The Democrats Just Want to Die— and That’s Okay
I don’t believe I can think of an instance in history where a liberal political party has deliberately tried to eliminate themselves as an electoral force, and yet I’m convinced that the Democratic Party is doing exactly that.
It’s almost bizarre because, remembering the history of the Democratic Party from, say, 1910 to 1980 give or take, they have almost always been successful in co-opting or defanging previous left-wing movements, from the old labor conflicts of the World War decades to the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60’s, and turning them towards maintaining their position in American political life.
Even after their turn towards neoliberalism, they’ve tried to move to harness social movements when it suited them, from queer rights to light anti-war actions in the W. Bush era. Even as they do horrible things such as the Clinton era Defense Of Marriage Act or continuously voting for every military campaign the US has conducted, if it means getting a vote, they’ll very openly proclaim their undying support for it.
Well, the party’s main structure, the Democratic National Committee, has very openly signaled their opposition to any particular dialogue towards the left. Even the basic liberal conception of “diversity” doesn’t seem to be a concern, seeing as though multiple members expelled would fit that category, including the first transgender woman to be on the DNC.
Despite claims to the contrary, the move more or less looks to be the chair of the DNC, Tom Perez, outright purging supporters of deputy chair Keith Ellison — and thus of whatever exists for the “progressive” wing, the Democrats have removed much of their membership from party leadership.
It shouldn’t be surprising. The party leadership, both DNC and elected officials in Congress, has always held an almost-retaliatory stance against that wing; need we not mention the contest for DNC chair which was filled with smears against Ellison’s faith and support for Palestine, or Nancy Pelosi proclaiming her undying loyalty to capitalism.
I could pretty much devote the entire rest of this article to listing every single time this year alone the Democrats have shat on their left wing, but that’s not my intention. My intention is simply to say: Good, they should just let themselves wither away and die.
The increasingly inevitable death of the Democratic Party should not be mourned by anybody who stands against capitalism; instead, it’s an opportunity. The more they collapse the greater the vacuum that’s opening up will be. A vacuum that could prove beneficial to us socialists in filling.
I’m not suggesting that we should enter the fray as yet another electoral party —reforming capitalism into socialism is impossible, and while the fight for reforms like Medicare for All and a livable wage can be beneficial in the short term, it’s becoming more of a distraction to focus on reforms than building the movement to topple capitalism. However, to millions watching the Democrats collapse and strangle themselves on a rope that they could’ve entirely ignored but instead stumbled into, their death should act as a sort of awakening.
A shock like that would cascade through American political life, shattering illusions left-and-right and, in effect, make the mass movement we’ve been waiting for. From their death would arise the conditions that would make a mass socialist/communist party not only possible, but necessary to stave off the violent end of whatever freedoms Americans have left (or ever had, to be honest).
This might be too optimistic a reading, I will admit — it’s also very likely we’ll just end up in perpetual fascist totalitarianism, effectively enslaved to the capitalist state and probably murdered off for not being the white, cishet, baby-dropping Übermenschen that is desired. But, I do think it’s a possibility, one that should be actively promoted at any cost.