Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 05, 2017

Ignoring The People - Where The Left Of The Aisle Side Fails

Since the election the U.S. Democrats have been outraged over Trump and obsessed by "Putin did it" conspiracy theories. What they did not do was to assess why the Clinton campaign failed, why the party has lost seats all over the country over the last eight years and why the formerly core Democratic constituency voted for Trump.

The reason for that are straightforward and simple. Trump promised jobs, less globalization, less war and less obsession with social matters of marginal interest. Stuff that workers outside of the coastal cities like. The Clinton campaign was mealy mouthed on policies except for some special peoples' "right" of using the other genders toilet facilities. Her campaign was solely built on bashing Trump and it failed.

This is not a U.S. specific situation. A similar situation has evolved in Europe where the former social-democratic parties have moved away from fighting for employment, better wages and working class issues to argue for "liberal" social or international stuff like migration. These are only of marginal interest to their former core voters if not outright against their interests. Meanwhile the political right is promising to do what the formerly left voters really like. In result the Social-Democrats in Germany have dropped from once 50% to now 30%. The Socialists in France are practically dead. Labour in Britain has currently no chance to come back to power. It is the same all over the continent.

U.S. Democratic Party operatives out in the country understand what happened. They are desperate. The party apparatus in Washington DC still does not get it. Here is the first piece I have seen in the main stream media that gets to these important points: Democrats are still ignoring the people who could have helped them defeat Trump, Ohio party leaders say:

One by one, members of the Mahoning County Democratic Party poured out their frustrations: Just months after the presidential election, they felt folks like them were being forgotten — again. The party’s comeback strategy was being steered by protesters, consultants and elitists from New York and California who have no idea what voters in middle America care about.

But worst of all, they said, the party hadn’t learned from what they saw as the biggest message from November’s election: Democrats have fallen completely out of touch with America’s blue-collar voters.

The piece includes some choice quotes:

Since the election, Democrats have been swallowed up in an unending cycle of outrage and issues that have little to do with the nation’s working class, they said, such as women’s marches, fighting Trump’s refugee ban and advocating for transgender bathroom rights.
...
“Every time Trump so much as sneezes, we as a party are setting our hair on fire and running around like it’s the end of the world,” Betras said as the dinner wound down. “Most people around here don’t care. They are living paycheck to paycheck, just trying to hold on. After everything that’s happened, if we as a party still aren’t speaking to them, then we are never getting them back.”
...
“What Trump slapped onto his plate last election was a big juicy steak. Real or not — that’s what it looked like to the hungry working voter,” Betras said. “What the elitists in our Democratic Party did with their side issues was say, ‘Look at all this broccoli we have for you. Sure, there’s some meat pieces mixed in, too, but look at the broccoli.’”

The demagogic right wins elections because it at least speaks about the real stuff while the party leaders on the "left" ignore the core issues of their (former) constituency. When the right wins it will throw some small pieces of meat to its working class voters. Those then will be happy because finally their existence has been acknowledged again. That is naturally more important to them than the long term damage the rule of the right will cause for all of us.

Posted by b on April 5, 2017 at 01:18 PM | Permalink

Comments

Yep, rather than giving Trump credit for at least pretending to care about the issues regular people care about, the Democrats are too busy avoiding blame while trying to pin every failure on "The Russians"--never realizing that if Russia COULD affect America to the degree they claim America would be done and dusted from an imperial standpoint as only a banana republic (or country previously invaded by the US and thus having its entire civic structure destroyed) could be overcome by simple propaganda tactics.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Apr 5, 2017 1:32:02 PM | 1

Democratic Party strategy is the same as it has been for years: TINA! The Left has "no where else to go".

I'd guess that the Democratic Party leadership (Clinton-Obama Centrists) feel that they came close enough to winning that demonizing Trump could result in a win next time.

Just yesterday, I wrote about the timidity of the institutional left and delusional progressives that cling to sheepdog 'elder statesman'.

The following conclusions are inescapable:

> The Democratic Party is irredeemable. They will continue to abuse the people's trust as long as they can.

> The money-driven politics of the duopoly (aka "the War Party") can not be defeated by the any of the alternative Parties.

