Americans Didn’t Vote for Change. For Many, It Wasn’t on the Ballot

Yves here. There will be many articles trying to explain what happened to the Democrats’ blue wave. This one is close on the heels of the result, which means it reflects beliefs at or shortly after the vote, as opposed to later lines of thought. And the writers made an effort to speak to Trump voters.

At the same time, Democratic Party insiders are already deploying their blame cannons, and the progressive wing of the party is a big target. One of the big complaints of corporate Democrats who did or nearly lost their seats is that they were smeared as “socialists” in attack ads. It isn’t just low-information conservative voters who believe this line. One contact, a libertarian trial attorney in DC, sincerely believed that Biden would appoint “radical leftists” to his Cabinet, like Elizabeth Warren at Treasury. It took nearly a half hour to get him to understand the effort the party had gone to to stomp on Bernie Sanders, how they were loyal to various industries, like tech, higher education, Big Pharma, and finance, and how they were using idpol to mask their refusal to do much except some optics to help lower and middle income workers.

The Democrats need to quit running from socialism and start explaining that America already practices socialism for the rich (with examples) and maybe it’s time for socialism for ordinary people (with examples). But the problem is that the Dems are culpable of promoting socialism for the rich, as exemplified by the “no accountability” bank bailouts and the reluctance to address student debt and ever-rising health care costs.

Another problem is poor and presumptuous messaging. This may be due in part to the fact that Republicans are far more willing to accept party/message/tactical discipline. This isn’t just my observation; Matt Stoller has said the times he’s been involved in right/left initiatives, the Republicans and conservatives have been far more professional and easy to work with. They are much more focused on good execution and know how to do it.

I can’t prove it, but my theory is that Republicans and Democrats have different models of organization. Republicans think of corporations and the military, where there is a hierarchy and clear reporting lines. In reality, people find all sorts of ways to work around that, but there’s at least a formal picture of who is in charge and what their scope of authority is.

By contrast, my sense is that the organizational model most Democrats internalize is a law firm. Once you are admitted to the partnership, you are pretty much left alone as long as you are a big enough producer. Law firms often have problems with quality control and difficulty in reining in partners who slip into shoddy or unethical practices. This behavior has become rampant at McKinsey, which is modeled on law firms.

On the one hand, a model of many barons and no king would seem conducive to a big tent approach. But on the other, it is antithetical to message discipline, which starts with message testing and development. The bigger fish on Team Dem think they are clever enough to come up with their own pet memes, despite being too remote from ordinary people to have any idea of what counts to them.

There are two examples below where the critics have the better argument. One is on “defund the police”. Of all the ways to demand profound police reform, it would be harder to come up a tag line that would elicit a negative response. If you study up on the measures implemented in Newark, New Jersey, which was forced to make major changes as part of a consent decree, and is seen as having improved, they don’t read as if they saved money. For instance, they hired a lot of newbie cops to dilute the toxic culture and also implemented community programs. In other words, the onus was on the proponents to explain what they meant and why it would improve things. And some argued for eliminating police entirely, a position that would never fly in America.

But the bigger point is that when the press took up “defund the police” as a Black Lives Matter demand, the Biden campaign reaction was terrible. They panicked and said they’d increase police budgets and spend more on training and hiring social workers. There was no gripping tag phrase and no support for why these plans would reduce police using excessive force against people of color. The scheme sounded a lot like:

Step 1. More credentialing. Step 2. *Magic* Step 3. Success!

Similarly, Green New Deal advocates have yet to sell mainstream America, or even the liberal press, on how immediate the threat of climate change is and why their approach will work (occasional lip service isn’t enough to change popular beliefs). They are admittedly up against 30 years of climate change agnotology, but they seem too often to want to argue logically (like the danger of X degrees of warming) when we saw how well that worked with Brexit.

And that’s before saying, despite my agreeing with the Green New Deal diagnosis, that their program relies too much on hopium and technological saves, when building new infrastructure relies on current dirty energy technology, as well as using some environmentally nasty materials. We need a big dose of radical energy conservation, and no one is willing to say that.

Finally, on their core brand issue, idpol, the Democratic party messaging was lousy. For instance, an ad here stared with Trump telling black voters in 2016, “What do you have to lose?” followed by a black man narrating all the bad things that had happened to blacks under Trump, like higher Covid deaths. So far, so good. Then the ad shifts to clips of Biden speaking, with the only even dimly memorable part being him promising to “end systemic racism”. First, even if he can do that, it’s a project that will take generations. Second, “systemic racism” is too removed from real problems facing real people who are not seeking tenure. There’s no plan on what to do about abusive policing or job discrimination or other practices that hurt people of color. It sounds like a high-falutin’ handwave.

At the same time, as readers know well, there are boatloads of “progressive” policies that are very popular with voters, like raising the minimum wage, strengthening Social Security, providing for more income support during lockdowns, getting rid of the ACA and replacing it with government-provided insurance, and cutting military spending. And if 2016 and 2020 demonstrated anything, it’s that the Democrats aren’t benefitting from being joined at the hip with big corporations and billionaires. Bloomberg spent $100 million on the party’s behalf, for instance, yet what difference did that make?

So the Democrats institutionally could break away from the grip of corporate big money, but too many pols and operatives are in their vise for that to happen. It will take at least another epic failure for them to be rooted out. And in the meantime, the scapegoating will continue.

By Mary Fitzgerald, openDemocracy’s Editor in Chief, whose writing has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, New York Review of Books, New Statesman, Project Syndicate, Al Jazeera and has been syndicated globally and Aaron White, the North America editor of ourEconomy, and co-founder of The Junction. Originally published at openDemocracy

“When I see these people I think of Nazi Germany. The group they called the useful idiots: the ones who didn’t bother to educate themselves. It makes me sick.”

That’s what Marsha told us as we watched the massive queue of voters in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday.

For her, the high turnout was terrible news: a sign the city and state would turn blue. “People will leave this county if the Democrats win here and I don’t blame them. Defunding the police? Sanctuary cities? We’ll have violent thugs roaming our streets.”

Marsha needn’t have worried. Despite the optimism of Democratic canvassers we met that day, Ohio once again voted decisively for Trump – and in Cincinnati the Republican Congressional incumbent, Steve Chabot, saw off a challenge by Democrat Kate Schroder.

It was a pattern repeated across the country. Biden may well be sworn in as the next president, but the results are otherwise crushing for the Democratic Party establishment.

They threw extraordinary amounts of money at big Senate races: $108 million in South Carolina, $88 million in Kentucky, $69 million in Maine, $43 million in Montana. It was an unmitigated failure. Not only did Democrats fail in all of these bids, they are also on track to lose up to ten seats in the House of Representatives.

