Progressive Abandonment Needing Rectification
The American Dream, created by FDR, became strong. Following the 1960 presidential election, Democrats and the wider public were paying heed to JFK’s advocacy. His furtherance of ‘The Dream’ included civil rights, voting rights, a war on poverty and more — an expansion of government of, by and for the people.
But after his assassination, despite the JFK influence, LBJ erroneously grew the Vietnam War turning it into a game changer ultimately opening the door for future Republican rule. The additional assassinations of Malcolm X, MLK and RFK all helped to close the door for any kind of future progressive America.
Richard Nixon took over. He expanded the war and domestically double-downed by creating The Drug War, this while fanning the flames for what would become future law and order political campaigns. Ultimately, America’s veterans, active-duty soldiers and, yes, the Democrats, battled together to finally end the Vietnam War. And Nixon, due to his corruption, ultimately got impeached.
But the scars from Vietnam domestically deepened as hardcore Republicans claimed “America should have won the war.” This got coupled to calls for winning the new drug war. Law and order mixed with complaints over taxation and we saw media imaging of “welfare queens” and the advent of “angry white males” on the heels of Nixon’s “Hard Hat Campaign.”
With a new breed of political operators who were trained by Nixon’s political strategist, Lee Atwater, now in their heyday, this enabled Hollywood celebrity Ronald Reagan and America’s CIA chief George H.W. Bush to reign with GOPwinger power. As a side note, Atwater gave a deathbed confession to what he knew he had created.
Their advocacy was the opposite to what JFK represented. Whereas JFK wanted to expand the economy by bringing more people into it by strengthening the middle class and providing more opportunity for poor folk, Reagan and Bush pushed for a pro-war policy together with privatization, deregulation and tax-cuts for the already very wealthy. The political catch phrase, played by the media, became “Trickle Down,” that America’s economy would grow strong and the poor would benefit from table scraps.
There was George McGovern who was all about peace, economic inclusion, labor, health care and more. But after his defeat, which was largely media-manufactured, Democrats totally gave up on McGovern’s messaging — on FDR and JFK’s message — refusing to strengthen the pro-people platform. Instead the Democratic political operatives sought southern strategies, in essence becoming Republican-like on foreign policy and economic issues.
The next progressive to come to the plate was Jesse Jackson and his “Rainbow Coalition” messaging. But now the well-pedigreed Democrats, although pretending to like Jackson’s message, deep down already had committed to preserving the kind of oligarchy Republicans had created.
National politics pretty much evolved into god, gun and gay issues becoming deciding factors as to which political party to support. Voter suppression techniques prevented formation of strong third party voices and voters were well-herded into the two camps where every presidential cycle saw only a choice between the lesser of two evils.
Next we saw Barack Obama who promised everything progressive, all that was wanted and needed. But, woefully, he refused to deliver. Like his predecessor Bill Clinton, and with Hillary at his side, he too governed very Republican-like. By now, the media had become near-monopolized and oligarchy well-entrenched (see 2014 Princeton Study on Oligarchy).
The Democrats by abandoning their once highly revered and precious stance on progressive principals — by forsaking McGovern, Jackson and the more recent Bernie Sanders messaging — could not provide the antidote required to defeat Donald Trump. Like Reagan, Trump captured America’s hero-worshiping tendency and articulately painted the picture that Democrats had abandoned working people, what with the Hillary Clinton candidacy.
What’s ironic is GOPwingers have stood squarely behind oligarchy for well over a hundred years. Extraordinarily, their very best political tactic ever was to convince Democrats to also embrace oligarchy. This then opened the door for Trump to masquerade as a political outsider.
Today, Democrats are plagued with accusations of elitism, of being system Democrats instead of people Democrats. Meanwhile, the juxtaposition becomes Trump, notwithstanding his billionaire status, conning people into thinking he is the actual political outsider when he is no such thing. Trump is all about oligarchy, this with a taint of dictatorialism.
But Trump blew it. Due to badly bungling his administration’s Covid-19 response, he enabled Joe Biden to become president. Without the Corona Virus causing a quarter-million Americans to die, Biden likely would have been defeated due to the charges of Democratic elitism.
So Biden, very likely, will become a one-term president. He won’t have an opportunity to create a long lasting legacy by getting to serve two full terms. Thus, he’s got two quick paths in front of him. But only one path will enable legacy!
- Continue as a Clinton-Obama type president supportive of oligarchy, i.e., more of the same.
- Become an FDR-JFK-McGovern-Jackson-Sanders kind of president — the true antidote to Trump and GOPwingerism.
Our nation, the world even, desperately requires that Biden choose the latter option. Advice to Biden? Listen to Jesse!