With Trump now at the head of the executive branch, Democrats are left to pick up the ashes of their party. Democrats managed to lose an unprecedented amount of elections nationwide under Obama, ceding over 900 state legislature seats, 14 senators, 69 House seats, and 9 governorships since 2009. The Democratic Party may go down in history as one of the most inept political parties of our time, repeatedly failing to propose left-wing policies or even form solid political strategies.
It’s funny to think how different things were one year ago. Bernie Sanders, the rare politician that actually gives somewhat of a shit, was in a position to snatch the Democratic Primary from Hillary Clinton (who pundits had essentially preordained as the victor of the 2016 election). Due to a combination of Clinton’s national presence, smears from her campaign, and critical mistakes from Sanders’s own campaign (ie. the decision to essentially ignore most of the south), this didn’t end up happening. When presented with a populist, progressive candidate, the DNC did their damndest to prevent the American people with getting it. We instead received Clinton vs. Trump, and we all know how well that turned out.
Clinton’s campaign partially failed because it was built on the same Third Way policies that the majority of Democrats have operated under for the past few decades. While somewhat effective during the short term for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, these types of policies have ultimately contributed to the rampant income inequality and pervasive corporate influence that America faces. This methodology, embodied by Hillary Clinton’s stance of being “a progressive who gets things done,” has focused on compromise with conservatives and outside interests over the concerns of the working class. This position of pragmatism has always been patently ridiculous, and has only been able to persist due to aggressive slogan-based campaigning. You don’t successfully negotiate with opponents by underselling your (ostensible) left wing positions before you even get to the table.
Democrats played a game of chicken by campaigning on the lowest set of expectations possible, and the American people were the ones that ended up losing. Worse yet, there’s little evidence that Democrats are wising up to how badly out of touch they are. Even as Trump signs legislature banning Muslims and defunding reproductive health programs, there are still Democrats that believe in the myth of the reasonable Republican. These politicians, conservatives that know when to compromise during good faith discussions for the betterment of Americans, do not exist. Even as Trump nominates ignorant capitalists and White Supremacists to his cabinet, Democrats have thus far pursued a strategy of accruing “political capital” by only obstructing when absolutely necessary This is the root of the Democrats problem: they will cling to a falsehood before admitting that procedures of decorum and good faith discussion do not define politics. We need a political movement that truly represents the interests of working and disadvantaged people. The rotting corpse of the Democratic party is not it. Socialism is.