Friday, November 11, 2016

Robert Reich Calls For a What? A "New Democratic Party" Whatever That Is.

During the campaign, Robert Reich urged American progressives to hold their noses and vote for Hillary. He also said that, the day after the election, they should mobilize, perhaps around Bernie Sanders, to create a new progressive movement, one that could challenge both the Republicans and the Democrats in 2020. Well that day has arrived, albeit not with the anticipated outcome, and Robert Reich is still calling for a new progressive movement, something called a "New Democratic Party."

The Democratic Party as it is now constituted has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests. This must change. The election of 2016 has repudiated it. We need a people’s party — a party capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican Party, which is about to take over all three branches of the US government. We need a New Democratic Party that will fight against intolerance and widening inequality.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic Party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper-middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

...They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class — failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22 percent of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12 percent today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.

Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify — with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination — more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration — has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump’s authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.

...The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn’t wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.

There are valuable lessons in Reich's warnings for our own sitting government. The Liberals have followed in the footsteps of the Democrats. Do you think Trudeau more progressive than Obama? I don't. With just one year under his belt and three more in which to change course, Trudeau has been given an invaluable lesson in what could await him in 2019. 


Anonymous said...

With Hillary out of the way, New Deal Democrats can rise in the ranks and clear out the deadwood. The bribe-taking insiders, coordinated by super-corporate-lobbyist John Podesta, dropped the ball big time by handed a hated buffoon like Trump a super-majority. There will be hell to pay.

Half of Democrats voted for Bernie Sander's New Deal vision in 2016, which included a refusal to accept plutocrat money. By 2020, with 4 years to organize, they will have their pick among many New Deal presidential candidates for 2020, likely including Elizabeth Warren. (A real firebrand who will lead the charge to clean up corruption in the party.)

FDR showed the establishment who was boss. In 2020, a Democratic president will restore the Progressive New Deal Era that began with FDR and was ended by Reagan with a landslide victory and record voter turn out.

Ben Burd said...

Never mind the Trudeau comeuppance Wynne will have one sooner but the results will be the same, anger giving us another Trumper - Patrick Brown, just because of the lack of alternatives. Of course Horvath could make the argument that she is on the side of the disposessed but I don't see it sticking.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Anon, I only hope you're right.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ben, please. I have Christy Clark to deal with. There's no room on my plate (or waistline) for Wynne, Brown or Horvath although I'm not sure I wouldn't trade my entree for my choice of yours.

Ben Burd said...

"Ben, please. I have Christy Clark to deal with. There's no room on my plate (or waistline) for Wynne, Brown or Horvath although I'm not sure I wouldn't trade my entree for my choice of yours."

There is no choice but I really would like to see the NDP, in BC - they should road test it, and Ontario come out with a pro-worker platform: against the trend to precarious work and cutbacks. Frame it in the voice of the trumpers and you have a winning campaign. People here are only voting for Brown because they see the NDP as the usual and Wynne as the enemy. Let the NDP loose and see what happens to Brown or Christy.

But as you know nobody in the NDP establishment wants to be reckless after all it might upset the middle. Fuck the middle the NDP never had them in the first place. Run from behind should be their motto.

After all if you had a choice what are you going to do?

Northern PoV said...

I have Christy Clark to deal with

me too

have not seen or heard anything credible from what's-his-name, the NDP guy
but I also haven't heard that he got caught stealing Skytrain rides like nasty Dix, who ever he is ... is there a prov-level Green party? - could fooled me

Hey on the bright side
KXL should mean no expanded KM (please mr. Trudeau)
And I think the bitumen gets refined on-shore that way (in big Houston refineries) so sinking tar ain't an issue