Progressives, take your party back
By Kent R. Kroeger (April 22, 2018)
Cartoonist Charles Schultz was a subversive. Lucy Van Pelt pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last second was his metaphor for the insincerity and duplicity of the power elites.
Lucy was the power establishment. Charlie Brown was the rest of us.
Progressives today may not want to be associated with Charlie Brown (he seemed to lose a lot), but there is no shame in that comparison. Charlie Brown was honest, trusting, and pure of heart. There is no dishonor there.
As our mainstream media teed-up another superfluous non-issue to relentlessly grind on (this time it was Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen), a progressive leader had the gall to suggest her party’s pursuit of the current president should not blind them to a real issue: Americans’ civil rights.
Nina Turner, president of ‘Our Revolution’, a progressive advocacy organization started by Bernie Sanders’ former presidential campaign staff, was on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper when she weighed in on the FBI’s raids on the offices of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen:
“Throughout the history of this country, especially when it comes to African-American folks — Black Panthers, Dr. King, Malcolm X and other civil rights freedom fighters— you can see that sometimes the government can go too far in its efforts. Now that is not to say the Cohen incident is parallel to that, but as American citizens we should have some concern for how this goes, even if it is against someone we don’t like. This is about how we act as a government.”
Turner understands that the ‘means’ do not necessarily justify the ‘ends.’ Furthermore, she made clear that the FBI’s Cohen raids were not necessarily an abuse of power, but simply that Americans should be vigilant in ensuring the government doesn’t violate the rights of its citizens, even those citizens we don’t otherwise ‘like.’
Predictably, on cue, establishment Democrats lashed out at Turner:
What will it take for Democratic Party progressives to realize they are no longer welcome in their own party?
Since 1992, there have been two political parties in this country: the traditional Republican Party, led (for now) by Trump, and the Pro-Choice Republican Party, otherwise known as establishment Democrats, led by Obama administration holdovers, such as Tom Perez, and the smoldering embers of what is left from the Clinton political machine.
Since Bill Clinton took control of the Democratic Party in 1992, our nation has effectively lived under one-party rule, where the two nominal parties wage electoral battles on social and culture war issues, distracting voters from the real economic issues that most impact people’s lives.
And Donald Trump is the Frankenstein monster this one-party-system has created. It’s a system that ignores the economic realities of working-class and middle-class Americans. It’s a system that allows income disparities on a scale not seen since the robber baron era in the late 19th-century. It’s a system that pretends the covert drone wars perpetuated and refined by the Obama administration are antiseptic enough to keep our political leaders’ hands clean while they proceed to destabilize Muslim-majority countries not sufficiently suppliant to American interests.
And now the establishment Democrats demand discipline from the progressive wing of their party in order to slay a creation of their own making — Donald J. Trump.
Progressives, don’t fall for the con. Donald Trump came to power on their watch, not yours.
In their heart, progressives know Democratic Party leaders no longer welcome them and every day progressives try to bring their concerns and ideas to the attention of the party elites, is a day they’ve lost turning those concerns and ideas into actual public policy.
It’s a political system where bank executives and fund managers are allowed to sponge billions of dollars from average Americans through fraudulent underwriting practices and deceptive risk pricing (among other causes of the 2007–2008 financial crisis) and not ONE goes to jail. Eight years of the Obama administration and no banker goes to jail for their naked theft of billions of dollars?!
Establishment Democrats are in no position to lecture progressives about the dangers of the Trump administration.
Not when Democrats controlled both congressional chambers for first two years of the Obama administration and fulfilled his campaign promise of affordable, universal health care by passing a Republican-designed health care plan, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Did progressives ever ask Obama, if you are going to pass a health care law without the support of Republicans, why not bite the whole enchilada and pass a true universal health care plan?
Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore did. Who else?
Many progressives still don’t want to hear this fact: Obama and the establishment Democrats’ health care, Big Pharma and insurance industry donors were never going to allow substantive health care reform. It was all a con, sold to progressives by an intelligent and charming community organizer from Chicago.
This is not cynicism. This is how government works in a one-party-system. False choices. Pre-determined outcomes.
And, now, those same establishment Democrats are demanding progressives get in line and take down Trump and the Republicans. When progressives suggest the media’s obsession with the Trump presidency, particularly the Trump-Russia collusion story, is a distraction from genuine issues, the establishment Democrats quickly stomp the thought out through shaming and rich-splaining.
Never mind that the policy constants of the past thirty years supported by these same Democrats, globalist economics (deregulation and open markets) and neocon regime change wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria), have left this country with dangerous amounts of public debt, increased income inequality, and seemingly irreconcilable social divisions.
These policies laid the groundwork for the populist uprising in the Republican Party and is directly responsible for the rise of Donald Trump.
It takes real balls for the establishment Democrats to then turn around and blame progressives for the election of Trump.
One Step Back to Take two Steps Forward
There comes a time when it takes one step backwards before you can take two steps forward.
This is that time for the progressives.
Two intersecting forces make NOW the time for the progressives to show their strength.
The first force is the impending implosion of the Republican Party under Trump’s incompetent leadership. Not even Nikki Haley will save the party by the time the 2020 election comes around. The Republicans are a dead-party-walking.
The second force is the overwhelming expectation that the Democrats will regain control of the U.S House in 2018. Perhaps even the U.S. Senate is in play.
Progressives must understand this simple reality: Establishment Democrats are Republicans. They have seduced progressives with their socially liberal inclinations, though progressives should have had a clue at their insincerity when it took Hillary Clinton until 2015 to publicly declare her support for marriage equality. You may have been with her, but she was never really with you.
The humble truth is, when establishment Democrats win, the Republicans win.
The progressives must therefore focus on taking back their own party from establishment Democrats before taking on the Republicans. The progressives have no chance of rolling back Republican policies until the establishment Democrats are shown the door and gifted back to the Republican Party where they belong.
Let the Republicans have Bill and Hillary Clinton. Trust me, the Democratic Party won’t miss them.
For now, run as independents
So, for those progressives that recognize the establishment Democrats’ big con, what next?
Where progressive Democrats have already won the party nomination. the task is straight forward: Get them elected.
In many states, it is already too late to put up progressives Democrats in the primaries. The only option now is to run progressives as independent party candidates in the general election.
Bernie Sanders’ supporters have built the grassroots fundraising and electioneering infrastructure necessary to organize a nationwide candidate filing program for the general election.
However, independent and minor party filing deadlines for the general election are rapidly approaching. Here are just a few coming up in the next few weeks:
A more complete list of filing deadlines is here.
In those states where deadlines are missed, progressives can partner with other minor parties (such as the Green Party) with candidates on the general election ballot.
Yes, if successful, this strategy will keep the Republicans in power another two years.
That is the price progressives must pay for allowing Republicans to usurp control of the Democratic Party in 1992 and letting them carry the party’s banner for the next 26 years.
Progressives will never beat the Republicans in Congress until they beat them in their own party.
How the establishment Democrats continuously mistreat and marginalize people like Nina Turner tells us all we need to know about their true intentions.
Progressives, now is the time to take back your party.
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