Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > The Democratic Party, in its Current Form, has No Worthwhile Future: 3

The Democratic Party, in its Current Form, has No Worthwhile Future: 3

In a previous (and second) post of this series, I wrote about the largely unspoken reasons underlying the inability and unwillingness of establishment democrats to change their political strategy and choice of electoral candidates. I made a case that the “managed” version of democracy (actually an illusion of democratic legitimacy) which was prevalent in western countries over the previous 40 years has now experienced irreversible systematic failure. The real question, then, is “when” (not “if”) the current status quo will implode.

To be clear, I am not implying that this hollow and rotten edifice will come down tumbling in the near future. It is, in fact, unlikely to fail over the next few months or even the few (say.. 2-4) years. I am merely pointing out that the current setup has demonstrated its inability to maintain the status quo which perpetuates its own existence. The exact sequence of events that will trigger its final implosion are still a matter of chance. My guess is that they will unfold over a time-span of the next 2-12 years, with my best guesstimate being 3-7 years. But that is a topic for a future post or series.

Readers might recall that my previous two posts in the current series were about the numerous systemic failures of the democratic party establishment over previous 40 years. As they might also recall, these failures have become especially obvious over the last decade. But are establishment democrats the only group responsible for their own slow motion destruction and increasing irrelevance? Have other identifiable groups contributed to, or accelerated, the pace of destruction and loss of relevance for democrats? Well.. as much as I would like to assign all blame for their (own) destruction on establishment democrats, it is clear that they had lots of external help.

The rest of this post is about one external group, which more than any other, has facilitated the ongoing slow motion destruction of the democratic party. To better understand what I am going to say next, ask yourself a simple question: how can any political party, as well-funded as it might be, keep on winning elections at any level of government if it cannot get enough people to vote for it? In other words- tribal minded voters who will loyally vote for a given political party, no matter what, are crucial to the continued survival of that party. This dependence on a core of enthusiastic and tribal minded voters is especially important for political parties in stage-managed “democracies” such as USA.

You might have noticed that party primaries in USA tend to favor candidates who can fake fidelity to the most extreme version of what their most loyal and tribal minded voters want to hear. That is why republican primaries (at all levels of government) have traditionally been dominated by candidates who profess extreme religiosity, want to eliminate income taxes, cut “deficit spending”, expand the military-industrial and prison-surveillance-industrial complex, support racist incarceration policies and want to restrict the right of women to get abortions. Similarly, democratic primaries have historically been dominated by candidates who pretend to profess fidelity to ideals such as defending and expanding credentialism, promoting and expanding rule by technocrats, maintaining the economic status quo, paying lip service to racial equality and pretending to support expanded access to better education, healthcare etc.

In other words- beyond promoting the interests of their big money donors, candidates of any political party are most beholden to issues that animate their most loyal and tribal minded voters. And this brings us to the next question- what kind of person reliably votes for democratic candidates in party primaries? As it turns out, most of these super loyal democratic voters fall into one of two major categories. One category consists of middle-aged and elderly black women who live in predominantly urban or black-majority neighborhoods. Voters in this particular category are also promptly forgotten and ignored by establishment democrats after each election season.

The other reliably enthusiastic category of democratic voters consists of the professional (and wannabe professional) class- and they have carry more clout with the party establishment than black women. This category of voters is also an important secondary source of campaign funds in addition to providing the bulk of their electoral campaign volunteers. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the policies of establishment democrats, beyond those required by the big money financiers, are mostly driven by the concerns and needs of their professional (and wannabe professional) class supporters- who have become increasingly concentrated in a few coastal states and major metropolitan areas.

The willingness of the democratic establishment to promote ideas such as gun control, transgender bathrooms, even more credentialism, “free trade” policies, increased immigration, austerity and policy wonkism is largely due to their desire to satisfy their professional (and wannabe professional) class voters. The desire to maintain support of this particular category of voters is also behind the reluctance of establishment democrats to support ideas such as increasing the minimum wage, reducing immigration and job outsourcing, reducing growing economic inequality, investing in infrastructure development, reducing the costs of housing, education and healthcare etc. You get the picture..

