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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/4/19

The Democratic Party at a Crossroads

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Finally, the Democratic Party has reached a crossroads. Will it continue in its most recent direction of serving the dictates of the neoliberal economic catechism and the whims of big money, or will it revert back to its New Deal roots and become a party of the ordinary, but often disenfranchised, citizen.

In the 2016 presidential primary, those choices became clear with the strength of the Bernie Sanders campaign. However, through the machinations of the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and Hillary Clinton the game was rigged to assure Hillary of the nomination. That left the progressive wing of the party without a viable candidate. The result was that the party floundered in the election, losing not only the presidency but also Congress and many of the state's legislatures and governors. Not only had Hillary lost but she also had provided no political coattails, thereby resuscitating a moribund Republican Party and installing Trump in the White House.

Even after that monumental loss the DNC insisted that their direction was still valid and always had been. Damn the realities of that election staring them in the face, they insisted on replaying the election ad nauseum, blaming whatever was handy" Bernie supporters, the electoral college, whistleblowers, the Russians"anything to avoid facing their failure of meeting the needs of the people, the ordinary citizens of the nation.

They continued to stubbornly resist what was a growing insistence of the progressive wing of the party. However, that insistence did not die and go away. It continues to grow because it represents the real will of the people who will be ignored no longer.

The next ploy of the old guard was to mimic the 2016 Republicans by running many candidates for the presidency, trying to avoid any real clarity about where the party stood. The underlying goal seemed to be two-fold. First everyone seemed agreed that "anyone but Trump" was the goal. The second part, left unstated, was "anyone but Bernie"; Bernie who would cut the last ties to big money and the neoliberal economic system and rejuvenate the party and the nation.

The hope was that if the public was given a spectrum of candidates they could be convinced to stay within the old structure and stay away from the fundamental reforms that Bernie Sanders was suggesting were necessary to move the nation back to a democracy. On one end of the spectrum was the conservative Biden, on the same trajectory as Clinton and Obama, who would allow the big money to retain power moving us further into income inequality, but with a smiley and more civil and congenial spokesperson at the helm. On the other end of the spectrum was Bernie Sanders. His message was the need for a system change to move from oligarchy back to democracy. The hope of the DNC would be that the democrats would choose some candidate in the middle who would espouse some progressive changes that Bernie spoke about but would be somehow more moderate and not really wanting to rock the boat too much, leaving the oligarchy pretty much intact.

As it seems to be turning out the DNC once again misjudged the people's desire for change and their unwillingness to fall for the, not very subtle ploy, of the DNC. By now the field seems to be winnowed down to the Biden conservative option versus the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren "back to democracy" option, offering the electorate a clear choice about the direction, definition and very future of the Democratic Party.

The Party will finally end its schizophrenia, by either ending up losing its real citizen base and simply becoming Republican Lite, losing any remaining relevancy, or by emerging as a clear option for an electorate of ordinary citizens and marking a return to a participatory and sustainable democratic governance.

My hope is that the ticket will be Bernie Sanders for President and Elizabeth Warren as Vice President. Bernie is the real heart and stability for the necessary change and Elizabeth Warren would have the opportunity to build on Bernie's leadership and be prepared to take the reins of a restored democracy.

(Article changed on September 4, 2019 at 16:15)

 

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Climate Reality Project Advocate, author, writer, video blogger and retired educator and empowerment consultant. I have a deep belief in participatory democracy, the value of ordinary people and finding a path to a sustainable future..

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David Bright

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A better pairing would be Sanders-Gabbard.

While Warren has some good ideas, she can be shrill and annoying, especially to Republican and unenrolled voters, and the fact that she lives less than 250 miles from Sanders doesn't do much for geographical diversity.

Tulsi Gabbard, on the other hand, presents herself as much calmer, more thoughtful and reasoned, and -- despite the fact she's only 38 to Warren's 70 Gabbard comes across as more of an adult than is Warren.

Given her resume as a U.S. Army major with two combat tours who stands opposed to the U.S.'s imperialistic war polices, and her much-maligned meeting with Assad in an attempt to learn his thinking and policies, Gabbard's world view is one of promoting peace and understanding. She's right on when it comes to election security, and her work with indigenous peoples is real.