The only real way hope for any change is that the alternative Parties unite to defeat the duopoly. IMO the only feasible way that that might happen is that progressives, libertarians, and conservatives support a direct democracy alternative so that the main issue of the election becomes how our democracy works/doesn't work.

In the last election, the alternative Parties received over 10% of the vote. If they join together in offering a viable alternative, they could attract much more support and actually contend for power.

The Pirate Party has achieved some success in their efforts at direct democracy in other countries (notably Iceland). They are a logical place to start, but all Parties would have to work as equals against the duopoly.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 5, 2017 2:50:37 PM | 2

So true. And what's even worse is that instead of addressing all of these problems, the Dem elites in CA and NY seem to be going in the other direction, digging in even deeper. They're in complete denial. The LA Times is running editorials this week, bashing Trump supporters in the vilest terms imaginable, and pretty much calling for open insurrection. They're totally unreal. They're completely out of touch with reality; they don't even represent the views of the people in most of CA much less the rest of the country.

http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-ed-our-dishonest-president/

Posted by: mike | Apr 5, 2017 2:55:55 PM | 3

Quite true, though it should be noted that there is also a strong leftist counter-trend, with Corbyn, Sanders, Hamon, Syriza, Podemos...only countries missing so far are Germany and Italy.

The tragedy is that once in power, right-wing/ proto-fascist politicians will only make things even worse for the general working or non-working population. They have no intention of taxing the rich to redistribute wealth and income, rather they'll look for scapegoats to distract ppl's attention.
Sadly, this often works.

Posted by: smuks | Apr 5, 2017 3:44:44 PM | 4

Agree 100 %.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 5, 2017 4:00:37 PM | 5

smuks

Why blame right-wing? What have the left done on this subject? Nothing they are no better and sometimes worse than the right. Sanders? Hamon? Corbyn? Come on, have anyone speaking out against a new war? Dont believe those fake leftists.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 5, 2017 4:13:50 PM | 6

Anon1 @6:

Dont believe those fake leftists.
Yes, its surprising how much people turn to the fake progressives. Why can't they see how fake they are? Very suspicious.

Sanders was a sheepdog. Consider that he:

> pulled many punches during the campaign: didn't dispute the 6 coin tosses that went to Hillary; defended Hillary ("enough with the emails"); refused to attack Hillary or Obama on character issues;

> didn't try much to attract constituencies that Hillary laid claim to (like women and minorities);

> didn't try to create a Movement and has refused to lead a Movement - even after Hillary lost the election and he went back to being a "social Democrat";

> didn't counter Hillary's claim (during the NY debate) of NEVER changing her vote to benefit a big financial donor despite the well-known (among progressives) example of her changing her vote to benefit the credit card industry (note: he acknowledged the example when talking with a reporter afterwards!);

> endorsed Hillary after it was CLEAR that she colluded with the DNS (it was OK for republicans to denounce Trump, but not for progressives to denounce Hillary?!?);

> refused to produce his 2014 tax returns despite insisting that he is squeaky clean (he produced his 2015 returns ... when they were ready);

Then there is Jill Stein. Her appeals to disillusioned Sanders voters were mild, and she requested recounts that could only have helped Hillary and must've been funded by Hillary supporters.

All this, after Obama's betrayal of the Left leads to only one conclusion: the Democratic Party is fundamentally unable to change. Anyone thinking that they can "work within the system" is deluded or complicit. "The system" is designed to weed out anyone that is serious about change and promote those that are good liars.

We need a different approach. See my comment @2 for more.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 5, 2017 6:00:50 PM | 7

Sanders is still a sheepdog, as "our revolution" prepares to support dozens of Democratic candidates at a local level ... keeping all those young activists wearing blue shirts and identifying as Democrats (no matter how "disaffected" they're still registered democrats fielding and funding Democratic candidates)

I suggested after the demonization of Ellison that a de-registration "general strike" might be worth considering ... (since re-registering "Democratic Party" can be done well before any midterms or primaries).

I think Clinton and Company believe they will -- when things get bad enough -- be welcomed with open arms (and "she won the popular vote")

The delusional state of Democratic "liberals" seems impervious to facts ... like the results by precinct map released last week nbc version of map.

Even "Blue States" are remarkably red ... red enough to make those threats of secession look ridiculous. I find it absolutely fascinating how this red-tide reality has been deliberately denied.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 5, 2017 6:27:00 PM | 8

I was an active Democrat for years and donated to Sanders. I have been receiving nonstop the most appalling emails from the Democrats,at first I thought they were some sort of marketing joke, but when I read them they were deadly serious. They border on insane; impeach him (for what??), he is controlled by Putin (evidence??), his wife is a prostitute, married him to stay in the country (no basis for any of it), would you vote for Hillary in a special election, for Obama (no and no),they go on and on. ALL of these emails ask for donations, all have what they consider surveys but none of them allow for comment. They are stark raving mad. We have no opposition party left, I wonder if that was part of a globalist plan perhaps??

Posted by: frances | Apr 5, 2017 7:10:39 PM | 9

to try to 'reform' the anti-democratic demoblican party is worse than a waste of time, it is to play into the hands of those who control it. they know they are vulnerable, that 'their' party is vulnerable, and would rejoice at the chance to pull off a fake 'renewal' from within. it's poison. so is the republicrat party. the time is ripe for an alternative ... tiaa.

There is a tide in the affairs of women and men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 5, 2017 7:16:36 PM | 10

What B says about the Democratic Party in the US and social democratic parties in Europe also applies to the so-called "left" in Australia which is split among the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens plus minor left-wing parties such as the Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Equality Party. As with the Democrats in the US and social democratic parties in Europe also, these "leftist" parties have lost their working-class and lower middle-class roots (if they had many to begin with) and have become the preserve of a subset of upper middle-class people who pride themselves on their "tolerance" and obsess over cultural issues that for the most part are irrelevant to most people.

The parties on the "left" are out of touch with their traditional core constituencies because they frankly don't care about them or their needs any more. They don't even try to contact them or visit them in their communities, if not their places of work or education, unless and until election time comes around.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 5, 2017 7:16:42 PM | 11

I should add that I think Sanders and "Our Revolution" are consistent with "working within the system" ... and the dangers of "abandoning the Democratic Party" are many and real... but I bear no one involved any "ill-will" although the Democratic party seems hell-bent on further alienating (as Frances describes in #10).

What's troubling is that the USA ... via the hollowing out of middle America and the middle class .. is approaching the sort of two-state reality that keep Iran under the thumb of the Ayatollahs (because the country folks outnumber the city folks and are religious conservatives) ... and gave Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt in their election (for the same reasons) ... can't "pretend" that "America" necessarily looks like where you live and is embodied by the people you know... particularly as the poor keep getting poorer (as do the used-to-be-okay lower middle/working class) ...
The catch-22 is that we need more better jobs with better wages (and of course taxing the rich) so that tax revenues cover the myriad necessary programs (like education) and essentials deferred (healthcare and infrastructure).

It's going to take a lot of solidarity building to get out of the hole dug during this last "deplorable" election cycle ... and the Democratic party faithful seem unable to "stop digging" and they've really stopped listening even to long-time reliable sources like like Tom Frank and Ralph Nader ... neither of whom are hot-blooded radicals.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 5, 2017 7:40:21 PM | 12

The party apparatus in Washington DC still does not get it.
I don't think it's so much that they don't get it, it's that their only interest right now is saving their jobs. They've decided that the best way for them to stay in control of the Party is to yell about Trump and Treason and Russia. I have no idea why they think this is a winner, and they haven't even gone to the trouble of manufacturing plausible evidence. I agree with frances, what I've been seeing is insane. WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH RUSSIA. I believe there is a deeply embedded faction (neoconservatives) within the Democratic Party that actually wants to go to war with Russia, and they aren't interested in improving access to health care or returning the economy to full employment.

Posted by: Procopius | Apr 5, 2017 9:19:05 PM | 13

Wow,
Bannon possibly out.. Trump may soon be full-on Likudnik

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 5, 2017 10:14:06 PM | 14

For France, don't believe the mainstream media , their journalists and their sondages,and have a look to the France Insoumise (Jean-Luc Mélenchon). This is not a false progressism.

Posted by: franck-y | Apr 5, 2017 10:50:48 PM | 15

Of the now literally hundreds of "fancy" voting methods all over the Internet, Strategic Hedge Simple Score Voting is the only one that specifically enables the common voters to win elections against the two-party empowered deep state. All of the many others treat elite interest involved elections as if they were casual "hobby club" elections. These distracting, ill-considered, unworkable election methods are the products of a booming academic "industry" erected by a large contingent of "election methods cognoscenti". If the common voters are to ever defeat the elite deep state apparatus which will, of course, always utilize strategy, those common voters must have the ability to effectively vote strategically.

Too bad we don't have simple score voting. Then we could give between 1 and 10 votes to many candidates. But no votes at all for Hillary the war monger. We might place 8 "hedge" votes for Bernie (since he is less bad than Hillary (or more accurately, was previously though to be)), 10 write-in votes for Jesse Ventura, and 10 write-in votes for Dennis Kucinich.

Strategic hedge simple score voting can be described in one simple sentence: Strategically bid no vote at all for undesired candidates (ignore them as though they did not exist), or strategically cast from one to ten votes (or five to ten votes, for easier counting) for any number of candidates you prefer (up to some reasonable limit of, say, twelve candidates, so people don't hog voting booths), and then simply add all the votes up.

We must also abolish deep state subvertible election machines ("computer voting"), and get back to hand counted paper ballots, with results announced at each polling station just prior to being sent up to larger tabulation centers.

It should be obvious that congresspeople and presidents should be limited to one-year terms of office.

The Direct Democracy (e.g. Liquid Democracy) advocated by Iceland's Pirate Party (and Jackrabbit) may also represent a very beneficial alternative to the spoiler effect imposing choose-one method. See:

How the German Pirate Party's "Liquid Democracy" Works
http://techpresident.com/news/wegov/22154/how-german-pirate-partys-liquid-democracy-works

Posted by: blues | Apr 6, 2017 5:34:35 AM | 16

Note: Although congresspeople and presidents should be limited to one-year terms of office, it should be possible for them to be re-elected after their one-year term expires if they prove to be of benefit to the common voters.

Posted by: blues | Apr 6, 2017 5:42:27 AM | 17

@franck-y | Apr 5, 2017 10:50:48 PM | 15

Melenchon is false progressivism alright. He advocates the same progressive ideas than any US dem. There is no calling into question the capitalist system, no call for nationalizations, but he does have the usual snowflake agenda, with euthanasia thrown in on top -- i.e, the legal right to kill ill, old or depressed people. And he calls himself "humanistic".
Any humanist would call for a society that helps its weak members to live, not to die.

Posted by: Lea | Apr 6, 2017 5:44:43 AM | 18

+1 on this all the way, the left is really dead in Europe/US, sure there are some pro-communist small small parties without any power whatsoever, but the socialists are dead and have instead bcame liberals and rightwingers.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 6, 2017 6:57:05 AM | 19

@ Anon1 | Apr 6, 2017 6:57:05 AM | 19

No. The so-called "left" is not dead at all. Many, many activists protested vigorously against the imminent 2003 invasion of Iraq, but we were utterly ignored by the Central Media Apparatus. After that, we concluded that no one was going to listen at all, and became profoundly discouraged. That doesn't mean we simply evaporated!

Probably, if you really dig deep enough, you will find that about 70%+ of Americans (and probably Europeans) are essentially what many would call "leftists", "progressives", or something like that. We are still here but we have no effective voice. (We are not the academic myrmidons.)

Actually, I call myself an equalitarian and a beneficarian; someone who strives for equality and help for those in need.

Give us Strategic Hedge Simple Score Voting so we can do the neglected things that need doing!

Posted by: blues | Apr 6, 2017 7:28:50 AM | 20

mike @ 3

No idea what you disagree with in linked LAT OpEd. Reads like an accurate accounting of DT's first 3 months.

Posted by: jdmckay | Apr 6, 2017 7:37:13 AM | 21

And so the sheeple come to realise that a US presidency swap will have had no difference on the persuit policies of the world's biggest perveyor of violence. The core focus point of the European caviar left is not migration after they had abandoned worker righs but a myriad of trivialities like animal rights, LGBT rights, safe traffic, ... all regime friendly contradictions.

