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The Democratic Party is beyond hope: We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change

By dlindorff - Posted on 23 June 2017

By Dave Lindorff


         The failure of Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff to capture the vacant House seat left in a suburban Atlanta district by the Trump nomination of Republican Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services shows the disastrous state of the Democratic Party.


            So beholden is that party to corporate interests that it cannot put up or support any candidate who is willing to challenge its neoliberal paradigm. The 30-year-old Ossoff tried to win by appealing to the so called “moderate middle” of voters, offering vague promises of economic growth and challenges to President Trump’s policies — for example his attack on the Obama administration’s so-called Affordable Care Act. It was a stupid campaign approach for a special election, where voter turnouts are typically very low and where voter enthusiasm is the key. No matter: despite polls showing overwhelming American support for a Canadian-style single-payer “Medicare for All” health care system, Ossoff did not call for such a change. Nor did he mention at all the need to slash US military spending — the single biggest reason, because it lays claim to some 54% of all federal tax dollars each year, why the US is approaching Third World status by most measures such as life-expectancy, infant mortality, infrastructure, education, etc.


            The question now for progressives is: What is to be done?


            Clearly to be a viable and genuine opposition party to the ruling Republicans, the Democratic Party would have to be thoroughly deconstructed and rebuilt. The millionaire-packed Democratic National Committee leadership — the lobbyists, the elected officials and the well-heeled donors —  would have to be tossed out entirely, and replaced by genuine progressives, labor activists, environmentalists, representatives of various minority groups and (gasp!) socialists. It would need a platform that was unequivocal and unflinching its call for expanded and more generous Social Security benefits, for a well funded Medicare for All program, for a new National Labor Relations Act that routinizes the forming of labor unions and that safeguards, through severe penalties on recalcitrant employers, the right to bargain for contracts. It would have to stand foursquare for an emergency mobilization against climate change, and it would have to renounce the debunked neoliberal approach of coddling the rich and tossing crumbs to the poor, by standing for much higher taxes on the former and well-funded programs to help the latter. And finally, it would have to call for dramatic cuts in the military (not defense!) budget, and an end to US imperialism and militarism abroad.


             This is essentially what Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the British Labour Party have done, but I have hard time, particularly after watching the overt and underhanded subversion of the Bernie Sanders primary campaign last year, and the inability of progressive Democrats to challenge and replace an the ossified and thoroughly discredited party leadership, imagining that this can happen here in the US with the Democratic Party, which internally is clearly anything but democratic


For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:


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