The Intercept’s Ralph Nader: The Democrats Are Unable to Defend the U.S. from the “Most Vicious” Republican Party in History
The history of the Democratic Party’s disastrous agenda, starting with the defeat of Jimmy Carter in 1980 (and part of that was Reagan committing treason by making a private deal with Iran behind the back of the President–it’s treason because it’s privately dealing with a contrary foreign government for political advancement. He said, “Release the hostages and I’ll give you guns and money.” That’s against the law and if Reagan had lost, he would have been arrested for treason. He pulled that same trick again but got caught. It was called Iran-Contra and it should have landed both him and Oliver North in Leavenworth but by that time, our Congress was bought and sold to corporations and the rich)
Here is history, as told to us by Ralph Nader, who was demonized after the 2000 election because the Democratic Party was weak and refused to campaign on policy. If the Supreme Court hadn’t halted the recount in Florida’s clear-cut election fraud, Al Gore would have won but only by a small number. Because of Nader, Gore was forced to campaign on more Leftist ideals (pro-worker/union, pro-safety net, pro-safety regulations, pro-infrastructure). Without Nader to push him, Gore would have lost a lot more than he did.
“Increasingly they began to judge their challenge to Republicans by how much money they raised. You talk to [Marcy] Kaptur from Cleveland, she says, we go into the Democratic caucus in the House, we go in talking money, we stay talking money, and we go out with our quotas for money. …
As a result they took the economic issues off the table that used to win again and again in the thirties and forties for the Democrats. The labor issues, the living wage issues, the health insurance issue, pension issues. And that of course was a huge bonanza for the Republican Party because the Republican Party could not contend on economic issues. They contended on racial issues, on bigotry issues, and that’s how they began to take control of the solid Democratic South after the civil rights laws were passed.
Raising money from Wall Street, from the drug companies, from health insurance companies, the energy companies, kept [Democrats] from their main contrasting advantage over the Republicans, which is, in FDR’s parlance, “The Democratic Party is the party of working families, Republicans are the party of the rich.” That flipped it completely and left the Democrats extremely vulnerable.
As a result they drew back geographically, to the east coast, west coast and so on.
And that created another millstone: You don’t run a 50-state [presidential] campaign. If you don’t run a 50-state campaign, number one you’re strengthening the opposing party in those states you’ve abandoned, so they can take those states for granted and concentrate on the states that are in the grey area. That was flub number one.
Flub number two is what Ben Barnes, the politically-savvy guy in Texas, told me. He said, when you don’t contest the presidential race in Texas, it rots the whole party down … all the way to mayors and city council. So it replicates this decadence and powerlessness for future years.
When they abandoned the red states, they abandoned five states in the Rocky Mountain area, and started out with a handicap of nine or ten senators.
You may remember from your history, the two senators from Montana were Democrats, Senator Church from Idaho was a Democrat, Senator Frank Moss, great consumer champion, Democrat from Utah. Now there’s almost nobody. The two senators from Wyoming are Republican, the two senators from Montana are Republican [John Tester, the senior Montana senator, is a Democrat], the two senators from Utah are Republican. I think the Democrats have one seat in Colorado. Then you get down to Arizona and that’s two Republicans.
So they never had a veto-proof majority even at their peak in the Senate. And of course later when they weren’t at their peak it cost them the Senate again and again. And now they’re in a huge hole, with the debacle in the Senate races in 2016, they’re facing three times as many Democrats up for reelection in 2018.
The [third] millstone is they decided to campaign by TV, with political consultants influencing them and getting their 15-20 percent cut. When you campaign by TV you campaign by slogans, you don’t campaign by policy.
Next millstone, the labor unions began getting weak, weak in numbers and weak in leadership. They began shelling out huge money to the Democrats for television. And as they became weaker they lost their grassroots mobilization on behalf of the Democrats.
The Democrats began the process of message preceding policy. No — policy precedes message. That means they kept saying how bad the Republicans are. They campaigned not by saying, look how good we are, we’re going to bring you full Medicare [for all], we’re going to crack down on corporate crime against workers and consumers and the environment, stealing, lying, cheating you. We’re going to get you a living wage. We’re going to get a lean defense, a better defense, and get some of this money and start rebuilding your schools and bridges and water and sewage systems and libraries and clinics.
Instead of saying that, they campaign by saying “Can you believe how bad the Republicans are?” Now once they say that, they trap their progressive wing, because their progressive wing is the only segment that’s going to change the party to be a more formidable opponent. Because they say to their progressive wing, “You’ve got nowhere to go, get off our back.”
And this went right into the scapegoating of the last twenty years. “Oh, it’s Nader, oh, it’s the Koch Brothers, oh, it’s the electoral college, oh, it’s misogyny, oh, it’s redneck deplorables.” They never look at themselves in the mirror.”
Please read the rest of the article at The Intercept.
Do we want Medicare-For-All? The return of our Unions? A marginally better federal living wage ($15, but it should be $23 if it were adjusted for the *actual* rate of inflation from 1974)?
Are you aware that the average salary for a member of Congress is $174,000 per year? That’s $90 an hour. $90. And they are refusing to raise the minimum wage from $7.25. The American people work a hell of a lot harder than Congress does, never mind the fact that Congress doesn’t even work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks per year. They go into recess far more often than you *don’t work*–that’s because you work only 9 hours a day, not including commutes.
Are you aware that if it hadn’t been for the FDR Democrats, our work weeks would have been a lot longer? It was the FDR Democrats who created the 40-hour work week and the mandated minimum wage. It was the FDR Democrats who demanded decent working conditions, clean water, disease and bacteria-free food. Upton Sinclair wrote a book called “The Jungle”, which detailed our meat industry’s heinous environmental and food conditions that made our people sick. Through progressive protests and demands, our leaders made sure our food would be safe. FDR built on that. If Republicans had their wish, all those regulations would be rescinded. Trump campaigned on the back of Republicans’ demonization of regulations and he said, for every regulation he passes, he’ll rescind two of them. That’s our death knell.
FDR Democrats are today’s Progressives. Back Bernie Sanders, Nina Turner, Tulsi Gabbard, and all other Progressives, whether they’re Democrat or Independent. The Republican party and the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is all about lying to you. They tell you what you want to hear, then they do the opposite. The Democrats are worse, however. All they do is tell you how bad the Republicans are and refuse to run on policy ideas that will get them elected–because they don’t give a damn about our welfare. Republicans care even less. They want your money, your vote, and then they’ll sell your souls to the devil.