Posted by: xor | Apr 6, 2017 8:11:15 AM | 22

Exactly this kind of idiotic misdirection of the public discourse has been in full force in South Africa lately.
@BellPottinger have been very busy on a $100k/month project to incite racial violence in SA, paid for by the GUPTA family and the president J Zuma.
Where the ruling party has now gone full dictatorship in service of 1 man's patronage network in defiance of all social norms and laws.
WHITE MONOPOLY CAPITAL is the catch phrase, one that describes BellPottinger accurately, but is given as the reason why the ANC has consistently failed to produce results after 23 years of wholesale rape of the South African economy.

Posted by: david | Apr 6, 2017 9:23:15 AM | 23

There is no resurrecting the Democrats and we all know the other side is even more corrupt while both sides are co-opted and corrupted by Zionist financiers.

The question is: why can't they be primaried in 2018 by independents with non-interventionism at the top of their agenda? Most Americans are too stupid to think outside the duopoly.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 6, 2017 9:55:31 AM | 24

blues

Absolutely nonsense, if your claims were correct leftists parties would have majority of votes in the elections. Now, real leftists doesnt even reach 1% in the US/EU, social democrats are no leftists. And Sanders is no leftists, nor is Corbyn and similar groups of people.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 6, 2017 11:17:22 AM | 25

wrt South Africa, without knowing specifics, I'd point fingers at neoliberalism's relationship with corruption and the widespread, now "respectable" practice of at least skimming off the public trough (via various layers of "servicing" legal, financials, etc.) makes "reform" and "change" very very difficult when large sectors of any country's population is struggling to maintain essentials (food, clothing, housing) with sacrifice of the less essential (healthcare, education, transportation, political activism)

As we've seen in Afghanistan and Iraq, great boatloads of $$$ aid has made dozens of milloinaires and done very little either for "the nation" (economic development, infrastructure improvement) or the population at large (jobs, literacy, education, food security, electrification, vaccinations/sanitation, etc.)

Remember Seattle in 1999 and the WTO protests and the complaints wrt the World Bank/IMF prioritization" demands...

The Democrats have turned American politics into a red shirt versus blue shirt grudge match ... with no actual "politics" and little wrt policies involved ... TINA indeed.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 6, 2017 11:36:45 AM | 26

sorry, I left out the comparison with the failure-to-improve in the american education system ... many many folks understand that education will not improve in poor and classically dysfunctional communities until poverty and many of those dysfunctions are addressed ( gee, like something out of Maslow's hierarchy of needs), but for most of America addressing poverty and generations of dysfunction (particularly with anything other than "getting tough on crime" which is part of many ongoing problems) still smacks of being "soft on crime" and rewarding dysfunctionality ... and Socialism (if not communism).

In the meantime, we have oligarchs attempting to "do well by doing good" in advancing largely one-size-fits-all cost-effective techonological/administrative fixes, charter schools and testing being most prominent.
Speaking of which (cart before the horse), Patrick Cockburn's latest on what awaits Mosul "after liberation" is to despair over.

independent .

Like "corruption", no one seems to know how to undo the effects of multiple generations of brutal oppression ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 6, 2017 11:49:35 AM | 27

I am sorry to say this, but the rot percolates down to the local level as well. It hasn't been the case that local Democrats objected to the clear swerve of their party in 2008 when Obama betrayed all those who supported him then by going with the oligarchs and becoming worse than Bush, if that were even possible. Had they done so there might still be a party to resurrect this Easter; they did not. They talk a good game as did Obama, but it is all talk, no action. Who then, is to believe them? Only the Washington Post readers, it would seem. And they all came out for Hillary, even though it was glaringly obvious that she was more of the same, probably in spades again.

Americans could not bear that any longer. But it looks as though they have to for a while. And you can count on the fact that Trump won't be in office next time around - what will happen is anyone's guess but we won't be asking for more of the same again. Nor can we trust the Democrats; they lied.

No, Obamacare is not the darling of the people; single payer universal health care is. We asked for it immediately upon and before Obama's selection and his Obamacare is far from it.

