This article also appeared in CounterPunch
Congratulations, you played yourself!
Ok, this is rant from my working-class heart, but it is due time for a rant.
Well, who the hell are the Democrats going to blame now? The degree to which you scapegoat the Green Party or the white working-class is precisely the degree to which you are proving you will never learn a damn thing and are completely unable to lead this country.
If it wasn’t such a farce, I’d say it is King Lear redux.
Let’s look at some really basic, I mean high school level politics. Not fair, the average 16 year old is far wiser than the big shots of the DNC.
Establishment Candidate in an Anti-Established Year.
It’s not just that the Democrats did not take the pulse of the electorate. They did not even try.
Simple stuff really. It’s an anti-establishment year. So the DNC stays with the predetermined candidate that represents the corrupt establishment itself. Duh.
The Democrats were oblivious to the deep discontent among the American people because that simply does not figure into their clever and cunning calculations. Why should it? Fear, lesser of two evils, scapegoating, palace politics — all these things worked in the past, didn’t they?
So all the discontent and unhappiness from years of economic distress fed right into the only other choice. We have the “great two party system” don’t we? Both Democrats and Republicans insist there is no alternative. The Democrats fail, the Republican succeed. Damn the binary, we so need a multi-party system.
The Democrats run a candidate who spent eight years in the White House, crow about her experience, even when the experience included the fact that Bill Clinton was IMPEACHED and widely viewed as a bum. The Democrats embrace a family dynasty the includes one of the two presidents in all of American history impeached by the House of Representatives. Good choice! This has to be one of the most amazing proofs that the Democratic Party echo chamber is truly deafening.
Burning Down Democracy
Then in another move — that has to rank as one of the most moronic and dishonest tactics in American politics — the DNC conspires with the corporate media to cheat Bernie Sanders, the rightful nominee. Then, in a brilliant tactic, the DNC elevates Trump as the easy one to beat. Both demobilize voters, especially younger voters, by giving them proof positive that their vote does not count. Only a machine so insulated and out of touch with the country it proposes to lead could make such an elementary error. An error impossible to make if Democrats held the interest of the county higher than the control over the machine. But, they do not.
Show Me the Message
Up until the bitter end the Clinton campaign was so distracted by underhanded manipulation and palace politics that its failed to have a concise, convincing message. I am not Donald Trump, she cried out. I am a women — well I am a human with a female anatomy anyway. Token to feminism but hatchet man to the women in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Honduras, the garment workers in Haiti, the women thrown off welfare, and the millions of working women struggling to get by. People are not stupid and these unmentionable casualties were greater than the “deplorables” we were instructed to despise.
And while you are at it, remember that condescension toward the working class is always a winning appeal, well until now. Obama, joker that he is, had the sense to promise hope and change. At least lie like a politician, ok?
Clinton in one of her most passionate statement on domestic policy promised us that universal health care would “never ever” happen. I mean, did they pay someone to think that up?
Rely on Fear Then Scare the Shit Out of Everyone
We already have seven wars under Obama. Just not enough for Hillary. Clinton’s lust for war and love of the military-industrial complex was so great she spoke openly of nuclear war. During the last debate we learned we are four minutes from oblivion. Now that was smart!
To the American legion she said “One of the first things I will do as president, is to call for a new nuclear posture review.” Unneccesary war mongering. Clinton knew damn well that Obama had already ordered a trillion dollar upgrade of the nuclear arsenal including the production of dangerous tactical nukes, weapons small enough that they could actually be used. So if you are going to rely on fear of the other candidate to manipulate the voters try not to be the scarier one. In 1968 Nixon actually ran as a “peace candidate” to the “left” of Humphrey whose response to the war in Vietnam was “more of the same.” Nixon won you dumbasses.
Welcome to the Machine
Machine politics do not work anymore. There are jobs at stake and god knows “I was just going my job.” But having spent over 15 years as union staff I can attest to the swaggering arrogance of so many of the “best and brightest” machine operatives, particularly those in legislative and electoral work. Power is just so intoxicating. I prefer beer. I can see them now, nodding in agreement, smug, certain, and unanimous.
