By Charles Fredricks
“The floggings will continue until morale improves,” has always been the Democratic Party leadership’s response whenever a challenge from the Left is met with defeat by the Right. Today, using Bernie as a prop, new Senate minority leader Schumer admits the Party needs to change its message (but not its actions, if electing Schumer over Bernie is any indication).
The media are full of Monday morning quarterbacks, offering a list of excuses or reasons for Hillary’s loss— Comey’s November surprise, misogyny and racism of white male voters, the electoral college, even Bernie and third parties (again)— but in all of this there is slight mention of the class issue, how the Democratic leadership throughout my voting life (with the possible exception of McGovern), has turned its back on the working stiff. Their attitude has always been, “where else you gonna go.” When voters get sick of this nonsense and look in a different direction they’re roundly castigated and blamed for the obvious, predictable results of every bad decision the Party establishment has made in their choice of candidates, campaigns and policy.
The problem for the Democratic Party, and by extension the country, is that time doesn’t stand still. We’re on a one-way trip into the future of a more-populous world, where a system based on maintaining inequality, lacking structural safeguards, finds its excesses magnified. The ability to deliver the goods of empire to the majority tasked with supporting it, becomes ever more difficult in the face of the avarice of those at the top. A revolving door between corporations and government means there are no checks on decision-makers from selling out their country, and many incentives to do so.
The big neo-liberal lie has always been that expanding the private corporate economic system into areas previously outside its direct influence will somehow benefit both those already within the system and the new additions, justifying force if needed to accomplish it. The real track record proves the opposite is true.
Jimmy Carter sold out US electronics manufacturing when he allowed Japan to dump products in this market below cost, in exchange for maintaining US military bases on their soil; and he invested in more nuclear missiles. Reagan had the ability to make the country feel good while he shafted the US worker by sending manufacturing outside our borders; a boon for those who set up the plants and no one else. And so on through Clinton’s end to big government, the Iraq fiasco of Bush II (who said “I’m against nation building” during the campaign against Gore), and eight years of feel-good-do-little Obama. When he had control of both houses and could’ve accomplished any of the rhetoric he ran on, he felt it was a good time to rest up for the big fight of getting through a health-care reform that took the only common sense solution (Single Payer) off the table, in favor of something the insurance companies could’ve written themselves.
Stiffing the American worker, and the workers of all nations, has thus been a bi-partisan project, along with the creation of the Presidential Debate Commission— bipartisan, not non-partisan, as we were lied to again this election year. Leadership would require using the ‘bully pulpit’ of office to rally the populace in a responsible direction, yet no commander in chief in memory has done so. Rather they have run interference for the desires of the powerful with the public.
A plurality of voters in the majority of the states, while not the actual majority in our somewhat f-d up system, were willing to elect someone who said ‘a plague on both your houses, we should let the cold war be over already and take care of our workers.’ This is ignored by those with their hands on the microphones, busily telling us how things are.
They tell us it’s about race and gender, flyover states versus the coasts, because we’re all so different, and don’t share the same challenges, the same economic hardships.
Of course Trump has not suddenly turned over a new leaf. He is the same lying con man he has always been. He is busily selecting the right-wing troglodytes who will do their version of business-as-usual so he won’t be bothered with anything but looking presidential and making America great, again.
And yes, it is about race and gender— but the thing to remember about a snake-oil salesman is that the message can be very adaptable. You got gout? It cures gout. Cancer? It cures cancer. You think it’s Mexicans stealing jobs? Muslims? Uppity women? Blacks? Liberals? No worries.
Whatever your issue, what’s in the bottle is the same. Welcome to fascism, American style. Be sure to bring your flag.

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