Something else has to happen. And it better be of the people this time - no gimmicks, no charades, no oligarchs! Maybe the economy will have finally hit the top ranks hard; we all need to be in the same boat, and we are getting there fast now.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6, 2017 12:15:22 PM | 28

Seriously though, if Trump does not stem the demographic tide and white people do become a minority in America, I hope all you white people - and 99.99% of the readers of this blog are white - are all ready to be living in hellish nightmare scenario that resembles South Africa and Brazil, but with the Israeli government running things. This is what awaits all of you if you don't embrace the "Make America White Again" imperative.

Posted by: Pareto | Apr 6, 2017 12:15:28 PM | 29

A young man came up to me on the street yesterday, when I was going shopping. I take public transportation and I have a trundler for my groceries, so perhaps I look like a street person. And I was shocked at the businesses which have closed since the last time I went to the area a few months ago, so perhaps I wasn't thinking clearly. At any rate, my response to him was poor.

This was a kid who should probably still be in high school. He had dreadlocks and his poor face was all cut and scarred from recent wounds. He approached me diffidently - I was on the other side of the street from businesses where it is now illegal to panhandle. I fumbled and came up with a couple of dollars, saying stupidly that I hoped he would have something nourishing - it wasn't enough I now realize. I wish I had given him more; I could have. He thanked me with some sort of mantra and disappeared across the busy road.

I thought about his poor face. This kid is America. America, you're supposed to love your neighbor, not be off bombing other people's neighbors!

I can't forget how polite he was. And I wish I had given him more.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6, 2017 12:26:18 PM | 30

@ Anon1 | Apr 6, 2017 11:17:22 AM | 25

You say:
/~~~~~~~~~~
blues

Absolutely nonsense, if your claims were correct leftists parties would have majority of votes in the elections. Now, real leftists doesnt[sic] even reach 1% in the US/EU, social democrats are no leftists.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Of course they don't think of themselves as "leftists". I said:

/~~~~~~~~~~
blues | Apr 6, 2017 7:28:50 AM | 20

Probably, if you really dig deep enough, you will find that about 70%+ of Americans (and probably Europeans) are essentially what many would call "leftists", "progressives", or something like that. We are still here but we have no effective voice. (We are not the academic myrmidons.)

Actually, I call myself an equalitarian and a beneficarian; someone who strives for equality and help for those in need.

Give us Strategic Hedge Simple Score Voting so we can do the neglected things that need doing!
\~~~~~~~~~~

And yes I think most people are, at bottom, equalitarians and beneficarians, but they can find no way to express that. They certainly cannot express it by voting, since they do not enjoy Strategic Hedge Simple Score Voting which would disrupt this spoiler effect, but rather are bound by Choose-One voting, which actively imposes it. Therefor they cannot vote for "leftists[sic] parties" unless they completely sacrifice their vote to the spoiler effect and thus sacrifice their only chance to counter some (perceived) greater of two evils.

Posted by: blues | Apr 6, 2017 12:38:33 PM | 31

I agree that most people really are progressives/lefties, though many don't realize it. There has been a lot of divide and conquer that keeps people from realizing that a populist supermajority needs only self-awareness to take power. I think lack of such self awareness is fed by many of the supposed voices of the left and right, who eat at the masters' table. What racism is to the right, elitism is to the left. Mention the word 'populism' to a lefty or a progressive and note the appalled reaction. Only deplorables want populism, I guess. We need to take a both and approach to most issues and build a political narrative and platform that can have broad appeal. Most issues have been distorted in such a way as to create seemingly hopeless divisions. We can be both pro-choice and anti-abortion. We can be for both free trade and fair trade. We can be both for human rights and against war. We can appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both capitalism and socialism. We can be for both immigrants and labor solidarity. Etc.

Posted by: paul | Apr 6, 2017 12:50:35 PM | 32

Pareto, I'm of mixed parentage but even if I were not, I would tell you that we know the only answer is for this country and all of its citizens to be facing catastrophic times. Perhaps the rich and nearly rich think they can ride it out, but the rest of us don't think that way. It's the only way I can think of having some sort of resolution to the problem of oligarchy, which never, history tells us, can be sustainable in the long run. And race is not the issue, as we see sadly in our most recent administration. We had hoped Obama would be the different one; he wasn't. Race is not the issue. Greed is.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 6, 2017 12:51:35 PM | 33

The idea that a simple fix in our democratic procedures would fix the problems in society is very appealing.

