The last time our country was governable was in 2009 and 2010. Democrats had a supermajority in the Senate and a substantial lead in the House of Representatives. During those two years, President Obama got more accomplished than any President since FDR. In fact, the policies passed during those two years are responsible for all economic progress, however anemic, under President Obama.
President Obama was unable to enact any substantial policies after that. Why? -- because Republicans took over the House and subsequently the Senate. Gridlock is dysfunctional.
Republicans had an agenda based on the debunked tenets of austerity exposed by a 28-year-old grad student. An Ayn Randian sect who did not mind lying to their constituents in their attempt to pass policies beneficial solely to their wealthy benefactors led them. In doing so, they ensured an economy that grew at the slowest rate of any recovery since WWII. Of course, it is also the longest sustained recovery ever. Even so, most Americans are not partaking of this continued economic growth.
Americans, especially millennials are fed up with political parties. When Democrats had their supermajority, they had the ability to pass legislation in a manner that would have insulated them from Republican misinformation.
In 2009, the healthcare fight was not between Republicans and Democrats. It was between Progressive Democrats and Corporatist Establishment Democrats.
Had all Democrats worked in the interest of the middle-class and the poor by using their once in a generation political power to pass the only mathematically plausible and affordable health care program, single-payer Medicare for all, Americans would never vote for the false promises of market-based health insurance again.
Had all Democrats told the truth that taxpayer dollars are responsible for most of the R&D for drugs later marketed by pharmaceutical companies at obscenely escalated prices, it would have made it possible to curtail pricing and forced pharmaceutical companies to share their unearned windfall profits with the Treasury. That would have been the fair thing to do.
Had Democrats instituted pay-it-forward tuition-free college, they would have owned the young vote. Had Democrats established a national daycare plan that allowed all who wanted to work the opportunity to do so, they would have possessed the votes of those who wanted children.
One could go on and on. Just if. These are all benefits that poll over 50% irrespective of party or ideology. Of course, these policies won't garner support from those extracting their unfair share of wealth from the excess labor of the vast majority of Americans. They would have Americans believe that they are begging for free stuff. They are takers.
Here is the reality, those who reap excess profits at the expense of a society that is humane are in fact the takers. Their excess profits are your income and wealth deficits.
Our learning institutions do not teach basic courses in economics that allow them the ability to discern the real reasons for the collapse of the middle-class as the masses march on to virtual indentured servitude. Our schools no longer teach civics. Why? -- because an informed population would not donate their labor and intellect in a manner that only benefits their employer, the wealthy, the few.
As we affected progressive policies in the sixties and seventies, the American plutocracy had to act to arrest the enlightenment of the masses. That action came in the form of the Powell Manifesto. That single document was the road map to institutions of misinformation and the dumbing down of America.
But one should not despair. The stars are aligning for a Progressive renaissance. We all knew that Donald Trump was lying to his followers. However, his construction of a coalition seemingly based on populist tenets, read liberal principles is probative.
The goal of our plutocracy is not to satisfy the masses. Their intent is to restructure government to allow a permanent governing minority. Gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and a friendly judiciary are their building blocks for their new form of governing.
But it isn't a reality yet. And Trump is not making it any easier. Progressives do not have much time. That time is now.
Americans know their political system is in shambles. Enough took a chance on Trump. I must digress here. Many want to put Trump's win on Russia. Assuming that Russia did not hack voter machines, everything Russia did to help Trump win, could have been done by Trump with the money he would have had available to him. Hillary Clinton spent much more per vote than did Trump in the aggregate. The problem is evident. Democrats simply lost the support of too many even though they have a platform backed by the vast majority of Americans.
Several Progressive organizations have decided to get involved. Some are teaching civic engagement. Some are policy specific (e.g., Physicians for a National Health Program). Some are even running candidates (e.g., Brand New Congress, Our Revolution, People's House Project).
Just like today's doctors attack viruses with several different medicines at once to prevent mutations from rendering drug therapies moot, so must Progressives attack the virus that is the compounding effects of the Powell Manifesto. The stars are aligning. If Progressives do not take hold now, they are unlikely to get another opportunity before some revolution sets in as the despair of the masses multiply.
All peace loving Progressives must activate. We are at the tipping point.
Also published on Medium.