Mule in the Well

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The sentiment in support of someone outside Washington politics is so great that even Hillary Clinton got into the act. At the Democratic candidates' debate in October, she called herself the ultimate outsider--because she's a woman. It is a disgraceful fact of U. But Clinton is no outsider. As Secretary of State, U. In fact, she's counting on her insider status to ensure that she wins the Democratic nomination this time around.

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Obama, who also claimed the "outsider" label when he ran for president, was elected on a wave of hope that he would transform Washington politics after eight long years of the Bush administration's imperialist wars and giveaways to Corporate America. But for the vast majority of working people, the Obama administration didn't deliver. Corporate America enjoyed a strong recovery from the recession of on the strength of increasing workers' productivity, while workers' wages and living standards declined.

The betrayals were particularly punishing for Black America, which has also endured a spreading epidemic of police violence--with precious few answers coming from the administration of the first Black president. But we don't need an "outsider" inside the Democratic Party--we don't need a political "independent" who has promised not to be a genuinely independent "spoiler.

The real obstacle to getting the issues that working people care about on the table during election season--much less acted on afterward--is a political system limited to two parties dominated by the same ruling elite. Thread info Bookmark this thread Trash this thread. Always highlight: 10 newest replies Replies posted after I mark a forum. Also from the article:. Weren't Carter and Bill Clinton outsiders? I forget, did the party crush them? I would not define a Democratic Governor as an outsider.

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They both ran as Washington outsiders, didn't they? But William Clinton was especially good at framing issues. Good read I generally agree with your analysis of the Green Party. You say My writing "and it has never been tried" refers to Hartmann's. This is a site for the Democratic Party Reading from your citation:.

I honestly believe the Democratic base is going to dump Hillary big time for Bernie. Do you feel that the big money will follow? Perhaps, but Bernie may very well refuse it! More often than not, however, simply threatening voters with the prospect of a Republican in the White House is enough to keep most loyal Democratic voters from going astray--and is shaping up to be one of those kinds of years, as the stable of Republican contenders proves to be more frightening every day.

Bernie Sanders deserves credit for putting issues like class inequality and ecological devastation at the forefront of political discussion.

The popularity of his campaign exposes the huge gap between mainstream politics in the U. A comparison of recent opinion polls showing what people think about socialism seems to illustrate the impact of a socialist getting the national spotlight. In May, when the pollster YouGov asked what people thought about socialism and capitalism, the Democrats surveyed favored the two systems about equally: 43 percent each.

In October, YouGov asked the same question, and socialism was winning out among Democrats by 49 to 37 percent. Would you? Considering that the latter two have never worked outside of government that claim of outsider status is interesting. Disagree about the Greens and Stein though and have been having that discussion elsewhere with a few Green Party supporters. They get the problem with capitalism but the Green Party is not the answer.

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Most leftists are not buying what the Green Party is selling - any more than the reformist platitudes and lip-service the Democrats are selling - as end-game solutions. Look under the veil of their platform of "eco-socialism" Green Capitalism?

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More of the same "reforms" wrapped in a different package. The Greens in NO WAY challenge the idea of the existence of a ruling class of private ownership of the means of production. Stein's platform is geared to individual lifestyle activism rather than working class solidarity in the trenches. The Green Party platform is more of the same "reformism" that doesn't address the rotten foundations of capitalism, who controls the means of production, and the existence of a ruling class and wage-slavery.

This is Stein in full glory on many occasions --"Raise the minimum wage, make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. That is not a leftist anti-capitalist platform. She's not interested whatsoever in changing the balance of power in the relationship between labor and capital.

She wants well fed wage slaves and "concessions" from the capitalist system. The bottom line of any movement is to fully understand understand that the entire history of capitalism moves in the exact opposite direction of giving even minimal "concessions" and crumbs and those coming with massive pressure from leftism movements on the ground. How can a movement force change when the starting point of demands and negotiation are simple reforms? The answer is it can't.

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We need a REAL leftist political and working class movement in which a REAL party of labor eventually forms from under that umbrella and takes control. Upper middle-class "leftists" and disaffected suburbanites who want to "change the world" - at the ballot box alone - without collective class struggle are a dime a dozen.

This is the real call to action of leftists. But I agree with Thomm Hartmanns view that, in what is essentially a two party system, it would be better for leftists and progressives to work to change the Democratic Party. And that has never been tried. In a Parliamentary system, there generally are more than two parties, but even in Canada, with 5 declared parties, only 3 generate consistent support on a Federal level.

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If we did have, as you well put, "a REAL leftist political and working class movement in which a REAL party of labor eventually forms from under that umbrella and takes control", that movement could pressure and perhaps assure lawmakers in the Democratic Party that offering a real alternative would be a winning strategy. It has been tried forever and it still is with very little results. Has the working class gained an ounce of ground from those efforts to change the Democratic Party from within?

Everything has been compromised by revisionism, reactionaries, and rank opportunists. Trying to advance Socialism while working within the capitalist power structure of the Democratic Party is a very strange idea considering the party is totally beholden to private capital at all levels. The Democratic Party is what it is You might find this an interesting read in the spirit of your OP. It's old but still relevant. My writing "and it has never been tried" refers to Hartmann's suggestion that people run for Party positions all over the country and change from within.


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If it were tried, would it work? I have no idea. But given that this country has had a two party system for most of its history, what is the likelihood that there could be a successful third party established on a national level? Part of the problem, in my view, with the change from within strategy is that one would need a critical mass of people who identify as Democrats to force any change.

This mass of people, again, in my view, would have to commit to a sustained campaign of electoral and organizational work. Far too many rely on union activists to do the work, while the mass of the members sit and criticize. It's their turf. Most are honest in that they don't view capitalism as the problem and only tweaks are needed. From a leftist perspective though That is not a leftist anti-capitalist platform. She's not interested whatsoever in changing the balance of power in the relationship between labor and capital.

She wants well fed wage slaves and "concessions" from the capitalist system. The bottom line of any movement is to fully understand understand that the entire history of capitalism moves in the exact opposite direction of giving even minimal "concessions" and crumbs and those coming with massive pressure from leftism movements on the ground. How can a movement force change when the starting point of demands and negotiation are simple reforms? The answer is it can't.