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Democratic Divide: The Shrinking Partisan Mind

Image Credit: PIOTR LEŚNIAK

Although there’s no proof Eleanor Roosevelt said it first, she did say it perfectly:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

No other quote better defines today’s split within the Democratic Party. Lifelong lefties like me like to think we’re intellectually superior to the right., While there is some scientific evidence that this is historically true, the recent election cycle calls much of that into question. Unfortunately, cults of personality have emerged around people (Hillary Vs Bernie) and persist almost a year after the primary was decided.

I’ve had my share of battles.  It’s always been about my strong and stubborn Progressive values but the opponent shifts with the people running for high office or those actually in power. After 9/11, the battle was for Peace, Civil Liberties, reversing trickle down economics, and curtailing the power of the Bush Administration as they ran amok through the Middle East and here in the USA with the passage of the Patriot Act, the opening of Guantanamo Bay, and introducing torture into our official interrogation process. The Constitution Shredding War on Terror concept was born and remains the consistent doctrine, home and abroad, 16 years later.

As Bush shifted to Obama, the Civil Liberties playing field reversed as Obama codified the Bush-era Patriot Act and Authorization of Military Force into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). For the first time, indefinite detention of suspects without Due Process was introduced. Guantanamo, and its history of unconstitutional abuse, remained operational. The intelligence community and secret courts gained strength.  After Edward Snowden blew the whistle on runaway National Security Agency overreach, Democratic Party politicians and punditry joined Republican Authoritarians in calling for his immediate capture on treason charges – a long way from their legacy of protecting whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg.  But despite Snowden accurately exposing the overreach and forcing Obama and Congress to enact immediate reform, he remains in exile without hope for a return home without treason charges.  

Additionally, Wall Street reform in the wake of the mortgage meltdown of 2008 was a clear Democratic Party initiative as it cratered during the 2008 election cycle. But, after Obama’s election, only one perpetrator of the largest heist ever was prosecuted. Dodd-Frank was passed but that doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t do anything to curtail the consolidation of power and cronyism between Wall St and Govt that continues to rule the country. In fact, Barney Frank, himself, boasted of how being directly corrupted by the banks made him “a better regulator.” Not a single protest from Democrats as they believe Dodd-Frank is sufficient and bank thieves should remain free. During the Obama administration, fines for admission of fault were accepted. Of course, these fines typically amounted to hours or days of profits for these institutions. Meaningless penalties were assessed upon the regulated by the regulators.   – and then everyone went out for Sushi.   

And I’ll spare everyone the discussion about how Democrats celebrate Hillary Clinton’s pay for play with the banksters as a glass-breaking milestone other than this very popular little quip from Babs.

 

Next up – Health Care

The American Care Act (ACA, Obamacare), while a great accomplishment at the time was watered down. Not be Republicans. By Democrats. Obama didn’t need any Republican support to pass his agenda early on. Taking on Healthcare Reform was a shrewd move. Mandating health care for as many as possible was a matter of national security. ACA has, basically, two main elements.

Medicaid expansion so that those squeezed out of the middle class could have access for free and subsidized private healthcare exchanges. It’s clear that Medicaid expansion was highly successful while the private exchanges struggled with costs, choice, and inadequate profit motive for insurers. This provided more proof that private healthcare driven by Insurance Company profitability is as inefficient as it unsustainable. The absence of a public option that would have provided a check on private Insurance Company power and a gateway to Single Payer was left out of the bill. Again, at the urging of Democrats! Republicans would vote for syphilis if Obama legislated against it, so the shift of ACA to private healthcare only was a Democratic principle and remains so today. In fact, they believe that the runaway insurance company profits funded off the backs of the sick are GOOD for the economy:

Meanwhile, the facts are obvious.  A Medicare for All system is efficient. Period. Of 55 health care systems from the civilized world, the USA is 50th We barely squeaked by Jordan, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Brazil and…….Russia!

WAR!

“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

–President Obama, during the third presidential debate, Oct. 22, 2012

 

After the Bush/Cheney administration yield to Obama/Biden, most of us on the left called for the prosecution for war crimes against those responsible for the Iraq war lies and atrocities. Slowly, however, Democrats began to embrace the concept of further military adventurism – preemptive war to liberate people around the Middle East and spread Democracy. By 2013, everything turned around. Obama was seeking Congressional approval to join the Syrian Civil war and seek regime change (yes – an initial military strike invites retaliation and counter-retaliation) but Republicans said no. Obama eventually got it right by pursuing global consensus diplomacy with Syria’s neighbors such as Turkey and…..Russia – a move that Democrats now rue.  Hillary Clinton had repeatedly expressed her desire for bombings, No Fly Zones, and regime change in Syria. Even recently, she agreed with President Trump’s $100M pothole he left on Syrian runways after shocking and awing nobody except for some retired US Generals embedded in TV Studios.

