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Democratic Party's Past -- and Future

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President-Elect Donald Trump August 19 2015
President-Elect Donald Trump August 19 2015
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Democratic Party's Past -- and Future

A friend emailed me a reminder, this "morning after the night before," that Last July 25 I wrote a blog essay titled "Why Trump May Win; Discouraged By The Democratic Party's Self-Inflicted Wounds." Others expressed comparable views at the time. None of us had much, if any, impact on the Party's actions this summer. But on re-reading that essay this morning, I realized that it might be worth posting excerpts from it again. For the next few days, weeks and months, both major parties' leadership will be engaged in trying to understand the presidential election and devise a change in course for their party's future. This may be of some help.

-- Nicholas Johnson
July 25, 2016

...


As a lifelong Democrat, I have for some years now been discouraged by the actions of the Democratic National Committee, and others who are considered members of the Party's establishment...

The Democratic-Party establishment had historically served, and been supported by, the poor, working poor, working class, union members, family farmers, and a broad range of other demographic groups. Were it still both perceived and functioning as such, it could elect most officials from school boards and city councils to the U.S. Senate, House and White House....

[But now] the Party's leadership has become -- and obviously wishes to remain -- funded by, and the legislative advocate for, Wall Street, large corporations, and the top 1% of America's socio-economic elite. It's mission, far more than the enactment of populist policies, is the perpetual re-election of office holders whose highest priority daily activity is raising money. . . .

The question is whether [this] will still work in this or any other country when one considers the Tea Party, Occupy movement, Brexit, and the unprecedented numbers and enthusiasm of the supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Whether justified or not, millions of angry Americans now look upon government, corporations, other powerful institutions, and those who run them, not just as uncaring for people like themselves, but as an enemy, deliberately adopting policies and budgets knowing the harms they will impose.

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Nicholas Johnson is best known for his tumultuous seven-year term as a Federal Communications Commission commissioner (1966-1973), while publishing How to Talk Back to Your Television Set, 400 separate FCC opinions, and appearing on a Rolling (more...)
 

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