that has to happen in the next 69 days.... we need to Organize, Unite, Strategize.. Call it something new too: "The NEW Democrats" Where do we go from here? .... One thing I know for sure... We Can't repeat this painful lesson again... No Way!!!


Although DLC dogma is as strong as ever, the DLC was dissolved in 2011. Perhaps making a DLC pinata and beating it to death to rid the party of DLC dogma may be the first step.



This is a lot better rhetoric than what Robert Reich was writing even a couple weeks ago. I suppose that on some level that has to be a good thing. I do not suppose that I would see the same thing here had Hillary Clinton been elected. But that's moot, an untestable hypothesis.

I am very concerned that all of this fervor will return again to the first usurper, with just so little standard of judgment as was the case two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, people with positions like that of Reich were calling "the old Democratic Party" "the New Democrats." I wonder.

I suppose that this works as long as we are speaking of a coalition towards some very specific goal that we might share. That's disappointing, though, isn't it?

It seems we need a way forward to more than that. I do think that's the matter that Reich intends to address. I suppose I suspect that his notion of "new" is cosmetic, and that what we see is the ritual sacrifice of Donna Brazile like the ritual faux-sacrifice of Wasserman-Schultz, with no cuts of any sort nor reform of any sort to the larger organization that supported and implemented all of this and carried Hillary Clinton all the way to mutual debacle.

How deep must this cut?

How can such decisions be made with the likes of Gallagher, Solomon, Reich and so forth calling for the reform, when they could not even go so far as to reject Clinton?


Excellent comment< I just do not so HOW these people can be seen as genuine advocates of reform when they were on the Clinton bandwagon two weeks ago and suggesting people vote for her.

This very much appears like a huckster working another angle as the first has failed.


Wierd I trried to put a like on your post and am not permitted to.


The Greens are not a decaying corpse.
They are a struggling embryo being strangled by the duopoly.


Robert, we don't need a new Democratic Party. What we need is a new Party. A new Progressive People's Party is what we need.


Yes - the Green party or some like-minded party.

What was the final number for Jill Stein and company - ~ 0.96% of the popular vote?

Look - everyone is still reeling from this election, even if they don't realize it.

But both the Democratic Party and the Republicans are history in my opinion - irredeemable institutions trapped in a past that no longer exists.

"The Limits to Growth" of 1972 has proven largely accurate. Unfortunately we did not heed the warning to act now (i.e., 1972) - and so we have NOW.

But as Leonard Cohen pointed out - "there's a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in".

And that's how the light will get thru to the American People - one tiny ray at a time.

I am returning to blogging big time, in the hope that eventually the facts will make themselves obvious to a majority of Americans (and Canadians, and people worldwide).

America is majority unscientific. Until this changes - things will only get worse.

Denialists of science come in many forms, but truth and the moral high ground are not impossible dreams - they are now a necessity for the human race to avoid extinction.