But why is reliable support of professional (and wannabe professional) class so harmful to the future electoral prospects of the democratic party? And why did such support apparently not hurt them in past elections?

Well.. for starters, it has hurt them in the past. The loss of a majority in the house after almost fifty years in 1994, Gore losing the electoral college to Bush in the 2000 election, Kerry losing to Bush in 2004, the loss of a majority of state legislatures and governorships by democrats (between 2008-2016) in addition to their loss of majorities in the house (in 2010) and senate (2014) during that same time period owe a lot to major policy positions of establishment democrats and the type of candidates chosen in party primaries. I should add that HRC, who was the dream candidate of this voter class, lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump.

But it gets worse.. Establishment democrats have responded to these electoral setbacks by doubling down on widely unpopular policy positions favored by the professional (and wannabe professional) class. While there is certainly an element of ego in not admitting to screwing up, I believe that maintaining the continued allegiance of this voter class also plays a role in democrats maintaining their current course. It is not exactly a secret that winning elections without much effort in certain populous and highly urbanized states such as CA, NY and MA requires democrats to promote the beliefs and concerns of this professional (and wannabe professional) class.

To make a long story short- the 2008 financial crisis and it’s still ongoing aftermath has made it hard for democrats to win elections in non-coastal and non-metropolitan areas of the country. The majority of eligible voters in most parts of USA don’t want to vote for them or prefer the other party. It seems that the whole ‘socially liberal + fiscally conservative republican-lite’ shtick is no longer capable of convincing enough people to vote for them. Even worse, these electoral loses have made democrats even more dependent on continued electoral victories in coastal states and major metropolitan areas. In other words, trying to keep this particular class of loyal voters has forced establishment democrats to double down on the very policy positions and type of candidates responsible for their continued electoral losses in the rest of USA.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. neoconned
    December 30, 2016 at 8:07 am

    “The willingness of the democratic establishment to promote ideas such as gun control, transgender bathrooms, even more credentialism, “free trade” policies, increased immigration, austerity and policy wonkism is largely due to their desire to satisfy their professional (and wannabe professional) class voters.”


    I guarantee that gun control, transgender bathrooms, increased immigration and austerity mean little or nothing to those you present here. Most of these I know are gun owners, and don’t want gun control. They see transgender bathrooms as yet another annoyance in their lives and would not allow them given the choice. Increased immigration stares them in the face as increasingly their coworkers are in the country on an H-1b visa, and they are against it. Those who have been around for a while have many friends who once worked in aerospace and now can’t find steady work anywhere. They know this as these friends call every so often asking if there is any chance there might be an open position for them.

    The highest levels of support for such questionable policies, outside the big money elites, are seen among members of the professional (or wannabe professional) class. Whether such support is genuine or just conformist virtue signalling is irrelevant- as long as it drives them to support, justify and vote for establishment democratic candidates.

    It isn’t the “professional (and wannabe professional) class voters” who want these things, but the corporatists driving the two major parties to improve their profits and their personal take of those profits. These “donors” are the ones who seek increased credentialism to provide them with more coverage to deny employment to citizens in lieu of hiring cheaper foreign workers. They are the ones who want “free” trade policies so that they can draw upon the military might of the US to impose their conditions on a nation whose population won’t like the New World Order. They are the ones seeking to impose austerity so that their compensation can increase.

    Sure.. it is likely that they don’t strongly believe in what they support- but they do support those positions anyway. As I said before, it could be due to their desire to conform of feel closer to the rich elite than the “ordinary” people. Also, policies such as outsourcing manufacturing jobs, increases in unskilled immigration and globalism which benefit the upper-middle class more by way of cheaper products, cheaper domestic help and the possibility of a higher relative income. These benefits (real or imagined) also allows them to separate themselves further from the lower classes.

    The “professional (and wannabe professional) class voters” are going to be among the last to be thrown overboard, but thrown they will be. That is why so many of these very people left the Republican Party and went to the Democrats in a foolish attempt to maintain their economic status. They refused to see what their support for the Republicans did until they were the ones being targeted. They never noticed how the Democrats changed to be a slightly more friendly version of the Republicans. I have little sympathy for them.

    Oh, they will be thrown overboard- ultimately. But that is not what is driving their decision-making right now. Having said that, their support for democrats over republicans is actually quite rational since the later don’t even pretend to serve anyone other than moneyed elites.

  2. Eduardo the Magnificent
    December 30, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    It’s a symbiotic relationship: Democrats are only interested in power, so they will only appeal to those who will keep them in power or who will help them grow it.

    Give blacks their gibsmedats, and you’ll have their vote forever. Johnson said that in the ’60s, and is obvious to everyone.

    Your point about appealing to the upper middle-class is often overlooked. Practically the entire Democratic platform is protectionism in some form or another for those making $100k+. They want the class structure set in stone forever, with themselves at the helm, of course. Which would be fine if this was 1600s England. Class mobility was baked into our founding ideals from Day 1. The Constitution forbids giving titles of nobility, but liberals found a way around that. It’s called “I’m a Harvard educated, black or mixed-race, transgender, LGBQRSTUV, fat, tattooed, divorced single mother with 7 adopted kids and 5 abortions who immigrated from Somalia”. People finally figured out the ruse. Those who make $100k+ don’t care about those issues, because they’re insulated from ever having to meet those people, and in the grand scheme of things, those people will never have true clout. But backing those views keeps them in power, and good people weren’t going to stick up for sick and deranged people in order to attain power. Hence, the divide, and the double down. They’ve gone too far and there’s no way out now.

  3. Not Born This Morning
    December 30, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Why would either party be concerned? And isn’t the republican party just a different brand of the same thing? They both consistently sell themselves with promises they never keep. The promises seem to conflict, yet they are never kept. They are consistently sold as conflicting. Why? These people are all of the same ilk, attending the same universities and forums, social events, etc. They are all personally connected with each other. They are also personally associated with the elite entertainment class. They attend each others weddings, funerals, etc. On the public stage, they appear to oppose each other. Yet, nothing has changed much for almost a lifetime except the ongoing increase in income disparity between the working class and the upper managerial & elite class of both parties. They incessantly blame their failure to perform their promises on each other, “grid lock” and the dysfunctionality of “Washington”. Is there truth behind their claimed blaming or is it excusing by consensus? Do they really oppose each other as they ostensibly project? Isn’t it far more likely that they aspire to the same shared agenda by consensus if not conspiracy? How much longer can the majority of us be fooled? It is beginning to look very much like they are making the same excuses over and over, while fleecing us more and more. Donald Trump may very well be their newest intended figurehead by design as they definitely need a fresh newly branded “savior” of “freedom” and “democracy”. I honestly wonder if he was really elected or if the whole thing is a scam as he appoints one socioeconomic elite after another which is likely to produce the most significant upward redistribution of income ever.

    I never said that the republican party is more viable or competent than its democratic equivalent. And yes.. establishment democrats are very similar in their outlook and worldview to their republican counterparts. It is just that the democratic establishment failed before its republican equivalent. But they are like conjoined twins- and the death of one will hasten the demise of the other.

  4. Not Born This Morning
    December 30, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    “The sun was shining on the sea,
          Shining with all his might:
    He did his very best to make
          The billows smooth and bright —
    And this was odd, because it was
          The middle of the night.

    The moon was shining sulkily,
          Because she thought the sun
    Had got no business to be there
          After the day was done —
    “It’s very rude of him,” she said,
          “To come and spoil the fun.”

    The sea was wet as wet could be,
          The sands were dry as dry.
    You could not see a cloud, because
          No cloud was in the sky:
    No birds were flying overhead —
          There were no birds to fly.

