Democrats: Electorate Unheeded, Lessons Unlearned

by Lorna Salzman (December 2016)

There is no good side to European mass immigration unless you truly believe that there is no such thing as culture, or that culture should be sacrificed for “higher” goals, defined not by citizens but their leaders. The religion of Islam long ago settled this question through its principle of religious unity across the world, in which the concept of nationalism or any other identity has been erased in favor of the umma, i.e. the unity of all Muslims through their religion. This is of course identical to the international left that arose from communism, in which the working class was seen as the international unifying entity, superseding national, ethnic or religious identities.

Any deviation no matter how trivial was suppressed or shunned, most notably in the case of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. The nine-man directorate that prevailed over Somoza were, US propaganda to the contrary not withstanding, not communists, and the Nicaraguan communists refused to support the revolution. The directorate members evinced various degrees of socialism, with the present president Daniel Ortega the most rigid Marxist of them all, along with Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, one of two Catholic priests in the directorate and later a representative to the UN. Most if not all of the rest were democratic socialists who did not see nationalism or populism as a threat to their objectives or principles. 

One of the rotten legacies of this class identity was the American left's defection from electoral politics and identification only with a party whose sole interest was in promoting universal proletarianism, which is why so many American leftists were quite happy with one-party rule in the Soviet Union. This is what lies behind the non-involvement of socialists in the U.S. in national elections. The excuse that these were irretrievably corrupt and that election of new fresh representatives made no difference in policy does not hide the real motivation. Socialists will readily tell you that mass movements and mass organizing across all sectors, pressure groups, street theater, demonstrations and resistance are the only forces that bring change. The Democratic Socialists of America still hold this view. They disdain electoral politics, certain of the efficacy and necessity of their convictions. One wonders whether this attitude played a role in the election of Trump.

Right now the American left, if there is such a thing at all, is beating the drum of white “racism” and “white privilege,” alongside American liberals who are convinced that the bigotry and ignorance of the white working class elected Trump rather than their economic decline under neoliberal and globalist policies developed and fine-tuned by the Democrats. This would seem to be a contradiction of classic socialist policy that supposedly identifies with workers. But it is a useful fiction if one wants to discredit the whole political system and suck in white liberals. 

The final blow to Democratic Party credibility is the possible selection of Muslim congressman Keith Ellison as the party’s chairman, which shows the desperate attempt of liberals to disprove any charges of Islamophobia. All it shows is incredible naiveté about the party image and how its leadership will be perceived. One can hardly have confidence in the party’s commitment to the Constitution and freedom of speech if it promotes someone of a faith that repeatedly denounces our basic freedoms. But ironically Ellison could lose: not because of his religion but because he is being pushed by Bernie Sanders and thus considered too far left for the party. 

We will continue to hear and read from all varieties of pundits about why the Democrats lost the election, most of them in agreement about the failed globalist neo-liberalism that Clinton represented. But this general point needs to be made: Democrats truly believed that their moral superiority and focus on social justice issues would carry the day with their liberal constituents, minorities and independents alike. The Democrats had of course good reason to believe this, because these arguments had carried the day in previous elections when the Republican candidate was always unattractive, thus enabling Democrats to win with their weakest cards rather than their strongest; after all, why stick your neck out to the left when you can always rely on the threat of a conservative Supreme Court to drive voters into your court? 

Now their usual gamble has lost them the election as well as the trust of half of the electorate, of whom Democrats and independents constitute a large number. Whether their faith in the Republicans will endure is as open a question as whether the Democrats have learned their lesson. But as the late Walter Karp pointed out in his book Indispensable Enemies, political parties’ top priority is keeping control of the party, not winning the election. That’s why they squashed Ralph Nader and  Bernie Sanders to make sure that their millions of followers were kept out. Their party is intact - but powerless, and may remain so for decades.

Now the pundits have moved their sights to Europe to bash anti-immigration forces, where right-wing and conservative movements and parties have quite predictably moved into the space vacated by liberals and the left who have long ignored genuine socio-political grievances and met them with accusations of racism and xenophobia. Anyone reading the American and European liberal media will be witness to fear-mongering about the evil anti-Semitic nationalist and populist movements and parties who are waiting in the wings to establish a new National Socialism. George Soros and his Open Society Foundation (funder of the Center for American Progress) are the leading facilitators of this myth. And once again the liberals will denigrate any kind of national or cultural pride and identity as precursors to neo-fascism.

You can’t blame the neo-liberal elites; it is their ox being gored and they are scared out of their wits because the peoples’ “my way” is throwing them out onto “the highway.” And the same is true in Europe, where Merkelism and suicidal “humanitarianism” are smothering legitimate grievances and opening the way for the disintegration first of the euro and then of the EU. The old Europe manifested a truly valuable multiculturalism worthy of being called a civilization. With luck it can be restored. 




Lorna Salzman's career as an environmental activist and writer began when the late David Brower hired her to be the regional representative of Friends of the Earth in NYC. Later she worked as an editor on National Audubon's American Birds magazine and as director of Food & Water, an early opponent of food irradiation, and then spent three years as a natural resource specialist in the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection. She co-founded the New York Green Party in 1984 and in 2004 she sought the U.S. Green Party's presidential nomination. She is the author of “Politics as if Evolution Mattered,” which addresses the intersection of evolution with socio-political policy. 


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