“Here’s the real story of what happened last night: I’m going to give you some positive news.” Charlie Kirk, co-founder of the right-wing youth organisation Turning Point USA, addressed voters across the airwaves in Pennsylvania yesterday morning, as votes were still being counted.

“You wouldn’t know any of this if you were just watching the activist media, but there’s a lot of good news for us today. We prevented Chuck Schumer [the Democratic Senate minority leader] and his multi-billion dollar onslaught to try to purchase your government. You stopped that: God bless you for it.”

Kirk is not wrong. Much of Biden’s domestic policy platform is meaningless without a strong Congressional majority. Everything the new president tries to deliver – even a badly needed coronavirus stimulus package – will be stymied. Should he actually manage to get some legislation through an obstructionist Senate, much of it will then be doomed by Trump’s signature legacy: a Supreme Court with a 6-3 Conservative majority.

For the rest of the world, of course, Biden’s narrow win, if it comes, will be far more consequential. Millions of women will once again be able to access US-funded family planning and other health services. Religious conservatives will continue to push their extremist agendas abroad (see the film below), but they will have lost easy access to the White House. The ending of the infamous ‘global gag’ rule – which blocks federal funding for organisations that provide or promote abortion services or rights – will also aid the global treatment of HIV and many other major health issues.

The US will rejoin the Paris climate accords. Right-wing autocrats like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Hungary’s Victor Orbán and others no longer have a powerful backer in the UN. Israel’s hawkish prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lost a staunch ally. The list could go on.

But at home, there’s no clear mandate for change. Strikingly, too, Trump looks set to lose by only a slim margin. Millions more Americans backed him than did in 2016 – despite a pandemic which has already claimed nearly a quarter of a million lives and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

How has this happened?

No Justice, No Peace

We’ve been travelling through the key swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Republican heartland of Kentucky, and speaking to voters across the country for weeks. If you spend long enough talking to anyone, they’ll say things you might not expect.

In fracking country, western Pennsylvania, we met a young Romanian immigrant who voted for Trump but backs Canada-style lockdowns to contain COVID-19.

A Black Biden-supporting woman in her sixties told us “all lives matter” because “we all bleed the same colour: red”.

We met a registered Democrat in a crucial swing county who voted for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen because she’s a feminist who will legalise marijuana.

And a convicted felon on the New Jersey border told us he’d have backed Trump if he was allowed to vote – even though he wants universal healthcare.

But a defining feature of countless conversations has been the largest and most ambitious racial justice movement this country has seen in generations.

Black Lives Matter has birthed a new generation of civic leaders and inspired and activated voters across all fifty states. In the city of Louisville, we met women who rose up in March when Breonna Taylor was killed by police, and who have been organising, protesting and building “love, passion and community” for more than 160 days since.

Yet the movement has also sparked a fierce backlash.

“I don’t support what we’ve seen of Black Lives Matter… The looting, the destruction, those aren’t protests. That’s not Black Lives Matter. That’s people going out and destroying their communities and hurting and killing each other,” Aaron Johnson, a former police officer, told us in our recent podcast episode.

Like so many Trump supporters we met, he claims he supports racial equality but says “structural racism” is just media hype.

“People take the idea that there is a problem with racism in this country, and they blow it out of proportion. They make it so much worse than it really is. Is there racism? Yes. Is there systemic racism? No.”

Others write off the whole movement as “radically left driven” – and claim Biden is just a “puppet” for what they see as this more extreme, hidden agenda.

The irony is that – far from being their puppet – Biden failed to win support among many of the Black Lives Matter activists we spoke to.

Despite running on a Democratic ticket, Jecorey Arthur, the youngest person ever to be elected to the Louisville City Council, refused to vote for or publicly back Biden (he gives his reasons in the film below).

Milly Martin, who knew Breonna Taylor, also put it bluntly: “I do not like him at all.”

Change Was Not on the Ballot

Plenty of people we spoke to were voting against Donald Trump, but not necessarily for Joe Biden. This is borne out in national polls: as Fox News reported, many Biden voters were motivated primarily by the desire to get Trump out of the Oval Office, rather than to see Biden in it.

Meanwhile, across the spectrum, people derided the Washington establishment.

“I despise Mitch McConnell,” Craig, a registered voter in Florida, said of the Republican Senate majority leader who was easily re-elected in Kentucky. “He’s been in politics so long he’s completely blind and insulated from reality. So is Nancy Pelosi [Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives]. They are both career politicians whose only thought in any situation is ‘What’s best for my party right now?’ – the normal rules of law and morality are out the window.”

“I would say Mitch McConnell is one and the same with Amy McGrath [his Democratic challenger],” Jecorey Arthur in Louisville told us. Despite the party pumping $88 million into her campaign, McGrath was crushed by a decisive 58-38% margin.

“Biden, we know what he’s about. He said he’s going to do a lot of things, but he’s been in office for 43 years, and he hasn’t done it,” Anthony in western Pennsylvania, a former Obama-turned-Trump supporter, told us.

And despite far higher voter turnouts, there were many who were unimpressed with the choices on offer, or who opted out. As one of the regulars at Snow Bar on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, put it: “The reason I don’t vote is because it doesn’t affect me.”

The Real ‘Silent Majority’

Many Trump voters we spoke to claimed they were the ‘silent majority’ and that Trump would prevail on election day.

They seem to have been wrong – just. The silent majority we found across the country were not the Marshas, cursing the ignorance of those long lines of voters in Cincinnati, but the bartenders wearily closing up shop at 8pm on polling day because they expected trouble either way.

They were the woman in Washington, Pennsylvania, who told us “it doesn’t matter if you’re Black, White, purple, orange – we are all Americans and we are all one nation under God.” She was backing Joe Biden, she told us, because she wants the next president to bring the country together and “make America great again”.

Voters everywhere told us they want peace, stability – and decisive action on jobs, the pandemic, the economy. Sadly, these results are unlikely to deliver these things any time soon.

Citizens across most of the world will breathe a sigh of relief if they see Donald Trump leave office. But, as Craig from Florida put it a few weeks ago when he decided not to cast a ballot: “I don’t know who will win on 3 November. But I do know it won’t be the American people.”

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  1. Roland

    Biden probably means a new war for the USA by mid-22. He’ll need it to try to get some unity and gather Congressional support from hawks on both sides of the aisle. Squad will sell out for green crumbs from the war budget. MSM will cheer war all the way. PMC will be all very serious and lecture everybody on how smart the latest war is.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I can just see it now. After a disastrous US first strike, Joe Biden would be seen stalking the halls of the White House late at night shouting while ripping out his hair-

        “Michèle Flournoy, Michèle Flournoy, give me back my Carriers!”

