Saturday, September 24, 2016

Newsweek: Democratic Party Doomed

On the subject of millennials disapproval of Hillary Clinton Newsweek columnist Emmett Rensin writes:

"Hillary Clinton does not support single-payer health care; Young voters do. Hillary Clinton is among the more hawkish members of the Democratic Party; Young voters are not. Hillary Clinton is a capitalist, and even within a capitalist party, she is in both perception and in practice unusually comfortable with capitalism’s worst practices. Millennials, by contrast, reject the entire economic system by a bare majority."

Democratic Party members and liberal pundits berate millennials for not casting aside their beliefs in order to stop Donald Trump, but ignore the fact that Trump's support comes from older voters who abandoned the Democratic Party because it abandoned them.

They raise the specter of Ralph Nader costing Al Gore the 2000 election and ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of Florida registered Democrats voted for George W Bush.

People talk about the Republican Party being doomed, but Rensin thinks the Democratic Party is the one that's in trouble. On that he may be underestimating how craven Democratic elected officials can be. Hillary changed her tune on a number of important issues to fend off Bernie Sanders, the TPP trade treaty for example. No one believes her, but she's Hillary. Democratic politicians generally are better liars than Hillary. Their supporters have little idea of what their elected representatives do once in office yet believe in their hearts that they're representing their economic interests.

Millennials, who have developed their own news sources and widely share their knowledge across social media, are more well informed than that, and Democrats who want to keep their fancy offices, their status, their hefty paychecks and gold plated benefits and retirement plans will eventually start paying millennials and their beliefs more attention and will start singing if not a different tune in a slightly less offensive key.


  1. I think that both Republican and Democratic parties are in trouble. Both have been hijacked by the extremes, the Republicans by the far right and right wing Christians and the Democrats by the very active far left dominated the LGBT and the marijuana lobby. If you look at the middle of the political spectrum, and I think it is as large as either the far right and far left, it is being ignored by both parties.

    There is no doubt that the extremes of both parties are huge, much more so than I would have imagined even 3, 4 to 5 years ago. I think that we as a nation may be split 3 ways and the middle is shrinking with folks being drawn to join either of the extremes by the media. I think that the candidates running is indicative of this, this includes ole Gary Johnson. Gary thought "Aleppo" was some type of pipe to smoke his dope.

    The political extremes get the media attention because of the "click bait" journalism that is practiced today when we have 1,000's of options for getting our news.

    The proof of this is that Hillary is running so close to a certified clown. A rich clown, but a clown none the less.

    But I do think that the American electorate will wise up soon. But this is what we get for sitting on the sidelines and letting the snake oil sales people of the political parties take the reins.

  2. Perhaps the young folks have recognized that increasingly unfettered laissez faire capitalism creates massive inequities and social unrest. A mixed market system needs a balance which has been mostly lost. Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs is not the answer....:)

  3. NM, you're right about the GOP being hijacked by the far right (as well as by the Koch-funded AstroTurf TEA Party), but I would suggest that the Democratic Party was hijacked not by the far left but by Wall Street. This happened over three decades ago, as the DLC mounted a pathological response to the Reagan Devolution. It's still that way now.

    Marijuana legalization and LGBT rights are more a libertarian than a left-wing or right-wing issue, though many Democrats support those things too, often in an effort to curry favor with Millennials who by large margins consider those reforms long overdue. (Many of us older folks agree with them.)

    The labor movement, which helped build the Democratic Party between 1932 and 1976, also has been hijacked by the corporate oligarchy. The leadership of America's largest labor unions (AFL-CIO, Teamsters) are corrupt and have altered the governance of their unions to keep themselves and their designated successors in power. Small wonder that union membership has shrunk, considering how little workers now get for their dues.

    Workers have been let down both by the party they helped to build and the labor leaders they put into power and now cannot unseat. This makes someone like Trump, who promises to upset the status quo apple cart, attractive to many working Americans, particularly to those whose knowledge of history is minimal.

    The leftist movement in America remains marginalized and in disarray, having little to no access to mainstream media to get its message out, and no "major" political party speaking for it. Democrats offer only a bit of weak lip service to the left in the weeks and months leading up to an election, but career Democrats are no longer part of the left. They actually are to the right of center by global standards. I'm talking here about the DNC and Democratic Party national leadership, not rank and file grassroots Democrats, who are mostly to the left of their party's national leaders. Most working class Americans don't think of themselves as "leftist," but in survey after survey they continue tell social scientists that they resent corporate power over their lives; and they continue to support such socialist institutions as public education, Social Security, National Parks, Medicare, unemployment insurance, fire departments, community ambulance services, etc., etc., etc.