Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why the national Dems are useless

The Democratic Party could've spent the four years after the 2000 election looking in the mirror.

They could've spent it trying to figure out how a race involving a sitting vice-president and a candidate as bad as George W. Bush could possibly have come down to a few hundred votes when it should never have been close enough for the Supreme Court to matter.

Or they could've figured out how a state that sent Al Gore to Washington many times, the people that knew him best, voted for his opponent for president.

They could've looked at Ralph Nader's three million vote total and said, "Hey, maybe we ought to be a little less corporate and a little more progressive so we can get those votes back."

The fact that they refused to do so only illustrated the points Nader was trying to make during his 2000 run.

Any entity becomes out of control and corrupt when there's no corrective process. Parties, governments, corporations, people. The Bush administration is a textbook example of this. Only outside forces (smaller parties, independent candidates, checks and balances) can can sufficiently act as that corrective agent.

The fact that the Democrats drifted even further rightward by 2004 by aiding and abetting Bush's war on civil liberties, aggression against Iraq and total surrender to corporate governance, proved not only Nader's points but the relevance of his candidacies.

They still haven't figured out that if they put forward a candidate who will fight corporate control of government, then Nader won't run because his beliefs will be addressed.

Eight years later, too many Democrats are still fixated on smearing Nader for past 'sins' (specifically, giving progressives someone to vote for) instead of trying to advance an agenda that would make his campaign redundant.

If that doesn't illustrate their uselessness, I don't know what does.


Mark said...

I think we need a scientific study, if it's even possible, of voting trends. Nader got x million votes in 2000. If the DNC had moved enough to the left to get a sizable enough percentage of those millions, who would deny that more moderate and independent voters would've said "no thanks" and voted Republican? Doesn't it become a wash for the DNC at a certain point?

Renegade Eye said...

Your premise is incorrect. You seem to be saying Dems are a progressive but mistaken party. The reason they are pro-corporate, is not mistaken. They are a reactionary party.

Brian said...

Mark, I don't know how you engage in such a study scientifically. You also have to factor in that as the DNC goes rightward, many voters will stay home.

That said, I am aware of your point and am sure Democrats make this kind of calculation all the time.

And this is PRECISELY why I believe we need true multipartyism in this country. Let the Dems stick their finger in the wind to figure out what they pretend to believe. And let there be effective smaller parties for voters who know what they believe.

If the Dems want to be corporate centrists, that's fine. As long as there's someone representing the progressive point of view.

Brian said...

Renegade: I think you might be misreading my essay. I don't believe that their shirking of progressive values is any accident whatsoever. The party has been purchased in much the same way as Republicans.

I do, however, believe that there are some good progressive individuals within the party whose influence has become virtually nil (in the same way libertarians have become nearly irrelevant within the GOP).

I am trying to point out to those well-meaning individuals that remaining within the Dems is pointless and that they ought to leave it to help build an effective progressive movement. It's a conclusion I came to 10 years ago and hope other progressives will do the same.