        1. Greg

          My personal theory is that we get a new war so Kamala can prove she has bigger balls than any male VP or heaven forbid, president.

      1. ambrit

        America is already “outsourcing” their “proxy” wars, such as in Syria. Financial aid as well as low level arms provision do the trick there. For a “serious” war, the productive capacity could be found, even if it takes a year or so to ramp up; WW-2 is an example. Manpower is certainly available.

        1. Edward

          It is true the U.S. is essentially at war with Iran, Venezuela, and other places through sanctions, sabotage, destabilization efforts, ect., but a serious war against a country like Iran, without public consent and support is probably a bridge too far. Cheney wanted a second 9-11 type event to mobilize the U.S. public against Iran. The U.S. government runs on borrowed money and allegedly doesn’t have enough money for such items as Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, or COVID relief. The U.S. is beset with internal and external problems. To start a major war in this context would be incredible folly.

          1. digi_owl

            borrowed money is to put it mildly.

            The nation has a massive trade deficit will all but South America.

            The only thing stopping the USD from going into free fall is the oil trade.

            If the likes of the Saudis would tomorrow switch to say the Euro as their currency of choice for selling their oil, shit would really hit the fan.

            1. jm

              The thing that stops the dollar from going into freefall is other nations’ desire to run a trade surplus with us by pegging their exchange rates at levels that keep their goods cheap in dollars. Their pegged exchange rates serve as a floor under the dollar. They achieve this by using the dollars they receive for their exports to buy US assets.

      2. John Wright

        The US military budget is sacrosanct, with the defense companies distributing jobs/spending all over the USA.

        Remember the HRC advisor Madeline Albright quote?

        “In a meeting about the costs and dis-advantages of an intervention in Bosnia, Albright turned to Powell and declared, “What is the use of having this wonderful military if we never use it?” In his memoirs, Powell recalls that he almost had “an aneurysm” following this exchange.”

        But note, the cautious Colin Powell, of aneurysm concern, later pimped for the Iraq War.

        Why the old crew that pushed for Libya intervention might be partially re-united under Biden, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton (but not Samantha Power) with, perhaps, Flournoy assisting.

        Maybe Madeline Albright will be advising in the background?

        I expect a new “democracy building war” from the Biden administration, and would be very pleased to be proven wrong.

        But any war will not be stopped because “we can’t afford it.”

        1. Edward

          They are war mongers, one and all, but I think there are real difficulties and costs with any new wars. We can’t even win or get out of our current “Forever Wars”. These wars have now existed for the entire lifespan of people now enlisting in the military.

          1. jsn

            I think you may be missing the point of our wars. In the areas we can’t outright dominate through globalized financialism, we create sustained low level violence as a cover for resource extraction.

            Whether it’s oil in Syria, rare earths, exotic metals in Bolivia etc., or drugs to fund our co-combatants to maintain the underlying ungovernability of the region, say Afghanistan or the intersection of Columbia, Venezuela and Brazil, the point is to maintain some profit flow for some corporate or agency interest without the agency or private beneficiaries having to pay for it through taxes or direct legal investment that can’t be protected by US courts.

            Your latter point, about who fights these actions is the real resource constraint the US faces, the rest is now either paid for through the economics of extraction as described above or seigniorage by the Fed.

            1. jsn

              Incidentally, I don’t think this is some “conspiratorial” result, rather it’s 70 years of corporate development by Milo Minderbender, it is the logical conclusion or “War is a Racket

            2. Edward

              Jim Perkins describes this sordid business in “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”. You can make different arguments about what the motives might be, but I do think a large element in U.S. behavior is imperialism– a desire to dominate everybody. I have a hard time seeing how the U.S. benefits from all this, which leads to the question, “Who benefits and why?” I have never seen a concrete explanation of how much wealth the U.S. is supposed to acquire from these wars. How much money did the average American gain from the wars in Afghanistan, or Syria, or Yemen last year? Some corporations do benefit from imperialism. Syria is a poor country without much oil. It does have a strategic location. Afghanistan has a strategic location and undeveloped mineral wealth. The U.S. does depend on the dollar reserve currency status. The neocons are mostly about their favorite country.

              At this point the U.S. government is under the influence of money. It has been financially colonized.

              In any case my point still stands; regardless of what Washington desires, the U.S. is not in a position to start a major war.

              1. John Wright

                The US is certainly in a position to start a major war.

                Pursuing/winning the war is another issue, but wars may be started quite inexpensively, witness Gavrilo Princip.

                “The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost American taxpayers $6.4 trillion since they began in 2001.”


                And the recent US wars seem to do nothing to diminish the income stream/wealth of those promoting the wars.

                It is others who pay the costs.

                In the Iraq War, the marginalized “unpatriotic” journalists/politicians were those who were against the war.

                It would be good if those making the decisions about US citizens (and foreign citizens) physical and financial well being actually paid some large price for their war advocacy and subsequent damages.

                But I don’t see this feedback loop in evidence in today’s USA establishment.

                1. Edward

                  Micronesia is also in a position to start a war in that sense.

                  The United States faces real dangers from a war with countries like Iran. It is in trouble economically and politically. Biden has said we will continue to occupy northern Syria, so he will engage in provocative behavior that could start a war, but I have a hard time seeing him actually decide to start one.

                  1. jsn

                    Obama couldn’t resist the siren song of war, even with a Nobel Peace Prize. I don’t see Sleepy Joe standing stronger at this stage in his career than his sponsor did.

                    Yes, the US is in no position to fight another war if the intent is to win, but if the intent is to create expensive messes that campaign contributors can be paid to police but never resolve, of course we will.

                    Certainly their are plenty in DIA and other agencies who understand how risky and potentially devastating this could turn out to be, but no one in a policy position has seen negative consequences for their actions since Bush senior lost the presidency for raising taxes when they needed to be raised.

                    So reason figures as a remote foot note in some appendix to US politics.

                    1. Edward

                      A war with Iran could turn nuclear. The American war games simulating an attack on Iran have gone badly. The U.S. military is worried about “escalation control” where the U.S. will not be able to control the size of the conflict. Iran has shown it can hit the numerous U.S. bases in the region with missiles. It will be able to strike and sink U.S. ships with those missiles. Iran can close the Straits of Hormuz and shut down oil traffic, perhaps threatening the petrodollar. It will attack the Gulf States and their oil fields as well as Israel creating a regional war also involving Syria, the Iraqi Shiites, and Hezbollah. U.S. conventional ground forces might take significant damage or lose, at which point the U.S. might deploy nukes. I can’t imagine Russia or China will just stand by if Iran is attacked. Such an attack could be the last straw for the Muslim world, which may conclude the U.S. is at war with Islam. Supply lines may be a problem.

