Friday, July 7, 2017

Which Side Are You On?

The small but rapidly growing Left has more or less coalesced around the idea of using the Trumpcare/Obamacare debate to press the Democratic Party about its stance on single payer healthcare, i.e. universal coverage -- that thing every other developed country in the world has some form of where if you need to see a doctor you can, regardless. It's socialized medicine, actually, just like Social Security is socialized retirement income. To each according to their need, from each according to their means. It's called being humane.

The Left's efforts have meant that random Democrats have been forced to explicitly state they are against single payer health care and forced a lot of working people to face up to the fact that Democrats aren't on their side.

It's up to us to fill in the blanks and point out that today's Democrats, all of them, especially the ones here in New Mexico, don't really care if thousands of their fellow Americans die every year because they can't afford to get checkups and receive the medical help they need. It's up to us to point out that these people die completely needlessly because there's easily 100 times the wealth in the country it would require to see to it that everyone had good health care. It's up to us to say that it's completely unconscionable, disgusting really, that Democrats are more interested in helping people who've managed to accumulate wealth hold on to every penny of it and are more interested in being re-elected, in maintaining whatever power they have left by kowtowing to the big businesses that finance their campaigns. It's up to us to point out that people die because of Democrats.

The man pictured above, by the way, is Dennis Chavez, a US senator from New Mexico from 1935-1962 and before that our representative in the US house. He wrote some of the most important New Deal legislation, the bill creating the Rural Electrification Administration, and voted for the act that established the Social Security Administration. Chavez gained some sway in his more than 30 years in Washington and got New Mexico the big military contracts that we still rely on and that have supported generations of New Mexicans. Dennis Chavez wrote pioneering civil rights legislation that laid out a lot of the legal framework on which the landmark civil rights legislation that would come a few years later was based.

Dennis Chavez knew which side he was on, the side of the people. If Dennis Chavez was a Democrat, these people in office now who call themselves Democrats are something else. If Dennis Chavez was a Democrat these people who go around calling themselves Democrats don't deserve to call themselves that. Not while people are living miserable lives and wasting away with untreated illnesses and dying because of them.


  1. We on the Left may be at an important crossroad. Do we (a) make a supreme effort to wrestle the Democratic Party back to the left so that it once again represents The People or (b) allow it to continue down its self-destructive Neoliberal path, let it die (or perhaps help it die) and somehow get along without it.

    The former option potentially gives us an existing party that still has considerable power, but one that also carries some 35 years' worth of DLC / Neoliberal / GOP-Lite baggage.

    The latter (which I prefer) requires that we somehow replace that party with either one of the existing leftist parties (all of which currently are rather small and weak) or some new structure that we build from scratch. The new thing could be a new political party, or it could be a coalition of parties and independent leftists. Something like this, which apparently is rapidly growing:

  2. Dennis Chaves was a great guy. He did a lot for my dad. Today pols are led by corporate america funding ideology on tv. Chavez didn't have to deal with that.

    1. Good point, Jim. Their policies are so destructive for working people, and the relentless rightward march of the political center that results is so destructive for the people and the economy, that politicians with consciences can't just throw up their hands and say oh well this is how it is. But this is what we have.

      Capital was also powerful when Dems like Chavez took it on. I keep reading that Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the country. You know the political game Jim and you know it takes guts and compassion, too, if you want to be remembered. You could counsel your protege on this.