Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fwd: Where to from here . . .?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Hemington

No doubt the years ahead will be challenging for Americans of all political persuasions, but particularly for political progressives.  We have for so long voluntarily allowed ourselves to be shunted aside and ignored by main stream neoliberal "New Democrats" who focused on identity politics while cozying up to corporate America, Wall Street and the Military/Security/Contractor complex.  Time and time again we have fallen for the old "lesser evil" tout in a futile hope for change which never seems to come.  Well, now change has come starkly and darkly on the night of November 8th and, if it was not clear before, it should now be clear that the path forward cannot be led by the New Democratic cabal of the Clintons and Obamas of the political world.  It is time to either purge the Democratic Party of these folks who have demonstrated a studied unwillingness to represent the people they promise to support every election cycle, or to fight for an alternative party structure.  Neither option will be simple or easy.  Either will require a dedicated and concerted effort on the part of progressives and closet progressive liberals to reset the political sentiments of the nation.

There is now an opportunity which we have not seen for the past forty years to push for a more rational Social Democratic policy structure capable of addressing the needs and desires of not just the left in America but also much of the populist right and working class Americans, many of whom voted for Donald Trump in a repudiation of the Republican neoliberal elite because they were fed up with their very real concerns being dismissed and ignored by both Parties.  To be sure there are many folks who are Trump supporters who are never going to support any sort of leftish ideas and those who support.  They are primarily the so-called "alt-right" and the historically upper middle class hard-core Republican elite base.  Even so, it is quite likely that a substantial number of the rest who have given up on the political establishment will switch sides if they can be shown that a viable alternative is available which truly addresses their needs.  Bernie Sanders exemplified this option in the primaries and it is highly likely that, had his candidacy not been shafted by the Clinton machine in cohorts with the DNC, he could have prevailed against Donald Trump.

However, it should be clear to all that the Democratic establishment and their billionaire bosses will not slink quietly off into the night.  And, it will not be possible to win over the Republican middle and the many union voters who have switched party loyalty unless and until we are willing to communicate with them as equals interested in changing the course of American politics.  It is critical that progressives and liberals get over our superiority complex in dealing with folks with whom we have political disagreements.  We need to stop and listen and learn because many of our complaints about the political establish running the nation and the world are shared by both groups.  There are and will be disagreements which will not be overcome; but many, if not most, can be put aside in the interest of overthrowing the power of the oligarchical structure we are now subject to.  The New Democrats put many of them off by focusing almost exclusively on identity politics while ignoring economic, social and community issues of grave concern and treating anyone whose beliefs or concerns differed from those of the liberal establishment as foolish uneducated boobs.  Thus completely alienating almost everyone not residing in elite liberal urban ghettos.  This strategy has backfired and it is long past time that we Americans organize around issues which most of us share and work toward educating one another in a positive rather than a negative manner.

In this endeavor the critical key is open communication – a willingness to talk with rather than past those with whom we don't fully agree and come to terms on those issues on which we do agree without becoming overly judgmental about the ones with which we do not.  This will not be easy for many of us as we have developed long-standing negative impressions of those whose cultural ideas differ from our own.  Most of all we have to recognize that most of these folks are good people with the same or similar goals, desires and ambitions as we have.  Unfortunately, over the years we have forgotten how to communicate with one another without being insulting or judgmental; without assuming that the other person must be stupid or hopelessly uneducated and therefore not worth the effort to hear out.  This is a serious mistake and it is one which has been carefully engineered by our current political masters to keep us apart, to keep us from organizing against the oligarchical system from which they profit outrageously at all of our expense.  Now is the time we must come together and recognize that our only hope for a reasonable future is to figure out how to cast our differences aside and work together for a better tomorrow.  This cannot succeed unless we can overcome our Pavlovian responses over identity issues and focus of issues of life and death for us all.



  1. = Progressive Wake Up Call (PDF)
  2. = Winning Back the Working Class (PDF)

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