Democrats present no viable alternative to Trumpism
As the 2018 US midterms come to a close something striking is the simultaneous relief and apathy. Relief that The House of Representatives was taken from the Republicans, hopefully keeping some of the Trump and increasingly far-right and fascistic agenda of Republicans at bay. On the other hand we have complete apathy from the left. It’s almost as if we know that it really doesn’t matter.
Trump wasted no time in taking to Twitter and insisting that this is a win for The Right. The Republicans kept The Senate, gaining two seats, noting that the amount of seats flipped was actually quite low.
This is obviously a spin, no way of getting around that Republicans lost The House, indeed, making things more difficult for Trump. At the same time, the amount of House seats flipped was below average and that Senate seats were gained, only happening five times in the last 105 years, is alarming considering how far-right the Republican’s have drifted in the past two years.
The question becomes, why were the gains of the Democrats so meager? Why in the face of such a radical far-right administration were they unable to take many more seats or even The Senate?
The answer is simple: the Democrats provide no viable alternative and millions of Americans have awoken to this fact. What we have seen over the past decades is the Democrat Party moving farther and farther right (incredible that Trump republicans insist they are “far-left”). We see endless capitulations and a party that is willing to sell out the people they claim they represent every step of the way.
The day after the mid-term we see Nancy Pelosi vowing to be bi-partisan and urging for an end to the division. We can also look the loss of Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri who bragged of border patrol supporting her and her support for Trump’s “big, beautiful wall”. This is exactly why Democrats failed so miserably and why there is such extreme apathy among the left.
What we should all think of when we hear bi-partisan is exactly what US policy has been since WWII: imperialism, exploitation of the working class at home and more so abroad, homelessness, war and the enrichment of the Military Industrial Complex, a massive surveillance state and the worlds largest prison population all of which have historically been either ignored or supported by both parties.
We have Trump and other Republicans who exhibit proto-fascist tendencies: racism, xenophobia, an unleashing of capital and mass deregulation not seen since Reagan’s neoliberalization and a complete disregard for the environment; and the Democrats, who are supposed to be an alternative, want to work with these people?
This is not a party any real leftist can get behind. Indeed, Democrats don’t represent workers, proletarians and the poor; they are but a different side of the same coin and represent the class they belong to and the desires of capital. People are slowly realizing this, they realize that neither party cares about them or their interests and that there are no real alternatives. The apathy we see will continue to grow. It will turn into anger and frustration and polarization will increase.
One silver lining for the left is, for the first time, self-proclaimed socialists are being elected. I don’t have much faith in them to make any real change but what this does show is that the window is being shifted. Socialism is no longer seen as a dirty word, especially among Democrats, over half of whom say they prefer socialism to capitalism. Now, don’t misunderstand me here, most of these people aren’t radicals or revolutionary. Their concept of socialism is akin to a Scandinavian style welfare state, but I do believe this signals a cultural shift and a foot in the door. Our job now is to keep this door open, pushing it farther and farther. The apathy, anger, and frustration we all feel is an opportunity. The left needs rise to this occasion and to present radical solutions and alternatives for the problems that more and more face, solutions that neither Democrats nor Republicans can, or are even willing to fix.