More and more it is becoming clear that our two party system is a failure and is in complete collapse. Republicans in congress are dragging their feet to investigate president Trump's ties to Russia. The Democrats are scrambling to make sense of what went wrong with the failed presidential bid of Hillary Clinton. The forensic analysis on the part of the Democratic party will be essential to success in 2018 and 2020.
The nomination of Tom Perez, former Labor Secretary under Obama as DNC chair is not a sign that the Democratic Party has learned any lessons from the last election. Here's why:
Hillary Clinton was not a strong candidate. Clinton was capable, intelligent and prepared for the job. All signs would have pointed to her being a fine POTUS. The problem was in her likability and in the fierce opposition that followed her everywhere she went. The Benghazi incident and her email improprieties were the central focus of the GOP hit job on her. More importantly, her ties to Wall Street and the traditions of D.C. cronyism made her toxic to wide swathes of voters in the middle of America.
You have to consider that an election is not just like a job interview for a corporation. People vote based on their gut and there was an element of untrustworthiness in Clinton on the campaign trail. Trump was no more trustworthy but he had a skill of whipping up his support base into a fury, causing a momentum that lead him to the White House. Try as she may, Clinton couldn't get her base to get nearly as excited and active as her more populist opponent.
Bernie Sanders was the alternative. Trustworthy, truly progressive, not mired in the corruption and scandals that surrounded Clinton. More importantly he had the youth vote and a portion of Trump's constituent voter base that were tired of business as usual in Washington. I believe that Sander's would have won against Trump, but the DNC didn't think so. It was Clinton's turn, she was the heir apparent to Obama and you had to buy in even if you didn't initially support her.
Consider this, if you wanted Bernie Sanders to be president then you had to change your vote to Clinton in order to block Trump. Trump supporters never had to do this, they had their guy all along. The DNC chose to run an establishment candidate in an anti-establishment election. They have a responsibility in this and are in part culpable for the results.
To defeat Donald Trump and to fix the systemic problems that got him elected you have to address the issues that got us here in the first place.
A party that wants to overthrow Trump and current Republican majority in Congress has to chip away at their base. It also has to appeal to the true progressives and anti-establishment voter base that were enthusiastic Sander's supporters. A democratic party that decides to conduct business as usual will get the same results that they got in the past, failure.
Keith Ellison was an opportunity to change the narrative. The first Muslim member of congress with the backing of Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer, Ellison is the spirit of the progressive movement in the Democratic Party. Ellison had the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to not suck up to moneyed interests. He had the backing of the true progressive movement. If you elect a Muslim to the DNC chair, you are drawing a line in the sand and outlining that there is a sea change in the Democratic Party.
Tom Perez was the "business as usual" candidate.
Debbie Wasserman-Shultz who was the DNC chair during the Clinton campaign had to resign in disgrace when Wikileaks uncovered that Wasserman-Schultz engaged cheating in order to insure that Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination.
Her punishment? Wasserman-Schultz was rewarded with a high position on the Clinton campaign. A true progressive has to literally ignore this fact and hold their nose at the blatant corruption.
Donna Brazile was the interim chair after Wasserman-Schultz. Brazile was caught giving CNN debate questions to the Clinton campaign. Then Brazile denied it and said that the emails were forged by the Russians. CNN fired Brazile and Jake Tapper denounced her.
The next DNC chair nomination was an opportunity. An opportunity to change the blatantly corrupt recent history of tipping the scales towards a candidate who was so unpopular that she lost to a reality TV Star. Clinton won the popular vote, but you need to get over that. We have the electoral college and it's the system we use. It remains to be seen if Clinton lost the election due to Russian interference and to what degree that interference influenced the election, but it should have never been even close.
If you're the democratic party, the smartest thing you can do is to get as far away from Clinton as you can, just as the GOP did with Mit Romney after 2012.
Ellison had one major opponent, and it wasn't Tom Perez. It was billionaire Haim Saban. The guy behind The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Saban is the largest single funder of the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. Saban himself says that he's a "single issue voter" Saban's issue, Israel. When Ellison pointed out reasonable criticism of human rights abuses by Israel in the West Bank. Saban went so far as to call Ellison "anti-semitic"
The Democratic Party does not want to piss off billionaire donors, hence the endorsement by Barack Obama of Tom Perez to rival Ellison. Perez will not mention a word about human rights violations of Israel, go ahead and ask him. He will never condemn Netanyahu, he will never cross his donors.
Perez blurted this bit of truth. "We heard loudly and clearly yesterday from Bernie supporters that the process was rigged, and it was. And you've got to be honest about it. That's why we need a chair who is transparent."
This was a bombshell, the reaction was very controversial amongst Clinton die-hards. After his admission, he walked back his statements on Twitter. He proclaimed Hillary Clinton as the true and rightful winner. Transparency is fickle with Perez, apparently. This the template that got Trump elected, this is the template that alienated voters in the 2016 election.
Denouncing Donald Trump is not enough. You need worthy solutions that cut to the heart of the problem that got him elected. The Democratic Party seems determined to repeat it's past mistakes. I think we need a third party.
The first step- Have a meeting with Bernie Sanders and John Kasich. Outline where they agree and base the party platform on their ideals. The common ground could be.
- Proper health care coverage for all
- Job creation and an end to crippling trade deals
- Common sense gun laws that protect law abiding gun owners and limit the sale of firearms to unstable and at risk individuals
- An end to big money corporate donors and corrupt crony capitalism
- A grassroots populist platform that puts the interest of the American people in front of the interest of corporations and lobbyist
In my honest opinion, this party couldn't lose.
Let's face it, the Rust Belt will never vote blue, they are allergic to Democrats. The Trump supporters who wanted to change things in Washington will soon realize that Trump will do none of the things that he promised and look for another solution. There are the racists, but who needs them. They are not populous enough to speak for the whole nation. We need to listen to the grievances in the middle of America that was angry enough to elect Trump and turn them away from the Republican establishment.
The true progressives know that the decaying corpse of the Democratic Party establishment will never distance itself from it's donor base. The Bernie Sanders supporters don't have a true home in a party where a highly qualified Muslim man was denied the job to protect the interest of big money donors.
Tear them both down. This is the opportunity to start the Liberty Party. A party that refuses to be owned by corporate donors and is instead owned by and run by the people of the United States of America. As soon as it's set up, Wall Street will shake in it's boots. Both parties will cry that this is the fracturing of America.
No, you had your time. The two party system is broken and it's time to deconstruct it starting with a jackhammer. Break it down and rebuild it better than before.