It wasn’t the Russians. It wasn’t racism. It wasn’t Wikileaks, Fox News, Corporate Media or the FBI. We did it to ourselves.
My Dad’s Democratic Party was a party of inclusion. It was the party of steelworkers, farmers, waitresses, cab drivers and carpenters. The Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is a white collar party of exurban commuters and stock traders. Many of the folks that elected Donald Trump were abandoned by the Democratic Party. Their party abandoned worker’s rights, fair wages, unions, pensions and the social safety net in favor of financial controls, closing tax loopholes and free trade. Not that those things are not important, but if you are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to send your kids to college, the travails of corporate malfeasance are not an overarching priority. Working folks had nowhere to turn except to the planet of empty promises and pie-in-the-sky. It is my ardent wish that Democrats have learned from this experience, but that may well be pie-in-the-sky too. We can’t blame outside forces for Donald Trump. We need to look inward and find where we have failed.
Robert Reich got it right;
Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don’t reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.
Glen Greenwald has been following the backlash vote;
For many years, the U.S. — like the U.K. and other Western nations — has embarked on a course that virtually guaranteed a collapse of elite authority and internal implosion. From the invasion of Iraq to the 2008 financial crisis to the all-consuming framework of prisons and endless wars, societal benefits have been directed almost exclusively to the very elite institutions most responsible for failure at the expense of everyone else.
Everyone recognizes the need for change. There are calls for a new party, a new politics, a new coalition. “We need a people’s party — a party capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican Party, which is about to take over all three branches of the US government. We need a New Democratic Party that will fight against intolerance and widening inequality.” says Reich. We had that party, it used to be the Democratic Party, but we have lost our way.
Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.
Today Bernie Sanders is the most important person in the Democratic Party and even he is not a Democrat. It’s time to focus people. We need to bring back the party we once had, the party that recognizes that we have forgotten the people part of the equation.