A Sanders/Gabbard ticket gives us an Atlantic/Pacific, age/youth, domestic/international, emotional/calm team that can attract Democrats, independent voters, and Republicans having second thoughts about Trump.

And then there's the differences in 2016. When it came to picking between Sanders and Clinton, Warren sat on the fence until it didn't really matter, then drank the Kool-Aid and stood behind Clinton. Gabbard, on the other hand, saw the dirty tricks being played by the DNC and Clinton team, gave up her position as a vice-chair of the DNC, and backed Sanders.

That was the right thing to do and gave Gabbard, in my mind, extra credit.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 5:36:35 PM

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Absolutely right on point, David!!! Warren will have us living in a straight jacket and has one of the most alienating personalities for a politician in memory. Only Clinton was worse. She appeals to an extremely narrow demographic, and her political correctness will literally drive undecided libertarians and republicans to vote for Trump. Gabbard has the broadest demographic appeal of all the candadates in either pary and balances out Sanders' over the top frenetic delivery. Pairing Warren with Sanders would intesify it to the point of hysteria resulting in a very bad look.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 5:59:20 PM

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Good points.

thanks.


d.


Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 7:31:46 PM

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Bob Passi

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

I can see your points. However, the crux of the article is about choosing a progressive option within the Democratic Party that moves us away from the neoliberal oligarchy that has too much sway now.

Bernie and Elizabeth are the only ones who clearly support such a switch.

What might be the final political calculus of candidates is perhaps premature. I only voiced my choices based on their support of that major shift in direction.


Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 9:45:02 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Yes, but two points:

1-Tulsi is much more realistic about how to move from neoliberalism She is focusing on the military security complex's oligarchy. Nothing can be done without first transforming the war economy to a peace economy. Warren will have none of that; and

2-Warren is un-electable if paired with Sanders for all the reasons David Bright and I mentioned. Your gut should tell you that. Not recognizing it is exactly why we are at the crossroads.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 10:21:33 PM

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After all, David, I've known that you're not just a pretty face.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 8:26:04 PM

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Reply to David Bright:   New Content

I can see your points. However, the crux of the article is about choosing a progressive option within the Democratic Party that moves us away from the neoliberal oligarchy that has too much sway now.

Bernie and Elizabeth are the only ones who clearly support such a switch.

What might be the final political calculus of candidates is perhaps premature. I only voiced my choices based on their support of that major shift in direction.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 9:43:34 PM

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shad williams

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It has to be Bernie and Gabbard. It could be a mistake if the Bernie people don't grab this soon. Such a move could build momentum to move away from the warmongering democrats. How quickly would the other candidates including the lying Trump would be dismissed...as in "you all can go now."

Let's get the pledges and commitments from those we believe could make the difference.

Why not begin creating our own organization, discussing a shadow government made of the folks who we believe make sense before the election? If we are going to take government away from the elites, we cannot wait until the last minute to think about who we would like to see running the executive branch and its offspring... The Pentagon, Joint Chiefs, DNI, NSA, NSC, State, CIA, FBI, Justice, Treasury, SEC, Federal Reserve System, EPA, Energy, FDA, FCC, FTC, Homeland and the Israelites, HUD, HHS, FDA, Commerce, Labor, Education, USDA, Interior...let's create a picture about how we would like to proceed, how we would like to begin to reclaim the ideals of an "America"... that we thought we knew through k-12. Otherwise, the counter revolutionaries will remain buried and carry out sabotage on behalf of the elites.

Let's also begin discussing changing civil society and the corporate state, posterizing the billionaire class and their deadly orders for continuing insanity. Let's go big picture and sideline NATO, the World Bank, IMF, BIS, critique participation in the EU, OAS, UN, recapture regulation of Big Tech, Pharma, Ag, Meat, Petro - Let's identify, identify and identify and go after the elites and purge their tools...We have the candidates. Let us use our own people to make a better world.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 9:35:24 PM

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My sense of trying to map out an entire plan is that it will lead to endless discussion about priorities.