                      This will be happening at a time when the American public is fed up with these wars and there is record dissatisfaction with the government. The United States is isolated internationally and its economy is hamstrung by COVID and massive debts. The government is lending money to try to keep the economy going. The United States is not even able to extract itself from the “forever wars” it is already mired in. I think the U.S. is deterred from starting such a war by these consequences.

                  2. jsn

                    And Micronesia’s leaders know they would experience real, personal and profoundly negative consequences if they started a war.

                    US leaders have no such fears. They should, but they don’t.

                    In their experience, consequences are for little people.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Yeah it was a very good article but I thought the author was a little naive on the foreign policy bit.

      Israel’s hawkish prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lost a staunch ally.

      And if anything, gained a stauncher one.

      If Biden wins and I were Assad, I’d start wearing some concrete underoos.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A ranking Israeli Minister has already threatened that if Biden signs up to the nuclear deal again, that they will be forced to attack Iran. In other words, he wants America to stay out of the deal so that they can attack Iran of Israeli’s behalf. Israel can’t hit Iran because Iran can hit back at Israel so they want American forces to do their attacking for them. And in any case, dead American service-people don’t vote in Israeli elections so no skin off their noses.

        1. a different chris

          My dad was a big war history buff, and he spoke about how “a bunch of weirdos” would seem to come to power at the same time and everything would then dutifully proceed to s(family blog)t.

          Hitler is treated, almost revered, as some Evil Mastermind but he was basically a weirdo if you look closer and if it wasn’t for Mussolini and Chamberlain and a bunch of other really wack puzzle pieces that you couldn’t imagine being dogcatchers in a sane society, WWII would arguably have not happened.

          Admittedly sort of a Great Man theory of history, but the “Great” part a bit redefined, but certainly was always something to chew upon and he made his points really well.

          So Bibi, Biden, Macron, MBS, wow not looking good is it? Trump does not really fix this, he may make it worse as a Chamberlain type.

          1. Edward

            I read somewhere that the Brits (and French?) were hoping to use the Nazis against the communists, not unlike the way the U.S. is currently trying to use the fundamentalists against Syria and other places.

            1. JohnnyGL

              Yes, if you want to look at that era from 10,000ft. Hitler pulled off two major stunts that turned him from a weirdo footnote in history into history’s biggest monster.

              1) He flipped the script on the West, who looked the other way on the military build up in the 1930s because they wanted him to attack the USSR. Cutting a deal with Stalin (who knew the game) to carve up Poland meant the German army could turn westwards.

              2) Warfare had changed significantly in the 20th Century. In WWI, no one in charge understood that the way to fight wars had changed. In fact, 2+ years in, the French and British were still sending waves of infantry charging into German machine gun nests (at Somme and Verdun).

              Hitler just so happened to have a general staff that had been experimenting with the novel use of air power like Stuka dive bombers in the Spanish Civil War. They’d also been developing theories of how to use tanks and armored vehicles, along with that air power, to punch holes through heavily fortified defensive positions.

              Better tactics, organization and leadership meant the German Army was able to swiftly overrun their French opponents who had both greater numbers and generally better equipment.

              If France had held it together for any length of time, it’s very questionable how long Germany could sustain a war effort. All the top brass in Germany seemed very concerned about it.

              Without the early victory in France, it’s plausible Hitler would have rapidly lost legitimacy and been ousted either in a coup, assassination, or some other means and wouldn’t loom so large in modern historical memory…no Holocaust or D-Day or any of the watershed moments of the 20th Century.

              1. Edward

                I was thinking of the 1930’s, before WWII started. At this time, the British establishment wanted to crush the communists and saw the Nazis as a gift for this project. Hence “appeasement”.

                1. ambrit

                  American financial interests also supported The Party in the 1920s and early 1930s as a bulwark against those pesky Communists and Socialists.
                  Prior to the War itself, Mosley and the British Union of Fascists were a sizeable political force in the UK. America had it’s Bund movement. All this “inconvenient” history has been largely relegated to the ‘Memory Hole.’
                  @JohnnyGL above; the violent ‘solution’ to the “Jewish Problem” was a pan-European process. Pogroms against the Jews was part of Russian policy for decades prior to the 1917 Revolution, and stubbornly held on after. (Why do you think that there are so many Russian Jews in Israel today?)

                  1. jsn

                    And before England entered the war, John and Alan Dulles, corporate lawyers at the time with white shoe Sullivan & Cromwell, wrote copyright and patent agreements between the German/Austrian and Anglo/American cross shareholders in chemical, industrial and energy companies so no one would have an “unfair advantage”.

                    Truman found out after making Alan the first head of his newly created CIA and thought it treason, but felt himself powerless by that point politically to address it.

                    Alan, by then with the OSS, had even tried to broker a Nazi surrender after FDR’s “total victory” policy was public.

          2. Minalin

            Sorry, dChris, but your blend of special ingredients (the people you mention), were more a hindrance to fascism, or so says Robert Paxton, in his book on fascism – “The Anatomy of Fascism.” WW2 I’d argue was going to happen no matter what. Hard to find a good proof that holds up on the Great Man (Person) Theory of history. I met Netanyahu at MIT were I was sure to wear my PLO shirt when he was around. He liked to talk, and he talked a good game, but he could never deliver, ever. The issue was: the freedom to speak, not about Jews & the PLO. Even then the hallways of the university were darkening

            1. JohnnyGL

              Building on your point, having a problem of Fascism is one thing. But let’s be honest, not all fascisms are created equal.

              The Italian version, — which struggled to with a war in Ethiopia.
              The German version, — which rolled over one of the finest contemporary military forces of the time in France, and then pushed Russia to the brink of destruction.

              You may well be right that fascism was somewhat baked into the circumstantial cake, but I think we can all agree those are two versions are each VERY different problems to get a handle on.

        2. lordkoos

          I would guess that if the US attacked Iran, Iran would retaliate in part by attacking Israel. I’m not too sure the notion holds up that Israel would come out of the conflict unscathed.

