Why I Criticize the Democratic Party More Than Republicans.
There is arguably no better indication of the divide among the democratic party than if you were to ask an older voter as opposed to a younger one whether or not they feel the democratic party is doing enough to combat Donald Trump and the republican agenda. For the liberal boomer, not much will spark their frustration with younger voters than for us to suggest that the democratic party might not be. But as we navigate our way through the election cycle that many have suggested is arguably the most important of our lifetimes, I can’t help wondering where this disconnect comes from. I’ve lost count of the number of emails I’ve received from older voters, arguing that I need to “grow up”, and do what I can to elect Joe Biden and get Trump out of office.
In these very same emails, oftentimes those concerned with my rhetoric will ask why I am so bound and determined to criticize the democratic party when the alternative is so unequivocally dangerous. As someone who has said multiple times before that laying out an argument for the sake of fostering healthy discourse can be as cathartic as it is necessary, now seems as good a time as any to discuss why I criticize the democratic party more than I do Donald Trump and the republicans.
To put it simply, this is no longer the America that boomers were fortunate enough in which Boomers were fortunate enough to come of age and raise their families. A capitalist economy once content with profiting off of the American people being relatively comfortable and happy is no longer satisfied, and has instead over the past forty years become hellbent on profiting off of our misery as well. A stock market that just wanted the American people to invest has now taken their pensions. It doesn’t just want the American people to get a solid education so they can have good jobs, it wants to drown us in predatory student loan debt that is functionally designed so we can never get out from under it in the process. Over 40 years dedicating time and labor to America’s “success” is no longer enough, and instead our end-stage capitalist, dying empire has functionally determined that many of us in my generation will be working until our dying days. Taking our labor and the majority of our short lives isn’t enough either. Now, they’re taking away the habitability of our planet for our children and grandchildren all in the name of profit for the fossil fuel industry.
What, may I ask, has the democratic party — the supposed resistance — done to prevent this?
In noted reporter and former Bernie Sanders top advisor David Sirota’s recent piece, he addressed a “key excerpt” from a piece he read which states:
Former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, a Biden confidant who succeeded him in the Senate, predicted during a Wall Street Journal Newsmakers Live interview Tuesday that a large increase in federal spending would be difficult to achieve in 2021.
“When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” said Mr. Kaufman, who is leading Mr. Biden’s transition team. “When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit…forget about Covid-19, all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts. So we’re going to be limited.”
Why, may I ask, should I devote my time and energy to helping a party that has decided their strategy to “defeat” republicans is to effectively become the republican party of the 80s?
If the democratic party had not spent decades positioning itself as the champion of the working class and protect those who have and continue to struggle, I would not be so bothered by their continuous failure to do so. As the astronomical change in wealth and power has gone from the masses to the very few over the past few decades and now at an unprecedented rate due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is no honestly denying the fact that the democratic party has been at best complicit, and at worst active participants in this devastating shift. Far too many among my generation and those coming up after me have never known comfortable because of this, and the symbolic gesture of representation that the democratic party so often relies on — though important — is just not enough.
When the party I am being told to vote can’t even be relied upon to fight for a public healthcare option in the middle of a global health and economic crisis, and is already promising austerity measures before it has even taken power as opposed to taxing the unprecedented wealth being stolen by the very richest among us, of course I am going to criticize it. While there might be a “lesser of two evils” in this scenario, I refuse to ignore the fact that it is the lesser evil allowing the greater to not just exist, but thrive.
Republicans have always been and never have denied being the party of the rich. But for far too long, democrats have been able to take advantage of their shock and awe tactics in order to slide further and further to the right with the American people left too scared to do anything about it, all in the hopes of preservation of power and their own self interests. Democrats bear the brunt of my critiques quite frankly because voters already see the Republicans as the boogeyman. If we want any hopes of salvaging this country in the aftermath of this virus and the economic crash that came with it, it’s time to begin acknowledging that the Democratic party might be a bit of a boogeyman itself.