To me the first item is to get a President that supports the changes with a set of Congressional candidates who come in on his coat tails and then let the process guide how we proceed.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 9:51:57 PM

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There's only one "priority." NOTHING will happen until the war economy is retired. 75 years of failure should have informed you of that. There's a reason the US continually declines in all the salient criteria for well being and it's the war economy.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 10:26:47 PM

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HOW TO GO, SHAD!

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 10:13:58 PM

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Shad,


*standing ovation and clapping* AMEN brother!! People haven't traced the rot in our country back to the corporate greed and even those who smell the stinking manure of dark money that fertilizes the weed, they still insist on just "trimming it back" rather than ripping it out roots and all. We HAVE to get a grip on the machinations, the elaborate and well established system that feeds and maintains this corporatocrasy and "purge their tools" as you so eloquently state.


Sanders is the only one who is going to get down in it. The rest will give lip service while worshiping at the altar of Golman Sachs and Wall St.


Thomas Jefferson was 100% right when he said:


"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered". I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies". The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."


Take Care,


M

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:11:13 PM

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Great comment. What is the source? I'd love to quote it.


Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 2:31:40 PM

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A Warren Sanders ticket is first of all self defeating, and secondly will accomplish next to nothing but impose unnecessary regulaitons while making the larger picture more hopeless by shipping MIC the money they claw back from Bernie's "billionaires" (i.e., all upper middle class americans).

As I have been repeating endlessly, the birth of the Military-Industrial-Complex was officially christened in 1945 when the experiment in the economics of war demonstrated that the massive US profit (560B in today's dollars) from WWI was no fluke. There may never again be as profoundly silent a revolution as that which took place when Truman was installed as the first sock puppet of the new American military empire. Its first official spokesman, John Foster Dulles the pater familias of the Deep State, emerged from behind its valence less than a decade later to make public US designs on empire suggesting that if a strong MIC is good for Chester A. Riley, it is good for all working class Americans. And thus a war economy became accepted reality.

As it blossomed, it provided its civilian apologists a deformed rationale against MIC's crimes of state. But the war economy over time inevitably wilted, gutting the Treasury and became directly responsible for the 75 year fall of the US from first to last in most per capita well being analyses among the major industrial states. It has become America's doomsday engine. As a consequence, all other issues must be subordinated to ending empire. A focus on upending US foreign policy which is circumscribed within the exclusive domain of empire is the singular focus that should demand our attention. Voting for a candidate who does not express this concern or is not prepared to work toward retiring the war economy is a waste of the bus fare or dollar's worth of gas to drive to the polls.


Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 10:33:36 PM

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I concur with your analysis of what happened after WWII and still continues.

I am not sure which candidate would fit your criteria for a solution. Almost the entire field has been vetted by the economic elite and are more a part of the problem than a solution.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 12:58:10 AM

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"I am not sure which candidate would fit your criteria for a solution." I thought I made that clear: Tulsi Gabbard.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:35:05 AM

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I think the article has some interesting points to make. But are there enough liberals left in America to vote in a real liberal for pres rather than a neo-liberal status-quo candidate? I don't know the answer to that -- and neither does anyone else -- that's why all the talk about "electability" As to Tulsi Gabbard -- she is fine, but not likely to go anywhere. for running mate, an old white guy should have a young person of color and/or a woman. Maybe someone from the interior, but I don't trust them. And, I think your opinion that Warren is irritating has to do with gender bias -- as soon as it looks like she might actually win the nomination she suddenly becomes annoying.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 11:56:13 PM

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The electorate will decide all of that but if we do not break from the neoliberal economics of the last several decades we will lose what is left of our democracy. Far more people than you might guess have figured that out.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 12:52:29 AM

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Ridiculous comment: "your opinion that Warren is irritating has to do with gender bias..." To begin with to whom are you addressing this? If it's to me, then you should know that I am only voitng for TulsiGabbard. In 2012 and 2016, I voted for Jill Stein. But if it wasn't directed at me, why is it that no one can criticize a woman any longer without "gender bias" being hurled in his or her direction? Similarly, you're an antisemite if you criticzie Israel. It's precisely this type of PC bullshit that has alienated the touchy-feely wing of the democratic party from the rest of the world. If only they would get so bent out of shape when it comes to war.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:33:27 AM

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Shrill is one of those dog whistle words when used to describe a woman that signifies a sound that people normally don't want to hear. It is not overly PC I don't think. Words matter and some are loaded with other meanings. But you are spot on about our detestable war economy, ending it is key to starting anew.

