I once worked with a young woman who would often come to work with a black eye. The women at work would beg her to leave her husband, but she refused to listen to them. She said that he was really a nice guy, it’s just that sometimes he drank too much and lost his temper—but he loved her. She could change him. She just had to get him off the booze. And the drugs.
A lot of people seem to have a similar relationship with the Democratic Party. Sure, they say, the Democratic Party has lied to us over and over—about stopping Climate Change, about offering Americans a public option for health care, about fixing our broken immigration system, about reinstating the assault weapons ban, about getting money out of politics, about passing gun control, etc., etc., but they are really nice people! They recycle, most of them! They support bike lanes, some of them!
Sure the Democrats have abandoned the working class and sold out to Wall Street, but it could be a lot worse! Remember Donald Trump? Remember how he tried to build a wall across the Mexican Border, much like the wall Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton voted for?
Yes, the Democrats have conspired to defeat progressive candidates and keep third-party candidates off the ballots, but they can change!
True, Democrats never met a war they didn’t love, but they are the party of peace! Yes, they take millions from the military-industrial complex and the pharmaceutical industry, but how else are they going to get elected so they can stand up to the military-industrial complex and the pharmaceutical industry? Be real!
The Democrats mean well. And what is the alternative? The Republicans are pure evil.
If they are old enough these Democrats can remember the good times. Long ago, President Lyndon Baines Johnson—when he wasn’t sending 18 year olds off to die in Vietnam—signed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, he got Medicaid and Medicare passed.
Granted, not much good has happened since then, even when Democrats have been in power, but it might have been worse. Sure Clinton passed NAFTA and Welfare Reform and the Crime Bill, laws that the GOP never could have gotten passed, but Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, which I personally cannot afford, but it made a lot of insurance industry billionaires happy.
A lot of Democrats have convinced themselves that what the party needs is for progressives to infiltrate the party—Trojan Horse-style—and once inside they can slowly, decade after decade, fix the Democratic Party.
The problem with this strategy is you cannot fix the Democratic Party, because it isn’t broken. It is working exactly as it was intended to work.
One-time Green Party Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader was right when he said the only way to get the Democratic Party’s attention is to mount a serious third-party challenge from the left.
Nader, once one of the most beloved and respected of American political figures, had his reputation brutally destroyed for threatening the Duopoly, the status quo. The message was sent loud and clear. Do not challenge the Democratic Party. We will destroy you.
Sounds like something an abusive partner would say, doesn’t it?