May 11, 2017 By Jack Jodell, American Dissident, N.M.P.
COUNTDOWN: As of today, there still remain 1,351 more days to go in this horrible administration’s term in office…
“The Democratic Party delivered one thing…disappointment.”
– Dr. Cornel West, quoted in The Guardian –
“The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat…”
– Harry S Truman –
The once-great Democratic Party, formerly the true majority party, and the standard-bearer of American workers, the middle class, labor union members, minorities, intellectuals, the disabled, and the poor has very sadly fallen on hard times. Over the years, first Richard Nixon and later Ronald Reagan successfully peeled away many of its union workers and a signifigant number of white working-class males, leaving it a party composed mainly of minorities and women overall, plus a few never-say-die progressives, like myself. This party has lost an astounding 900+ legislative seats over the past few years, as well as a large number of statehouses and governorships. This is definitely unsustainable long term!
In the early 1990s, Bill (and Hillary) Clinton, plus Al Gore, changed the party, calling it the “new” or “Third Wave” Democrats. What they actually did, though, was to sell-out its labor base to pursue well-heeled supporters on Wall Street. Barack Obama, being elected in the midst of a horrible Republican-led Wall Street banking crash in 2008, regrettably continued this courting of Wall Street by putting loads of former Wall Street banking execs into his cabinet. Donald Chump followed suit, and today, many former liberals feel they no longer have a political party they can honestly support. Those of us who are dedicated leftists and who believe in government regulation on big business and the wealthy as protection against the excesses of those groups correctly feel abandoned and alone. Given the FACT that we constitute a MAJORITY of all voters, we feel this should NOT be the case, and we are correct in that feeling! Back in the latter part of the 1800s, the Republicans derisively referred to the Democrats as the party of rum, romanism, and rebellion. Today, the GOP derisively refers to Democrats as the party of big government, overspending, and abortion, completely igmoring the fact that numerous Democrats have actually helped downsize government; that Republicans often outspend Democrats (the George W. Bush administration is a perfect example), and many do NOT automatically support abortion on demand. Republicans also mock its substantial liberal faction supporting environmental concerns as being naive “tree huggers”. The Republicans also erroneously call Democrats “big spenders” even though the GOP has spent like a drunken sailor during the Reagan and Bush II administrations and has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on investigations of political opponents which yielded NOTHING. Billions and billions of dollars have gone to GOP-led tax cuts for billionaires who don’t need them and giveaways to huge corporations – all at a time when our own infrastructure (roads, bridges, schools) are needlessly crumbling. Alas, the Republicans have seldom showed themselveslves to be a party with heart (unless it served them politically to do so), and, in recent years, have shown time and again that they are the party of obfuscation and outright LIES.
But enough on the giant shortcomings of today’s backward-looking, reactionary CON-servative Republicans. Today’s entry deals with Democratic Party shortcomings and what can and should be done to restore a viable liberal/progressive party to this country, and one that is capable of winning and governing.
Democrats have been taking both minorities and labor unions for granted for far too long. Yes, the overwhelming number of blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans tend to vote Democratic, as do labor union members, but the Democrats have not truly delivered for them for a long time. By caving in to Wall Street and mildly opposing tax cuts for billionaires rather than supporting them for the poor and middle class, and with their mild opposition to dozens of “free trade” deals sponsored by and passed by Republicans, Democrats have mistakenly plunged a dagger into the backs of working, blue-collar America. They have allowed Republican presidents and congresses to steamroll them with a conservative economic approach loaded with anti-labor measures rather than opposing them loudly and soundly and offering a united, much fairer progressive alternative. The occasional progressive voice, like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, Maxine Waters, Sherrod Brown, or Nina Turner, (to name a few) have all been muted by a Wall Street-tainted core of Democratic Party apparatchiks, who pay lip service to core Democratic constituencies but then abandon them, giving them minimal effort, at crunch time. On social issues, the party has been quite close-minded to those who proclaim themselves to be pro-life. Yes, a woman’s right to choice is of paramount importance, but millions of formerly Democratic voters have been pushed over to the horrid Republican camp for the Democrats having been tainted with the “pro abortion” monicker by the GOP. Clearly, the Democrats’ “open tent” policy should and must include at least some who call themselves “pro-life”, especially in rural or more traditionally conservative areas! Being pro-life does NOT necessarily equate with being anti-women’s health policies or the eradication of Planned Parenthood! My solutions for the Democratic Party to once more recapture its true position of being the MAJORITY party would include, not in any particular order of importance, the following:
1). Restore support for policies which aid the poor, working (lower) middle class, labor union members, and the disabled – and STOP legislating in favor of wealthy, Wall Street banker types!
2), Allow for more “pro life” members to join the party, provided they don’t promote anti-women issues.
3), Strongly support and actively push for expanded Social Security and disability benefits.
4). Push to pass a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system, and eradicate parasitical, profit-driven health care insurance middlemen in this country for all eternity!
5). Reaffirm strong support for pro-minority civil rights legislation which bans discrimination of all types against social and racial minorities.
6). Promote further development of “green” industries like wind, solar, and ocean cleanup, while eliminating subsidies for polluting, fossil fuel companies.
7). Come out loud and strong in support of campaign finance reform, and END the overwhelming preponderance of big, corporate money in our politics!
8). Re-establish the firm footing the liberal party had in the 1930s – the latter 1960s with the faith-based community. This does NOT mean an erosion of the line separating church and state, but much of the great progressive legislation passed in that specific time period, including civil rights, the social safety net programs, women’s equality, and workers’ rights endeavors all came to fruition with strong support from our nation’s churches and synagogues. We can no longer afford to push the religious community into the eager waiting hands of regressive Republicans, and we must again embrace them! Let us adopt Matthew 25 and abandon Milton Freiedman as our guiding light!
9). Push for the END of constant warfare and severely limit the influence of greedy, military/industrial complex warmongers.
10). Severly restrict and regulate – yes, REGULATE – big pharmaceutical companies which are constantly ripping us off by overcharging!
11). Neoliberal, globalist economic policies must be abandoned forever! All they do is further enrich the overly-pampered wealthy at the expense of everybody else. Proposed treaties like the TPP or NAFTA and the like need to be avoided at all costs, and shame on Democratic Presidents Clinton and Obama and Democratic congresspersons for having ever supported such craziness!
12). Strongly support and legislate much-needed infrastructure programs which will renew our crumbling roads, bridges, trains, airports, and buildings. Such an endeavor would certainly spur monumental economic growth and would very shortly pay for itself many times over!
These are but a few ideas on how the Democratic Party can and MUST renew itself and make it more relevant and appealing to voters. There are undoubtedly many more, but this should start to help make it once more a MAJORITY party that is looking forward rather than backward, and would benefit ALL citizens instead of a wealthy few special interests! For this country is badly in need of a strong, leftist party, especially since the current centrist party of weak-kneed Democrats has been all but neutralized by the ever more reactionary Republicans.
Come to your senses, America: Thief-in-chief Donald Chump has not only stolen an entire election, but he is succeeding in covering up his corruption by the firing of DBI Director James Comey, the one man who was beginning to investigate him!
Now is clearly the time for all good Drmocrzats to come to the aid of their party, or the only remaining hope for the continuance of democracy in the United States will be gone forever!
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