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Reforming, realigning, or refashioning the Democratic Party into a vehicle for social democracy is one of the oldest, oft-repeated, and frustratingly unsuccessful strategies of the US left. The Populists tried it in the s, only to be absorbed and disarmed. The new industrial unions of the CIO attempted it beginning injust as the New Deal began to retreat.
Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition launched two highly visible runs for the Democratic presidential nomination in the s even as Democratic National Committee DNC chief Charles Manatt recruited big business and its money. Then came Bill Clinton. The hope that the Democratic Party can be pushed substantially to the left has been given new life by two wholly unexpected political events: Hope, on the one hand, and fear, on the other, have sent a new wave of activists toward or into the Democratic Party.
At the time, the institutional basis of the Democratic Party was the alliance of northern urban machines and southern Dixiecrat courthouse gangs, with organized labor as a junior partner. By the s, however, the city machines were mostly dead or dying; the Dixiecrats were beginning their exit; and labor, Northern liberals, and the rising African-American vote seemed to provide the foundation for US social democracy.
The would-be realigners had other things going for them: Yet this seemingly feeble party repelled the would-be reformers. And today, due to large-scale changes over the past few decades, the Democratic Party appears even more impregnable. The party has become a well-funded, professionalized, multitiered hierarchy capable of intervening in elections at just about every level.
It selects candidates, provides funding, furnishes endorsements, offers media relations, and supplies computer and digital campaign and get-out-the-vote services. The party structure and establishment has been fortified against its rivals, external and internal.
Since the s, the most visible change in both major parties, and in the political process itself, is the explosion of money at every level of party operations and elections. Underlying this change has been the dramatic rise in economic inequality, which has made the rich far richer.
As Thomas Piketty notes in his monumental study of inequality: Corporations have also seen their pockets swell.
Wealth naturally followed the same course. Beginning in the s, and accelerating in the s, the largest corporate merger movement in US history consolidated capital in industry after industry and pushed profits higher, despite crisis after crisis. Flush with cash, business interests and the wealthy bid up the cost of elections to new heights and commericalized the way elections are run — at all levels of governments.
Huge amounts of money also go into local elections. Incumbents outraised and outspent challengers five to bitcoin tax day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $8000. Behind much of the soaring costs of running for office has been the turn away from old-fashioned party-run or union door-to-door canvassing to purchased forms of campaigning and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Paid consultants, mass mailings, pollsters, computer experts, media gurus, and services from profit-making outfits specializing in campaign wizardry have replaced the old clubhouse or reform clubunion, or county foot soldiers. The most recent innovation in commercialized politics is profit-making outfits that provide digital voter targeting. Companies like Aristotle and DSPolitical gather as much as five hundred pieces of information on individuals and then determine who is most likely to vote — setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the more well-off are more likely to be targeted.
And according to DSPolitical, these services are now being used in state and local elections as well. As election costs have skyrocketed, members of Congress have become richer than ever. Many congressional Democrats are full-fledged members of the 1 percent. In recent decades, the three major committees that form the core of the national party have taken a greater role in elections, funneling money raised from businesses to campaigns and state parties bitcoin tax day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $8000 top of what business PACs give directly to campaigns.
Big business, on the whole. Individual wealthy donors are another important source of cash for these committees. The most recent success in crowdfunding is also less suggestive than it might appear. Most local, state, and even congressional primaries are markedly different, characterized by very low turnout and scant media coverage. In these races — the overwhelming majority — crowdfunding is likely to be less effective. In any case, mainstream and incumbent Democrats already use outfits like ActBlue to pump up their political coffers even beyond the business and PAC money they get.
And engaging in the electoral funding arms race is bound to tie up resources and, in the end, prove self-defeating.
All of this adds up to a party that, even more than in the past, is both highly undemocratic and structurally tied to the business PACs and bitcoin tax day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $8000 donors that fund their committees and preferred candidates.
As the commercialization of campaigns gallops along, rank-and-file Democrats have less and less say in the party. The most permeable feature of the two major parties is the primary. In each election cycle since World War II, only between 1 and 2 percent of congressional incumbents have lost a primary challenge, with the rate of incumbency hovering above bitcoin tax day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $8000 percent.
The 90 percent—plus ratio holds for state and local offices as well. This expectation that party activists work for the entire ticket reinforces the status quo. The norms of the party militate against any effort to transform the Democrats by sweeping local, state, and congressional primaries, starting from the ground up. When necessary, the party hierarchy will come directly to the aid of an incumbent party regular.
This despite the fact that she had resigned in disgrace as chair of the DNC after Wikileaks revealed she had used her position to undermine the Sanders campaign. Of the Democrats in both houses of Congress, endorsed Clinton in the primaries, while only 10 endorsed Sanders. In fact, of the one senator and nine representatives who backed Sanders, only five representatives were part of the Progressive Caucus. The pressure to conform exists at every level. Of the 3, Democratic state legislators, Sanders won the endorsement of 91, less than 3 percent.
Those are sobering figures for progressives and socialists who think the Democratic Party is ours for the taking. Unfortunately, Bernie veterans looking to create the party anew will come up against the same roadblocks. The base is there in cities of all sizes. It is there among thousands of Sanderistas with no place to go. It is there among the millions of working-class African Americans and Latinos who have seen both major parties let their neighborhoods deteriorate.
Starting at the local level, getting active on real issues that matter to the countless victims of neoliberalism, organizing and bitcoin tax day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $8000 door to door, these forces can form the future base for a democratically organized, mass membership party of the Left.
Could it be different this time around? The Transformation Process Since the s, the most visible change in both major parties, and in the political process itself, is the explosion of money at every level of party operations and elections. So where does all this money come from?
The Health of Nations Issue The First Red Century Issue By Taking Power Issue Journey to the Dark Side Issue The Party We Need Issue Rank and File Issue Between the Risings Issue Up From Liberalism Issue Uneven and Combined Issue Struggle and Progress Issue Ours to Master Issue Paint the Town Red Issue A World to Win Issue Alive in the Sunshine Issue Misery Index Issue Assembly Required Issue 9: Modify Your Dissent Issue Phase Two Issue bitcoin tax day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $8000 Liberalism is Dead Issue 2: And Yet It Moves Issue 1: