Archive for September 8, 2019

How the Democratic Party Could Lose in 2020 Elections and Beyond: 3

September 8, 2019 13 comments

In my previous post of this series, I pointed out that the upper echelons of democratic party are so full of effete professionals that it can no longer win national elections unless the other party screws up hard. And to reiterate, racist white anger after the passage of civil rights legislation in 1960s is not the main reason behind the decline of democratic party in most states since the early 1990s. If that was the case, why did a few coastal states such as California, Oregon and Washington go from being reliable republican strongholds in early 1980s to reliably democrat by early 2000s? My point is that something else is at work.

Here is a clue. The shift of any given state (historically non-slave owning) from the democrat to republican column almost always occurs after many years of economic stagnation, permanent job losses, systemic deindustrialization, increase in poverty and zero hope for a better future. On the other hand, those which fare better under the neoliberal regime of “free” trade (predominantly coastal states) end up becoming democrat strongholds. You might have also noticed that the propensity of a state or even a city to vote for democrats after 1992 has a peculiar correlation with its percentage who have office jobs and others that require “credentials” or “licenses” of some sort. So why does this connection exist?

To make a long story short, it comes down to which socio-economic group benefits from the real policies of each party. White university “educated” petite bourgeoisie are the core constituency of modern democratic party. Notably, this group is heavily dependent on government spending and “regulation” for keeping their often useless jobs and professions protected from the negative effects of globalization, while simultaneously being able to use outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and influx of desperate undocumented immigrants to inflate their own living standards. Think of them as the modern equivalent of white people who weren’t rich enough to afford tons of slaves but had enough money for a couple of slaves.

But aren’t there tons of the mythical small-business owners who are reliably conservative and vote republican? Well.. there used to be. Right till the end of 1980s, the business environment in USA was reasonably conducive to the establishment and growth of small to medium businesses. Since then, the neoliberal consolidation of businesses and financialization of the economy resulted in the slow-motion destruction of small to medium sized enterprises. The vast majority of “small businesses” in this country today are now single-person entities used to process earnings from side-gigs or unstable contractor-type jobs.

Corporate consolidation has now created a system that is almost totally dominated by monopolies and oligopolies. Most petite bourgeoisie in america are, therefore, now mostly professionals, people in “licensed” professions, middle to upper management types and those aspiring to join their ranks. These people also happen to be concentrated in larger cities, especially on the coast. Now you know why democrats are so desperate to gain votes from richer white suburbs who are still marginally republican. Ok.. but why do so many black people, especially from the older generation, vote for democrats.

Well.. there are a few reasons for that pattern, but it largely comes down to two major ones. In the early 1960s, the democratic party (at national level) moved from its previous pro-apartheid position to one which supported civil rights. A large number of black people, especially those born after 1930 but before 1970, see democrats as the party of civil rights. They also actively recruited a few black politicians in its ranks. The other reason is that republicans, after 1968, became the party of working class whites. Some of you might wonder as to why republicans focused on working class whites instead of focusing on the entire working class.

The superficial reason for that choice is as follows: the demographic and racial profile of USA in 1960s-1980s was such that restricting oneself to working class whites was a viable political strategy. But the real reason is far more interesting. Both parties have always been controlled and beholden to the very rich and large corporations. Also, electoral politics in USA has always been a stage-managed show. But why did it appear to work? Well.. because a combination of circumstances and situations in the first seven decades of 20th century created enough spare wealth to duct-tape over a lot of systemic problems.

Until the 1980s and even 1990s, the overall economic situation for most people was good enough for them to ignore class-based politics. The peculiar history of USA and its racial demography in those decades. also, made it much easier to push race-based political divisions. In other words, restricting your electoral support to the white working class was a very viable strategy. And that is why republicans became so obsessed with “crime”, “law and order”, “war on drugs” and all that other bullshit after 1968. But note that even in the late-1970s, rates of incarceration (except in deep south) were comparable to other western countries.

But what does any of this have to with democrats in 2019 wanting to implement strict “gun control” laws, trying to outdo each other at being “woke” and do meaningless token bullshit such as banning plastic straws and passing other stupid laws to “protect” the environment. And why are these virtue-display based strategies likely to be counterproductive? To better understand what I am getting at, let me ask you a simple question- why did Trump win the republican nomination and then the presidency in 2018. So let us start by answering the first part, namely how he was able to beat 16 other candidates, some with especially deep pockets.

While some of you might still want to believe that it had something to do with “Russia” or “Putin”, the real if somewhat unpleasant explanation is that his success in the primaries was the logical culmination of post-1968 direction of republican party. Trump was (and is) not an aberration. He was just far more open about his worldview. More interesting, but seldom explored, is why all those other generic mediocrities failed. Why did all those republican politicians duly reciting republican beliefs and pieties fail against Trump? To make a long story short, their performance of the republican version of virtue displays could no longer compete with Trump’s pretense of caring for the white working class.

A slightly longer version is that since 2008, or even a few years earlier, public trust in institutions and systems have fallen in a precipitous and irreversible manner. Performing the same virtue displays which would have guaranteed victory in republican primaries as late as 2008 are not longer sufficient. A few years ago, I wrote a post on how anodyne communication styles have destroyed societal trust. But how is any of this connected to the current clown car of democratic presidential candidates? Well.. it comes down to what that party has learned, or not learned, from their humiliation in 2016. As it turns out, democrats haven’t learned anything useful.

As I wrote in my previous post in this series, people in 2019 care far more about issues such as being able to afford “healthcare”, cost of university education, poor job and career security than the urgent need to ban guns. Face it.. this issue only matters to some credentialed professionals living in urban areas of certain coastal states. However these parasites are highly represented in the social bubble inhabited by the upper echelons of the democratic party. I cannot resist pointing out that this situation is analogous to that time in 2015-2016 when many republican candidates (except Trump) tried to portray themselves as morally upright family men educated at famous universities. Guess what.. most republican voters did not give a shit about the personal moral standards of their elected representatives.

So why did all those allegedly mainstream republican candidates in 2015-2016 keep on reciting these pieties? Here is a clue.. it had to do with their social circle and bubble. In the past thirty years, most politicians of both parties have lost the ability to relate with people outside their carefully insulated social bubble. Consequently they keep harping on stuff which is fashionable and ‘hip’ in their social circles but is seen as out of touch in the real world. Democrats talking about their “wokeness” or being “totally supportive” of LGBTQ issues is similar to republicans talking about their “christian faith” and “virtues of hard work entrepreneurship”. The average voter perceives both as comically inept hypocrites and parasites.

In the next part, I will finally get into some detail about why democratic support for causes such as “gun control”, LGBTQ+ issues and environmentalism are going to be especially disastrous during the 2020 elections.

What do you think? Comments?