Sunday, November 16, 2014

Democrats Steer to the Right and into Defeat

Democrats Steer to the Right and into Defeat
by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee 11/8/2014

If progressives can learn one thing from the 2014 election cycle, it is
that they no longer have a place in the Democratic Party.

With Republicans on the offensive, Democratic incumbents and hopefuls
spent the entire election running away from anything perceived to be
associated with President Obama. In effect, this created numerous
Democratic campaigns that ran to the right of a president that was already
on a long-standing drift to the right of his own. This is in contrast to
the normal state of affairs, which is where Democrats campaign on ideas
that appeal to the progressive base and then do not deliver when elected.

This set of events left progressives and even many liberals without the
party that they would normally identify with and vote for. The result was
a sweeping defeat for Democrats in the congressional and gubernatorial
elections, losing their Senate majority in the process.

At the same time that voters gave a resounding defeat to the Democrats,
they also voted heavily in favor of raising the minimum wage in several
states. Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota all
approved minimum wage initiatives by double-digit margins, while at the
same voting down statewide Democratic candidates by double-digit margins
in three of the four states. By doing this, working class voters have
proven that they are prepared and willing to embrace the issues and cast
off the party and politicians that fail to deliver on them.

Outside of the twin parties of capitalism, Tuesday's election saw
candidates running to the left of the Democrats collectively receive over
a quarter of a million votes. The parties and specific beliefs of these
candidates may be different, but the fact that so many people threw their
support behind at least one left-wing candidate cannot be ignored. Our own
Adam Adrianson can take credit for 33,000 of these votes from his
Socialist Party campaign for the Michigan State University Board of
Trustees.

Moving forward, progressives in the United States have to realize that
they no longer have a party that represents them. The Democratic Party is
on a one-way charge to the right, and progressive-minded people have no
place on that trip.

Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the limit of what
the Democrats have to offer. They serve as icons to entice progressives
and liberals with populist messaging and hopes of building a radical
element within the Democratic Party. In reality, they are puppets meant to
distract voters and activists with hopes that will never be realized in
the current political alignment.

Aside from staying in place and becoming increasingly marginalized and
powerless, the only alternative for progressives in the United States is
to break from the Democratic Party and move to the Left. By this, we mean
the real Left, rather than the left that the Democratic Party has
pretended to be.

Socialism, specifically democratic socialism, offers the social justice
and economic democracy that progressives yearn for but will never see in a
Democrat majority or the capitalist system. By moving towards democratic
socialism, working class people who currently identify as progressive or
liberal will find radical ideas they could have never dreamed of with the
Democrats, along with a rapidly growing movement that is dedicated to
building a new society of radical democracy from below.

We hope you will join us in this struggle.

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