FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Where is the Democrats’ Contract with America 2018?

What does the Democratic Party stand for? The big question persists! Typical of the Democrats, they delegated this question to political consultants who came up with the vapid slogan, “A Better Deal.” The specifics under that moniker are too general and, as a result, too easily dismissed by the public.

The Democratic operatives need to take a page out of Newt Gingrich’s playbook when he toppled an anemic Democratic House of Representatives in the stunning 2004 elections and became Speaker of the House.

During the 1994 Congressional campaign, Gingrich’s party released a “Contract with America.” It was so anti-American that comedians called it a “Contract on America.” For example, the “Contract with America” attacked the fundamental right of having your full day in court, based on falsely asserting there was an “endless tide of litigation.” That was only one of the ways Gingrich pleased the big corporations.

House Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and her deputy, Steny Hoyer, just can’t put forward a compelling agenda. They seem unable to speak assuredly and concretely about how their agenda will improve peoples’ lives.

Congressman Hoyer returned from a listening tour of the U.S. where he only listened to himself. In his summation speech, Hoyer declined to put numbers and specifics about raising the minimum wage or expanding healthcare. Moreover, his tour seemed to ignore the multiple devastations that unaccountable global corporations are having on this country.

Fortunately there are a few dozen insurgents in the Democratic Party who are winning Congressional primaries and are addressing progressive specifics. But their numbers need to grow.

Unfortunately, the “Old Guard” still dominates the Democratic Party. Maybe this November election will change this. If the Democrats wish finally to prevail over the worst, cruelest, most corrupt, war-mongering, Wall Street toady Republican Party in history, they need to be clear in their convictions. The Democrats need a resounding declaration of what they stand for with major news conferences, political ads, get-out-the-vote materials, and speeches before large audiences.

A Democratic Party “Contract with America” should include a $15 per hour federal minimum wage—up from the present frozen $7.25 an hour. It should endorse a Medicare–for-all system that emphasizes preventive care, cost controls on drug companies, and prevention of criminal or immoral overcharging. Serious attention should be paid to saving lives and preventing injuries and diseases. Preventable problems in hospitals are taking at least 5,000 lives per week (see Johns Hopkins May 2016 report).

A Democratic “Contract with America” should commit to what over 85 percent of the American people want—tough law enforcement on corporate crime, fraud, and abuse. Consumers, workers, and small taxpayers would understand such a pledge. Many anxieties, dread, and fear in peoples’ hassled daily lives come from lawless or abusive companies. Taxpayers would relish cracking down on businesses that defraud Medicare, Medicaid, military contracts, and almost always get away with it.

The Contract should include an empowering agenda and also a commitment to democracy — shifting power from the few to the many workers, consumers, and voters. The Democrats know how to overcome Republican voter suppression and how to make it easier for Americans to band together to defend themselves, through open access to the courts, forming labor unions, consumer cooperatives, and taxpayer watchdog associations.

It is also time to launch a long overdue dedication to major public works and infrastructure projects that will produce millions of good-paying jobs—paid for by restoring corporate and super-rich taxes, along with decreasing the bloated, wasteful military budget that exceeds half of the entire federal government’s operating expenditures.

The Democratic Party should reverse course and tell taxpayers they will oppose all those massive corporate welfare (crony capitalism) subsidies, hand-outs, and bailouts that embody the hypocrisy of so-called corporate capitalists right down to those stadiums and ballparks taxpayers pay for without even getting naming rights!

Democrats, frantically dialing for corporate campaign dollars, have become anemic, fuzzing their campaigns with weak rhetoric and losing so much of the peoples’ trust. They have joined with the Republicans on waging boomeranging wars instead of waging peace and engaging in treaties protecting workers, consumers, and the environment.

The Party requires crisp clarity, repeated again and again in believable ways and means in the coming weeks. So when the words “Democratic Party” are spoken, millions of voters would know what it stands for so they can hold candidates specifically accountable should there be any post-election betrayals.

So, Democratic National Chairman, Tom Perez, where is the Party’s Contract with America? Send him a message at https://www.tomperez.org/contact-1/.

More articles by:

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
Eric Draitser
On Ilhan Omar, Assad Fetishism, and the Danger of Red-Brown “Anti-Imperialism”
Elizabeth Keyes
Broadway’s “Hamilton” and the Willing Suspension of Reality-Based Moral Consciousness
David Underhill
Optional Fatherhood Liberates Christians From Abortion Jihad
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Bailouts, Bernie and the Washington Post
Russell Mokhiber
The Boeing Blackout
William Astore
America’s Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War
Jeff Hauser – Eleanor Eagan
Boeing Debacle Shows Need to Investigate Trump-era Corruption
Ramzy Baroud
Uniting Fatah, Not Palestinians: The Dubious Role of Mohammed Shtayyeh
Nick Pemberton
Is Kamala Harris The Centrist We Need?
Nick Licata
All Southern States are Not the Same: Mississippi’s Challenge
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Sly Encouragement of Lawless Violence
Cesar Chelala
Public Health Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean
March 20, 2019
T.J. Coles
Countdown to “Full Spectrum Dominance”
W. T. Whitney
Re-Targeting Cuba: Why Title III of U.S. Helms-Burton Act will be a Horror Show
Kenneth Surin
Ukania’s Great Privatization Heist
Howard Lisnoff
“Say It Ain’t So, Joe:” the Latest Neoliberal from the War and Wall Street Party
Walter Clemens
Jailed Birds of a Feather May Sing Together
George Ochenski
Failing Students on Climate Change
Cesar Chelala
The Sweet Smell of Madeleine
Binoy Kampmark
Global Kids Strike
Nicky Reid
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party
Elliot Sperber
Empedocles and You and Me 
March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
Kenn Orphan
Grieving in the Anthropocene
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail