Requiem for a Democratic Dream

Don’t talk to me about American Dreams when you know I don’t sleep. Don’t fill my middle class mind with middle class lies and promise me middle class jobs that have moved away and will never return. Sew your star-spangled lips shut when you’re speaking to me so I can’t make out the vacant mumbling of your moth-eaten souls. With a few notable exceptions, your party has become the mealymouthed bitch of big business—a shriveled husk of a liberal conscience that does community service on Saturdays to feel better about the parasitic opportunism of their day-to-day business. You are nothing more than a hedge fund manager who feels an obligation to support civil liberties whenever it’s convenient. You have aided and abetted the gutting of the war on poverty while gleefully solidifying the war on terror. I am through with you and I refuse to be a party to your steady rightward drift into the gaping maw of inequality and disintegration that looms on the horizon. Democratic Party, you are dead to me.

You want to change my mind again? Tell me all about how you love clean energy and ease my troubled mind about those big bad men down in Gitmo. Let me know how you’ve always championed gay marriage and how you would never do anything to disturb our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties. Reassure me that drone strikes are nothing to be worried about and that a preemptive strike with a missile is totally different than one with an army. Give me a few good reasons why it was a political necessity to get rid of the payroll tax reduction and then sit me down for a nice long talk about why some banks are just too big to fail. And, to cap it all off, rile me up with examples of how those evil fat cat Republicans tie all of your bills to the railroad track and act like a bunch of dastardly no-goodniks hellbent on foiling your grand progressive plans.

Make me forget that the lawns and driveways of Arkansas are slathered with a healthy heaping of thick Canadian tar sand from an oil pipeline leak while you quietly try to approve a separate pipeline 6 times its size. Ban the media from covering the hunger strike down in Guantanamo so we don’t think about the fact that our government has been violating the Geneva Convention for over a decade and holding hundreds of prisoners without any hope for a fair trial. Don’t bring up the fact that President Obama waited until it was politically expedient to back gay marriage or that Democrats have been trickling out in support of the LGBT community over the past 2 years like timid titmice, terrified of the potential censure of their constituency. Please, erase from my memory the fact that Rand Paul filibustered the Senate for an entire day on the constitutionality of drone strikes in an attempt to stop a Democratic administration from violating civil liberties. Explain to me how it is that the American people bailed out the financial sector after recession hit and, four and a half years later, the Dow Jones is setting records while 95% of the country remains trapped in a cycle of debt peonage through student loans, chronic unemployment and piss-poor wages?

Your Choice

Your Choice

At this point, the differences between Democrats and Republicans are like the differences between Pepsi and Coke. Yeah, you might be able to tell the difference between them in a blind taste test and, yeah, you might state a preference for one or the other, but in the end they’re both just cola. The Democratic Party is taking us the same damn place The Republican Party is, except with the Dems we just get there a little slower. Don’t believe me? Bill Clinton’s welfare reform act in 1996 did more lasting damage to poor Americans than anything Ronald Reagan did by getting rid of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, which had been around since The New Deal, and replacing it with the startlingly inadequate Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program as part of the “welfare to work” model. Meanwhile, just this week it’s being reported that President Obama’s FY2014 Budget is going to include a chained CPI policy that was originally introduced by Republicans and would cut cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security. To repeat, a Democratic President is going to adopt a Republican Policy in his budget proposal that cuts Social Security. Somewhere in New York state, FDR is rolling over in his grave and chain smoking Camels. And, for any of you jackasses wanting to pull the old, “he’s just being a pragmatist” card so that the Republicans will accept his budget, I don’t find anything terribly pragmatic about throwing elderly Americans under the bus to appease a political party who just had their ass handed to them in the last election. At worst it’s a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people—at the best, it’s just incompetence.

So, if I’ve abandoned the Democratic Party, where is there to go? Honestly, I don’t know and I don’t care. Meaningful change isn’t going to come from inside the political system and it sure as shit isn’t going to come from a mainstream political party. I suppose I could join the Green Party, but after the inability they’ve demonstrated over the past two decades to mobilize anything like a coherent base of support I don’t know how productive it would be. At this point, I think the Occupy movement is the best blueprint going forward if for no other reason than the fact it doesn’t accept the irrevocably busted political system. Any progress that happens in my lifetime will come from without and not from within. If you’re waiting for the Democratic Party to step up to the plate and fight big finance and big oil and big pharma, then I hope to hell you brought a lawn chair with you cause it’ll be a while. As for me, I’m going to keep on fighting for people and for causes I believe in. I’m going to to fight for the addicts and the homeless and the outcasts and cast offs and the average man, woman and child who are working themselves ragged just to be able to say they’re getting by. More than anything I’m just going to try and raise hell to make sure that there isn’t a damn soul in this land of plenty who will ever want for the necessities of life. You don’t need a party to do that.

Categories: US Politics

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: