Home | About | Donate

Yes, the Democratic Party Did Abandon the Working Class


Yes, the Democratic Party Did Abandon the Working Class

Jake Johnson

It's not as if the Democratic Party was ever "the party of the people" — at least not in the mystical sense depicted by both party loyalists and some on the left who are nostalgic for the liberal tradition established by Franklin Roosevelt and carried forward by Lyndon Johnson.

But the party was, at one point, quite responsive to democratic pressure from below — and systemic change has always been prompted by movements, not party leaders.


Jake, I enjoy your articles and appreciate your ability to concisely lay out your arguments. You are, however, preaching to the choir. What the country needs from you and your contemporaries is Vision and Action, or at least a call to specific action. You have an excellent mind and a thorough grasp of history. Please employ both strategically, as well as analytically.


Although the strikes Jake described contributed pressure to enact FDR’s New Deal, the primary driver of the New Deal was 10% of US voters voting for socialist and communist candidates during much of the first half of the twentieth century, thereby giving cover to Congressional Democrats and even some Republicans to vote in favor of giving the 99% something to keep them from making the US go commie.

The post WWII cold war and anti-communist crusades led by Joe McCarthy, the Dulles brothers and others successfully demonized all things left of center to the extent that by the time Saint Ronny was anointed POTUS in 1981 left of center candidates were getting 1% of the vote and New Deal demolition accelerated.

By 2012, with the progressive Green Party and the two socialist candidates getting barely 1% of the vote COMBINED, the Democrats have had zero incentive to give the 99% anything and every incentive to destroy what little remains of the New Deal.

Until left of center third parties start getting 10% of the general election vote, the 1% will continue to make rapid gains at the expense of the 99%.


Working class? What working class? There is no working class. We are independent contractors or successful entrepreneurs. If you are not one of those . . . watch out; you might be called something un-nice and have something un-nice done to you.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Probably the most massive abandonment of the working class occurred when they fully became a War Party. You can’t piss away 50% of tax revenue of unwinnable wars & have enough left over for health care, tuition, unemployment insurance, etc.

(This why Sanders would have failed if elected.)

Also, Hillary’s presidential campaign seemed to be a PR campaign to prepare us for war with Russia. This prospect scared the crap out of me. Trump seemed less dangerous. (Now I am not sure, seeing as he has gone full-tilt Nazi/KKK).

No way could I vote for Hillary. The Democrats were unsupportable. I voted Green.


The “neolibs” have turned the DNC into a billion dollar organization and they will not give up that revenue without a fight to the finish.


As to Jimmy Carter, it was he who, in 1979, started funding the mujahadeen in Afghanistan (the folks who became al Qaeda and the Taliban) to successfully draw the USSR into an invasion of Afghanistan. www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

As to Obama, after promising to filibuster the FISA Amendments Act if it provided immunity to the telecomms that helped W spy on everyone without warrants, in July, 2008, not only didn’t he filibuster it, he voted for it.

That was, for me, all I needed to know about his corporate tooldom (so to speak),


From Jacobin:


What is obvious since I entered the world of economic democracy advocacy back in the late 1960s, is neither major political party, or for that matter any political party or movement including the most recent led by Senator Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, has advocated and embraced economic democracy policies that would empower EVERY American child, woman and man to become, without the requirement of past savings, a substantially financial independent citizen through their individual ownership stakes in the corporations growing the economy and who engage in constant capital asset formation “projects”. it has become increasingly clear to me that, except for the 1 percent wealthy ownership class who OWN America, Americans simply are not educated in matters of wealth-creating, income-producing capital asset ownership nor do they understand that this is the most important education they will attain to abate economic inequality and provide an affluent future for their children and grandchildren. Instead, all they know is jobs, jobs, jobs as the ONLY way to earn and income. In the meantime, because of their ignorance, the wealthy ownership class, who has the knowledge and does understand, have been able to exclude the masses from acquiring the non-human means of production, which they have monopolized in a never-ending obsession of constantly seeking more and more wealth as the world’s future wealth ownership becomes concentrated solely among themselves. This is the antithesis of economic democracy and the path to inclusive prosperity, inclusive opportunity and inclusive economic justice.


Generalizations don’t help anyone. You laying the blame on Obama’s shortcomings on racist hate lets the true enemies, the 1%, off the hook. Which by the way they would have been okay with both Trump or Hillary.


"A viable political party simply cannot be deeply committed to both the needs of capital and the needs of the working class. As Adam Smith understood, “The interest of the dealers…in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public.”

Do we need “dealers” or parties when modern technology can give us secure online direct democracy to aid insecure voting machines?


Me, too!


I sincerely hope that you are right in this matter.


Thanks Again Jake Johnson for being timely, informative and accurate. First, your inclusion of The Powell Memo is very important and I hope readers clicked your link so that they can understand how far back the assault on the working man and woman goes back. It’s a truly viscous document and deserves much more exposure. I’m providing a better link below. It’s also important as Jake points out to realize the extent to which the Democratic Party has contributed to the obliteration of the New Deal. In fact, in retrospect, the continuity of deception is stunning in that both political parties are responsible for labor grief in this country so Jake you are correct in your assessment that President Obama and the Democrats are no friend of the working class. It is a painful reality we are faced with today, how to regain worker rights? Should we rebuild the Democratic Party or abandon it? Should we follow Bernie or is he another false hope? So your article is perfect from beginning to end, thanks…



This is one of the reasons Hillary lost…Americans figured so what another four years of kissing corporate ass and giving them what they want…Her campaign speeches didn’t enlighten anyone either, you could tell she was embracing the wall street sector by not coming out against TPP plus she eats at the corporate cash bowl. She also deflected on other issues by not really saying anything…Like mass incarceration or pot decriminalization…Seems the debates were more about personalities and she has a better personality than Trump but that’s were it ended. She should have been more Bernie Sanders than Hillary…Trump lied his ass off and he keeps lying but unfortunately a lot of people believed his lies…Sure Donald has all the racists but it was the democrats who were tired of more Obama like leading and Hillary was just another Clinton thinking she was entitled and who could stand listening to Bill rant on for another 4 years…Lots of factors plus I am sure there was a lot of phony baloney at a lot of the poles…Hillary’s poison would have been better to swallow than Trumps…But people were hoping for change and Trump promised them a chicken in the pot…They are truly ignorant people to believe this asshole and he is an asshole of biblical proportions …The Donald has no love for anyone other than Donald and his billionaire cohorts…The change people wanted will make them ill and realize the shit has hit the fan…Democracy may not survive this ordeal because now people are nothing but cattle…all you worker bees better wear your work clothes and pack your lunch if your lucky enough to have a job…Because the Donald thinks you are paid to much and work to little…Look for anything to do with helping workers by their employers will be gone …You are now a slave of corporate …So when things get tuff at work remember you wanted change… well so did the corporations, now who do you thing is going to like the changes.


I hope & pray you are right, but the neoliberals wont go down easily. As we post, the oligarchs are doing a reset & will soon restart their insurgency into the democratic party. The idea that they could lose effective control of 1 of the 2 major poltical parties is unequivocally unacceptable to them.

They are doing their best to make sure that when the inevitable voter rebellion to trumpism / republicism happens, it will be their candidates riding the wave.