Open Letter to “Justice Democrats”
David A Hill Jr
113

I was a strong Hillary volunteer, supporter and donor in both the primary and the general. I don’t agree at all that the primary was “rigged,” and I have a number of complaints against Bernie’s conduct throughout 2016 that I won’t rehearse here because neither he nor Hillary is President, we do have a President, and he is a literal white-supremacist cryptofascist heading up an Administration determined to erode our Constitutional checks and balances even further.

Which, by the way, is why I am currently proudly volunteering with Refuse Fascism, alongside Berniecrats, socialists, Communists, and anarchists. (God willing and the crick don’t rise, even a conservative or two someday.) We can go back to our sectarian wars when the immediate threat to the planet as a whole is dealt with. In the meantime, I’m happy and grateful to be building stalwart friendships and solidarity with people I deeply disagree with politically, much as I enjoyed doing that with the thoroughly badass Bernie supporters who came over to work their guts out for Hillary during the general. :-) (I would have done the same for Bernie had he won the nom with a goddamn song in my heart, btw, because despite my deep issues with the Bern, on his worst day he’s worth a thousand of scum like Trump or Pence.)

So needless to say, my beef with the TYT and the Justice Democrats is not so much that they’re liable to capitulate to the finance lobbies or whatever. My beef is that their response to their anger with Democrats, whom they seem to despise, is not to go off and form their own party, but to colonize, seize the resources of, and purge the Democratic party of what they see as “impure” elements. Elements that are actually part of the longtime, hardworking heart and soul of the party. (That they decry us as elitist while calling everything that’s not about helping struggling white cishet dudes “identity” politics is also not lost on me or any other struggling person with an “identity.”)

Notice I said “part of” the heart and soul, not “all of” it. The Democratic party has long contained a wide spectrum of folks, including those with the ideology of the Justice Democrats, and while some of them have only grudgingly given their support, there are many others who’ve given money, blood and sweat to the party despite policy disagreements. These folks are legitimate members of the party and deserve my respect.

It’s just that I think that while they absolutely should get an equal seat at the table, they don’t have the right to upend the table and kick everybody they don’t like off of it. I sometimes have my own huge disagreements with party leadership, but that arrogant and unfair behavior is just not cool. And it’s incredibly contemptuous of people I care a lot about, people I have seen quietly moving mountains for years.

Let’s put it this way: I’ve had an easier time making common cause against Trump with the freaking Revolutionary Communists and anarchists than with the Berniecrats, and that is just #Sad. Fuck, I’m getting along better with the libertarians than the Berniecrats right now, and I never get along with libertarians! The former get that I’m not evil incarnate. Why can’t most of the latter? It’s crazy-making.

Where I do agree with you is that to get close to power is to encounter increased need — or temptation — to compromise in order to get things done. That is why, despite my admiration for a lot of (not all of) the Democratic party leadership, I don’t look to them for solutions to our current predicament. In their severely disadvantaged position, they’re inevitably going to be repeatedly tempted to acquiesce; and sometimes they will succumb for the sake of reducing harm. Reducing harm is absolutely worthwhile, but acquiescing to fascists even for a great reason is morally corrupting and will inevitably lead to acquiescing for less-great reasons, or throwing one group under the bus to save another. In normal times, compromise is the necessary mechanism of governing. There are all these conservative people and they get to vote too, and that’s just all there is to it. :-) But these are no longer remotely normal times. We are in a state of grave Constitutional and global emergency. What served them well in the past will probably doom them now.

If the Justice Democrats actually manage to take over the Democratic party — and I hope they don’t, frankly, but hell, they might — they will be in exactly the same position of deep disadvantage that the, what, Injustice Democrats? ( -_- ) are in now. With the exact same exigencies. They don’t have some magic mojo that Pelosi or whoever lacks. Just for one example, Pelosi wants single-payer. I want single-payer. Obama wants single-payer. Hillary wants single-payer. (She TRIED to get us single-payer in the Nineties and got fucking creamed for it.) Hillary’s dogs want single-payer. We all want single-payer, okay? But see, once again, there’s these other folks who are free-market apostles who get to vote too. …And who are increasingly unfairly advantaged in voting, in fact!

I do have a point of reply to you here, believe it or not. :-) And my point here? Is that we all need to be beyond this bullshit like, yesterday. I have gritted my teeth through many a lambasting of the evil neoliberals and the catspaws of the Illuminati, because that is my end of getting beyond the bullshit. We’re doing good to save what little we HAVE, forget seizing some glorious future that Feinstein or Warren just perversely doesn’t want us to have. I frankly don’t think we’re going to make it to semi-free and fair elections in 2020 or maybe even 2018 at this rate. That’s why I think we all need to be doing sustained, nonviolent, but disruptive mass street actions in addition to our electoral, NGO and grassroots-lobbying efforts. I want to see a general strike, for God’s sake. Business as usual needs to halt, immediately, until the danger to humanity itself is dealt with. So why hasn’t it yet? Have we forgotten everything the WWII/Holocaust survivors taught us? Do we think we’re an exception to history?

That the supposed revolutionaries of the Justice Democrats are no more cognizant of this than the fuddy-duddies of the Democratic mainstream is both telling and damning to me. :-( So like you, I don’t look to them for any solutions right now either. Just for very different reasons.

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