The 2016 Democratic Party Platform is second to none. The Democratic Party's moral and economic values codified in that document is supported by the vast majority of Americans whether Democrat, Republican or otherwise. Accepting those two statements as true at the same time that Democrats are losing on both a state level and nationally in the aggregate must be attributed directly to the leadership of the Democratic Party, its inability to connect its platform to enough Americans.
To be clear, most of these leaders are not bad or even ill-intentioned. They have just become comfortable with a status quo. They continue to live in a reality that no longer exists. Many are oblivious to the success of the project to systematically hold the masses in check just when the liberalization of America was beginning to bear fruit.
Many in the current crop of the Democratic leadership did not understand, did not know, or were willfully ignorant of the Powell Manifesto. This memo, written by the then Democratic lawyer, and future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, created the structures and path to decimate the middle-class to ensure the supremacy and constancy of the class of Americans that wielded the most capital.
Many millennials and younger Democrats who are living in a society progressively devoid of economic security are not sitting still. They are asking questions. As they see it, the government, we the people instituted policies that elevated many into the middle-class and beyond. The country justifiably rewarded veterans with a generous G.I. Bill. States invested in schools, colleges, and Universities which made an education attainable and affordable for all.
The Democratic Leadership that emanated from the crop of baby boomers and Gen-Xers fell for one of the biggest cons in American history as the realization of a more equitable society was taking hold. Ronald Reagan won by making promises that were virtually unfulfilled. He allowed the codification of selfishness and short term thinking that glorified a false individualism that merited the spoils of their labor even though it was the society that provided the wherewithal for their successes. Many supported the tax cuts that starved schools, infrastructure spending and much more. Because the bulk of the tax cuts went to those with an over supply of means, their low marginal propensity to consume created a less robust economy than had these cuts remain for immediate circulation. These reductions were partially responsible for the decimation of the middle-class and the exacerbation of the poor's misery.
Bill Clinton's move rightward with his method of triangulation, the cauterization of Democrats as Republican Lite, all but sealed the deal. Democrats and Republicans alike resisted Obama's attempt to turn the juggernaut. One expected that from Republicans but not from a party in full control of the government. This reality ensured legislation would continue its rightward bias. In other words, the only passable legislations are those that ensured the corporatist class could make ever increasing profits by the wealth transfer from the masses. Even Obamacare was based on policies dictated by the Heritage Foundation, based on a failed market model used by no country in the industrialized world.
Young Progressives decided to do something about it. They attempted to create a movement with Occupy but for various reasons, some out of inexperience and some directly attributed to sabotage by the state, it was only marginally successful in the long run. The Our Revolution Movement, which had the genesis in the Bernie Sanders campaign once again invigorated the youth and a substantial portion of Progressives of all stripes. Unfortunately, roadblocks to these Progressives continue by the old guard. Many don't admit it. In fact, they get defensive or sometimes belligerent of that accusation. In fact, they react to the understandable frustration of these Progressives who sometimes behave with less than civil behavior, as justification for their attacks. One should note that irrespective of culture, creed, religion, race, ideology, or anything in between, the suppressed have similar reactions.
A dear friend of mine, Cody Pogue, wrote a Facebook post that should incense every true Progressive. It is something that I have heard occurring throughout the country, but this one touched home. It affects my county, Harris County directly.
I blogged his entire Facebook post here. Please read it in its entirety. But in short, Cody Pogue has been a community activist for some time. He is a professor. Cody makes sure his young students are civically and politically engaged. He knows Texas and American history like few know it. But most importantly he is an organizer.
Pogue encourages young people to run for office, from county offices to state and federal positions. But he leads by example. Cody ran for state representative, using his campaign as the perfect example of political engagement. He block walked, phone banked, and worked many a campaign, not just his own. He was a lead organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Cody applied to take over his precinct chair which was empty for years. The application is usually a simple deal. It is unheard of that a former Democratic candidate would get denied the opportunity to serve as a precinct chair. Cody, however, did not fit the profile. He is a Progressive who wants material change, not incremental change that is failing most Americans and is causing a loss of faith in the Democratic Party. Moreover, he built a successful movement for real Progressive values locally as he supported Bernie Sanders.
While Cody Pogue intends to continue working aggressively for the Democratic Party, the sour taste is neither forgotten nor gone unnoticed by thousands locally. This fiasco is a dereliction of duty in the Harris County Democratic Leadership. But it isn't just a local failure. This behavior permeates the party.
The Democratic Party is not an owned entity. It is a democratically organized group of people with shared Progressive values to support the middle-class, to support families, to support working people. When the current leadership fails in that mission, then the party will die a slow painful death, or it will be reborn from the direction of young Progressive activist Democrats like Cody Pogue and many others who are fighting for the party's survival.
If you believe in the mission of the Democratic Party, if you are a Progressive or think it is time for a change, if you want to win again, then we must not continue the insanity. Remember doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insane. How many more years of frustration are you willing to endure? It is time for a complete leadership change throughout the Democratic Party. Those in power should cede it by being mentors to new blood instead of their attempt to remain in power at all cost. It is not about the individual. It is all about us all. It is all about making America what it can be for us all. We must have a complete Democratic Party leadership change now lest we lose subsequent generations.