Tag Archives: democratic party

Why Democrats Lost: It’s Not All About Millennials

By Joe Firestone

Carl Gibson, a writer blogging at Reader Supported News, provides an “Open Letter to the Democrats” giving his view of why they lost the Congressional Elections of 2014. He endorses the President’s view that people didn’t show up to vote because their choice of politicians didn’t motivate them. And to this view he adds that the Democrats did not get his generation’s support because they didn’t “. . . get populist.” And he goes on to say:

2014’s low voter turnout was historic. Voter turnout actually hasn’t been this low since the 1940s. As Mother Jones pointed out, voter turnout for people under 30 was dismal. In this election, people like me only made up 12 percent of those who voted, while people aged 60 and older made up almost 40 percent of total voters. In 2012, when President Obama was re-elected and Congressional Democrats made gains in the House and Senate, millennials made up almost one-fifth of all voters, and voters 60 and older made up just 25 percent of the electorate, bringing us a little closer to a tie. It isn’t hard to see the difference – this year, Republicans steamrolled you, Democrats, because most of us stayed home and let our Fox-watching uncles and grandparents decide on who was going to represent everyone else.

So how do older people pick who runs Congress? Like every other voting bloc, they pick the ones who run on issues most important to them. And as Vox reported, data consistently shows that younger people want their tax dollars spent on education and job creation. Older voters want their money spent on Social Security and war. The Republicans who swept the U.S. Senate ran largely on fear campaigns over ISIS, promising to be more hawkish than their opponents in an eagerness to pour money and troops into Iraq and Syria to snuff out America’s newest boogeyman.

Contrast the unified Republican message with the profound silence from you Democrats on addressing the trillion-dollar student debt crisis, rampant inequality and underemployment, and your collective fear of openly embracing economic populism, and you cook up what we saw on Tuesday night. Older people showed up, highly motivated to elect war hawks. Younger people mostly stayed home, disillusioned with the only alternative on the ballot who didn’t even talk about the issues affecting our lives every day.

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Behind the Crisis in American Governance: Delusions about the Economy Treated As a Matter of Differing Economic “Taste” – Pt. 2/2

By Michael Hoexter

[Part 1] [Part 2]

Why It’s Delusional:  The Critical Dependencies of Capitalism

The mythical market and view of an autonomous, self-managing capitalism is contradicted by the multiple real critical dependencies of our economy.  These critical dependencies, i.e. necessary relationships with other non-capitalist systems/entities, are integral to capitalism rather than optional features.   Dependencies between these social and natural systems are the object of any meaningful economic policy or, for that matter, any government policy with economic effects.  They are “critical” because they are non-optional and therefore not a matter of individuals deciding that for ideological reasons they “don’t like” one or the other of them and we can therefore jettison them, while maintaining something that is recognizably capitalism.  If people in society were to seek to change the economic system to some other system, either by conscious effort or by historical accident, it then may be the case that one or the other of the dependencies listed below may no longer be “critical”.  However no mainstream political actors in this drama are claiming that they are making a break with capitalism; in fact, to the contrary, right-wing Republicans claim to be its sole political defenders.

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Behind the Crisis in American Governance: Delusions about the Economy Treated As a Matter of Differing Economic “Taste” – Pt. 1/2

By Michael Hoexter

[Part 1] [Part 2]

While the US political system (federal, state and local) has been assumed to be one of the more stable political institutions in the world, over the last two decades a series of confrontations between the Republicans and the Democrats has started to expose serious faults in American governance.  The current government shutdown is just the latest and in all probability not the last in a long line of aggressive efforts originating almost always from the right-wing of the Republican Party intent on destabilizing and delegitimizing its opposition with no seeming regard for the integrity of the institutions of government as a whole.  There is a sense of “entitlement to win” on the Right that is not mirrored on the supposed “Left” represented by the Democratic Party.  From that sense of entitlement, the Right feels justified in using extreme measures to get its way, including shutting down government to extract political concessions from the party that currently controls both the Presidency and the Senate.

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Populist Revolution? How a Bold New Voter Coalition Can Reshape the Nation

By Marshall Auerback
Cross-Posted from AlterNet.org

Minorities, independent women, gays, working-class white voters, and younger people overcame through high turnout a fierce social conservative block.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Tuesday’s election will be regarded as a pivotal one in US history. For 30 years the top 1 percent has manipulated the masses to vote against their own interests. It was able to do that because the feelings of the white middle and lower classes about social issues overwhelmed their economic considerations.

But something interesting happened this year: high levels of minority and young voter turnout, together with an increased Obama-tilt among all voters earning less than $50,000 a year, routed the GOP. In one sense, the election represents the triumph of the Reverend Jesse Jackson and his “Rainbow Coalition.” The Reverend Jackson was the first serious challenge of a black man for the presidency, and with his Rainbow Coalition, he ran for the Democratic nomination in 1984 and in 1988, with a platform that represented an anthology of progressive ideas from the 1960s. He attracted a large number of supporters, many of them from the white working-class. Each time his movement looked like it was gaining electoral traction, the Democratic Party establishment would invariably mobilize against him and elect feeble white liberals – Mondale and Dukakis – who plummeted to defeat by Reagan and George Bush Sr. Continue reading