Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Democratic Party's Past -- and Future

A friend emailed me a reminder, this "morning after the night before," that Last July 25 I wrote a blog essay here titled "Why Trump May Win; Discouraged By The Democratic Party's Self-Inflicted Wounds." Others expressed comparable views at the time. None of us had much, if any, impact on the Party's actions this summer. But on re-reading that essay this morning, I realized that it might be worth posting excerpts from it again. For the next few days, weeks and months, both major parties' leadership will be engaged in trying to understand the presidential election and devise a change in course for their party's future. This may be of some help.

-- Nicholas Johnson
July 25, 2016

As a lifelong Democrat, I have for some years now been discouraged by the actions of the Democratic National Committee, and others who are considered members of the Party's establishment . . ..

The Democratic Party establishment had historically served, and been supported by, the poor, working poor, working class, union members, family farmers and a broad range of other demographic groups. Were it still both perceived and functioning as such, it could elect most officials from school boards and city councils to the U.S. Senate, House and White House. . . . [Photo credit: President-Elect Donald Trump,]

[But now] the Party's leadership has become -- and obviously wishes to remain -- funded by, and the legislative advocates for, Wall Street, large corporations, and the top 1% of America's socio-economic elite. It's mission, far more than the enactment of populist policies, is the perpetual re-election of office holders whose highest priority daily activity is raising money. . . .

The question is whether [this] will still work in this or any other country when one considers the Tea Party, Occupy movement, Brexit, and the unprecedented numbers and enthusiasm of the supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Whether justified or not, millions of angry Americans now look upon government, corporations, other powerful institutions, and those who run them, not just as uncaring for people like themselves, but as an enemy, deliberately adopting policies and budgets knowing the harms they will impose.

I am not arguing . . . that every Democratic Party official should have joined the Bernie Sanders campaign. But to so obviously trivialize, or oppose, his candidacy -- now documented in the DNC emails revealed by Wikileaks (not that it wasn't well known before) -- and carry on with 20th Century politics, was unnecessary and counterproductive. For the angry Americans, independents, youth, Democrats, Republicans, and others, it was "a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

However experienced and well qualified for the presidency Hillary Clinton may be thought to be, when millions of potential voters (and what may turn out to be non-voters) have taken to the streets with pitchforks in hand, for the Democratic Party leadership to offer them its preeminent establishment icon only confirms their worst fears about their Democratic Party, not to mention America's future and their own.

And that's, I believe, "Why Trump May Win."

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