Politics. On Democracy, and Centrism. 02.13.2020

The party shifted to the center after the single term of President Jimmy Carter. Carter was held to a single term in large part because he was undermined by the apparatus within Government, specifically within the GOP that wanted a figurehead who would read the lines as written, and not get in the way of the machine.
The President they wanted was Ronald Reagan.

George HW Bush wanted too much to lead, and interfere in the desires of those who controlled the party and the party didn’t like that, so he was held to one term.

George W Bush returned the GOP to a Presidency in which he just read the lines and signed the bills, while the apparatus behind the scenes ran the machine, promoted the wars, and subverted the policy to enrich the few.

The Democratic Party then decided it needed money to fight this, it needed the resources of Corporate America and to gain those resources, there would be a cost.
The Centrist wing of the party coalesced behind that idea, and the policy of Centrist Democracy in large part led by Bill Clinton took hold.
Unions were abandoned or pushed back on the priority list.
Donations accepted from banks, hospital corporations, pharmaceutical companies, heath insurance companies, real estate developers, and private prison companies, technology companies and the news and entertainment industries and the parties’ platform adjusted to accommodate their new “friends.”
Obama was more or less a Centrist as well, and believed that corporations needed to continue to be part of the solution, even as they lobbied behind his back, undermined his plans, took all the aid he had to offer and as quickly as they could, made sure most of it wound up in the hands of the wealthy.
Wealthy people tend to stay wealthy because they can’t seem to let go of money once they have hold of it.
There are drawbacks to being a Centrist.
The center of the political spectrum is not a fixed point, and the GOP discovered it can easily be moved to their benefit by pushing forward a few extremists to scream and yell, and in order to appear moderate, the Centrists adjust their position.
Since there was nobody being listened to on the Left as the center chased the money, the party was dragged to the Right, and the Left and eventually the Left-Center voices ignored as the Democratic party became “Republican Light.”
The Democratic Party ignored the Unions, went along with “Right to Work” bills, took the caps off interest rates which allowed the lenders with fees and penalties to almost double the profits on credit card debt, made renegotiating or going bankrupt on student loans nearly impossible and started reducing the amounts available on Pell Grants and were OK with the cost of education ever climbing.
We voted along with school choice bills which undermined public education funding.
We went along with crimes bills and OK’d 3-strikes sentencing guidelines, and harsher sentencing for crack cocaine.
Now, as we look back at the effects of going along with the Center of the Party, about half of the country feels abandoned by both parties since they no longer serve the people. They serve their donors and ignore the needs of the people.
The Democratic Party needs to return to its platform that serves the people.
We need stronger Unions, and it needs to be easier to form Unions.
Right to Work laws need to be repealed. It needs to be difficult for an employer to fire someone without just cause, and employees need not be at the mercy of their employers anymore.
It needs to be clear that the most valued part of a company is not its shareholders, its board, or its executives.
The most valuable part of a company is its labor. You can’t make anything, keep track of the receipts, or serve your customers without it.
It also needs to be realized that your employees do not dream of your success. They do not and should not devote their lives to the job and you as a corporate leader cannot expect that from your labor. They are there to do a job. If you have a dream that you need labor to fulfill, you need to be able to pay the people who work for you enough so they can take care of themselves, including having money left over for their dreams to be fulfilled.
We need a social safety net in this country.

When our country was at its strongest, these ideals were in place.

Technology will displace people and there needs to be care taken of folks who are left behind. We can’t just abandon people, or expect them to incur huge debt retraining for the new economy, because frankly, some folks can’t be expected to be constantly in school. Some folks are not suited for that. There needs to be a safety net to catch people and right now we don’t have one. Not really. Its been cut away and borrowed against by both sides of the political spectrum to the point now that its a very real possibility for those paying Social Security taxes that there will be no payout for them when they come of age to need it.
Businesses and the wealthy, despite their desire to cling to their wealth need to be encouraged to pay taxes as a part of being good citizens, and to try if possible to keep labor here in the US, and to allow other countries to use their labor to grow their nations, instead of the constant chase to the bottom, to find labor at its cheapest price so that goods can be exported into the US market, and profits off-shored to tax havens to be hoarded. 
Where we are now, the wealthy hoard their wealth. The middle classes are squeezed by expenses and have no money to pursue their dreams. The poor are so exhausted from scrambling from job to piece of a job, they are neglecting their health and well being to survive, in the vain hope that if they work harder, someday they won’t have to, and then injury and old age comes along with the reality of that lie.
We need to reverse course from where we are now and return to what the Democratic Party used to be if we want this country to survive.


About gojohnego

Avid foodie and kitchen tinkerer, artist, news junky and political wonk, musician, blogger, naturist, dog-daddy, and owner of a kinky play-space. ...and did I mention I'm single ;)
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