  2. ambrit

    Post election anecdotes:
    Driving along the main drag of the half-horse town today, I saw two big pickup trucks with large Trump flags flying. One flag said; “Trump is my President, win or lose.”
    Our son and middle girl, both adult age, aren’t speaking right now due to disagreement over who to vote for.
    No one on the street yesterday looked happy. We usually see at least one or two on any day. Not yesterday. Uniform glumness prevails.
    Direct observation suggests that turnout was high, but no solid numbers available yet.
    Drivers on the actual street were more than usually “dangerous.” The main drag looked a bit like “Death Race 2020.” Everyone rushing and taking obvious chances. A lot of speeding and running red lights, not just yellow light lottery players.
    At least the nightly ‘shooting gallery’ of the last few months has stopped.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Death Race 2020? Yeesh! Every night in Tucson!

      I live near two major arterial cross-town streets and the drag racing goes on for HOURS. It was especially loud in the wee hours of All Souls Day. Guess it was the next thing to do after all those Halloween partiers were done partying.

      1. ambrit

        Remember when any town worth the name had an unofficial “drag strip” section of road, usually out at the edges of the congestion? The cops would “look the other way” on Friday and Saturday nights. Now, the entire metropolis is a “drag strip.”
        Good luck with being on two wheels in that sort of environment!

    2. lordkoos

      Interesting how Americans express themselves. The day after the election I saw several people driving aggressively. Judging by local politics I assume they were Trump supporters.

  3. Basil Pesto

    Around 18/19 on NC I remember reading about a political science paper, cited by Chomsky, saying that electoral results strongly correlated with campaign spend. Looking at some of the 2020 results (eg McConnell v McGrath), I wonder if this correlation is still as strong?

    1. edmondo

      The next time Jamie Harrison or Amy McGrath (or any overpriced senatorial candidate) wants to set $100 million on fire, he can get my vote by donating 10% of his campaign funds to the local food bank. At least some good might come out all that whorin’.

      1. sharonsj

        I commented on line that I was for Harrison until I read he was a lobbyist. That got me hate mail. I didn’t think McGrath could get elected because she complained that Mitch wasn’t doing enough to support Trump. In fact, I think I heard that all the progressives were re-elected but the “centrists” weren’t. We always think the Dems might learn something but they haven’t for decades.

    2. METx

      I bet the correlation is still true to an extent but I wonder if it gets watered down by name recognition.

    3. km

      Biden outspent Trump almost 2:1, and is barely able to wheeze out a win, even with COVID to help him, the MSM acting as the volunteer Ministry of Propaganda and the tech giants openly putting their fingers on the scales.

  4. Carla

    Yves, as is often the case, I thought your analysis prefacing the article was more incisive and useful than the featured material itself. Thank you.

    And thanks, particularly, for your example that of all the ways to demand real police reform, it would be hard to come up with a tag line that would elicit a more negative response than “defund the police.” I could not agree more.

    I’m guessing that with those three words, Black Lives Matter cut broad community support for their movement against police violence from 70 percent to less than 30 percent.

    1. Lee

      The Black Panthers’ “community control of police” was so much better than “defund the police”.

      1. Edward

        I think a better line then “defund the police” would be “police minimization” where you try to reduce the police responsibilities and tasks to the absolute minimum. My basic feeling is the police are dangerous and you want to use them as little as possible.

          1. Edward

            That would help, but they can probably still beat the crap out of people with impunity.

            Another angle could be to extend the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights to all citizens.

      2. hemeantwell

        Agreed. If you look around you’ll black activists who think similarly. The writers at Black Agenda Report took that position early on and helped back others who worried that ‘defund the police’ was vague and unnecessarily alarming.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        I guess I’m from out in left field somewhere. I felt positive toward “defund the police” — at least initially. I believe the police have evolved into a domestic paramilitary force beyond reform or redemption. All the efforts at “reform” and “community control” have accomplished nothing. I don’t believe social workers can be a replacement for the police anymore than the present police forces can be reined in and redirected to a mission more in line with the vital function they serve in our Society.

        However, I am appalled by the way “defund the police” too easily becomes “get rid of the police”. US Society could not exist without a force to maintain order, domestic tranquility, and guide the Populace through the disasters Climate Chaos promises for the future. The deepest thought behind “defund the police” never went beyond replacing police with a “force” of social workers. I believe that is what lead to the negative response to the slogan. I do not have a good idea what kind of force would best serve to maintain order, domestic tranquility, and guide the Populace through the disasters … but it isn’t a force like the police we have now. Populace should not fund a police force too much like Pinkertons with military weapons or a police force like a hostile occupying army.

        I want to believe the better part of our current police forces want a mission consistent with maintaining order, domestic tranquility, and guiding the Populace through the disasters. I believe the better part of our current police forces want to serve and protect in the truest sense of those words. I believe our present police forces are beyond hope of reform. They must be carefully and thoughtfully rebuilt from the ground up with different leadership and very different values. And Populace needs to carefully rethink what they ask the police to do.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, I noticed something very interesting.

      In the days and weeks after the death of George Floyd and the protests (and, sotto voce, riots and vandalism in and near Downtown), this city was wall-to-wall BLM signs.

      Then came Kenosha.

      The BLM signs started disappearing, and most of them haven’t come back.

      1. ambrit

        Could the main difference be the proportions of “working class” versus “PMC” support for BLM? The “working class” is somewhat used to police violence against them and so, able to ‘process’ the dynamics of the Kenosha killings. The PMCs have little to no experience with actual violence directed towards their persons and thus become “gun shy” quickly.
        Anyway, it’s a thought.

    3. lordkoos

      Coming up with a new sound-bite around controlling the police is a challenge. The word “reform” is now meaningless due to its being applied many times with no visible positive results.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Does anyone else here remember the one-time MBA catchphrase “zero-based budgeting”? I’ve been wondering whether that concept couldn’t be used in this context, by putting the community in charge of

        * Looking at all the things police (and other enforcers of laws, rules, and regulations) do now.
        * Figuring out which of them we still want to be done.
        * Deciding which of them we want which L (/R/R)EOs to keep doing, and which we want done by somebody else.
        * Budgeting and planning accordingly.

        What say ye all (and some)?

  5. Chris Herbert

    As a Democrat down a ways on the ballot, it was obvious that, once again, Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Republican leadership is merciless and could care less about doing anything positive for the majority of citizens. Their ‘secret sauce’ is to keep the middle class opposed to the labor class. It is the money, honey. And it has corrupted both parties. The only difference between Democrats and Republicans is Democrats apologize for their sins. The One Percent selects the nominees in both political parties and sail on their yachts. Everyone else gets to pay the debt. Until that toxic mix changes, we will continue to struggle as a democracy.

