|U.S. Senator George McGovern & The McGovernites|
Campaign For America's Future: Opinion: Robert Borosage: Should Populists Declare Victory?
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Just to start this post off I need to give a brief history lesson and then you'll see why I'm doing this at the end of the post. But Democrats who are called McGovernites for backing Senator George McGovern for President in 1972 who were the Occupy Wall Street pre-social media in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and even 1990s when they were finally out of power in the Democratic Leadership, ran the Democratic Party at least as far as the amount of influence that they had over it in the 1970s and 80s.
What is a McGovernite? The same thing that an Occupier would be today. Ideologically a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist depending on which term you use. Senator Bernie Sanders someone as far to the left as him or the Progressive Caucus in the U.S. House. A welfare stater redistributionist economically who believes in a large centralized welfare state economically that is financed through high taxes. "That if you really limit economic freedom and have government decide the amount of money the people need, then you won't have rich people or poor people because everybody will be equal. Equality of outcomes in other words.
McGovernites believe that people shouldn't have to work to take care of themselves economically if they choose not to. They believe in a soft isolationist foreign and national security policy and tend to be pacifist at least when it comes to government use of force. And believe in a soft law enforcement policy as well that society and one's environment should be taken into factor and even blamed instead of individuals when they commit crimes. And today a McGovernite believes that private media power can't be trusted and that government should step in to make sure that people get the news and information that they need. And that Freedom of Speech doesn't give people the right to offend.
McGovernites would be very mainstream in Europe and perhaps even center-left. But in America they look like the Green Party or Democratic Socialist Party and no offense, perhaps even the Communist Party. That they don't look like center-left Democrats. But they are a fairly sizable faction in the Democratic Party. Not as large as the Christian Right in the Republican Party, but large enough to be heard and even to a certain extent taken seriously by the Democratic Leadership which does tend to be center-left. And when they are organized and united can be a real force in American politics.
Pre-1990-91 and perhaps even 1988 when the Democratic Party nominated Governor Mike Dukakis for President who was a New Democrat the McGovernites ran the Democratic Party in a lot of ways. When it came to the party platform and how Democrats were seen on the issues. That started changing with Governor Dukakis who wasn't the radical that Vice President George Bush wanted Americans to think he was. And by the time then Governor Bill Clinton runs for President in 1991-92 the New Democrats took over the party especially the leadership.
What is a New Democrat? I'm a New Democrat and this blog is New Democrat as the name says. But we are center-left Liberal Democrats which is what center-left is which is not socialist. We believe in freedom and opportunity as well as responsibility over dependence. A strong but limited national security and foreign policy based on defending our own interests working with our allies which is what Soft Power is about. Fiscal responsibility and limited government. That government can't do everything for everybody which is why opportunity and freedom are so critical. And what government does do it has to do well and those things need to be paid for and affordable.
As you may of guessed New Democrats are Liberals so we are very liberal on social and personal issues. And believe in a great deal of personal choice. Which may make us look like Libertarians, but people who are socially liberal are Liberals as socially liberal may indicate. And now we are in charge of the party because that is where the country is. Not anti-government, but believing that government can't do everything for everybody. Which is why people need to be educated so they have the freedom to make their own decisions.
These are the two competing factions in the Democratic Party right now and will decide where the country and party goes. And the McGovernites are back energized in the Democratic Party, but are now energized and united somewhat behind Senator Bernie Sanders the only self-described Socialist in Congress, but not the only Socialist in Congress which is different. And Senator Elizabeth Warren a self-described Progressive who similar to Senator George McGovern is not as radical as her supporters would like to claim. And the New Democrats will need a solid showing in 2014 and put up a great presidential candidate in 2016 who makes their positions clear and articulates them well who can get elected. Or the McGovernites may takeover the Democratic Party again.