Sunday, January 1, 2017

Okay, once more for the class...

Okay, I need to get back to doing my thing, away from the internet, as I find myself becoming more and more frustrated by the day. Why you ask, because I see people nodding in silent affirmation of news articles regarding the previous election, and how certain persons are holding the Democratic Party hostage.
So, imagine my surprise when I read yet another article in which an individual spoke about why he didn't support Sanders, even though he supported Sanders platform. Fifteen dollars for the minimum wage, check. Affordable college, check. Universal Health Care, check... But then says, but I didn't support the candidate most in line with his ideals, but one in which he said, could more effectively move those ideals forward in Congress. Which I found amusing.

I am sure if this is one person disliked more than Obama in this nation it is Hillary Clinton. Her supporters are inclined to always point out that there have been over thirty years worth of attacks on her, and she has withstood most, and yes that is true, but think about this for a moment, thirty years worth of attacks. That is thirty years of obvious hatred. But she would be more able to move things through Congress, with that level of hatred. See a problem here?

The author of the article points out, rightfully, that Sanders is not, nor has been an official member of the Democratic Party, yet as long as he has been in Washington DC, doing his job as a Representative and as a Senator, the man has aligned mostly with the Democratic Party, he caucuses with them, he mostly votes in line with them, for all purposes, you might as well say that he is a member of the Democratic Party, enough so that the Democratic Party allowed him to run on their ticket.

I found it amusing that the author states that the party needs to be restructured and upgraded, but the voices of those who are outside should not be taken into account. Those people who left, those of us like Sanders who have been officially counted as Independent, yet mostly side with them. He neglects that some states in our nation do not adhere to political affiliation. Take for instance Virginia, I cannot register as anything more or less than Independent, I can take part in any primary I wish, all I need do is declare which primary I am seeking to vote in, at the time of the primary. So, does my voice matter less?

To him, any Sanders supporter who is speaking up, demanding change within the party is irrelevant. Our desires to see a more progressive leaning, more honest and fair party means nothing, because we are on the outside of the party, and many refuse to join unless we see some serious changes within it. He again rightfully points out that Clinton won the popular vote across the breadth of our nation, but that doesn't really matter, at a state level she did not win enough states. At a state level, she failed miserably. It is not something to hang your hat on, have the most dominate popular vote victory in our nations short history, only to fall woefully short on the state level. Yeah, most of the people who said no to Clinton, also said no to Trump, because we knew way back what Trump would try and do, how his presidency might turn out, and we had seen enough of the “More of the same is fine,” mantra. There weren't many of us, if you look at the numbers, not even enough to really matter, if you are solely looking at the people who voted against Trump and Clinton.

The author questions the commitment of Sander's supporters. He wants a guarantee that people won't attack the party, blind obedience, something that is never going to happen. He seems to neglect that a healthy does of skepticism, and holding feet to the fire is a good thing for a political party. By all means, a bad candidate, one that is not desirable to the clear majority should be looked at, even a candidate that is desirable should be examined closely. The fact is, the majority of the electorate is considered Independent, and at some point one party is going to have to bite the bullet and try to get some of us on its side, those of us who don't identify as liberal or progressive that is.

Something else is that the Democratic Party no longer seems to hold near and dear so many of the principles that brought people like me into their fold. Yes, they are mostly social liberals, but they are also fiscal conservatives, unwilling to move from a rightward lean when it comes to free trade, war, and austerity.

He says the platform was the most progressive ever written, and it was fairly progressive, likely the most progressive that has ever been committed to paper in the majority of our lifetimes. But there was nothing about protecting the working class, and nothing about free trade. I will agree that the DNC needs to focus on regaining many aspects of leadership, we need to get the Senate, House, State Houses, and Governorships back, but the author of the article never said how he would proceed. My bet is that he would use the GOP plan, slander and bully. Here is my plan, we are in an era of anti-establishment, we need people who are willing to buck the norm, people who might not be polished in terms of political speak, but when they talk they capture the imagination of those listening, those plain speakers who capture a feeling in the spirit of those present, who kindly hold back the breeze and allow the fires of passion to take hold and burn brightly at a fever pitch. We need those people who will do more than that, we need people who are willing to fight for what they have allowed to take flight.

Here in lies the problem, the Democratic Party's brand has taken a massive blow to its credibility with many people. For many people, they see the party as being a traitor, unable and unwilling to look at itself, to stare deeply into the mirror containing its reflection, and own what it did or did not do. As long as the party will not admit mistakes made, they are only making it more difficult for those who felt disenfranchised to come back into the fold. In some ways, this loss makes things a little easier for them, as we will have two years of full blown GOP madness. They have a year to get their house in order, to back away from neo-liberalism and the Clinton way of running things, and there are plenty of people willing to still side with the Democratic Party long enough to try and get things back on a level playing field. Maybe it is time that the Democratic Party stops being about the Democrats, and decides that it is once again the party for everyone, regardless of party affiliation.