The Left Needs to Be a Movement, Not a Bunch of Lobbyists
We can all agree that President Donald Trump is a disaster for the country.
He has been proving this pretty much every day since his inauguration.
But Democrats and progressive activists need to do more than decry Trump’s horrific actions, from his ban on immigrants, including refugees, from seven majority-Muslim countries, to his murder of an eight-year-old American girl in a Special Forces raid in Yemen, his order to the US Army Corps of Engineers to approve a permit for the completion of a pipeline upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, or his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, a Antonin Scalia clone, to fill the late Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court.
Blocking or at least opposing bad executive orders, laws and nominations is of course important, but in a situation where the Republican Party is in solid control of both houses of Congress, it is also futile, and thus only symbolic.
Democrats have been on a losing streak almost from the moment President Obama was inaugurated and began his program of appeasement and compromise. They lost control of Congress in 2010, and lost the White House last November, because they were not offering American voters a real progressive alternative. For decades now, the party and its elected officials in Washington have been DINOs (Democrats in Name Only). Corporatists as much as their Republican opponents, they have been posing as something different by playing to their base with things like support for gay marriage, support for the unenforceable and purely aspirational Paris Climate Agreement, and support for...um, well, it’s actually a pretty short list when you think about what Democrats have been for lately that really rates as progressive.
Recall that when President Obama came into office, with a solid Democratic majority in both houses of congress, he had won with a campaign in which he had vowed to restore open constitutional government, to make it easier for unions to organize, to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to kickstart the recession-mired economy with a burst of major deficit spending. He did none of that, and the Democratic Congress did none of it for him either. Obama and the Democrats paid for their lack of decisive progressive action by losing Congress two years later and it’s been downhill ever since.
Now they’ve lost the White House too.
Unless that party wakes up and realizes that it needs a wholesale makeover, in the form of a return to its progressively assertive New Deal roots, it will lose the Congressional elections in 2018, and it will lose the presidential race in 2020, along with even more state governorships and statehouses (currently 32 of the 50 states are wholly in Republican hands).