Friday, April 29, 2016

The Democratic Party has been taken over by conservatives who have normalized fraud and corruption. Progressives should leave - ASAP.

Above: President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935. It's a good thing Roosevelt and his fellow policymakers created Social Security, because Democrats like President Obama and Hillary Clinton would have scoffed at the idea, calling it "impractical." Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

In a recent interview, Vice President Joe Biden scolded the small ideas of the Clinton campaign and embraced the big ideas of the Sanders Campaign: "I like the idea of saying, 'We can do much more,' because we can... I don't think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can't think that big - we ought to really downsize here because it's not realistic.' C'mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, 'Well, we can't do it.'"

Unfortunately, Mr. Biden, you are. Your party has been taken over by conservatives. You can see it everywhere: In Clinton's speeches poo-pooing the "impractical" ideas of Bernie Sanders and his supporters; in the Democratic Establishment's solicitation of cash from white collar criminals; in Internet comments to news stories about Hillary's ideas vs. Bernie's ideas; in media coverage; and so on.

Today, in an amazing op-ed on the news site Mother Jones (oh, the irony), journalist Kevin Drum writes: "And when [Bernie Sanders'] revolution inevitably fails, where do all his impressionable young followers go? Do they join up with the corrupt establishment and commit themselves to the slow boring of hard wood? Or do they give up? I don't know, but my fear is that some of them will do the latter. And that's a damn shame."

wow! Wow! WOW!

Essentially, Drum offers two choices (there are more choices of course) and ultimately favors joining up "with the corrupt establishment." That's an astounding proposition.

Drum goes on to write: "I'll grant that my pitch--and Hillary's and Barack Obama's--isn't very inspiring. Work your fingers to the bone for 30 years and you might get one or two significant pieces of legislation passed." Again, WOW! Essentially, Drum is asking us to join him for 30 years of brutally hard work that "might" get "one or two significant pieces of legislation passed." Um, no thanks Mr. Drum. But have fun with that.

Above: President Roosevelt and his fellow New Deal policymakers created the WPA to employ 8.5 million jobless Americans and to modernize American infrastructure. If you transported today's Democratic Establishment back to 1935, they would laugh at Roosevelt, call the WPA "impractical," and tell FDR's supporters, "Boy oh boy, are you foolish and naive! You don't know how change occurs!!" Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.

Another amazing theme in Drum's piece is that people who don't join up with him and Hillary may end up hurting the Democratic Party: "Most likely Bernie will have no lasting effect, and his followers will scatter in the usual way, with some doubling down on practical politics and others leaving for different callings. But there's a decent chance that Bernie's failure will result in a net increase of cynicism about politics, and that's the last thing we need. I hate the idea that we might lose even a few talented future leaders because they fell for Bernie's spiel and then got discouraged when it didn't pan out."

Drum seems oblivious to the fact that the Democratic Party has been pulverized by the uninspiring agenda that he so proudly touts as the superior strategy. Over the last several years, Democrats have lost 1,000 federal and state political offices; in large part because voters are uninspired by the modern Democratic Party's wimpy and corporate-coddling agenda. For heaven's sake, the chair of the Democratic National Committee is funded by loan sharks!

Drum's op-ed is just the latest in a long list of things that should be setting off alarm bells in progressives. We should not be in league with people who tell us our ideas are silly and that we should instead "join up with the corrupt establishment" in the hope that we can make one or two significant changes between now and 2046.

No, we should not join the corrupt establishment. No, we should not vote for Hillary Clinton, a politician who takes campaign cash and huge speaking fees from financial fraudsters. We should stick to our principles, come hell or high water. Consider this: On many occasions, our ancestors gave their lives for a higher cause, e.g., to end slavery, to end Nazism. So, can't we also take a little pain in pursuit of a higher cause (i.e., a nation of better wages, less suicide, less war, less income inequality, less student loan debt, less child homelessness, less incarceration, etc.)? It seems to me that the least we progressives can do is to refuse to vote for corruption and plutocracy, even if that means Trump is elected and the next 4-8 years are somewhat more horrible than they would have been under Clinton. Let's abandon the back-stabbing Democratic Party and build a truly progressive party for the future.


Above: In this video clip, we see President Roosevelt giving his Second Bill of Rights speech in 1944. Among other things, Roosevelt called for "the right to a useful and remunerative job," "the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation," "the right of every family to a decent home," "the right to adequate medical care," "the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment," and "the right to a good education." If you suggested some of these things today, the Democratic Establishment and their supporters would say, "What??? The right to a well-paying job? The right to have enough money for recreation?? The right to a decent home?? no, No, NO!! How are you going to pay for all those things?!? The next thing you're going to tell me is that you want to raise taxes on the wealthy, punishing them for their success!!" Original YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EZ5bx9AyI4.

The Democratic Party is playing us for suckers - rigging the nomination process, scolding our idealism, snickering at our goal to reduce the influence of corporate cash on policy-making, and trying to scare us with the lesser-of-two-evils warning that they roll out every four years. They've called us starry-eyed dreamers, little children, and misogynists--all the while pocketing more campaign cash from the super-wealthy crooks they've protected from criminal prosecution. And now they have the gall to demand, "Okay, you better stop fighting! You better stop being foolish little children! You need to lick your wounds and support us! After all, You don't want Trump in there, do you??"

Oh. My. God. Well, I try to keep my blog relatively clean, so I'll just say that my answer to the Democratic Establishment begins with an expletive and ends with a "you."

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