Conservative Democrats -- those people who think they're Liberals because they favor gay marriage and abortion but are fiscally conservative and militaristic -- are in the process of laying down the law to the Left wing of the party as represented by the 40 percent it who have backed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries. The message being laid down by everyone from bloggers to the national media is to shut up and get in line.
And the unspoken part of the message is that the issues voiced by Sanders -- things like declining living standards for the majority of Americans and corporate ownership of the Democratic Party -- won't survive past the convention. Hillary Clinton's rhetoric and party policy will shift even further to the right for the general election to attract Republican voters and donors disaffected by Trump.
The shift in Clinton's rhetoric is happening already, contends Glen Ford, a long time political commentator well known to most Progressives and the publisher of Black Agenda Report and Black Agenda Radio, who in his latest column says he sees the end of both parties as we now know them. Ford, who is Black, also explains what significance it will have for Blacks, who, despite backing Clinton this time are much further to the Left than her. He sees new political formations coming and as many as four parties resulting from the fracturing of both the Republican and Democratic parties taking place simultaneously before our eyes.
The aim of the Clinton wing -- the Democratic Leadership Council wing --
was always to defeat and silence the party's Left, or Progressive wing.
Party conservatives see in current developments the chance to deliver
the final blow and they think they can get away with because of Trump.
They also seem to be unaware of how out of touch they are with the party's Progressive base, and the perhaps even larger number of Progressives who no longer identify as Democrats. They haven't taken heed either of the polling the past few years that shows unmistakably that a majority of young people harbor antoi Capitalist views and consider themselves more Socialist than Democrat.
Various scenarios along the lines Ford writes about are being openly discussed among Sanders supporters, many of whom absolutely will not vote for Clinton because of her views and because of how the party has treated them during the primaries. Going their own way is no longer a fringe position. The idea no longer seems far fetched. The hold the Democratic Party has long held over Progressives by evoking fear of the Republicans is breaking down rapidly and for several reasons:
- The Republican Party itself is breaking down and is less to be feared
- Progressives are beginning to understand how contemptuous the Democratic Party is of them and how little it thinks it needs them
- With the Sanders campaign Progressives have gained a sense of their power
- They have no choice. If they keep going along with the Democratic Party life will keep getting worse, especially for younger Americans who are bearing the brunt of the dismantling of the "American Dream." They understand that if they have any hope of avoiding a dismal future they must take matters into their own hands.
Update: A poll released today shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton. The analysis attributes it to an advantage Republicans have in registered voters, and in Republicans coalescing behind Trump now that he's the nominee.
The war Democrats have been waging on Sanders supporters could end up being very ill advised.