    1. tegnost

      Democrats apologize for their sins

      they don’t even know what their sins are, so no way they apologize for them.
      Sorry we bailed out banks and insurance companies? Nope never heard it.
      Sorry for thinking we have a responsibility to protect corporations profits overseas? Nope never heard it…
      I could go on but what’s the point?

    2. flora

      A larger percentage of the ‘labor class’, women, and minorities went to T this time than in 2016. How to explain that? The Dems offered nothing, ran on nothing, except “Orange man bad” and “we’re going back to the O years.” (I’m not at all surprised so many down ticket races when to GOP candidates. Can’t beat something with nothing, as they say.) Taibbi’s latest long (paywall) article asks quixotically if the GOP is becoming the party of the working class.

      I’d answer Taibbi’s question with: probably not. T isn’t a neoliberal in economic outlook. Both D and R party estabs are neoliberal in economic outlook. T is a one-off in that regard. My guess: most people are ready to vote for anyone who will hold pharma, big Ag, monopolies, insurance companies, etc accountable for the financial harm they’ve caused 90% of the people. My second guess: both parties will work like hell to prevent any candidate like that from getting to the general election. See Dem estab v. Sanders and Warren.

      1. flora

        adding: wages for a lot of the lowest paid working class actually went up during the T admin, for a lot of reasons, not so much to do with T but on his watch. Did the MSM ever report on that economic change? Does the MSM ever report on economic issues that affect the 90% ? Now they’re shocked to find T won more votes from, for instance, Black voters than any GOP president candidate since 1960.

    3. km

      Apologize for their sins? Please, Team D make excuses for their sins, when they acknowledge their sins at all.

      “St. Obama really really wanted to….but Mean Republicans(R) made Poor Widdle Obama….” We heard that sad litany for eight years, and we’re still hearing it today.

  6. Palaver

    Red States and Blue States held their relative lines on the election map. System 1 thinking prevails in times of stress and Americans stood by their reflexive identities.

    The only thing radical were expectations. Democrats ran a status quo candidate and expected a radical result. Being insane they have already blamed their loss on not doing more of the same.

  7. James P.

    “The Democrats need to quit running from socialism and start explaining that … it’s time for socialism for ordinary people”

    The only tag line that would be worse for Democrats election prospects than “defund the police’.

    1. edmondo

      By the time the Democrat changed the word “socialism” to a positive connotation, we’ll all be flying our pigs into the 3-pig garage attached to my space station home. Do what Americans do best – steal the concept but change the name. Contract for America anyone? How about six “citizen Dividends” scattered throughout the year. No socialism, just Middle Class Restoration Act with UBI, free college and heathcare.

    2. LowellHighlander

      New England town hall meetings are, to me, a form of socialism. [People with more wealth and income get as many votes – one per person – as people with less wealth and income.] What’s wrong with that?

      Couldn’t the reference to such town hall meetings serve as a new tagline to promote socialism for the 99% ?

    3. lordkoos

      It shouldn’t be difficult to come up with a word or phrase to replace socialism. Both parties retain experts on branding, but the Democrats will never pay someone to re-label socialism because they don’t want it for ordinary citizens. “Quantitative Easing” was a pretty good euphemism for socialism for the wealthy.

  8. orlbucfan

    As a long time resident Floridian, I voted NOTA for POTUS. Plenty of down ballot important items to support like raising the minimum wage which was solidly approved. Florida went for tRump. Needless to say, the POTUS choices for 2016 and 2020 were the worse I’ve seen in all my years of voting. The corruption isn’t new; it’s been building since Nixon in 1968. Something has to give, and it will, one way or the other!

  9. Edward

    The claims in the article don’t seem too outlandish. At the same time they seem to be based on soft evidence– some interviews, which makes the article seem somewhat weak to me.

  10. ambrit

    Don’t be so sanguine. Trump would more properly be compared to Quisling of Norway, or maybe Petain of France. If a ‘real’ Hitler analogue came along now in America, the ground has been prepared for he or she.
    Also, let us not confuse the American liberal clique with a true Left.

  11. a different chris

    We need a big dose of radical energy conservation, and no one is willing to say that.

    I am! Me Me Me!

    You did say “no one”– if you had instead meant to say ” ‘Nobody’ is willing to say that”, then yeah I’m a complete nobody so that would be accurate. Sigh.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Me too! And that’s why I am running this computer in a room with no lights on. The screen provides more than enough illumination.

      1. Charger01

        Please see the jevons paradox. Ironically the pandemic has been an excellent energy reduction for the world, as trade and commerce has slowed dramatically. However, it provides a vivid example to recent memory for average people that hard core conservation is unappraling at best and something to be avoided. Keep my beer cold and showers hot, I’m driving my F350 to work 25 miles away.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Ahh . . . but are people ready for some soft fringe conservation? If you could keep your beer cold and your showers hot for half the current energy input, would you do so? If you had a way to drive your F350 25miles to work for 10 or 15% less gas than now, would that interest you?

  12. The Historian

    Yea, Hitler and the Commie. I wonder when it is going to dawn on all of us that the two are not all that different when it comes to how they affect our lives. Maybe when we tone down the rhetoric and actually look at who the two candidates were? Change? Ha!

    And maybe when we tone down the rhetoric, we will finally notice that there IS a difference between Liberal and Left.

  13. Blended

    “There will be many articles trying to explain what happened to the Democrats’ blue wave.”

    From that first sentence I kept waiting to read an explanation of how the pollsters and MSM pushed the blue wave narrative so unceasingly, but were horrifically wrong once again. Arguably more wrong than in 2016. This uncritical bowing to the orthodoxy of pollster predictions amplified by MSM megaphones appears to be something specific to the left, at least based on my anecdotal discussions. Much like religion to the right, you tell people what they want to hear enough times, and they start parroting it back for you.

    Trump is an asshole which is why he will (eventually) lose; try being an asshole at your job and see how long you stay employed.

    But guess what. In 2022 and 2024, there will be more predictions of blue waves, they won’t materialize, and no one will remember how horrible the predictions were in prior elections. No one will hold the pollsters and media accountable. They want accountability for Trump’s lies, but not accountability for themselves.

    This country is divided and elections going forward are going to be tight. There are going to be no “waves” of either color anytime soon, IMHO.

  14. flora

    It took nearly a half hour to get him to understand the effort the party had gone to to stomp on Bernie Sanders,

    The party went to almost the same effort to stomp Warren when she pulled ahead of Sanders last fall. Lots of beard stroking “hmmm, I don’t know… her?” articles in the NYTimes and WaPo. Lots of party elders tsk-tsking the idea; articles combining”isn’t there anyone who can beat Sanders?” and pointedly ignoring Warren.

