I’ve been following politics closely since I was a young teenager. Back then, as it is now, it was easy to get upset watching a Republican President destroy the country that you call home. Whether it’s Reagan back then or Trump now, Liberals have a tough time dealing with bad actors.
In the thirty years since the dark days of the Reagan era, I’ve witnessed right-wing conservatism overtake the entire country. It even infiltrated the Democratic Party early on and has never really left.
The liberal answer to the Reagan/H.W.Bush era was Bill Clinton. Like all good Democrats Clinton is best known for getting the economy booming again. Some of the changes he implemented however, were policies Republicans could only dream about. He deregulated the banks, further deregulated the media and destroyed welfare, just off the top of my head.
Fast-forward another decade. In response to the disastrous George W. Bush presidency, liberals served up Barack Obama with his hope and change. We got neither. Like Clinton, Obama will be best remembered for getting the economy booming again.
His best-known signature law however, the ACA, is a Nixon era idea and a Republican one. He refused to go after the banksters following the financial collapse. Instead of holding Bush responsible for war crimes, he expanded his domestic surveillance policies and expanded the war on terror from two countries to seven.
The economic mess Obama inherited was caused by Clinton as much as Bush, if not more so. Still, the two Democratic presidents enjoyed booming economic times, but very few benefited. America has experimented with a neoliberal laissez-faire approach to economic development for an entire generation.
The results have been economic inequality not seen since the gilded age of the 1920s. There are multiple factors as to how we got to this point, but the more obvious conclusions lie with money in politics and the corporate influence over our elections and politicians.
Corporate influence is behind almost everything these days. Every decision a politician makes starts with the question; will this upset my donors? There is actual scientific proof that most politicians from both political parties no longer listen to voters, they listen to donors.
I wonder, how often do we need to be fooled to wake up and realize these people are paid not to give a shit about any of us? I can’t seem to fathom why smart, educated liberals continue to support these people.
The Democratic Primary tore the party apart, and for good reason. You had one candidate who wanted to continue with neoliberal business as usual and another, who for the first time in more than a generation, wanted progressive change. Liberals chose business as usual and paid a heavy price for it.
While preaching a good game, Obama decided to shun economic change in favor of policies that favor his donors. It didn’t go unnoticed. Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats and 13 Senate seats. Oh yeah, and the presidency, since Obama first took office.
Neoliberal politicians would rather lose to a republican than elect a progressive. To corporate donors, Republicans and neoliberals are friendly, progressives are not. In some instances, you could say some democrats are paid to lose.
Neoliberal politicians have marginalized informed Millennials right out of the gate. Younger Generation Xers like myself however have been frustrated for decades. Whenever a progressive rises up to speak for us they get slandered by their neoliberal rivals or slain in the corporate media. They cheated Bernie Sanders in the primary, they labeled a then uncontested Keith Ellison an anti-Semite, and so on.
As progressives know, the so-called liberal media is anything but. Even on NBC. On Meet the Press yesterday for example, the question was asked, how do Democrats go after the soft Trump voters? Never, ever do they ask about progressive voters. Casual liberal viewers never see the progressive side of things, never.
It breaks my heart when people who call themselves liberals actively resist the progressive movement. Unless they are part of the upper-class, what do they hope to gain? As I pointed out, fighting for neoliberal values has proven to be a losing tactic. Fighting for progressive values is a winning one.
Last week we published an article by Julian Drury critical of New DNC chairman Tom Perez, the direction of the Democratic Party and how they will continue to take corporate donations. The comments on social media were as polarizing as the primaries. Liberals are so terrified of Donald Trump that they are willing to appoint any neoliberal idiot to lead them as long as there is party unity. Progressives on the other hand are leaving the party entirely.
That’s what liberals can’t seem to understand. If Democrats want our progressive votes, they must earn it. It isn’t free. Progressives have been kicked to the curb for as long as I’ve been alive. Guess what? We aren’t taking it anymore.
Go ahead, keep blaming Bernie for Hillary’s incompetent loss. Blame the woes of the Democratic party on progressives. Keep supporting those who only care about their corporate donors. Keep giving into Trump’s fear mongering and elect another lessor candidate to oppose him. And by all means, keep flinging those insults our way, we’re used to it. Just remember one thing, it might have taken decades, but we’ve finally realized you can’t win without us.