|Hillary Clinton in December after giving a speech on the problem of fake news. Because there's no time in her schedule these days to focus on things like the political ineptitude of the current Democratic Party.|
What upsets me the most about the benefactors of the current political and economic system is not that they support environmental, economic, and social exploitation. It's the fact that they deny their support for these things. If someone is poor, the elites figure, it's not because they've been denied the path to success by an economic system that's massively slanted to benefit the already successful-it's always because they've made bad choices. If the planet is becoming ecologically crippled, it's not because of environmentally destructive actions on the part of corporations-it's because the interests of the natural world aren't as important as business interests. If large portions of the electorate are rendered unable to vote by archaic voter ID laws and limited opportunities for coming to the polls, it's not because they're the victims of an electoral process designed to shut out poor people and minorities-it's because these groups haven't earned their right to vote or are too lazy to vote.
So it's no surprise that when those who don't hold this worldview tried to gain control of the political system last year with the Bernie Sanders campaign, the same people who believe the things above didn't acknowledge that the process was massively rigged against us. A corporate media blackout on Sanders' campaign, a Hillary Clinton-helping debate schedule, a grossly unfair Nevada Democratic caucus, a disgustingly Clinton-slanted Nevada Democratic State Convention, closed primaries in eleven states, and widespread instances of voter suppression and electoral fraud in Iowa, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Michigan, Missouri, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico, and California didn't mean a thing to Clinton's supporters. All claims of bias in the primary process from Sanders supporters have been met by establishment Democrats with denial, or at the very least significant downplaying, and accusations of us being sore losers.
Get over it, the Clintonists have said time after time. We rigged the contest fair and square, and we and our friends in the corporate media are never going to admit it, so you might as well accept the falsehood that you're in the minority and unite behind us.
Now, of course, the tables have been turned. The Democratic establishment's political viability has been utterly repudiated with Clinton's coming-from-in-front loss to Trump last year, and it's now an undeniable reality that corporatist "liberalism" is not supported by the vast majority of the American people. Except the corporatist liberals are denying it.
The excuses that Hillary Clinton supporters have come up with for their candidate's loss are almost completely without basis and often sound far fetched in and of themselves. The notion that the Russian government "hacked" the election by providing Wikileaks with the DNC emails is backed up by no real evidence and is very likely no more than a tool for the McCarthyite campaign that Democrats have been running. The grievances about an online epidemic of fake news having hurt Clinton's reputation with false scandals would no doubt be unnecessary if Clinton hadn't made herself a vulnerable target for such attacks, baseless or not, by having recently provoked an FBI criminal investigation. The case for James Comey's actions right before the election having swung it for Trump is very hard to make. The claim that third party voters tipped the election is simply not supported by the numbers. And as for the assertion that Bernie Sanders is responsible for Clinton's loss...well, there's a reason most of even the most ardent Clinton apologists don't seem to believe that.
And establishment Democrats' denial has naturally included a baseless view that most support their political brand in addition to their claims about the election being rigged against them. In December, Nancy Pelosi infamously said that she doesn't think Democrats want a new direction, in spite of the fact that 46% of Democrats do not feel represented by either party. And that number would doubtless be well above 50% if it were to include the tens of millions of people who have left the Democratic Party since the days of false hope and change in 2008.
Corporate Democratic congressman Adam Schiff said in January in regards to the Democrats' relationship with the electorate: "Did we lose because we were too far to the left and we had too small a tent, or did we lose because we are too mainstream and didn’t energize the base?" This was in contradiction to the fact that the left's tent makes up the vast majority of the American population, meaning what he considers to be "mainstream" is anything but.
And perhaps most absurdly in this collection of elitist fantasies is the claim from neoliberal Democrat Al From that economic populism based on promises of increased governmental intervention can't be effective because "Too many in the forgotten middle-class have already lost faith in government’s ability to help them." By that logic, we should simply ignore the wishes of the 86% of Americans who think government should do more to fight poverty because they know the government is currently too corrupted by corporate and billionaire interests to be able to do so.
It isn't 1992 anymore, and every aspect of the political landscape is hostile towards the old "Third Way" Democratic brand. And yet its supporters continue to cling to the belief that it remains robust, and that the Democrats' staggering losses throughout these last eight years are due to anyone but themselves. This is what being a sore loser looks like. This is what turning to conspiracy theories when one doesn't get their way looks like. This is what being naive looks like. The elegant irony of the situation is that everything the Clintonists accused the Sandersists of being last year, the Clintonists themselves are now perfectly exhibiting.
So as establishment Democrats continue to chastise Sanders supporters for not overlooking the fact that last year's primaries were enormously tilted towards one candidate (the latest attempt to bury what happened is a piece titled Shame On Bernie Supporters Who Claim The Primary Was Rigged), I'd like to do a little chastising of my own for something that's in this case legitimate. I'm calling out all of the old guard Democrats who refuse to accept that their candidate lost fair and square, and thus that their political brand is not accepted by the vast majority of the American people.
The Democratic elites lost because they ran into the battlefield with a political bomb strapped to their chest, and they'll lose again in 2020 if they're allowed to run into the battlefield again with that very same bomb. That's why in the meantime, the Sandersist majority will be working to change the Democratic Party's leadership at every level so that the old guard won't be able to steal the 2020 Democratic primaries from our new candidate. At that point, the system of economic exploitation, environmental destruction, rampant militarism, and violations of the democratic process will quite possibly have come to an end, regardless of whether its defenders believe there's a problem with it.