Trump’s ironic and unintentional gift to American democracy may be that—by crashing through the traditional party battle lines, and saying what the major parties weren’t free to say—he has created a space in our politics in which the seeds of genuine reform, planted by actual reformers, have taken root and are beginning to grow. Victories by independent, anti-corporate Democrats in the November 2017 off-year elections demonstrated that the Democratic Party has the potential to again put forward a vision that inspires voters. But that slim hope depends on the creation of a progressive electoral infrastructure separate and independent from the party establishment, and thus relatively free of the influence that corporate donors wield over both parties. The 2018 elections will provide an early, formidable test of that new infrastructure’s power to upend the status quo.
That's from an article Theo Anderson just had published in In These Times that's probably the most insightful thing I've read about our current juncture -- about how Trump won, why Hillary lost and about what the prospects are for taking control of the country from the oligarchy and its two hopelessly corrupted political parties.
Anderson points to how leftist candidates are winning by running as Democrats but well to the left of the Democratic Party establishment, but with the support of Leftist organizations that are popping up, or that have been around awhile and are experiencing rapid growth, such as the Democratic Socialists of America, the Working Peoples Party, the Bernie Sanders affiliated Our Revolution, Justice Democrats and Peoples Action.
By putting forth concrete, progressive stands on policies, candidates have been achieving stunning victories in red districts where the Democratic Party didn't put up a candidate. A Democratic Socialist Latina just won a red district in Virginia. The new batch of progressive candidates usually receive little or no support from the party, but get help with things like canvassing from the independent organizations, which arre outside the party and not beholden to its rich donors.
Like the Tea Party, the new leftist populists groups have even begun to take on Democratic incumbents, backing for example a woman challenging CA Democrat senator Diane Feinstein. The Tea Party was backed by wealthy Republicans and the leftist groups don't owe anybody anything, Anderson says, and their numbers far outweigh those of the Tea Party.
In the quote I started the post with, Anderson credits Trump with "crashing through the traditional party battle lines, and saying what the major parties weren’t free to say—he has created a space in our politics in which the seeds of genuine reform, planted by actual reformers, have taken root and are beginning to grow."
That's true as far as it goes, but the space in which the seeds of reform are growing has been opened up just as much by the absence of Democrats in power.
If Hilary Clinton had been elected any movement toward independence by the voters would already be fading into the sunset as has happened time and again. There's even a phrase for it: "The Democratic Party - where progressive movements go to die." Because that's what has happened to the Women's Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Labor Movement, the Environmental Movement and the Gay Rights Movement. Black Lives Matter is going down the same hole, as leaders like Deray McKesson are given high paying establishment positions.
One of the ways Democrats co-opt movement is by bringing their leaders into the inner circles of power, with meeting invitations, dinner and party invitations, tennis and spending weekends on the yacht in the Potomac invitations., and of course nice jobs To retain that access the great movement leaders have to compromise, and that sucks energy and from the hearts of the rank and file. The organization becomes little more than an appendage of the Democratic Party, and that means it serves Wall Street and anything it wants done must have Wall street's approval.
Had Hillary been elected the long slow march to the right of the Democratic Party and of the political center in America we've been enduring for 50 years would be continuing as usual. Millions of activists, thinking the Democrats were looking out for their interests, would be asleep again and caught up in the daily partisan back and forth that's presented for public consumption before the politicians go the gym or to dinner with their friends in the other party.
Had Hillary been elected, economic inequality would be growing just as it did through the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barak Obama. Police brutality would be proceeding unchecked and every one of the seven brutal foreign wars our government is waging would have been expanded, as Hillary promised to do. The difference now is that the people are finding ways they can run their country themselves.
In New Mexico these new and independent political groups aren't making themselves heard yet, although many young people who were drawn into political activism by the Bernie Sanders revolution were credited with playing a major role in the landslide election last month of a mildly progressive Democrat as the mayor of Albuquerque, the state's largest population center.
For the near term we'll continue to elect these twits of Democrats who never mention the word "union" and who run around getting their picture taken with a Republican every chance they get, and who make sure they use the word "bipartisan" in every news release. Republicans don't do that. They fight for the interests of the people they represent and don't promise to compromise half of it away before they even sit down at the table. That's what conservative Democrats do.