Doomed, delusional, divided and corrupt: How the Democratic Party became a haunted house

Han Held

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I found a great article ( this one, at Salon) that articulates -in part, a lot of the reasons I have no real faith in the democratic party's ability to pull us out of the shit.

Face to face with what looks an awful lot like the rise of American fascism, the Democratic Party has a historic opportunity — and a historic responsibility. It has repeatedly proven itself to be unequal to the task, to a comic and pathetic degree.
I'd add "terrifying" to "comic" and "pathetic" ...apart from that, I agree 110%

Another insightful quote:
If you tried to design a center-left political party trapped between the traditions of social democracy and classical liberalism, unclear about its core beliefs and equally terrified by both its most vicious opponents and its most ardent supporters — in other words, a party perfectly positioned to capitulate to tyranny with nothing more than a few disapproving whimpers — I hardly think you could do better than the one we’ve got.
Our country desperately needs a third option -one that isn't propped up by foreign countries (that means you, Jill).

We won't get one, of course. Our country will crash and burn long, long before that happens.
 

Eunoli

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Thank you for the article Han.

I don't see how this country can turn around without a major radical uprising. Million people protests every week. There is no indication of that happening.
Social media has made us lazy and easy to control. When you can express your outrage in a tweet or a forum, it seems you are far less likely to spill out into the streets in outrage. The US I grew up in would never have stood quietly by while a criminal turned it to his own profitable purpose.
 

Clara D.

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My personal opinoin: Too much faffing about, waffling, and/or infighting.
 

Lianne Marten

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The thing is, we're stuck with the Democratic party. First Past The Post means that you will always end up with two parties, and a realignment to where a third party could take over as a primary party would take decades. Decades where due to vote splitting the Republicans end up in control the entire time. We can't afford that. It needs to be taken over from the inside, but the old folks in charge are stuck in their DC bubble.

The Democrats currently in charge never got over their PTSD from this.

 

Han Held

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My personal opinoin: Too much faffing about, waffling, and/or infighting.
I disagree -you're gonna have those in any party.
I think the article got more directly to the root of the issue, personally.
 

Han Held

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The thing is, we're stuck with the Democratic party.
And the republican party.

And that is why things will only get worse, and will never get better. This system does not and can not work any longer.

FPTP has got to go, no ifs ands or buts.
 

Lianne Marten

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I mean, there is still a chance. Once you get past the Olds who refuse to do anything there are people who actually want to fix things. The problem isn't really specifically the Democratic party, it's the Baby Boomers who have control of the Democratic party.


 

Cristalle

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Thank you for the article Han.

I don't see how this country can turn around without a major radical uprising. Million people protests every week. There is no indication of that happening.
We don't do it because we're afraid of losing our jobs. The corporations have us by the gonads.
 
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We don't do it because we're afraid of losing our jobs. The corporations have us by the gonads.
That doesn't seem to stop the South Koreans having million people protests and they are a much smaller country.
 

Cristalle

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That doesn't seem to stop the South Koreans having million people protests and they are a much smaller country.
It doesn't stop the French or the people in Hong Kong, either. But a general strike is something we haven't seen in ages because it's been outlawed and Americans are really very docile. A real uprising like that, we haven't seen in ages.
 
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It doesn't stop the French or the people in Hong Kong, either. But a general strike is something we haven't seen in ages because it's been outlawed and Americans are really very docile. A real uprising like that, we haven't seen in ages.
I'm an idiot. I meant Hong Kong, not South Korea though they've had their protests too. I grimly imagine the day will come when things here get bad enough that it will happen but then it might be too late.
 
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Brenda Archer

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I mean, there is still a chance. Once you get past the Olds who refuse to do anything there are people who actually want to fix things. The problem isn't really specifically the Democratic party, it's the Baby Boomers who have control of the Democratic party.


This is exactly it. The Boomers got us here, more of the same will just keep us in the same place.

The Dems are weak on the ground at the local level in many places. Where they are not, they must get out the vote. Protests are for morale but elections are for effectiveness.

People don’t want to understand the coup has already happened with a non majority party in control of the Senate, judicial system and most police. Anyone who is poor, POC, or unpopular with the hard Right is *already* living in a theocratic police state. It’s not just job loss that hangs over people’s heads - it’s prison, deportation, denial of medical care and shelter, and community sanctioned violent scapegoating.

We are in the prison world and it’s run by preachers and their followers working for the fossil fuel rentier class. We are only pretending to be a Western democracy.

I think AOC and Bernie see this clearly, but their ilk simply don’t have the numbers compared to:
1) religious voters
2) people who still think they have to appease theocratic voters

The structure of the problem was already clear under the younger Bush.

But I’m not saying this to tell people to stay home. We live under a coup, but should vote anyway. Clearly see what real grassroots organizers are dealing with:

https://www.justsecurity.org/66201/constitution-day-2019-the-hidden-domestic-surveillance-crisis/

Can anyone tell me what happened to all the Ferguson organizers who were found burned in cars?

