Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Post Mortem: The Democratic Party


The Democratic party as we know it needs to cease to exist.

It is no secret that in 1992 Bill Clinton was involved in a think tank concerning the future of the Democratic party.  The belief then was that the party was too idealistic and that was not a good recipe for winning elections.  Bear in mind that we had just come through 12 of the most devastating years for the poor and middle class due to the billionaire friendly policies of Reagan and Bush.

The conclusion of the Clinton involved think tank was that in order to retain  power in America, the Democrats had to move to the right and befriend the policies of Reagan.  This was in response to the Republicans moving to the bizarro religious extreme right (now known as the Tea Party.)

We had suffered through three long horrible  Reagan/ Bush administrations noted for the bankrupt idea of "trickle down" economics, massive deregulation, arrogant neglect of the poor and middle class, subtle but very real racism, the "war on drugs", rolling back of the social contract initiated by Franklin Roosevelt known as the new deal, and attacks on environmental protection.  We must not omit an unconscionable embrace of the fanatical Christian "born again" evangelical movement (do we not have a bill of rights separating church from government?)  "Greed is good," was their credo.

I was ready to welcome back the Democrats who, I hoped, would begin to right the egregious misdeeds against the American people perpetrated by the Reagan/ Bush national nightmare.  At last, I hoped, the social guarantees instituted by FDR could be renewed and strengthened by the party in which these progressive ideals were born.  Sadly, I was deceived and quickly proven wrong.

The Clintons oversaw an era during which more wealth was transferred from the poor and middle class to the very wealthiest people, banks, and corporations in such a short time than ever before in the history of the world.  The Clintons promoted disastrous trade deals such as NAFTA which benefited corporate profits while allowing these greedy criminal anti-American corporations to export decent American jobs to China and other unfriendly nations to save them money.  In another exercise of  "subtle" racism, the Clintons championed a draconian crime bill (remember the Reagan war on drugs?) which has seen America become the nation of the most incarcerated persons, mostly people of color for terms commonly ten years or more.  In 1997 Bill Clinton's FDA chief modified regulations to permit advertising of prescription drugs on TV, a disgusting and immoral practice not allowed elsewhere in the civilized world.  Perhaps worst of all, in 1999 Bill Clinton supported a Republican initiative to repeal Glass-Steagall:  a law instituted in 1933 which prohibited commercial banks from involvement with speculative investments, insurance, and other non-banking activities allowed by investment banks.  That law was passed in 1933 to protect depositors and instill confidence in the banking system.  The repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the banking abuses which caused the Great Recession of 2007-2008.  The economic fallout from that greed induced disaster is still felt today as a sluggish economy and a decade long period of historically low interest rates.  That hurts people who rely on income from savings.

Somehow, between 1992 and 2016 Bill and Hillary Clinton who both came from modest circumstances, have managed to amass a fortune which puts them in the top one tenth of one percent of the wealthiest Americans with guess who:  Donald Trump.  By the way, over the years the Clintons have not been shy about accepting generous contributions from the same Donald Trump.

So, with the destruction of the Democratic party and its principles as we know it in 1992 we embarked upon a de facto one party system with each party representing groups of corporations, sometimes backed by both parties.  The myth of elections these days is a smoke screen for the continuing peeling off of wealth from the bottom to the very top where it is needed least.
These years have seen a disgraceful greedy neglect of our infrastructure.  This is perhaps exemplified by the lead water in Flint and other poor places perpetrated by greedy criminal politicians trying to save money in poor neighborhoods and then covering up these crimes.

Another name for a one party system is dictatorship.

Progressives, and the Sanders campaign has shown there are many many of us out there fervently committed to rescuing our country, need to make a choice.
1.  Bring the Democrats back to their base issues in support of the American people.  The Sanders campaign is an attempt to fulfill this dream.
2.  If the Clintons get a third or even a fourth term, then it is clear the Democrats are already dead and a viable new party must be born.  There is a natural coalition of progressives, independents, and disenfranchised and alienated Democrats and Republicans who have had enough of this billionaire bullshit who need and want a reform platform.  We are loyal taxpaying Americans who have waited too long for our voice to be heard.  Perhaps the Sanders political revolution has sounded the wake up call.

As for me, if Bernie is unable to secure the nomination, I pledge to not cast a vote for Trump or for Clinton:  birds of the same feather with contrasting styles and similar substance.

Be on notice one party billionaire crooks, your days are numbered.