21 November 2006

The Soul of the Democratic Party

It's been a while without much writing. I wish I could say I've been working on the final touches of my NaNoWriMo but it's been more like post-election fatigue. Here we were, pushing and pushing as hard as we could, arguing our points online and during family dinners, hoping America was tired of war and corruption, and here we are now, the winners, like Dustin Hoffman at the end of The Graduate, asking ourselves "What now?"

So it's not easy, the sinking feeling that even if things change they will take their sweet time doing so. After all, we're dealing with huge bureaucracies filled with constant power struggles and tailored for a system that protects a status quo many of us don't believe in, no matter who is in the majority.

They will tell us things take time, and they will threaten us with insignificance when we get impatient. "Remember Lamont," they will say. They will point their fingers at us and say we sit on the margins of public opinion; the flip-side of the far Right.

But in spite of it all, we must continue our work to pull the Democratic Party away from the so-called middle and into a defined position on issues we care about.

After three years of membership in Democratic Underground, I had to get away after a comment I made was deleted. I dared to criticize a Democratic candidate who is an opportunistic career politician. This man, who destroyed his Democratic opponent and used corrupt and racist policies to fight his Republican opponent didn't deserve our votes. I called for people to stay home. My comment wasn't simply argued against; it was deleted. Apparently, no one needed to hear this kind of argument, or as Skinner, the founder of DU wrote me, "Our policies are clear about telling people not to vote for the Democratic candidate."

This is what we should fight against, first within ourselves and later in public: We do not support the Democratic Party's agenda because we support the Party; we support the Party because its values closely resemble our own. We must fight for the soul of the Democratic Party to keep it from moving to the Right. We must stay away from Tony Blair's "Third Way Labor Party," an empty political entity with no values and no backbone. We must reject Democratic leaders who will vote to ban gay marriage and abortions, we must reject those supporting an increase for defense spending for endless, pointless wars. Now that the Democratic Party has won the election it's time we won back the Democratic Party.

Only by standing up for our values rather than blindly following our Party leaders do we stand a chance of influencing the way the Democratic Party looks in the future; only by singling out and kicking out Democrats by-name-only do we stand a chance of the Democratic Party not becoming a party of Liebermans. Only by keeping our struggle do we have a chance of making history.



fc said...

I agree wholeheartedly... If this election didn't send a clear enough message then we need to make sure they get it next time. Netroots are here to stay and we need to purge the roles of those in D.C. who do not act in the country's best interest.

We got wise mouth Santorum and woke the rest of the sleepers in this country up. More young people voted... We need to keep attacking from every angle they make available to us...

Keep up the effort...

I am in the process of adding you a button in the top right section of my page. Those who come by and comment regularly get one. Aint much but it gets your blog name displayed for BlogMad and BE and the other directories...

- fc

People in the Sun said...

Thanks for adding me. By the way, your web site is a beauty. Good luck in everything.

Whitee said...

I like your site, and I'm down with the sentiment, but I learned a while ago that there are too many corporate contributors and career politicians in the Democratic Party. Go Green, you'll be able to stand up for your values with others who won't sell you out and you'll sleep better at night.

Sebastien said...

Very well said, I agree with most of what you gotta say! Way too many career politicians, voting for the party and not the ideas and accomplishments. I'll vote for either party depending on a lot of factors, but the main thing I'm looking for is if you can trust a candidate, or are they just trying to play us like a fiddle for their own gains. Haha, it's tricky, because it's a mix of good and bad I guess, but all I know is we need major changes in Washington to tackle the problems of this century.

That point you mentioned, about the DU deleting your comment, that is exactly what pisses me off about both parties. Such damned self-interest!

People in the Sun said...

As much as I'd like to put a convincing argument against voting Green, the only one I find is to give the new Democrats on the Block time and see if there is any change.

Actually, even if the country doesn't "turn the corner" toward some kind of inspiring utopia, at least now Bush's dictatorial objectives have been stopped, which might be the best argument for voting for the less-corrupt, but still powerful Party. I guess we'll know more with time.

As for DU, for three years I'd been reading posts making fun of Republicans who follow their leaders no matter what, and then when I dared to make a point against a single, hypocritical Democrat their little power-trip moderators pressed the delete button. And that was it. What's the point in having a political website when all they do is stand in a corner and massage each other's backs? (I guess I could have come up with a more picturesque metaphor, but this one will do).

Dustin said...

I've vote third party in any case where I don't like the other candidates, and I really hate the idea that most people refuse to do so. A third party is only illegitimate because they can't get matching funds until they hit 10% on a presidential election. If just 10% of people regularly voted third party, there would suddenly be a viable third party. Anyone who tells you differently is just trying to keep the two party system that just doesn't work, in my opinion.

In the meantime, I'll certainly take the new Dems over the old guard anyday. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Democratic Underground recently did a COVERT operation (11/30/06) on its own membership trying to figure out who is a holocaust denier and who is not.

They posted a poll that asks if you believe a) the Holocaust happened, b) it happened but you do not know if all the figures/deaths/numbers reported is accurate, or c) you do not believe it happened.

If you answer B or C they SUSPEND your account and you receive an insulting message that you are a "Holocaust sympathizer" and they do not want to "be associated with individuals who express such views."

Of note is that answering B, which is a legitimate honest answer for the millions who know nothing of the Holocaust or the details lands you in their Holocaust denier camp. Many people do not know how many people died in the holocaust - maybe DU needs to remember the world does not revolve around their view of the world. That DU would do such a sinister thing to its own membership in an attempt to cleanse it of people whom they "think" deny the holocaust is beyond belief for a site exposing democratic party ideals.

OF course if you answer C, that is beyond the pale of reason. But if an honest guy answers B, that he knows it happened, but does not know the details of the event.....THEY CALL YOU A HOLOCAUST DENIER.

Someone needs to send a wake up call to Democratic Underground. It start's with "Innocent until proven Guilty" and ends with the Constitution of the United States of America.

People in the Sun said...

I think DU has started going crazy when a few Republicans registered and started posting opposing points of view. Frankly, I think they should have been thrilled with the opportunity to exchange ideas with people who viewed the world in a different way, giving them a chance to state their own ideas in a clearer way, maybe even convincing a few Republicans to stop supporting this far-from-Republican-ideals administration. But no, every opposing point of view was attacked, alerted, and quickly deleted.

Ironically, I believe the poll you're writing about is an attempt to leave the sidelines of political discourse, but as it's based in paranoia and an eagerness to please they get closer to being a fringe group. They try to be the voice of Democrats rather than the voice of Progressives, but afraid as they are of listening to Republicans and to Progressives (and basically to anyone who doesn't share Skinner's view of the world), they are becoming nothing but the flip-side of Free Republicans: preaching to the choir and blindly following a set agenda, leaving reality behind.

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