Cross posted @ DKos.
I saw this Jim Hightower piece on AlterNet and thought this community would like it. It says it all as far as I’m concerned
I think Hightower puts his finger on the entire point: what’s the use of a Democratic Party if it doesn’t speak for the poor and middle class.
Here’s some Jim after the fold. (How can I put quoted passages in those cool boxes I see in other posts? Quotation marks don’t set them off as well)
sww92498’s diary :: ::
“So, Santa, bring me no stuff. Instead, the one and only thing I want is this: A REAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ALIVE AND KICKING!”
“Santa, a lot of people are drawing up lists of issues and tinkering with language to clarify what the Democratic party should be for. That’s good, but I think there’s another, more important starting point: First, send me a party that knows WHO it is for.
“Everyone” is not an answer. As we’ve learned from recent experience, a party can’t be “for” working families if it doesn’t have the guts to declare war on the corporate thieves who’re stealing the middle-class possibilities of those families. It can’t be “for” the poor if it constantly caves in to the wishes of the bankers, Wal-Marters, developers and others who keep running over the poor. It can’t be for small farmers if it lacks the stomach to confront the middleman giants that are squeezing the life out of those farm families. A party has to choose sides.
My wish is for a Democratic party that chooses to reconnect with its populist roots, recognizing that its only real reason for existence is to be the unabashed, unequivocal, unrelenting representative of its core populist constituency, including America’s working stiffs, the middle class (this means the 60% of the country who have incomes of less than $55,000 a year), the poor (a fast-growing constituency, unfortunately), small farmers and local business, old folks and children, grunts and veterans, and proponents of clean air and water.
Corporations and the millionaire class already have a party — and notice that it is relentless in its devotion to their interests, including the open raid the GOP is presently making on our public treasury to grab another $146 billion for tax giveaways, 97% of which will go to the wealthiest 4% of Americans (more than half goes to the richest one-tenth of one percent). These fortunate few are doing fine; they don’t need another party’s help.
But the great majority of people whose incomes are not even keeping up with inflation, the families working three or more jobs trying to stay afloat, the folks who actually feel the squeeze of ripoff gasoline and heating prices, the young people who see college education priced beyond their reach while also seeing their middle-class opportunities being callously offshored to China and India, the growing number of families with either no health coverage or practically useless coverage — these and so many more desperately need a party that is wholly theirs, not owned or leased by the monied elites.
It’s reported that Democratic congressional leaders are scrambling to come up with a message and slogan to spiff up the party’s image for next year’s elections — sort of like a corporate branding campaign. House leaders tried this last year with the clarion call “New Partnership for America’s Future.” You saw how well that worked out. Instead of turning to PR firms, how about just saying something genuine that’ll go straight to the heart of the populist base, which now feels politically homeless? Here’s my entry, free of charge: “WE’RE ON YOUR SIDE.”
I don’t think Hightower will find his champions in Congress, at least not very many; but he’ll find them here at DKos, or at MoveOn.org and a few other places. It’s up to us to get this true message of the Democratic Party out to all those who have given up on our Party, who think our Party is weak or irrelevant, and reestablish the trust that our Party can deliver for the poor and middle class.
Personally I would to do all this under the slogan FUCK THE RICH, but hey, that’s only one opinion.