Dems face this harsh reality:
The Dems are currently reduced in the public eye to what both parties really are: competing election winning machines driven not by consistent ideals or policy goals, but by a balancing of the interests and influence of it’s largest contributing constituencies.
The GOP would like to thing they are not only different but distinct. I’m sorry but the two parties are really just the two heads of a push-me-pull-you beast that needs it’s neck snapped.
The Dems alienated their hawk and crypto-fascist wings in the early to mid seventies. Instead of going away, they systematically took over GOP policy and have eventually spawned the Bush Doctrine.
The Neo-Cons rule foreign policy (the former Dem hawks) and the Crypto-Fascists rule the military industrial complex (Carlyle Group was started by and is currently run by a Carter admin official among others). And of course, the Bush family is as East Coast Elite as it gets, despite all the creative mailing addresses. All the Dems have left are the little people who remember to vote their interest, academics, various special interest groups, unions or certain entrenched corporations.
In order to come even close to winning elections under these conditions, they have to deal with king maker types (how else did Lieberman get on the ticket), who then can make the call on who is president, and perhaps more importantly, why…
If the Dems want to win based on the popularity of their ideas, they must break their relationships with the king makers and learn to tell their opponents from their own backsides.
A Parallel Systems Approach seems a decent alternative. Instead of whining about this detail or that detail of how the GOP are ruining our beloved system this way or that (‘I have a better plan’), how about creating a parallel socio/economic system. One country, two systems. Let them ride the current corporatism into it’s own firy doom.
Is there any doubt that Hong Kong has made China more capitalist that China has made the Kong commie? An idea is small, but tremendously hard to kill. We need to provide a functioning alternative and competing system, the way Britain did when it sacrificed Hong Kong.
I suggest the Dems promote investment in expanding the free market areas of the internet (no taxes?!!?) to include many of the soon-to-be de-regulated or privatized industries, and promote the conversion of system users from customers to shareholders. Shareholders can unify and pool power, customers generally cannot. Shareholders reap actual benefits for participating in and promoting commerce. Shareholders vote.
Executed properly, this could extend Clinton era triangulation of the GOP’s economic conservatives and expand the Dem base from the right without sacrificing the traditional Democratic goals of helping and empowering the little guy. Just lose the shabby means of old, not the the ends.
Let’s say that a few million people tried to buy health insurance last year and for the most part each negotiated as an individual. Some did well, some got screwed, some couldn’t afford it. What would the result have been if they had negotiated as a pool? What about Car Insurance? Utilities? Mortgages?
This was often referred to in the last election in terms of health care. Why doesn’t the gov’t leverage it’s buying power? The answer is that it doesn’t want to because it does not represent the interests of it’s human constituents, rather it’s corporate masters. I think that this is true of both parties and that it seems the Dems are bought off cheaper (always seem to get about 40% of a given corporation’s donations).
To save the nation, the status quo doesn’t have to be stopped or better executed. It needs to be replaced entirely: Taken over from the inside by supplying what the push-me-pull-you beast promises but cannot deliver. Provide economic security through BOTH the promotion of business and the promotion of the consumer’s power. At very least the little guy could reap some benefits from the eating of our planet.
In later diaries, I’ll ramble on more about this, but suffice it to say, you can both out-conservative the GOP marketing machine (no taxes! free markets!) while also providing the security net so valued by Dems and their voters. Who goes there first is not up to party leadership. It’s up to us!