Also, today, anyone who opposes action against Russia for various rumors and innuendo such as Stealing our Democracy by dispatching KGB Robots from the Kremlin Death Star to infiltrate our brains is commonly labeled a “Russian Agent” on social media and beyond. Truly a throwback to the far right hysteria from the McCarthy era that my Grandfather used to laugh about. Since WWII was fresh and the Cold War had just begun, perhaps we can understand the fear of the original McCarthyites who ruined so many lives. But, today, Democrats and their hate and FEAR! of all things Russia is inexplicable. But “Russia” is emerging as the top concern for Democrats as they head into 2018. Perhaps more so than healthcare. Passion runs throughout the Democratic Party to focus our tax money on supporting the defense of wealthy European Democratic Socialist nations such as Germany and France from the “Russian Aggression.” But is this even real? Looks like we already have Russia surrounded and we’re encroaching ever further East as we speak.

So, Democrats want to focus our resources on further military expansion towards Russia. Why? Nobody knows, for sure, but it’s easy to speculate that Democrats want to provoke Putin into retaliating as we threatened to do when the USSR encroached our borders in 1962. That brought us to the brink of a nuclear WWIII. Is that the Democrats intent? You decide.

But, again, Democrats are passionate about supporting the current structure of NATO. In 2006, there was an agreement for member nations to pay 2%. 11 years later, we’re not there. They insist that we fund the defense of wealthy Democratic Socialist countries that guarantee their citizens free health care and education. Thus, US taxpayers remain on the hook for $664b/year to defend our moneyed allies across the pond.

Of course, Democrats believe health care is too expensive. The very same health care that every citizen of every one of these European freeloaders under the 2% threshold enjoy. For free. Always enough money for WAR!, but there’s never enough for healthcare. That is now is the Democratic Party’s rallying cry going into the 2018 election season.

A little perspective, please. Your favorite candidate lost the elections, Democrats. It’s not the end of the world – no matter how bad you want that.

So let’s review:

Democrats now stand for:

  • Suspension of Civil Liberties due to the War on Terror
  • Indemnity for banksters who crashed the world’s economy
  • Bankrupting millions via premiums, deductibles, and copays to fund insurance company profits.
  • Preemptive WAR! to liberate the Middle East and spread Democracy
  • Russia
  • Russia
  • Russia

And

  • Russia

Compare this to the 2nd Bill of Rights from the man who essentially founded modern liberalism, Franklin D. Roosevelt:

Interesting contrast, huh?  In fact, it seems like the polar opposite. How did we get there?

Let’s return to Eleanor Roosevelt’s alleged words:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Sadly, the Democratic Party, like the Tea Party before them, brought their small minds to the table. What made them shrink?  Pretty simple. Corporate money.

Clearly, there really isn’t a difference between the money trails of either party. In a related point, the consolidation of corporate media power is almost complete.  Cable news is everywhere and fights daily for ratings to please their corporate masters. Sadly, folks like Michael Moore confuse ratings with political party victories:

In fact, 6 huge conglomerates control 90% of all media around the country:

So, maybe it’s not just those pesky Russian Robots infiltrating our brains that are destroying our Democracy. It’s Corporate money – born and bred in the good ole USA. Sorry, baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie, but nothing is more American than big money shrinking great minds to small.  I’d certainly recommend looking through Beth Lynchs’ masterful series on how this transformation occurred at MSNBC.

The Democratic Party has now descended from a marketplace of ideas into a cult-of-personality. It’s not about ideas. These churn regularly. Democrats are passionate about people.  The vision of Hillary Clinton as a divine infallible savior has taken over the party of small minds – long after her embarrassing loss to an asshole.  This has broken down people I once respected, admired, and cared for- broken my heart.  This lifelong Democrat is mourning the loss of intellect from Democratic Party circles:

The moneyed interests know: While you can’t fix stupid, you can sure buy their votes!

So……. what can be done to unshrink the Democratic mind? Lots.

It’s really not that hard to fix. Many of the small-minded partisan pundits are former friends who I know are capable of complex critical thinking.

MSNBC

Really? Jobs, education, healthcare, and lead poisoning in the drinking water all need to be ignored for the imminent takeover of the USA by Russia?  C’mon. Take a pause, folks and THINK!:  Let’s take a look at the polling:

I remain convinced that Democrats are still capable of being great thinkers like FDR, JFK, and LBJ and can overcome their paranoia.  And while great minds do discuss ideas, the legendary ones transform this thinking into inspiring affirmative vision and policies. And THAT’s what wins elections.

 

Written by X. Class

X. Class

Remarkably ordinary guy. I get decidedly mixed reviews. Follow him on Twitter @TheXclass4Ever.

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Democratic Divide: The Shrinking Partisan Mind