The Democratic party drove the last nail into its own casket when it elected Tom Perez to be its new national chairman.
A nation saddled with the most inept, criminal, racist administration in its history will have no real opposition party. The same corrupt Democratic machinery that turned away from the New Deal, gave us Dr.Kidglove Obama and arranged the doomed candidacy of Hillary Clinton will continue to cede control of the judiciary, national and state legislatures, governorships and even local councils and boards to the right wing extreme that has taken over the Republican party.
Benjamin Franklin famously challenged us to keep the democratic republic he helped to forge in Philadelphia in the Eighteenth Century. At last, we have failed.
The contest between Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota was depicted as a contest between the establishment and the progressive wings of the party. What was really at stake was the future of the Democratic party as a viable force in American politics. In the last eight years, the Democratic party has lost nearly 1,500 legislative seats and elective offices around the country. It has just decided to continue doing exactly what it has been doing, while somehow expecting different results. That, according to Einstein, is the very definition of insanity.
What is particularly disturbing about the selection of a chairman is the number of electors who opposed Ellison because he is a Muslim. It wasn't about religion, they seemed to say, or about race. It was just that Bibi Netanyahu, the right wing extremist who rules our ally, Israel, would be terribly upset if the party put such a person in the chair, and would hold it against future presidential candidates of the party. As the current occupant of the White House might tweet: SAD.
Over and over again, first Bill Clinton, then Barack Obama, then Hillary Clinton told liberal Americans, in effect, to go f—k themselves. Always, they turned the other cheek, usually invoking the lesser-of-two evils argument. It seems never to have occurred to the Democrats, right, left or center, to stop nominating lesser evils and start nominating candidates who represented the fundamental ideals of the party.
Democratic candidates are supposed to represent the interests of working Americans, not Wall Street bankers. They are supposed to develop and enact programs that help people, not corporations. They are supposed to consider health care to be a right, not a perk that you can afford if you’re rich. They are supposed to endorse the notion that every person;s vote has equal weight to every other person’s vote, regardless of geography. They are supposed to care about the environment. not profits, because we have only one Earth and it must sustain many forms of life in order for humans to thrive. They are supposed to favor civil rights for Americans of every color, every creed, or no creed at all; of every sexual orientation; whether native-born or wretched refuse of other teeming shores. Democrats are supposed to form governments that beat swords into plowshares, secure the blessings of peace and harmony for ourselves and our children and their children, and generally strive to make this a better country for everyone. They are the party that judges people not by how much money they have accrued, but by how much they have done for the commonweal.
That party is dead. There are millions of Americans out there who would support a truly progressive replacement for it. But are there leaders to show the way?