A Better World Remains on Hold
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
Few of us who have been critical of the Democratic Party over the last few years were surprised by the results of the November election. What should have been a slam dunk for the Democrats nearly turned into yet another case of “How could this happen again?” Even if Joe Biden does indeed become the next president, the Democratic Party was given a clear indication of where the country was heading during the 2016 primary cycle when Bernie beat Hillary in contests like MI, WI, IN, and many of the states of the Plains, and West. Additional contests like MA, IL, NV (and others) were probably also won by Bernie but were blocked or subverted by DNC malfeasance and corruption.
The 2020 primary contest, while a fundamentally different beast, also revealed deep problems with the neoliberal insistence on a “mainstream” or “electable” candidate despite evidence that Biden was anything but. Bernie could have run a more effective (certainly more ruthless) primary campaign in 2020 but it clearly came down to the major contenders like Bloomberg and Buttigieg dropping out at the eleventh hour before Super Tuesday leaving the progressive vote divided between Warren and Sanders. This was no random turn of events in favor of Biden but rather another deliberate attempt to again subvert the true progressive candidate and the movement that had been steadily gaining steam for the past four years. Bernie not only offered a critique of the emptiness and corruption of neoliberalism, the movement he helped inspire gave people legitimate hope for a better future with bold plans like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and a tax plan that finally attempted to rein in the billionaire class.
What is shocking is not that Biden’s margins over Trump were so pathetic, rather, that the Democratic Party continues to insist that presidential candidates pledge to “fundamentally” change nothing while still playing defense for the oligarch class. These milquetoast corporate candidates will continue to cede ground to far-right faux populists. Trump for all his terrible flaws and vile policies is at least willing to name names and point out that workers are indeed in a class struggle for their survival. Until the Democratic Party is ready to elevate class consciousness/ class politics to the forefront and actually take up the global fight against the elites, America’s embrace of Trumpism will continue.