If the labor movement and other social movement groups that “got in early” behind Clinton — as their predictable advisors always advise — instead poured every possible resource into Bernie Sander, or god help us, Jill Stein, we would not be in this position. But no. The machine demands that its cogs sacrifice their own political judgements and morality to the leader, or in this, the season of fascism, might we say “fuhrer.” If the big, so badass unions, AFT, NEA, SEIU, AFSME, do not clean house and fire their sharp and savvy political advisors, who they pay plenty, then we can only expect they have learned nothing and are as unfit to lead the American working class as the Democrats are unfit to lead the country.
Dominion is Mind Rot
In the larger frame, policy choices and machine politics are just the tactic and strategy of power. The failure of the Democrats is the price of dominion. And, dominion is mind rot. It’s not simply that the Clintons have wielded power far too long. Far too long surrounded by sycophants, job seekers, and donors. “Yes, Madam Secretary.” “No, Madam Secretary.” “Hillary” is marketing for suckers. Blindness is the consequence of immense power and that is why, in a democracy, power is supposed to be insecure not dynastic. Checks and balances. Separation of power. This is one of the many reasons empires fall and perhaps the only silver lining to Trump’s victory. The American empire grows feeble. Let us do it under.
The Measure of Mendacity
The scapegoating will be a good measures as to just how decadent the Democrats are. The Democrats learned the wrong lesson in 2000. What lesson will they learn now? Oh, and the scapegoating and fear mongering the Democrats are so fond of have made people less likely to resist the system. Who wants to be blamed and shamed for months and years of activism? Nice job dumbasses.
The other, equally dangerous measure of mendacity will be the degree to which the Democrats capitulate to Trump. Judging by Obama’s addiction to serial compromise with the uncompromising Republicans, the Democrats may well move yet again to the right; ever closer to Trump. Remember that the rise of the Clinton machine and the “third way” Democrats in the 1990s was an accommodation to the “Reagan Revolution.”
What Are We Waiting For?
So if the Democrats are hopeless dumbasses and the Republican hopeless on all accounts, where is the leadership to come from? It is not too hard to see really. Sine the last revolution of the mid-twentieth century, it has been “we the people” embodied in the social movements. We have the morality, political values, strategy and courage to lead the country. Start with the “mother of all movements,” the civil rights movement. Read Martin Luther King’s, Where Do We Go From Here? Read it now and then live it.
Then take a close look at the new civil rights movement. Right now — as the political parties parade their intellectual and moral bankruptcy — school is in session. The people at Standing Rock are demonstrating the kind of deep wisdom — a wisdom with global appeal — that we can use to create a future worth living for. Pay close attention. And if we work hard we can organize a political party that is the electoral wing of the social moments. Right now there is only one candidate for the job: the Green Party.
The only thing worse than a dumbass is a chickenshit. Let’s get it on!
Removing party-based impediments to movement building:
Pursuing socialism outside the upper middle class and its trap of identity politics::
1. “…pro-capitalist character of the Green Party, which is seeking to corral disaffected workers and youth back within the confines of bourgeois politics.”
2. “If the Greens are opposed to “state socialism (state ownership of production),” i.e., the formation of a workers’ state, then which class will rule? The state is not a neutral arbiter, but an instrument of class rule. It is presently controlled entirely by the corporate and financial elite, which dictates foreign and domestic policy. In the absence of a working class revolution, the state will continue to function in the interests of the capitalists, pursuing policies of austerity and war.”
The expression, “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” comes to mind. Well, if this does not force yclept progressives and unions to serious and hopefully transformative soul searching, I don’t know what will.
Time, as Grace Lee Boggs said about true revolution as evolution, to become “the leaders we’ve been looking for.”
I should have checked in sooner — let you know about why Be Freedom wasn’t posting on my social media network. Short version: app meltdown. I’m back to manual for now. And in a post-election funk (but archiving like going after snakes — which in a sense I am).
Yes, The Democrats had the entire establishment and lost. So far the Corporate Dems and the corporate minded union officials are showing no signs of learning. Boggs is spot on as usual. Sorry for you troubles and I think we all are in a post-election funk.