The Nation: Opinion: Adolph L. Reed: What Nihilism? A Response to Michelle Goldberg: What is Left of the Far-Left
The Nation: Opinion: Adolph L. Reed: What Nihilism? A Response to Michelle Goldberg
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
In last night's blog about the far-left flank of the Democratic Party I wrote a line something to the effect of "if you don't like the menu at the restaurant, complain to the management to get different choices on the menu or find another place to eat." I use that analogy because social democrats or socialists in the Democratic Party should think about this when it comes to their politics, that if you think current Democrats aren't progressive enough, meaning socialist, then work at recruiting and encouraging the people you do want to run for office or find another party that is more to your ideological liking.
The Democratic Party is run, as I've said many times, by FDR/LBJ Progressives and JFK/Clinton Liberals and they tend to agree on the same things, but Progressives tend to want a more centralized government and a bigger government than Liberals. Liberals tend to want social insurance programs designed to help people get themselves out of poverty and become self-sufficient, whereas Progressives tend to be more interested in subsidizing people while they are in poverty. Both sides tend to agree on things like privacy, personal freedom to a large extent, but Progressives tend to be more paternalistic or prohibitionist in areas they see as dangerous, such as gambling, alcohol, from the past at least, soft drinks, junk food, just to use these as examples.
But Liberals and Progressives tend to agree when it comes to infrastructure, immigration, workers rights, Right to Organize, civil rights, and foreign policy. Both sides tend to be internationalist, from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, with every other Democratic president from that era as well. But then you have these outsiders in the Democratic Party who didn't emerge until the late 1960s or so who are real socialists or social democrats and not just anti-corporate but anti-business in many cases and even anti-for profit as well and have been looking for an alternative to capitalism. Even that doesn't go quite as far as a Marxist state ownership of the economy, but to more power for workers.
They are also anti-military and isolationist as well and even anti-law enforcement, unlike the Liberals and Progressives who run the party, and claim the party is not far enough to the Left for them as it was in the past. This is simply not true unless one cites the late 1960s up until 1985 or so, when the New Democrats took control of the party. However, the Democratic Party has never been that social democratic party where someone like a Dennis Kucinich or a Ralph Nader or a Bernie Sanders would be nominated president or vice president or have much hope of serving in a Democratic administration's cabinet for the most part. The Democratic Party is simply not that far-left party.
So, to go back to my analogy about the restaurant menu, it is time for social democrats to understand that and either stop complaining about their party not being far enough to the Left for their taste and recruit more of their people into the DP to run for office or create a united social democratic party with the far-left fringe of the Democratic Party and combine them with the Greens and Democratic Socialists and Socialist Workers and have their own party that would be able to compete against Democrats and Republicans.