The Sad Spineless State of the Democratic Party
Seeing Martin O’Malley at Drake University was an awkward moment, especially after the 2016 election was over. The former Maryland governor spoke about voter ID laws – one of the many things that Democrats have blamed their election woes on, next to Russian hackers, racism, third parties, and a dozen other reasons. The reality that no Democrat wants to face is that the over 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, and 13 Senate seats they’ve lost from 2008-2016 is only the result of themselves.
I have several differences with progressivism. I believe their gun control proposals are merely reactionary, unconstitutional and bound to fail and their Keynesian economic beliefs are as sickly as the Venezuelan economy. However, I will not address these concerns in this specific publication. There is one major point I’m going to make, and that is that the Democratic Party has fallen into a state of utter spineless hypocrisy after more than two decades of selling out. I have many grievances with conservatism and the GOP, but I ask that we focus solely on the Democratic Party to make this point.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Democratic Party was falling apart. Union membership has dropped dramatically over the years, reaching 10.7 percent by 2016. The Democrats lost three consecutive presidential elections to Reagan twice and the first Bush once, and Newt Gingrich and the GOP quickly swept both houses of Congress. In order to become a viable opponent to counter the growing conservative movement, the Democratic Leadership Conference declared that the party would begin to accept corporate campaign donations, and the party stopped calling out moderates in their party. Bill Clinton began this trend by rolling back his previous beliefs and by getting in bed with big donors like Marc Rich or Norman Hsu. To make this point very clear, I’m making a list of several stances copy and pasted from the Democratic Party platform and the actual policymaking on behalf of the past two Democratic presidents (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), the most recent 2016 ticket (Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine) and the Senate minority leader (Chuck Schumer). Yes, I could include many more politicians and a wider variety of issues, but this is a fair sample size. While true progressives like Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk still exist, the last 20 years have been characterized by Democrats attacking Republicans for doing the same thing they’ve done, while accepting major campaign contributions from Saudi Arabian princes, Wall Street, and major Pharmaceutical companies. How “progressive” really are these “progressives?”
“Democrats acknowledge that for millions of Americans, global trade has failed to live up to its promise—with too many countries breaking the rules and too many corporations outsourcing jobs at the expense of American workers and communities.”
Exceptions: President Bill Clinton ratified NAFTA and CAFTA, President Barack Obama supported and signed the TPP, and both vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton praised the TPP and NAFTA. (This goes without mentioning the several bilateral trade agreements that Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Tim Kaine or Hillary Clinton voted for.)
“The “war on drugs” has led to the imprisonment of millions of Americans, disproportionately people of color, without reducing drug use. Whenever possible, Democrats will prioritize prevention and treatment over incarceration when tackling addiction and substance use disorder.”
Exceptions: Bill Clinton incarcerated 673,000 Americans, more than any other president in American history, and most of them were for drug usage to be tough on crime. In addition, Bill Clinton is also known for several laws that made capital punishment more common, with two thirds of people killed under capital punishment being black, including a mentally impaired man named Ricky Ray Rector. Meanwhile, Tim Kaine specifically said he would oppose measures to decriminalize marijuana on the state and federal level. In addition, StopTheDrugWar.com gave Tim Kaine and 25 other Senators an ‘F’ rating. If that wasn’t enough, Chuck Rosenburg, the head of the DEA appointed by Barack Obama, classified both marijuana and even hemp oil, which can serve several medical purposes, as schedule 1 drugs.
“Our vision for American democracy is a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process and can run for office without needing to depend on large contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.”
Exceptions: I don’t know where to begin or end on the hypocrisy here. First, the Democratic nominee for president has outspent the Republican nominee in five of the past seven elections. Of course, this goes without mentioning the Clinton dynasty that has plagued America for years and has a series of embarrassing scandals ranging from the Clinton Foundation to the pardoning of Marc Rich. In short, Democrats sold out long ago to Wall Street, Middle Eastern donors, and the pharmaceutical industry.
“We will protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people—standing firm against the type of warrantless surveillance of American citizens that flourished during the Bush Administration.”
Exceptions: It seems that the entire Democrats forgot to mention the fact that 48 of 49 Democratic Senators, including Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, voted for the Patriot Act and that President Barack Obama actually reauthorized it during his tenure. Interestingly enough, none other than the highest elected Democrat in the country, Senator Chuck Schumer, actually sponsored the predecessor to the Patriot Act, the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act.
“We believe that war must always be the last resort, never the first choice.”
Exceptions: War certainly didn’t seem like the last resort to Democrats when Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war. In fact, we could go further back to some of Bill Clinton’s reckless moves such as the bombing of the only pharmaceutical company in the country of Sudan, a country drastically short on medical supplies. Of course, the real highlights came when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama authorized and eventually used drones to strike seven different countries in an administration characterized by the killing of innocent lives and a continuation of neoconservative principles in foreign affairs.
“We will also vigorously oversee any programs put in place, to make sure that there are no abuses and no arbitrary deportation programs.”
Exceptions: While Democrats have been universally condemning Trump’s rhetoric about deporting immigrants, they’ve also been utterly quiet when Barack Obama deported 2.5 million illegal immigrants, more than any President in American history and more than the sum of all immigrants deported in the entire 20th century. Meanwhile, President Bill Clinton paved the way for Bush, Obama and Trump by signing the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996.
Banking and Finance
“To restore economic fairness, Democrats will fight against the greed and recklessness of Wall Street. Wall Street cannot be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments and making huge profits, all the while thinking that taxpayers will be there to bail them out.”
Exceptions: The one legislative move that the few true progressives out there complain about is the repeal of Glass-Steagal regarding the 2008 crisis. The caveat? 38 out of 45 Senate Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, voted to repeal it, while President Clinton signed it and Hillary Clinton still opposed re-implementing the legislation as late as 2015. Meanwhile, a majority of Democrats that included Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Chuck Schumer voted for the disastrous bailout of Wall Street in 2008 that liberals supposedly oppose. Meanwhile, while Kaine wasn’t in the Senate yet to vote for either of these, he has stated support for the deregulation of banks.
Of course, I’m not denying that there aren’t a few crazy principled socialists in the Democratic Party, I’m simply saying that none come to mind since most of them just endorsed Hillary anyways. The Democratic Party was once the party of the people that stood up to the conservative political machine, but now they are dominated by spineless and hypocritical party elites and the “liberal” media to match. The second that Republicans regrouped in the 1980s and 1990s, Democrats cowered and backed into a corner and have simply fallen out of touch with the vast majority of Americans, and the choice to make Tom Perez head of the DNC only worsened that predicament. In this country, you can be a liberal, you can be a Democrat, but you simply cannot be both.