Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Can’t get past the DNC’s cynicism

Please tell me what have we learned as progressives?

by Sean Shealy

It has been six months since Democrats made the greatest political blunder in modern history. It was glaringly obvious: If you nominate this person, it was going to completely demoralize the activist base, give a MASSIVE shot of political adrenaline to the Republicans, and middle America would think, “Ick! Another career politician.”

This was the political equivalent of your teenage son riding his bike off the roof of your house. You ask, “What in God’s name were you thinking?”

I understand women wanting a female president. I share that goal. And it is certainly true that misogyny played a role in this election across the political spectrum, right, center, and left as well.

But I submit you this: If BILL Clinton had been eligible to run, and had been the nominee—Donald Trump would still be sitting in the White House today.

And millions of Democrats would have stood on Clinton’s ropeline, feverishly cheering him on, working diligently to defeat the progressive candidate.

Have we learned nothing from history?

Donald Trump doesn’t keep me awake at night.

THIS keeps me awake at night: At every turn, the Democratic establishment, and half of Democratic voters, have screwed and abandoned progressive activists.

They’re happy to have us, so long as we’re working to put the Democratic establishment back into power—but the second they get there, it is this:

  • Mass surveillance police state? But we HAVE to have that, to protect us from terrorists!
  • Well, we certainly need to keep bombing people all over the world, to keep the empire going.
  • Single-payer? That’s a pipe dream.
  • Free college? What is that, some kind of communism?
  • $15 an hour? Why, that’s not realistic! You’ll just have to raise a family on $12!

And on and on and on. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

THAT is what keeps me sitting on my hands right now, as an activist, at a time when we are needed most.

My view is that America is going to have to be so devastated, Americans so utterly destroyed and destitute and desperate, that they will finally be forced to look at baseline, bread-and-butter issues, because they have no other choice.

Where there is hope, they can equivocate; where there is hope, they can spend their time hating Mexicans, or gays. Where there is hope, they can vote for politicians who speak in platitudes, or from paranoia, making vague reassurances about jobs and upward mobility, or promising to bomb their nightmare fantasies away overseas.

Without hope? Different story. Without hope, they will ask:

  • Where is the bread coming from? I WANT SPECIFICS.
  • My child will never go to college. WE DEMAND EDUCATION!
  • My mother died, and my child, and my wife, from lack of healthcare. WE DEMAND UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE, NOW!

These may seem like bleak, dystopian doomsday visions to many middle-class Democratic voters.

But they are reality already for millions across this country, millions who have been left behind, abandoned, so hopeless that many of them turned to Donald Trump in hopes that he would just change something—ANYTHING.

Or, barring that, burn it all to the ground.

They’re dying for progressive change. STARVING for it.

Trump won, largely, on a progressive platform plank: getting out of these insane free-trade agreements. The same agreements pushed by Bill, and Hillary, and Barack Obama. The agreements that have made Wall Street so wealthy, while devastating American workers.

The myriad ways that the Democratic Party establishment has screwed us cannot be listed here. It would be a book.

But the math is pretty simple:

1) Wall Street owned the Republican Party.

2) Reagan destroyed the unions, the lifeblood of the Democratic Party.

3) The Democratic Party then turned to the banks, which were distinct from Wall Street, for contributions.

4) In exchange for the support of the banks, the Democratic Party, under Bill Clinton, agreed to break down the wall of separation between Wall Street and the banks.

5) The banks then became Wall Street.

6) Wall Street then controlled both parties.

The Bible says, “Man cannot serve both God and money.”

Likewise, a party cannot serve both Wall Street and the interests of social and economic justice—of THE PEOPLE.

The two interests conflict. Sharply. They OPPOSE.

Somebody, please: Tell me that a gigantic, blinding light, as hot as the sun, just exploded into your brain. Tell me that you get this. Tell me that I won’t work and sweat and bleed for another four years—for nothing.

Donald Trump’s way is the way of wealth, of oligarchy, of empire.

The Democratic establishment’s way is the way of wealth, of oligarchy, of empire.

Without a clear, complete progressive turn of the Democratic Party, wealth will have its way.

Please, someone, tell me that you have understood?

Otherwise, my activism is a waste of time.

I’d rather go to the beach. §

Sean Shealy is an activist and the author of Corruption & Cover-Ups of the Bush White House Unmasked and the novel Killing Limbaugh.

Old rumpled Bernie v. King Donald

Differences between earning one’s way and growing up with privilege

by Dell Franklin

Bernie worked at some shitty jobs and became involved in civil rights. He was probably not good at shitty jobs, not with his mind on social causes and politics.

Bernie worked at some shitty jobs and became involved in civil rights. He was probably not good at shitty jobs, not with his mind on social causes and politics.

Bernie, child of immigrants, is one of those old hippies who really believed in the cause and eschewed the future white picket fence, the Mercedes, the plush suburb that inevitably proved too irresistible to fellow marchers who were in it to avoid the war, find good drugs, and get laid. Bernie is a true believer, a crusader who early on felt the tug of compassion for the struggling, miserable underclasses and the unfairness of their plights.