    The Walrus and the Carpenter
          Were walking close at hand;
    They wept like anything to see
          Such quantities of sand:
    If this were only cleared away,’
          They said, it would be grand!’

    If seven maids with seven mops
          Swept it for half a year,
    Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said,
          That they could get it clear?’
    I doubt it,’ said the Carpenter,
          And shed a bitter tear.

    O Oysters, come and walk with us!’
          The Walrus did beseech.
    A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
          Along the briny beach:
    We cannot do with more than four,
          To give a hand to each.’

    The eldest Oyster looked at him,
          But never a word he said:
    The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
          And shook his heavy head —
    Meaning to say he did not choose
          To leave the oyster-bed.

    But four young Oysters hurried up,
          All eager for the treat:
    Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
          Their shoes were clean and neat —
    And this was odd, because, you know,
          They hadn’t any feet.

    Four other Oysters followed them,
          And yet another four;
    And thick and fast they came at last,
          And more, and more, and more —
    All hopping through the frothy waves,
          And scrambling to the shore.

    The Walrus and the Carpenter
          Walked on a mile or so,
    And then they rested on a rock
          Conveniently low:
    And all the little Oysters stood
          And waited in a row.

    The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
          To talk of many things:
    Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
          Of cabbages — and kings —
    And why the sea is boiling hot —
          And whether pigs have wings.’

    But wait a bit,’ the Oysters cried,
          Before we have our chat;
    For some of us are out of breath,
          And all of us are fat!’
    No hurry!’ said the Carpenter.
          They thanked him much for that.

    A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said,
          Is what we chiefly need:
    Pepper and vinegar besides
          Are very good indeed —
    Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
          We can begin to feed.’

    But not on us!’ the Oysters cried,
          Turning a little blue.
    After such kindness, that would be
          A dismal thing to do!’
    The night is fine,’ the Walrus said.
          Do you admire the view?

    It was so kind of you to come!
          And you are very nice!’
    The Carpenter said nothing but
          Cut us another slice:
    I wish you were not quite so deaf —
          I’ve had to ask you twice!’

    It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,
          To play them such a trick,
    After we’ve brought them out so far,
          And made them trot so quick!’
    The Carpenter said nothing but
          The butter’s spread too thick!’

    I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
          I deeply sympathize.’
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
          Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
          Before his streaming eyes.

    O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
          You’ve had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?’
          But answer came there none —
    And this was scarcely odd, because
          They’d eaten every one.”

  5. Not Born This Morning
    January 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    “Conjoined twins, death of one will hasten the demise of the other.”

    Yes, I agree with you. I did not mean to imply that I thought you may consider either party more viable or competent. Sorry, I should have been more explicit. I also think the sustainability of both has been dependent on attrition due to ageing and death limits the development of awareness, and a fresh batch of naïve suckers is born every generation. This has allowed the same cons and scams to work for several generations. But now, more people have the opportunity to become more aware of what is really going on and discuss it anonymously (without fear of retribution from those in power) and at an earlier age in their lives. The opportunity to become enlightened is better than ever before mostly due to the internet (although it is a medium rife with bullshit also). The noise and dissonance prevalent today motivates more people to question what is going on than would have questioned in more “stable” times previously. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out over the next few years. I highly doubt USA will be returning to anything like “America great again”. Something else is going to evolve.

    Academic pontification will never outperform the genius of commonsense. However, today there are many who have capitalized for quite awhile on the idea that it does. This idealization has been oversold. I think the professional class and wannabe professional class base their power on the idea that academic pontification always overpowers commonsense. That may be the case temporarily, but never for very long and the backlash can be catastrophic for those who cling to such a falsehood, as history has repeatedly demonstrated. Intellectual and social snobbery and its personifiers have always been the first casualties of a marauding disenfranchised majority.

  1. January 5, 2017 at 10:07 am
  2. August 26, 2017 at 4:54 pm

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