27 February 2016

The emerging Progressive Majority

A friend took exception to my arguing (with citation to an article in Jacobin) that Clinton represents a faction of the Democrats that don't really believe in Progressive reform, and have no real intention of implementing it in a broad fashion. I risked alienating him entirely by writing this back:

I don't agree with a single word of what you say here. Which proves my point. There are very real differences within the Democratic Party, and we who see great necessity for real reform will not give up. This may not be our year, but our time will come.

I believe that a carefully documented, and entirely correct, case can be made (because it has, quite a few times, by many very thoughtful and well-informed political scientists and economists), that the Centrist Democrats after 1992 such as both Clintons and Obama (and in fact most elected Democrats in this country today) do not intend, and do not accomplish, much in the way of actual progress towards what I'll refer to in shorthand as social democracy. (Something we almost had in this country, and did have at least as an aspirational goal, in Democratic politics and policy between roughly 1940 and 1974). There are a few steps forward, such as the ACA, but just as many steps backward, such as capitulation on the very idea that "entitlements" should be cut or scaled back. The Centrist Democrats have basically sold out on the idea of social progress altogether; I equate them to Eisenhower Republicans (although in several important respects Eisenhower was more small-initials social democratic than most Democratic elected officials today... the voters having, to a great extent, moved on to a much more Progressive stance). Of course vastly preferable to the Right Wing nuts that the actual Republicans have become, but not really interested in using political power to make society more equitable, fairer, or more small-d democratic. There is a growing base in the Democratic Party that is fed up with this attitude, and will not stand for it going forward in their leaders.

If you find that offensive, I'm sorry, but that's just how it appears to me.

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