Past time for the Democratic Party to walk and chew gum at the same time

As Billy Joel rather cornily announced in 1989, we didn’t start the fire. (And I’d add that our fire today, compared to past conflagrations, is, at best, just a tiny brush fire.)

To us denizens of the United States of Amnesia (as Gore Vidal called us), it’s shocking that Vice President-elect Mike Pence* should be booed by the audience and spoken to by one of the performers at a performance of the popular Broadway musical Hamilton before he even has taken office.

Hey, when Abraham Lincoln went to the theater (no, I’m not comparing piece of shit Pence to Lincoln) the outcome was much worse for him

And while we’re witnessing all kinds of anti-Trumpence protests throughout the nation before the fascistic duo even takes over the White House — protests that I wholly support, condone and endorse — we should remind ourselves that in between the time that Abraham Lincoln was elected and then inaugurated, seven of the slave states seceded.

While a tiny minority of us Californians led by a politically confused young man have called for us to exit from the United States — a “Calexit,” of course — that very most likely will never happen in my lifetime, so yeah, unlike Lincoln in this and in pretty much every other conceivable way, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump gets to take the White House without any state having seceded before his inauguration.

So the anti-Trumpence protests are important and should continue. If the mostly stupid old white male members of Team Trumpence don’t see this opposition to them on a daily basis, they’ll be even more emboldened to enact their fascist agenda to “make America great again” — “great” again only for them and for their ilk.

My best guess, though, is that like the similarly unelected George W. Bush-Dick Cheney regime did, the unelected Trumpence regime will do whatever it wants to do, regardless of the protests in the streets. That’s the fascist way. Once you don’t care whether or not you even won the popular vote, of course you’re not going to be troubled by the wishes of the majority of the masses later.

This predictable overreach, though, should only shorten the life of the Trumpence regime. I can’t really see Trump, the only individual in U.S. history who became president without first having held some elected office or having served in the U.S. military, having a second term.

While we watch what seems to me the inevitable (or at least probable) implosion of the Trump administration, the Democratic Party needs to continue to reform itself meaningfully.

I support U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison as the new head of the Democratic National Committee. He’s progressive, comparatively youthful, he was one of only a handful of U.S. representatives with the guts, wisdom and foresight to endorse Bernie Sanders instead of the widely despised Billary Clinton, and as the first black American from Minnesota to be elected to the U.S. House and the first Muslim American ever to be elected to the U.S. Congress, I’d say that he knows something about how important it is to stick up for the rights of minorities.

On that note, the battle within the Democratic Party right now seems to be between those who want the party to continue to focus primarily on identity politics and those who want the party to also focus — as Bernie Sanders tried to get the party to do — on socioeconomic matters, especially class and income inequality.

In a nutshell, the Clintonesque Democratic Party, which has been “led” by Bill Clinton, Billary Clinton and Barack Obama, long ago decided to make identity politics its centerpiece.

Why?

Not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they knew that their corporate sugar daddies don’t care so much about identity politics; they care only about money.

Our corporate overlords want our money more than they care about our race or our sex or our sexual orientation or our religion or our national origin or our ethnicity. They don’t just want our consumer dollar; they want to continue to fuck us commoners over in a million ways (such as ensure that tax breaks are given to the super-rich while our schools and infrastructure crumble and our military budget remains the most bloated in all of the world, despoil our environment for obscene profiteering, make students pay for their college education, make Americans pay more and more for their health care, engage in subprime lending, etc., etc.), and they have succeeded, as evidenced by the growing chasm between the rich and the poor, which, per Wikipedia, “has increased significantly since the 1970s after several decades of stability,” and while we Americans like to crow jingoistically that “We’re Number One!”, Wikipedia also notes that “The United States ranks around the 30th percentile in income inequality globally, meaning 70 percent of countries have a more equal income distribution [than does the United States].”

So, again, it has been safe for the sellouts of the Democratic Party establishment to focus on identity politics, since their corporate sugar daddies aren’t going to complain about it; they’re still making mountains of money hand over fist.

Still, though, many if not even most Democrats compliantly stupidly and self-defeatingly focus on identity politics even while socioeconomically they are sheep being led to the slaughter by Democrats who are wolves in sheep’s clothing guarding the hen house.

On the last episode of Bill Maher’s show on HBO, self-identified “liberal redneck” Trae Crowder, a comedian and commentator from Tennessee, tried to make the point that the Democratic Party has neglected poor white Americans and the struggling white American working class (many if not most of whom we might term “rednecks”).

Indeed, had Billary not lost Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, bastions of the white working class — and which together have 48 electoral votes — she’d have won the Electoral College:

Right now Billary stands at 232 electoral votes; 232 plus 48 is 280. (Two hundred seventy electoral votes are required to win the White House.) Right now Trump stands at 290 electoral votes; 290 minus 48 is 242. Michigan is the only state that hasn’t yet officially been called, but even if you add its 16 electoral votes to Trump’s 242 had he lost Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, that would be 258 and so Billary still would have won the Electoral College.

Were the denizens of the Rust Belt states smart to vote for Donald Trump? Very probably not. It’s very probably a huge fucking mistake to believe that a billionaire, whose billions came from fucking over the working class and the middle class, actually cares about the working class and the middle class.

But very apparently the Rust Belt voters weren’t at all confident that Billary Clinton would do anything for them, not substantively, and that’s because they’re probably right that she wouldn’t have. For many years now the Democratic Party establishment has only paid lip service to socioeconomic matters. (No, income inequality in the United States under President Barack Obama hasn’t gone down. In fact, many experts say that it’s worse now than it ever has been.)