The Donald was born into wealth and power and liked it. He came up the hard way, educated at Wharton business school and his father donating him a paltry million to start his own real estate business. The Donald knew early on who to browbeat and who to patronize and schmooze and who to more or less legally bribe (red baiter Roy Cohen) to get things done and make his billions. The Donald believed in greed and embraced the life of glitter and luxury.

The Donald was born into wealth and power and liked it.

The Donald was born into wealth and power and liked it.

Bernie worked at some shitty jobs and became involved in civil rights. He was probably not good at shitty jobs, not with his mind on social causes and politics. He did not fit the sleek image of an Ivy League charmer or smoothie, this rumpled balding figure with a deep Brooklyn accent, an abrasive finger pointer and exclaimer, out to charm no one but dead set on change and getting things done.

The Donald was this sort of handsome ladies man with the flowing hair never out of place and as carefully tended to as a plant in the White House Rose Garden. He accumulated friends in high places and feathered their nests and bankrolled tall buildings with high rents and acquired his own jet plane and married a statuesque model with high cheekbones.

Bernie kept running for office and kept losing and finally became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in a 10-point victory and served two terms, built affordable housing, revitalized the infrastructure, started women’s programs and, despite looking like a ragamuffin, gained the confidence of the state’s voters as a politician of the people.

The Donald erected and opened casinos in Atlantic City that were all the rage and had everybody cashing in until the economy fell apart and he watched them go bust, scuttled out of the city while the city went broke and was left holding the bag, people out of work, the boardwalk dead, the Donald managing a bankruptcy that had him coming out smelling like a rose.

Bernie, a divorcee, married a portly cheerful Irish lady who worked as a bank teller and supermarket cashier and eventual community organizer with the same interests and crusades as he, and won himself a seat in Congress where he continued to vociferously push his causes.

Donald got divorced and married another statuesque model with high cheekbones and nurtured his sons in the business and on the side became the star of a reality show where he sat on a throne like a king and either pointed thumbs down or up when choosing what greed obsessed, fawning acolyte he would hire in his own business. His abrupt, arbitrary, ruthless treatment of losers and mild praise of winners soared in popularity and he became such a celebrity he hinted of running for president.

Bernie got elected to the Senate and voted against tax cuts and the war in Iraq while continuing to push for his causes as an independent/socialist in the manner of his idol, Eugene Debs. Or perhaps Upton Sinclair.

The Donald got divorced again and married another statuesque model with high cheek bones and, meanwhile, became so rich and powerful and popular that he saw fit to continue the rumor of his running for president and started the rumor that America’s first black president, Barack Obama, was some sort of Kenyan not born in the United States and was not really an American, nor much of a Christian, which leant to nearly half of all fellow Republicans believing Obama was a dreaded, hated Muslim.

Bernie finally got fed up with the asininity of the Congress and Senate and decided to run for president and unleashed his rage at Wall Street, the One Percent, Goldman Sachs, the rigged economy, homelessness, our foolish wars, and vowed to do something about them, threatening to take down investment bank swindlers who destroyed the economy as well as the nest eggs of the middle-and-lower classes while the government bailed them out and kept them rich and afloat and, most humiliating, out of jail.

The Donald announced his candidacy for president and soon accumulated a massive throng of howling, scowling, fat white mooks who, like Donald, wanted to “take their country back!” The Donald promised to build a wall to keep criminal, terrorist Mexicans out and make the poor Mexicans pay for it, deport millions of other illegal immigrant Mexicans, not allow a single Muslim to immigrate into the country, whether they’re terrorists or not, bomb ISIS into powder, and steal Iraq’s oil so as to salvage something after our occupation of that country, trick China out of what we owe them because they tricked us into debt because our leaders “are stupid,” and make so much money for so many wonderful people that those howling scowling fat white wonderful mooks will be wallowing in cash just like the Donald as they compose an eerie chant, “USA! USA! USA…!”

Bernie vows to start a revolution to stop the rigged economy of the One Percent more or less driving economic inequality in America lower than it’s been since the Great Depression, and he has kept his promise of taking nothing from the big investment banks and Super PACs but instead inspired millions of true believers to donate to his cause an average of $27 per person to bankroll his candidacy, and now he, like Donald, is a strong contender for President of the United States in the Democratic Party.

The Donald, king of a financial empire, bankrolls his own candidacy, boasting of achieving the ultimate American dream by possessing billions and billions…and is the frontrunner for President of the United States in the Republican Party.

Poor old rumpled Bernie possesses a tad over $500,000, has no plane, and it’s difficult imagine him owning a car, or what kind of car, or even driving a car. §

Dell Franklin writes from his home in Cayucos, Calif., where he lives with his rescue dog, Wilbur, and posts dispatches of life in a small coastal town. His work, which includes a lifestyle as a cab driver, bartender, and sports nut, can be viewed at dellfranklin.com, where this comment first appeared.