    Warren challenged corporate America’s workings in bankruptcy law and govt grift. She clearly wasn’t on the neoliberal team. Can’t have that.

  15. Noone from Nowheresville

    Read Yves’s opening. Will get to the article in a bit.

    My immediate thought is that “we the people” think of the Democratic Party through the nostalgia of FDR and all the various power collations he, his wife and his teams pulled together to prepare the country for war. His and their legacies lasted for almost 40 years. A golden age for a significant portion of the bottom 80%. Hell, even the top 20%.

    Those legacies go back even further since they were seeded decades before that with blood, sweat and tears by the PEOPLE not the parties. Different parties in different time periods did significant things for the “greater” good. They also did sh$tty things too. People are flawed.

    We won’t get anywhere until we can convince a “significant” section of the top 10% that we need to change course and re-educate them on how that might be done. We like to blame “donors” and that’s true to a point. But the 10% are part of that donor class. They go through a similar educational system. Similar social clubs. They see who makes it big and what it takes. Internally they believe that playing “fair” against the lower classes is mostly for suckers if the recent college scandals are anything to go by. So they play by different rules for different classes. That whole tragedy v. crisis mode of thinking.

    They’ve created this cannabilistic system and and even if they know deep down how horrible it is, they don’t allow themselves to dwell on it or consider that they might not really “deserve” what they have. I suspect they believe that getting off the treadmill means giving up what they think they deserve to have or are already terrified of losing.

    So I’m left with stop thinking about the public faces of the political coin aka political parties and start asking how one changes enough of the top 10% where it makes enough of a difference where someone can have enough space to cobble together an FDR styled collation?

    Remember the Roosevelts were Republicans before the FDR branch moved over to Democrats. The only point being that the parties morph as their membership decrees.

    1. vlade

      I don’t know the detailed history of ND and FDR, but I suspect that FRD managed to show to the top 0.1% that sharing even 10% of their wealth downwards makes a significant chance of them surviving more than one generation.

      The problem we have now is not necessarily that we have 0.1%, but their attitude, which these days is formed by the fact that a lot of them are really “employees” – i.e. so called top management, be it for corporates, or even hedgies, PEs etc – basically, not having any long-term interests in what they do, except for money. Money became the ultimate status symbol, because it’s fungible, so what matters is not what one is or does, but what is the net worth. Until we break this, I don’t see a way that will not end in a revolution (which I doubt will solve anything long term. There’s a reason it’s called revolution).

      1. flora

        +1. One of the more insidious aspects of neoliberal “philosophy” is the notion “there is no society, their are only individual men and women”.

        Why have long-term community interests if one is merely a free agent in an entirely individualistic atomized world? Hobbes’s quote about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” seems the essence of neoliberal “philosophy.” The old philosophical tension between “the one” and “the many” still exists; the neoliberals simply ignore the good claims of both.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          there is no society

          Cultural whispers are grand things. Everybody knows it even if it’s a huge lie.

      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        Revolutions generally don’t start at the bottom and the bottom plays a heavy price for revolutions even IF (and it’s a big IF) the very top pays a price.

        Do we even know who the top 0.1% (approx. 300,000 people) is in this country? How about the top 0.0001%?

        Revolutions are bloody. Mobs ugly unless they can be directed. Courts are much better battlegrounds. The outcomes more controllable.

        Much more likely that the Soviet styled grab everything which isn’t nailed down we’re already suffering through will increase dramatically and at a quicker pace.

        The top 10% already enable and participate in that. The very top couldn’t do squat without their enablers. And, yes, always somebody ready to take their place.

  16. 6th-generation Texan

    I predicted on here a couple of days ago that the Dem establishment was going to be very surprised at the size of the Hispanic votes for Trump here in Texas.

    Turns out that “surprise” was more than a bit of understatement – “shock and awe” better describes the panic and hysterical squawking by the local Dems on Wednesday.

    It appears that a similar phenomena occurred in Florida, and that Trump picked up significant support among black voters overall as well.

    A harbinger of the beginning of the end of idpol ??

    If so, that would blow a huge hole in the Dem base – a group of voters that have been taken for granted and ignored in practical terms since…forever?

    How is the Dem leadership going to address this issue in the future ?? Will the neolib billionaire donors who control the party deign to reluctantly toss down a few tortillas/chittlins and think that will be enough to get the strays back on the plantation ???

    1. METx

      Imagining Joy Ann Reid crying as her idpol safety blanket is tugged away by class awareness is a pleasing thought

    2. vlade

      “Significant support among black voters”. In Florida/Texas specifically, or generally?

      According to this exit poll, 87% black voters voted D. Black male voters were somewhat more likely vote Trump, especially in the 30-44 years bracket (which was the only one where less than 80% voted D).

      Given that last time I very much doubt HRC received 100% of the black vote, I’d not call it a significant gain on national scale, at least according to this particular exit poll. This question actually has a decent sample, the income ones have way too small, and I can see how people there might have refused to participate.

      As for the neolib donors – they don’t give a toss, because if you think that it’s any different with GOP, I have a bridge for you. More than one, really, can give discount if you buy more than five or pay cash.

      1. edmondo

        Here’s Madame’s vote share from 2016. They did put a supposed black woman on the ticket and they still lost vote share from 4 years ago.

        Unsurprisingly, turnout for Clinton was higher among black women than black men, with Hillary earning 94% of the female black vote (4% for Trump) and just 80% of men (13% for Trump). This reflects larger trends nationally, with Clinton earning 54% of women’s votes and just 41% of men, and is also significantly higher than the Hispanic turnout, in which Clinton won 62% of Latino men and 68% of Latina women. There was a drop in votes as compared to 2012, however, in which Obama captured 87% of votes by black men and 96% of votes cast by black women.

  17. Steve Ruis

    Donald Trump was the only non-establishment, non-status quo candidate on offer. What did people expect was going to happen?

    1. METx

      DNC thought they didn’t have to do anything because of the pandemic. Why would they offer anything more than the bare minimum?

      They deserved to lose. They’ll say they won, biggest turnout, America has spoken, etc. but GOP holds Senate and in reality they’ve lost “bigly”

    2. vlade

      Non establishment, non-status quo? Duh. Please let me know some non-establishment, non-status quo policies he actually got done last time (about the only one I can think of is the trade war with China, and even on that I have my doubts).

      And while doing it, remember GOP had total control between 2016 and 2018, so no “but he couldn’t get it passed because of nasty Dems”.

