Saturday, November 19, 2016

Progressives are wasting precious time trying to transform the Democratic Party. Instead, they should loose themselves from the sinking ship and create their own party.

Above: It was a good run while it lasted; but neoliberals have thoroughly destroyed the party of Roosevelt and the New Deal; and they've also delivered us into the hands of right-wing extremists. It's time to start anew. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

At some point, progressives need to wake up and understand that the Democratic Party is lost. It has been taken over by centrists, financial industry CEOs, wealthy investors, "third way democrats," neoliberals, and others. It is now a front group for Corporate America. No, it is worse than that - it is a safety net for Corporate America. Corporate America has calculated that if Republicans aren't in control of government, thus allowing them to run amok, then bought-and-paid-for-Democrats aren't a bad second option. As Cenk Uygar of The Young Turks recently wrote: "As long as we have private financing of our elections, the system will always pick strong Republicans and cowering Democrats so that the financial interests of the donors are served."

However, I disagree with Uygar's ultimate conclusion: "The only answer is to break that system entirely, completely revamp the Democratic Party..." This sentiment has, of course, been echoed by many political commentators. But it's not the only answer, nor is it the best answer. The best answer is for progressives to leave the sinking ship behind. We must accept the sad reality that neoliberals, and their Wall Street backers, have hijacked and destroyed the party of Roosevelt. As Zach Carter of the Huffington Post correctly observed, "New Democrats have been battling New Dealers for 45 years."

We must begin anew and create a true progressive party, perhaps calling it the "New Deal Party." You see, we cannot fight right-wing extremists (who are desperately working towards a Christofascist Empire), and also fight Wall Street puppets within the Democratic Party, and then also fight for the working class and poor. It's simply too much. We are being distracted from the most important battles by insincere (and well-funded) elements within the Democratic Party who are sabotaging our every progressive move. It's like playing a baseball game with your center fielder asleep, your shortstop taking bribes from the other team, and your catcher too busy writing autographs, for cash, to be bothered with catching pitches.

I believe that every moment we spend trying to transform the Democratic Party is a waste of precious time. We have four years to get Trump and his pack of right-wing ghouls out of our government. Let's not waste those years trying to convince Democrats to be Democrats. Let's spend those years, instead, building a new, Bernie Sanders-style movement & political party. Millennials will be with us, Independents will be with us, disaffected Democrats will be with us, minorities will be with us, and every person who believes in economic & social justice for all will be with us. Heck, after four years of Trump, I think a lot of Republicans will be with us too.

Are you listening Green Party? Are you listening Progressive Caucus? Are you listening MoveOn.org? Are you listening Progressive Democrats of America? Are you listening Bernie & Elizabeth? Let's unite and get on with it.

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, recently wrote of the election results: 

"You might think this overwhelming drubbing would cause the Democratic party to reorganize itself into a very different party from the one it’s become – which is essentially a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests that make up the bulk of its funding. 

Don’t bet on it.

For one thing, many vested interests don’t want the Democratic party to change. Most of the money it raises ends up in the pockets of political consultants, pollsters, strategists, lawyers, advertising consultants and advertisers themselves, many of whom have become rich off the current arrangement. They naturally want to keep it."

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