I am a proud anti semite if criticizing Israel gives me that title.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 6:16:05 PM

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The author is for Warren in the VP spot he didn't say she was irritating. I think your comment is directed at Mr Bright, the first comment poster? I though gender bias when he used the word shrill also.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 6:06:21 PM

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Wrong. You know what's a dog whistle, Dana? "Dog whistle." An abused term which has become a shield by self-righteous slackers against idescriptive, rational analysis. It's overuse has ratified the slippery slope towards the irreversible chill on free speech/critical thinking the establishment is spending millions in think tanks to achieve. Calling Madero a "thug" is a bona fide dog whistle, becuase it's an UNTRUE attempt to cast him as a criminal based on racial profiling. Shrill is an neutral adjective that has no connotations except by those defending the subject. Calling Warren "shrill" or better yet "irritating" is a purely literal description of how she comes off. How else would you describe her delivery (I'm sure her handler is working on it)? No criminal intent... just clear, accurtate observation. Hopefuly, you'll learn to see the difference and understand why most people find this form of stupid ad hominem so annoying. But for the record, males like Beta O'Rourke and his pathetic hispanic schtick is ultra irritating. And Bernie's red faced, spluttering is shrillest of all.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 6, 2019 at 12:49:36 AM

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Great Article Bob. I hope we don't have to keep loosing elections to he Republicans to get a real progressive in the Oval Office, but as entrenched as the establishment Dems are in Wall St. It goes without saying that they will continue to fight progressives out of their own self interest. We have to look for leaders who are intelligent and well read but who have NOT been indoctrinated at the Ivy league schools where politicians are trained to look like they are for the people while really being servants of the corporate military industrial complex.


When we do figure it out and start getting real progressive in there we will know it because things will get VERY ugly. The current system built on lies, manipulation, constant pursuit of the concentration of wealth and power at the top is run by true sociopaths. They have, in other parts of the world where people had the courage to stand up to them, committed assassinations, murder and torture to bring the populace under control.


No true revolution ends at the voting booth. It only begins there.


Take care,


M

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:17:49 PM

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The Democrats will surely remain 'Republican Lite' regardless if a Democrat president wins in 2020. Their leading Democrat in the House - the "too timid" to "impeach" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already refused to impeach two Republican presidents" on her two watches" and the DNC never "got the message" - i.e., to 'exert some leadership', impeach the Republican, when warranted, in both cases W Bush/Trump, or "step aside" to let the Republicans "take charge" and "remain in power".

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 2:23:40 PM

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Frank Inbun

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Remember Obama and all his "campaign rhetoric"? Nothing will change by voting Rep or Dem. The president is a puppet. He is a prisoner in the White House. All it takes is another 911 or economic collapse to keep the loonies on the path.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 5:00:42 PM

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Sherri D

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Very interesting look at the candidates. I think an article that would be informative to all of you is over at Counter Punch. There was an analysis of a Washington Post article that compares Sanders and Warren. While making comments about the Post article, the Counter Punch write up actually provides a fairly decent comparison.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/26/warren-and-sanders-compare-and-contrast/

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 5:56:09 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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I will vote Green and I don't care if you call me an idealist or a spoiler. The real spoilers are the Democrats who steal all the Green Party proposals and hollow them out. We'll be waiting when reality is impossible to ignore.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 8:01:46 PM

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John Jonik

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Generally, and accurately, it's the Demo/Corporocrat Party. No? How so many Dem regulators can be on both sides, the people (demo) regulators, and the regulated private interests, is a question.

One drop of private funding/influence in any public establishment is unacceptable pollution. All the more toxic because so many swallow the idea that the Public Institution is the clean one...on OUR side.

Take largely Private-corporate supported "Public" Broadcasting....please.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 6, 2019 at 6:35:23 AM

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