      The SC justices he appointed are perfect corporate shills – I’d say that even more so than Dem ones (and that’s something), just have a look at their ruling on anything corporate.

  18. TomDority

    Another entirely succesfull election for the FIRE sector – they must have enjoyued the theater of it all – after they got Biden on the ticket – they knew – no matter which way the country voted that they had the election in the bag. They had the Smurfes fighting over the small stuff – to plan
    You had Trump – a lifelongh con-man and preditor – physically and figuratively a self admitted ++++y grabber, a coward, spoiled rich-boy narssisist who used bone spurs to duck service and probably has not read or understands the constitution.
    Then You had Biden – always a FIRE sector champion who come to run like he was fresh fished and landed doing a slimy fish dock dance.

    Well the real fight for the future of democracy and the planet is sided between the creditor class and the rest of us Smurfs
    Its the same fight going back thousands of years in hundreds of countries
    Banking and Money in the hands of private interests is more dangerous than a standing army
    In my view – the fight is not between the Dems and Repubs – it is the People, freedom and Democracy against the Speculators, vested interests and Finance – who have demonstrated its contemp of People, the Planet and Democracy

    1. Rudolf

      Plus 1. Nailed it.
      Anyone who thinks that the single party system with 2 factions will provide anything for the 99% is an idiot. The repugnants/democraps, employees of the FIRE sector oligarchs, have been playing “good cops/bad cops” with middle class/working class forever. It’s a tactic that’s been used since “civilization “ began. There was a time when the western world’s dominant language was Latin. We know what happened there.

  19. sharonsj

    I think the expected blue wave did not materialize for this reason: Biden’s incessant ads where he talked about how much he cared and how faith sustained him. There was nothing about what he’d actually do to help people. Personally, I don’t give a damn how much he “cares.” He was against universal health care and for the endless wars (abroad and on drugs), and he wouldn’t legalize marijuana.

    I also didn’t care about his faith either. Religion is supposed to be separate from governing. And I don’t believe any politician should be imposing his/her personal beliefs on other people.

    Finally, as I have often said before, average people don’t understand the reasons for their plight because the news won’t tell them. The media provides entertainment and opinion but not many facts. Here in Pennsylvania, the local newspapers, TV and radio hardly tell us what’s going on in the state legislature let alone what’s happening in Congress. And when you couple that with people who either don’t want to know the facts or who only want to hear what reinforces their beliefs, we get a fairly stupid electorate.

  20. George Phillies

    Returning to your header, for state offices I had no choice. My elections for Governor’s Council, Star Senate, and State Representative were all one candidate races.

  21. Charles Yaker

    A lot of good observations but nobody remembers Harry

    Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time”
     Harry S Truman quotes (American 33rd President of the United States, 1884-1972)

  22. Glen

    It was a perfect election for Wall St and the billionaires. Here’s two #hit sandwiches, pick one.

    Biden will immediately try to cut deals that [family blog] Americans. He will quickly be so hated by EVERYBODY. I see the Democrats losing EVERYTHING in 2022.

  23. JWP

    If the theory of party organization holds, the way to finish the Republican party would be to paint so much of the party as traitors in different ways (religious, economic, a democrat, etc) and watch it fracture as the party is unable to provide a cohesive policy or image when divided up.
    For the dems, this would be to simply become better at their own game from another angle, cast them as unqualified and producing bad results, allowing the left to insert itself as a political force that gets results.

  24. Felix_47

    Bernays in action. The Hollywood vote is critical if one wants to win in the US and the news media are now a division of Hollywood entertainment. Trump was an abject failure at that and despite it seems almost to have won an election he tried as hard as he could to lose until the end when he seems to have changed his mind and wanted to win…..too little and too late.. The Obamas and their Netflix deal emphasize the Hollywood connection as well. It is all about image. Luckily, with careful staging and a mask hiding those hideous inlays they were able to sell Biden.

  25. Ep3

    Yves, I don’t think the entrenched interests would allow a top down hierarchy for the democrat party. If you had a candidate that managed the party top down, and the party began rallying around him/her, the majority of the party is left-leaning progressives. They would push that candidate to make institutional changes. You would have an actual party of the majority of people. This would be a huge threat to the entrenched elites. What did obama do with his majority? He had this grass roots fundraising & organization mechanism that he shut down the day after the election. He could have used that to make change, keep ppl engaged, crowd source ideas to fix things. Nope, just use the ppl to get him elected then he will rely on the elites to determine policy.
    The democrats are right where the elites want them. disorganized, decentralized, big talk without anything to back it up, labels of socialism.
    The mayor of Lansing, MI is a democrat and former state legislature, with a democrat governor. His city is hurting, as well as other cities. Why is he out on an island trying to deal with this pandemic? Why is he not walking across the street to demand the governor do something, like having the governor call her buddy Joe to do something? Because change is not wanted. Finance wants the cities bankrupt so they can pick the carcasses clean.

  26. JBird4049

    If you mean the majority of the base of the Democratic Party are left leaning progressives, it might be accurate. It might even accurately describe the base of the Republican Party (when asked about the individual ideas or goals of the Progressives); it does not describe the senior members of either political parties. Both parties are right of center with the Democrats gone conservative and the Republicans insane.

    Whatever party, Democratic, Republican, or a new one, becomes progressive and reformist welcoming, as FDR once said of his fellow elites, the hatred of the ruling class will be in charge of the next generation, maybe even two. That is if no competent Trumpian demagogue seizes power, or worse, remodels one of the parties into such.

    Personally, my best guess is the Democratic Party either collapsing and disappearing or splitting into regional parties. This will enable the creation or growth of a Green, DSA, or other party, or the takeover of the remnants of the Democratic Party. With the acceleration continuing, the crash might start as soon as 2022. It is possible that the Republican Party might suffer similarly instead or addiction to the Democratic Party. Although the Elephants are much more centralized and have a steady stream of pay from the wealthy elites, they too have a similarly weak base that the Donkeys have.

    Money had always been important. Often it is the determinant, but the long lasting strength, effectiveness, and existence of a political party comes from its members. Just having the elites telling the political nomenklatura and apparatchiks what they want and using political Condottieri to create pseudo movements or running elections does not make a political party. It makes a business.

  27. Ep3

    Yves, so wouldn’t it be easy to poll all 438 congressional districts, as well as conduct state level polls for support for M4A then hold those congress persons accountable for their support of M4A? If I am a Congress person and my district polled 87% in favor of M4A, wouldn’t it be easy to hold me accountable for not supporting M4A? Why is this not done? It seems even our non-corporate media do not hold our elected officials to these standards.

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