The two-party false-binary is dead to me.
Conservatives live in an alternate universe where black folks and the lgbtq community have extra special rights that poor, unfortunate whites do not enjoy. They believe that the US military has been purposely & thoroughly depleted; and Muslims are on the precipice of instituting Sharia in Sheboygan. They’ve gone so mad that Democrats – needing only to seem slightly less evil – have lurched further & further right. In doing so, they force Republicans to take more extreme positions for contrast.
In many respects, Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton are more conservative than Ronald Reagan. As governor of California, Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act, and the Mulford Act which banned the open-carry of firearms. Besides, Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency; and George H. W. Bush referred to trickle-down as “voodoo” economics.
Hillary has called herself a moderate. Obama said he would have been a moderate Republican in the 80’s. They agree with Republicans because they are in effect, Republicans. Yet they head the Democratic Party, because both represent the moneyed donor class as one.
It’s been forty years since the Democrats represented the interests of the working class. It’s by design.
The Supreme Court ruled in the mid/late Seventies that corporations are people & money is speech ergo political bribery has 1st Amendment protection. Corruption had always been around, this allowed them to openly and legally purchase our government at auction and use it to enrich themselves at our expense. This put Democrats at a disadvantage since Republican economic and tax policies favor billionaires and multinational corporations.
Democratic President Jimmy Carter was (is) an Evangelical. But Reagan proposed a marriage between the chamber of commerce and the religious right which endures to this day.
Democrats were seen as weak, having been anti-war in respect to Vietnam. Anti-poverty programs and progressive tax policy were framed as socialism. Social liberals were framed as godless pinko commies and feminazis. Liberal had successfully been branded a slur.
In response, liberal elites decided that they too would sell out to corporate interests in order to level the playing field. They formed the Democratic Leadership Council. New Democrats would employ triangulation by being tough on crime, espousing hawkish foreign policy, and catering to Wall Street – whose interests are in direct opposition to those of working people. Neo-liberals stress compromise and – outside of gay rights and the bodily autonomy of women – generally agree with Republicans.
When Democrats and Republicans agree it’s usually bad for the American people. They agree that we should embrace austerity, imperialism, mass surveillance, mass incarceration, prohibition, fracking, off-shore drilling, new pipelines, TPP, cutting corporate taxes, cutting social insurance programs, continuing corporate welfare, a permanent tax holiday on overseas earnings, and the repeal of habeas corpus. They are jointly opposed to a two-state solution, breaking up the banks, single-payer healthcare, campaign finance reform, $15 minimum wage, universal pre-k, free college, student debt forgiveness, expanding Social Security, and meaningful gun safety measures.
Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street & corporate media, slashed welfare rolls, and oversaw the imprisonment of more black people than any other president. Obama bombed at least seven majority-Muslim nations, made the Bush tax cuts permanent, implemented the Republican version of universal healthcare, accelerated the use of drone wars, enshrined legal framework for assassinating American citizens, nominated a conservative for the SCOTUS, and even went so far as to offer to gut Social Security benefits in his dogged pursuit of the ever elusive grand bargain.
Forty years of neoliberalism – of Democrats acting as Republican-lite – have meant wage stagnation and the disappearing of a once-robust middle class.
Economic (and demographic) frustration birthed the rise of authoritarian fascist Donald Trump. Faced with the threat of cheeto-Mussolini, Democratic Party elites purposely rigged the primary in favor of the most hated Democratic candidate in US history. Rather than risk implementation of a real progressive agenda, they gambled our nation’s future on a widely-distrusted corporatist. In a time of economic frustration which saw the rise of both Bernie and Trump, Democrats cast their lot with the establishment. So out of touch with the everyday struggles of the working poor, Democrats lifted up the protector of the status quo.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned after being caught using the DNC to tilt the scales against Bernie Sanders. She was replaced by Donna Brazile, who used her position at CNN to funnel Hillary a primary debate question.
Hillary assured Wall Street executives that the public statements she makes have no bearing on her actual, private beliefs which she shares with them. It was confirmed that she is pro-TPP and was pro-Keystone XL (and hasn’t said a word about DAPL). With an audience of Wall Street executives, Hillary scolded environmentalists, telling them to “Get a life, you know?”
We saw unethical coordination between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. We saw quid pro quo – meetings with Bill, ambassadorship appointments, and approval of arms deals. We saw illegal coordination between Hillary’s presidential campaign and pro-Hillary Super PACs.
This is the person who democrats chose as their standard bearer. And rather than try and court the hundred million Americans who will choose not to vote this November, they instead scolded progressives for daring to challenge Democrats’ deal leader. Hillary scoffed at the notion that she should court the left. She instead cozied up to neocons and Jeb donors – garnering the endorsement of war criminals and establishment Republicans.
Hillary and her acolytes spat in the face of progressives. Her campaign tried to frame the most progressive candidate in history as a sexist. They tried to frame a guy who was at the March on Washington and was arrested protesting segregation as a racist. They tried to frame Bernie Sanders – a Jew – as an anti-Semite. They cast progressives as sexist Bernie Bros and Jill Stein voters as white privileged Trump enablers. Anyone who dared speak on the contents of the Podesta leaks was labeled an agent of the Kremlin. They would rather initiate World War III than admit that their favored candidate might be flawed.
That’s who Democrats are.
They don’t have to earn the votes of people whose loyalty is without question. I don’t care that our first-to-the-post Electoral College system favors two major parties. I reject lesser-evilism. I’ll vote Jill Stein in hopes that the Green Party reaches 5% and earns matching federal funds. And I’ll continue to fight against Hillary Clinton’s neoliberal agenda every step of the way.