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The Democrats' War Against the Progressive Left and Bernie Sanders

Duane is an avid reader and follower of all things social, spiritual, and political, and a committed leftist.

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The Democrats' War on Progressives Started Before Bernie Sanders

The Occupy movement of 2011-12 was the Democrats' first chance, but they were haughty and silent.

Occupy changed the political landscape the same way hip-hop and rap changed the music industry. In the early 1980s, everyone was sure that rap and hip-hop were passing fads that would die out in a few years. Thirty-five years later, rap and hip-hop are the foundation of the music industry.

Occupy was the most significant mass political movement since the 1960s and the formation of the new left. The mainstream corporate media and the Democrats ridiculed and mocked Occupy, but the movement was the fertile field that sprouted Bernie Sanders' candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Only Sanders saw what the Occupy movement foretold.

Anna Kasperian of The Young Turks, (TYT), said this:

"The establishment, including cable news networks and corrupt politicians who take advantage of legalized bribery did everything they could to belittle or delegitimize the movement from the very beginning. CNN’s Erin Burnett famously mocked the protesters in her 'Seriously' segment by making them all seem like uneducated and ignorant hippies looking for government handouts. It wasn’t surprising to find that Burnett had close ties to Wall Street as a former financial analyst for Goldman Sachs."

Here's why the Democrats completely ignored Occupy:

According to several sources, the Democratic party received more special interests money, by a two-to-one margin, than even their corporate Republican counterparts. Had the Democratic party utilized some foresight, had their leadership remembered the core tenets of what being a Democrat stands for, they could have tapped into the youthful energy, mobilized it into new voters, and carried itself to sweeping congressional victories in '12, '14, and '16. Jake Johnson at CommonDreams.org writes:

"Democrats, for instance, remain committed (in word) to curbing the influence of corporate money on the political process. But such gestures seem utterly meaningless after a convention that was overflowing with lobbyists and influence-peddlers looking to gain access as protesters marched in the streets, alongside the luxury hotels arranged for the donor class.

"We must have set up five fund-raisers today," one particularly eager Democrat, now running for Congress, said of his work at the convention. "This is the bank."

That is why, instead of Occupy infusing the Democrats with new electoral energy, it exposed the Democrats as the party of Wall Street and the corporate lobby.

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The Occupy Movement and Bernie Sanders

The Occupy movement was the beginning of the revolution. It started in late '11 and early '12 and although it didn't end in the spring of 2012, it retreated to organize. That reorganization has brought us the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, Independent, Democratic Socialist.

“Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy,” Sanders said.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC), heavily committed to Hillary Clinton, chose, by procedure and propaganda, to sabotage the Sanders campaign. In turn, they sabotaged, dirty tricked, and invalidated millions of voters. The Democrats engaged in the worst practices of establishment politics. By subverting Sanders and his supporters, the Democrats ensured their own defeat.

The 2016 election had the lowest voter turnout in twenty years. The story of that election was not how people turned out to support Donald Trump, it's how people didn't show to support Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton actually had more popular votes than Donald Trump, but that was nullified by the fact that she didn't invigorate white working class voters to come out and vote for her. Her most damaging losses were in the rust belt states, which ironically were Bernie Sanders' strength. That is where the Democrats lost the election, a defeat that was sealed at the Democratic convention in July. The Democrats treated the Sanders delegation like second-class citizens and told them they were "being ridiculous."

That is not how you inspire people to vote for your candidate. Scolding condescension is a huge turn-off to voters. The Democrats neglected the fact that Bernie's supporters were not seeking Democratic party unity. They wanted fundamental change in the social system and the Democratic party.

A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.

— Teddy Roosevelt

Hope vs Resolve

President Obama's 2008 campaign hinged on the word hope, a shrewd choice given the previous eight years of Bush/Cheney and the Wall Street meltdown of '08. But President Obama quickly squashed the hope he inspired with his choices of economic advisors straight from Wall Street. Also hopeless was the manner in which he, through the DNC, unilaterally took universal healthcare off the table in favor of the corporate-friendly Affordable Care Act (ACA), essentially the same plan proposed by Republicans a couple of decades ago. ACA is based on the plan passed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The DNC Wages War on Itself

Turns out President Obama was a corporate Democrat, in political terms, a neo-liberal. Starting in 2010 and continuing until this day, the Progressive and leftist wing of the Democratic party stopped showing up in mid-term elections nationally and on the state level. The Democrats got their electoral asses kicked in every election except the 2012 Presidential election. Even in 2012, they lost more ground in congress and state governor races.

Still, the Democrats didn't get it. Six years of getting killed at the polls because they couldn't—or wouldn't—connect with their constituency, and they still remain obtuse.
There has been a definite, undeniable shift to the left in American politics, but the Democratic Party lurches the other way with neo-liberal, corporate-inspired, market-based policies.

Democrats Lose Lose Support

Bernie Sanders supporters are displaying a resolve for fundamental systemic change. An insurgent resolve. The Democrats better understand that Bernie or bust is a real and deeply seated thing. DemExit, already in the works before the convention, is being supercharged by the Wikileaks expose that the DNC colluded with the media and state-level Democrats against the Sanders campaign. DemExit has resulted in an unprecedented surge in Green Party registrations. A third party option that could win. Independents are the largest voting block in the country.

Given the probability that the Greens won't win, it won't be a wasted vote. Voting Green will build a base for a progressive third party option in the years to come.

The DNC Gave Trump the Presidency

As we endure the next four years of Donald Trump, bear this in mind: It was the Democrats' blind allegiance to the status quo, devotion to Wall Street corporations, and neglect of the concerns of millions of new voters that gave Trump access to the White House. Do not let the Democrats blame you, the voter, for Trump. Donald Trump's Presidency is solely the responsibility of the Democratic party.

Lesser of Two Evils, Again?

Political Insurgencies Are Not Convenient

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Duane Townsend

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