Apr 3, 2017

Democrats: Shape Up or Ship Out

This message should not have to be coming to you from some insignificant nothing in Western Pennsylvania. I am not paid to do this. This is why I donate money to you. You're supposed to keep your eye on the ball for me. And you have taken your eye off of it.

While I sat in a cold office watching as my co-workers were taken into an office, one by one, and told that they no longer had jobs -- as I waited for my own time to come to be taken into that office, which thankfully, in this round, did not -- my attention kept slipping from my current predicament to the state of the world and, by extension, the state of the Democratic Party, which is something I shouldn't have to be worried about at such a moment.

You're probably thinking right now that I'm pissed off at The Man, and that I'm upset that you didn't protect me and my co-workers from The Man. You're wrong; that's not it. My situation, unlike a lot of other people's, wasn't brought upon by greed; my co-workers and I are here because of poor management and a lack of insight into the future. We're here because the people who led us spent so much time trying to stay afloat that they grabbed on to every bit of detritus in the general area while failing to look out for the obstacles they faced upriver.

My company was bogged down because we grasped at the weeds. Weeds don't grow to support; weeds grow to take advantage.

Bernie Sanders is a Weed

Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat. Whether or not you think that is a positive is a matter of view, but my point is that he isn't one. Bernie only ran as a Democrat for media coverage. Again, some of you reading this may think of that as a bonus. If you're looking for an essay that celebrates that, this isn't the one for you. I'm writing this for Democrats.

And Democrats should recognize Bernie Sanders for what he is. And Bernie Sanders is an invasive weed that that needs to be removed from the garden before he causes even more damage to us.

The Weed has Already Done Damage

Blah, blah, blah. Hillary ran a bad campaign. Blah, blah, blah. It really wasn't that bad of a campaign. Mistakes were made, as they are in all campaigns. She shouldn't have spread out to Arizona and Texas. She maybe should've spent more time in WI and MI (though, to be clear, the campaign *did* spend time in both of those states).

And I'm not at this point going to blame Bernie Sanders for her loss. Any number of factors could've gone into it. Hell, she would've won without Comey's intervention; the data makes that obvious.

But Bernie doesn't get a pass. Dragging out the primaries as long as he did, well past his date of expiration, made an impact. Dragging them out whilst still painting Hillary Clinton as the pinnacle of government corruption did even more damage. Bernie's failure to give a full-throated endorsement of her did even more damage. Bernie's sour puss at the convention -- and his unwillingness to help get his delegates in line -- did even more damage. And Bernie's several month absence, even with his half-hearted "don't vote Trump" calls at the end, did nothing to help. His wife's tweet reminding people to not necessarily vote as Bernie told them later did not help.

Bernie did nothing to help us. 

The Democratic Party has always been, for the most part of the last half century, a party of collaboration. It's been a large tent full of ideas. It's been a place where blacks, Latinos, Latinas, women (of all colors), atheists, Muslims, Jews, and whites (even those elusive working-class ones!) who hold similar views of civil rights will come together and do their best not fuck each other over. Sometimes someone does get fucked over, but we make a deal not to fuck the others over regardless -- to protect each other. It's an unwritten pact that we keep.

That pact was broken when people like Sanders and Susan Sarandon told us that our suffering was good for some cause, which apparently is all about free college (that many of us won't ever get to) and something about punishing banks.

Our Revolution, Democratic Socialists of America, and Justice Democrats: Salting the Earth

None of these organizations want to work with Democrats to enact change. If they did, that might be a worthy cause.

But they don't want to work with us. All three of these organizations are aimed at overtaking the Democratic party. They want to push a(n overwhelmingly white) vision of socialism forward without doing the work that it takes to build a party from the ground up. They want to use the existing infrastructure of the Democratic Party to push forth their views.

This has been obvious to everyone who has been on social media for the past year. And the narrative has been pushed by Russian bots. Get ahead of it now.

Don't Be Fucking Idiots

You may think it's savvy to let them in now -- I'm addressing you, Chuck Schumer -- but they will do with all of you what they did with Hillary Clinton. You will all be tarred and feathered as corporate establishment whores. They've already started in on Cory Booker just for not backing a nonsensical pharmaceutical bill that was lesser than what he'd signed onto previously. They'll continue to do that. They'll do it to anyone who has decent 2020 prospects. 

And I should add that most Democrats, while you may not have some of Hillary Clinton's baggage, also don't have the 40 years of verifiable social justice work behind you. Almost all of you can be smeared (rightly or wrongly) with banking donations by overzealous populists, but so very few of you have a record like Hillary Clinton's of verifiable social justice work to counter it. That'll make you all the more fucked. You won't be able to win your new 'progressive' friends or your old liberal ones.

Such a shame.

The Enemy of the Enemy: Not Always the Friend

I give you money. Even when I've been at my poorest, I've given you money. A lot of it, because I've believed in you to do the right thing.

The moment you stop protecting my reproductive rights, you get nothing. No money. No volunteering. No support.

And because this is not just about me, you don't get any money or support when you "soften" your views on anything that Our Revolution, DSA, or Justice Democrats derisively term "identity politics."

What they derisively call "identity politics" are civil rights, and they are non-negotiable. 

I'm Serious. We're Serious. 

Civil rights aren't a matter of negotiation as far as our support of the Democratic Party goes. The majority of us have been around the block on this, and we know that submitting our "identity politics" in sacrifice of pure economic advancement gives white dudes happiness and puts the rest of us at a disadvantage.

I, for one, am not going back to a place where I have to live with an abusive, neck-bearded dick in order to not worry about where my next meal is coming from. If I wanted to live in a world like that, I'd have voted for fucking Trump.

Bernie Fucking Lost. Bigly.

Bernie Sanders lost by 4 million votes. It wasn't even close. This wasn't like '08 where Obama had clearly won in delegates but Hillary was hella-close in the popular vote. (And where she, y'know, did 100+ events to get him elected.)

Bernie lost. Handily. He fucking lost.

You're trying to sell out your goddamn base to a guy who lost the primary by 4 million votes just because his voters were louder than Hillary's.


In Conclusion

Yinz haven't thought this through nearly as hard as I have. I can tell, because you put someone who hates Democrats in charge of Democratic outreach.

Ignore, for a moment, all those New York Times articles on Trump voters. Actually, y'know what? Think about those articles.

Four years from now, those voters you're trying to reach -- the ones who, let's be clear, voted for Trump because they don't like brown people -- will realize they've been fucked and will move towards you as long as your arms are out. You don't have to do anything special; you just have to wait and say, "I will try to help you."

Once a quarter of white people in Appalachia realize they have just as little shit as black people in Detroit or Cleveland do, they're ripe for the picking. And they will realize that soon enough.

You don't have to do anything special for that. You don't have to give up civil rights for that. You just wait until the tipping point, and then you exploit.

These are just my views as a lowly peon who lives in Western Pennsylvania and may not even be employed in a month. But I hope a few people will read it, do some research, and take heed, because I don't think I am entirely off base here.


  1. Bernie is like the guest you invite into your home who trashes the place, eats all your food, refuses to leave after MONTHS,and then complains about the accommodations. When folks in Pennsylavania like you and folks in Minnesota like me can see this, but the folks running the Democratic party just keep fluffing Bernie no matter what he says or does, something is pretty effed up.

  2. Bernie is like the guest you invite into your home who trashes the place, eats all your food, refuses to leave after MONTHS,and then complains about the accommodations. When folks in Pennsylavania like you and folks in Minnesota like me can see this, but the folks running the Democratic party just keep fluffing Bernie no matter what he says or does, something is pretty effed up.