The revolution will not be televised, but local and small organizers, local media and so me, and state level defensive legal actions will be our actual resistance. The DNC cannot lead and must follow.
 

Brenda Archer

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The Dems are not docile. The white middle class voters over 50 are docile, but I don’t see younger people being docile. They are, however, having to organize *around* middle class Dems. Around, as in going around barriers.

But you can’t say nobody is protesting when so many teenagers came out for the Climate March!
 
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The Dems are not docile. The white middle class voters over 50 are docile, but I don’t see younger people being docile. They are, however, having to organize *around* middle class Dems. Around, as in going around barriers.

But you can’t say nobody is protesting when so many teenagers came out for the Climate March!
The Dems are not docile? I disagree. The world is burning and they aren't doing much of anything. Yes there is Bernie and Elizabeth but then there are most of the rest of them in the House and Senate that aren't really doing much of anything. As far as the Climate March, I had even heard of it until you mentioned it above. When I searched for it all the headlines talk about protests around the world, not here. Apparently a couple 100,000 people assembled in NYC. That really isn't very big.
 
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Han Held

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The Dems are not docile. The white middle class voters over 50 are docile, but I don’t see younger people being docile. They are, however, having to organize *around* middle class Dems. Around, as in going around barriers.
110% spot on. I think this is typified by how "the squad" has had to work around the centrist Dems.
I see it as being a similar (if not the same) dynamic.
The Dems are not docile? I disagree. The world is burning and they aren't doing much of anything. Yes there is Bernie and Elizabeth but then there are most of the rest of them in the House and Senate that aren't really doing much of anything.
:qft:

Agreed, 100%; they seem to be paralyzed by the fear of alienating their (large) donors.

[ETA] Of course, I think it's the same problem...basically that the older, conservative democrats consistently stand in the way of getting shit done.

And it's "centrist" democrats who are largely control the party apparatus.
 

Brenda Archer

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The Dems are not docile? I disagree. The world is burning and they aren't doing much of anything. Yes there is Bernie and Elizabeth but then there are most of the rest of them in the House and Senate that aren't really doing much of anything. As far as the Climate March, I had even heard of it until you mentioned it above. When I searched for it all the headlines talk about protests around the world, not here. Apparently a couple 100,000 people assembled in NYC. That really isn't very big.
The revolution will NOT be televised. It will not be on mainstream media.


There's more in my tweetstream and a lot more all over the Twitter verse and I'm sure elsewhere.

People have to be our own media, follow local and activist sources.

100,000 thousand people, many of them children, seems like a huge crowd to me, even in NYC. There were also protests in many other places, but you have to find someone reporting it. The MSM suppresses this stuff.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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FPTP has got to go, no ifs ands or buts.
From my own experience on living in a country where there is no FPTP - namely Germany - but two big and several smaller parties I can assure you that even without FPTP the situation is not always much better than in America.

Although there's a much wider spectrum of parties, and in our federal parliament there are seven parties having members, in reality the position of the major parties are more or less the same; and when one party has not a big enough majority on its own, it just takes a smaller one as partner. Also the number of terms of our chancellor (head of government) is not limited, which I do consider as bad.

This all leads to a wide spectrum of choices in theory and an unpredictable outcome and "all stays the same" in reality. Our main parties (CDU/CSU and SPD, which is equivalent to GOP and Democrats or Tory and Labour) stopped engaging in real political competition, and that's the reason why the extreme right is on the rise while the real left is engaging itself in niche themes like gender identity which only do interest a small fraction, but for sure not the normal working class, which is the reason why the real left is loosing influence and seats time over time.

The problem is that in most modern parties you've got in our times a very strict top-down-leading approach and whips. This is why parties often nowadays do fail in their intended funciton of being a place for political debates and acting as basin for like minded people.
 
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I'm thankful for your optimism Brenda. I'd like to point out a couple of things though. When the phrase The revolution will not be televised was coined there was no internet. The only way people could spread the word was through the phone or mail, maybe underground newspapers. Also, for perspective, around 100,000 people attend the Portland Blues festival each weekend a year. It's quite a few people but nothing to make headlines across the country. There are 8 football stadiums in the US that hold over 100,000 people. There isn't a darn thing happening that I know of here around Philly for example, not even a gathering of 100 people.
 
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Beebo Brink

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Putting the current crisis in government on the Dems just plays into the fracturing of this country. Trump is a non-partisan catastrophe and he could not become that loose cannonball without the corruption and disintegration of Congress across all party lines.

A new party won't save us, because specific parties are not the problem. Parties only reflect the people who form them and run them; a new party is going to draw on the same pool of involved Americans overall (if it's anything more than an irrelevant splinter group).

As a species, we still have not found a long-term way to scale governance of the group beyond the tribal level in ways that do not favor an elite class, concentrate wealth and marginalize the weak. The problem is not our institutions, it's our own emotional profile. Greed, dominance, selfishness, vanity -- there is no magic party that avoids those pitfalls.

This is about as good as it gets. And, of course, it can get much worse.