The only question is whether the Democratic Party is capable of weening itself off of corporate money and abandoning the sinking ship of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is 100% to blame for where Democrats find themselves today. If the Democrats can’t do that, then the left simply has to organize around a new party that will actually represent them, instead of this tired bunch of corporate hacks who place greed over principle.
Vast numbers of young voters and informed older voters on the left simply are not going to vote for neoliberal politicians anymore. They are not going to vote for people who take corporate money. Without these votes, the Democrats cannot win. Period. Remember, Sanders crushed Clinton in the primary in the 30 and under bracket. He absolutely obliterated her among people who were too young to vote. But, millions of those people will be eligible to vote in 2020 and on.
To illustrate what I mean, let’s compare Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker in terms of the source of their campaign funds, as compiled by Open Secrets. First, Bernie Sanders:
Now, Cory Booker:
That’s all there is to it. Sanders got 55% of his PAC contributions from labor. Booker got 12%. Booker received 75% of his money from business. That is what a neoliberal looks like: someone who is in the pocket of business. Until the Democratic Party can field politicians whose contribution profiles look more like Sanders’s and less like Booker’s, they cannot win. What worked to win elections in the past will not work anymore, because voters are awake.
Lest you think this is just some sort of anti-Booker piece, let’s take a look at some more so-called liberals and stalwarts within the Democratic Party. First, Al Franken, whom many consider to be progressive:
That doesn’t look very leftist to me. What about minority leader, Chuck Schumer?
Even worse than Booker. This guy may as well be a Republican, and he’s supposed to be the one leading the Democrats in the Senate.
This kind of stuff isn’t going to fly anymore. Every young voter is painfully aware of where the loyalties of these politicians lie. Every young voter and all the older voters who aren’t living under a rock can see how this type of alignment of interests between the so-called left and corporatism leads to income inequality, a shrinking middle class, and a hopelessly stifled lower class. Everyone can see how this just begets more greed and worse problems the longer it goes on.
I consider myself very far to the left (a place also known as the moral high ground), and I want to see candidates who can put up numbers in the 0% ballpark when it comes to business contributions. I want to see candidates with principles, who actually represent the people that vote them into office. Neoliberal candidates will never get my vote, or the votes of millions of other people who refuse to accept corruption and business as usual. If you want my vote, you had better be ready to represent my interests instead of the interests of corporate donors.