By Jordan Jardine
Like a few of my Review colleagues and contributors, I am an ex-Democrat. I supported the Democrats during the 2008 election cycle because I liked then-Senator Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” message. I also supported his re-election in 2012. In 2014, when I turned 18, I couldn’t wait to register as a Democrat. However, after the 2016 election, I left the Democrats. Actually, it would be more accurate to say the Democrats left me.
As I continued to get more and more obsessed with politics, I saw ever more clearly that the vast majority of the Democrats in Congress don’t really care about their constituents. Even Obama proved to be a supreme disappointment. A perfect example is Obamacare. When Obama was on the campaign trail in 2007 and 2008, he didn’t even support the true progressive healthcare plan, single-payer. He was in favor of a public option, which essentially reforms the healthcare system so that government health insurance is made to be competitive with private insurers. Obama had a supermajority in Congress when Obamacare was being crafted. He could have pushed for a public option, but he didn’t, even though his base wanted some semblance of a single-payer or public option system. Instead, Americans had to deal with an individual mandate system, which mandates that all Americans must buy insurance on the private market. Obama expanded Medicare and Medicaid as well, but the private insurance companies still enjoyed the privilege of calling most of the shots when it came to our healthcare system. Obama also expanded the NSA and increased the number of US military interventions from 2 to 7 and expanded the drone program, By the way, Hillary Clinton also supported all of these policies. Obama and both Clintons are not the only Democrats like this. Several other prominent Democrats (whom Fox News would have you believe are hardline leftists), including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and many, many more are all bought and sold by numerous corporations and donors.
Yes, these Democrats pay lip service to progressive policies, but one look at their voting records will prove that they only rarely fight for what the Democratic base (which is increasingly progressive) wants and needs. A 2016 Pew poll that the percentage of Democrats who identified as “liberal” (or progressive) jumped from 27% in 2000 to 42% in 2015. The relative indifference toward the base differentiates Democrats from Republicans. Republicans love pleasing their base and will fight for what they want far more often and with much more fervor than most Democrats. To be clear, Republicans are just as subservient to special interest groups, Wall Street, lobbyists and corporations, if not more so, than the Democrats, but the Republicans have mastered the art of political multitasking. Democrats have not mastered this concept. They will be overly PC in order to try and please their base, but as soon as their base turns their backs, the Democrats will most often fail at representing the people who elected them in the first place by ignoring their policy demands. This failure to meet the needs of Democratic voters cost the Dems over 1,000 government seats nationwide.
This is why I wholeheartedly disagree with conservatives and corporate media (a.k.a. the mainstream media) when they say that the Democrats are a radical left-wing or socialist party. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the Democrats of today would be considered moderate Republicans from the 1980s and 1990s. Even Obama admitted that this was exactly how he saw himself. It is laughable to assert that the Democratic Party is in any way, shape or form a socialist party. They do not advocate for worker control over the means of production, they are fervent statists (as are the Republicans) who don’t want to abolish our current hierarchical system. They love hierarchies and they love the free market capitalist system. Even Bernie Sanders supports a market system in many areas of American consumption. He is by no means a socialist. Even his supposedly “socialist” policies such as Medicare For All and free college are not actually socialist programs because workers do not control the means of production and still have to serve the interests and demands of those above them in the workplace hierarchy. Taxing, spending and safety net programs are all social democratic programs, not socialist programs. Therefore, the Democrats are not a socialist or far-left party.
To paraphrase my true ideological mentor Noam Chomsky, we don’t actually have two separate and opposing parties in this country anymore and very rarely ever did. What we have are two wings of a larger corporate party. If the Democrats truly are a left-wing party, they are the poorest, most pathetic excuse for one in the entire history of politics, possibly stretching all the way back to our neanderthal days. It is definitely fair to say that the Democratic Party is to the left of the GOP, but that does not mean the Democrats are actually a left-wing party. If they were left-wing, anarchists like myself would still be in the party. The Democrats made a fairly surprising comeback in the midterm elections this year, but their rebound will be short-lived if they don’t start actually fighting in earnest for the policy goals of their base.
One of the worst aspects of the Democrats is when they try to act like Republicans, which they tend to do. For instance, prominent Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein all voted in favor of the Iraq War according to the Huffington Post. Clinton and Feinstein also voted for the Patriot Act, which demolished the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution. Former President Barack Obama exacerbated this problem by expanding NSA spying. Democrats are supposed to be the party of civil liberties, non-interventionism, but they are no longer that party. Here is the bottom line: if you have a choice between a Republican candidate and a candidate who tries to be a Republican, why wouldn’t you just choose the Republican? This logic seems to constantly elude establishment Democrats and the stupidest people in American politics, Democratic strategists. The party no longer stands for anything except doing kabuki theater to trick their base into believing they will fight Republican policies while simultaneously agreeing with the Republicans on rampant militarism, Wall Street bailouts, corporate welfare and violations of Americans’ basic civil liberties. In reality, Democrats are not principled leftists, they are little more than idiotic corporate shills who defecate all over their base and are involved in politics solely to advance their own interests, not the interests of the American people.