We Need to Take over the Democratic Party
By Mark Rudd (November 11, 2016)
The number of people who voted for Hillary was 60,000,000, not 42,000,000. The latter is the number of people who voted for Demo candidates for the Senate.
Anybody who would turn his or her back (it’s actually mostly guys) on 60,000,000 voters has to have his head examined. That’s lunacy, in the service of some sort of purity. Please don’t waste my or anyone else’s time with your fantasies. We’ve got too much work to do.
One of the best things about our current situation is that people are starting to talk politics again, to wake up and realize that it really does matter who controls government. This has opened up vast possibilities.
Here’s the opportunity: NOBODY VOTES IN LOCAL ELECTIONS!!! If we had a united progressive movement within the Democratic Party we could very easily vote in completely progressive City and County governments. The point is that young people’s depoliticization will probably be reversed from now on. More people will be paying attention. And if we can run good progressive candidates as Democrats we’ll be able to through out the ineffectual careerists and opportunists, the center-right hacks.
The article by George Packer in the New Yorker is particularly useful in thinking about the Democratic Party and the possibilities. Packer says that the Dems have exactly two mass bases: professional class (known as “elitests” or “meritocrats:) and non-white people (known, oddly, as “diversity”). That’s who carried the cities and states that Hillary won. The tragedy of Tuesday is that because of redistricting, rural states and counties have much more numbers in the electoral college than urban states and counties.The electoral college itself is a legacy of slavery, an 18th century balancing act intended to keep the planter class in power or at least contenders against the rising northern commercial and soon to be industrial bourgeoisie. Think Hamilton vs. Jefferson.
But in the blue states, the professional class and non-white people (many of whom are in the professional class and vote accordingly)–those who turned out for both Obama and Hillary–are decided majorities. All we need to do is develop good programs–on policing, taxation, land use, environment, health, education, etc.–run good candidates, and take power. It’s so simple it’s disgusting, staring us right in the face. So now we have to start the organizing.
A short note on power: Lefties abhor power. It’s nasty, dirty, coercive. It attracts psychopathic people like Trump and the Clintons and a host of nut-cases on every level that we all could name. Also, we’ve been out of power so long that the position is comfortable. It suits our desires for purity. But here’s the “chinga:” if we don’t grab power you know who will. The same jerks that have always had power, though now even worse are coming out. So it’s time to get real. The nutcases of the Republican party may control the federal government, but we can reform the Demo Party and elect progressive local and state governments. If we only organize ourselves! What could be more obvious?