In the recent Presidential election the options in my state were: a) Clinton, b) Trump, and c) Stein. Period.

Under Strategic Hedge Simple Score Voting how many votes should I have given to each candidate to ensure an equalitarian and a beneficiarian society?

Or would writing in the Pirate Party, as another commenter suggests, have done the trick?

Posted by: Long suffering voter | Apr 6, 2017 12:54:31 PM | 34

People in the United States (and the UK) have been literally brainwashed to believe that everyone-else is a competitor ... so they cannot "afford" humanistic values, even "equality" has become doubtful. Adam Curtis' documentary "The Trap" covers it nicely and yes, it grew out of the MIC and cold-war game-theory mentality which was then seeped into and was applied to domestic policies and social engineering ... way back in the era of Reagan and Thatcher (even before) ... dog-eat-dog world has little room for "idealists" and most people raised in the USA and the UK were dyed in the wool. It's why Americans are so shocked (and shook) by the friendliness and peacefulness of people in other countries ... and Americans are satirized as loud, boorish and tic-ridden, the latter being manifestation of their paranoia and anxiety. Most Americans have no idea how toxic our paranoid society has become to our basic mental health.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 6, 2017 1:08:11 PM | 35

@ Long suffering voter | Apr 6, 2017 12:54:31 PM | 34

Of course the input of one voter cannot ensure a just society, and elections are quasi-random events in any case. Choosing how many votes to bestow upon candidates, and whom to write in, is for each voter to work out for themself. The chosen input is determined by the individual strategy of each individual voter.

Posted by: blues | Apr 6, 2017 1:15:18 PM | 36

oh, and yes, this also plays into racist "they're gonna take over" / "we're gonna take over" demographic fanatasies. One of the strangest TV segments I ever watched was Melissa Harris-Perry and an all-black panel laughing about the "lessons white folks will learn when THEY are the minority" ... which bespoke the lack of depth and "seriousness" that I have seen repeatedly in such panels. It's like the torture victim laughing about the torture they have planned for their torturer ...because as democrats kept saying last year "turn about is fair play" -- ignoring that its just a variation on revenge-seeking "justice" "makes the whole world blind" ... People who should know better are abandoning fundamental principles ... scary times.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 6, 2017 1:20:33 PM | 37

blues

So many people are leftists deep down but all parties the same people vote in power are liberal, rightwingers, sorry man that doesnt make any sense.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 6, 2017 1:53:41 PM | 38

The Dems had a fantastic chance for reformation for 2020, two better than decent hands they've choked on sausage and blown: They trashed the issues and energy of Sanders, and secondarily, wasted an improvement on the DNC chair in Ellison.

Had they played either one better you might see some within the party put their hand up like Gabbard and Kucinich. But as the party climate stands (the rotting status quo), I dont think they will go near leadership.

As jackrabbit says, the Pirate Party has a tried and tested platform for direct democracy that ought to be more widely known.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 6, 2017 2:16:13 PM | 39

@ Anon1 | Apr 6, 2017 1:53:41 PM | 38

You say:
"but all parties the same people vote in power are liberal, rightwingers, sorry man that doesnt make any sense."

But of course that is exactly what I would prefer to change.

Posted by: blues | Apr 6, 2017 2:37:47 PM | 40

No idea what you disagree with in linked LAT OpEd. Reads like an accurate accounting of DT's first 3 months.
Posted by: jdmckay | Apr 6, 2017 7:37:13 AM | 21

But nevertheless amusingly confused and contradictory. Who in their right mind would go to the trouble of over-emphasising the following extract from the text of an article...

"It is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation."

...which purports to be written by a scribe who claims to have Trump completely figured out?
i.e. Trump's either impossible to figure out, or he's not. But only an idiot would claim that he's both - which is what the author has managed to do. The LA Times should leave the eerie ineptitude to Bush II who OWNS that Territory...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 6, 2017 4:05:52 PM | 41

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