Still, for many if not most of those who call themselves Democrats, we’re to ignore income inequality and focus only on identity politics.

For instance, when the aforementioned Trae Crowder on Bill Maher’s show tried to talk about the importance of trying to get economically struggling whites back into the party, black singer John Legend, who also was a guest on the show, shot Crowder down, proclaiming that he’d heard enough about the white working class. (And none of the limousine liberals [who are cowards by definition] on the show would contradict Legend on that, of course, lest they be deemed “racist.”)

Legend’s is a conveniently selfish position to take if you’re a black American, that no white American has any grounds for any complaint at all merely because of his or her whiteness, but the fact remains that more than 60 percent of Americans still are white.

The graph below is still pretty accurate; the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates for the United States’ racial breakdown in 2015, the latest year for which it has made estimates, is 61.6 percent white, 17.6 percent Latino, 13.3 percent black, 5.6 percent Asian, 2.6 percent two or more races, 1.2 percent Native American or Alaskan native, and 0.2 percent Pacific Islander or Hawaiian native.

Image result for graph united states race and ethnicity 2015

I’m not picking on John Legend, who is as adorable as he is demographically and politically misguided, but his racial group makes up only about 13 percent of the American population. Focusing only or primarily on his own relatively small group is not a politically winning strategy. To Legend’s credit, I suppose, on Maher’s show he also mentioned the plight of Latino Americans (although he unfortunately — and perhaps tellingly — referred to them as “Mexican,” while many Latino Americans aren’t of Mexican descent and while “Mexican” means a citizen of Mexico). Mentioning the plight of other racial minority groups is something that many if not most black Americans rarely to never do, but even if we add Latino Americans and black Americans together, that’s still only about 31 percent of Americans.

You can’t win a national (that is, presidential) election by focusing on the needs and wants of no more than a third of the population.

And very apparently, given the states that Billary Clinton lost on November 8 — including Wisconsin, which since 1984 had gone to the Democratic presidential candidates and where Billary Clinton incredibly stupidly didn’t visit once, making her since 1972 the first presidential candidate of either party who didn’t even bother to visit the state — many white American voters believe that the Democratic Party has told them that it cares only about non-whites and that they can go fuck themselves.

All of that said, the Democratic Party, if it is to survive, must be able to walk and to chew gum at the same time.

The Democratic Party of course must continue to stand up and fight for the rights of those of us who are minorities. (I am a gay man, and while I’ve been in an exclusive relationship for more than nine years now, I’ve had my constitutional right to marry recognized in all 50 states for not even a full year and a half now, so I know something of what it’s like to be a minority who has been oppressed by the majority. And we non-heterosexuals continue to be oppressed not only by white heterosexuals, by also by heterosexual members of racial minorities who talk incessantly about how awful oppression is. [Only race-based oppression is bad, you see, but even then it often if not usually depends upon which race is the oppressor and which is the oppressed…])

The Democratic Party must continue to stand up and fight for minorities against the tyranny of the majority, and at the same time must return to its progressive, truly populist roots and actually do something about our insane level of income inequality and other socioeconomic problems — for every American, not just those who aren’t white.

Lip service isn’t enough. It certainly wasn’t enough for Billary Clinton on November 8.

American voters, as stupid as they certainly can be, know fully well that Barack Obama — President Hopey-Changey — did little to nothing to significantly improve their socioeconomic conditions over the past eight years and that a President Billary only would have been a continuation of that dereliction of duty.

No, President Trump wasn’t the answer, but when people are desperate enough, they will try all kinds of perceived solutions.

Bernie Sanders had the answer: to win, the Democratic Party had to return to its progressive socioeconomic roots.

But Bernie ultimately was defeated by the selfish, toxic identity politicians who supported Billary Clinton (including the legions of misandrists who actually call themselves “feminists”) and who very apparently support income inequality, at least tacitly (only identity politics matters to them).

But on November 8, Bernie was vindicated when Billary was blown out of the fucking water in the Rust Belt by Donald J. Trump.

Although I’m white, I’m no fan of rednecks, either. Most of them, for starters, are homophobes, and not only am I gay, but I’m an atheist and I’m a democratic socialist, and what pathetically passes for Christianity and capitalism are pillars of their existence. I wouldn’t want to sit at a Thanksgiving dinner with them, so trying to bring them into the partisan fold (even if that feat is even possible) isn’t very appealing to me.

But if the Democratic Party doesn’t start listening to the rednecks white working class and poor whites (and doesn’t, say, stop believing, like Billary Clinton did, that you can just skip visiting an entire swing state with political impunity) — right now — then President-elect Pussygrabber might get a second term.

P.S. Actually, had Billary just won Ohio and Pennsylvania, that would have put her right at the 270 electoral votes needed for the win (232 electoral votes plus Ohio’s 18 and Pennsylvania’s 20 is 270). She didn’t need Wisconsin for the win, not mathematically.

But the way that both Billary and Barack Obama have ignored the largely white-working-class state of Wisconsin is illustrative of how far the Democratic Party, under the influence of the Clintonistas, has gone to toxic identity politics and has ignored the socioeconomic problems of all of the American people.

I never have set foot in the state of Wisconsin, either, but I care more about the state than either Obama or Billary does, very apparently.

*Well, actually, well more than a million voters voted for Tim Kaine for vice president than for Pence, but that’s America, claiming to be democratic even when it brazenly is being anti-democratic.

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