By Robert A. Vella
As regular readers of this blog already know, I have declared the 2014 midterm elections to be a monumental turning point in American politics. The Democratic Party, once the champion of workers and the underprivileged, has split into two rival factions. One – the corporatist, neoliberal establishment – has held onto power as a minority party. The other – the populist, progressive Left – is withering away alone and cutoff from its former home. Plutocracy has defeated democracy. Authoritarianism is on the rise. A dramatic lurch to the right is now certain to occur in the U.S. The game is officially over, and we lost.
If my opinion sounds like hyperbole, and you’re still clinging to the hope that higher voter turnout in 2016 will resurrect the Democratic Party, consider this recent Bill Moyers interview with Harper’s Magazine president and publisher John R. “Rick” MacArthur titled Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street:
BILL MOYERS: What if it’s too late to change a system that is so in place, so entrenched, and so well-funded?
JOHN R. MACARTHUR: Well, there’s two things can happen. You could have revolt, you could have rioting. I guess you could have open revolt in the streets. Or you could have a demoralized, lower two-thirds of the American population that doesn’t benefit from the advantages of the top third or the top fifth. And people just get used to it.
I mean, up to a point, people get used to these things. They do in other countries, where things are even more inegalitarian. We in America have a higher opinion of ourselves than maybe we deserve. We’ve always believed that we’re Democrats, we’re fundamentally egalitarian. Whether or not there’s inequality in society, that there’s an egalitarian impulse in America that will always save us.
But I see that egalitarian impulse disappearing. I see it either being numbed or actually snuffed out. I take umbrage with the liberal elite in this country that I think has also abandoned the white, black, gay, working class across the board.
They just don’t care about them anymore. They think, well, we’re doing all right here in our bubble. And we’re, you know, we’re not going to threaten our position in society or offend certain people because on behalf of people who don’t have anything. For there to be a change, the progressive elite, I guess I would call them, have got to say, we don’t care what these people say about us anymore. We’re breaking with them. We’re going to start, we’re going to join the opposition.
What MacArthur is saying here is quite profound. First, he acknowledges that the American people have given up on the political process, the practice of democracy, and the idea of citizen participation in government. Second, he’s suggesting that progressive politicians leave the Democratic Party if they wish to remain committed to their philosophical principles. Both points are stunning in their clarity. Both are deeply troubling for the future of this nation.
Watch the video, read the transcript, and judge for yourself.
Further reading: President Obama, Democrats face rift exposed by spending bill debate
Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs and commented:
American politics – but doesn’t this describe exactly what is also happening in Britain?
LikeLiked by 1 person