Coming Apart at the Seams
The Democratic Party will never rescue this nation from over three decades of unbridled corporate power and militarism! How could they; they’re behind it? Neither will groups like MoveOn, a group that tinkers at the edges of reform while Rome burns.
Those of us who have been in Left-movement politics for decades know that the Democratic Party was long ago turned into a mechanism for supporting neoliberal domestic policies with its attendant militarism. It is impossible to reform the system from within the Democratic Party. Look at what it has offered the nation over the past three years: the expansion of wars of occupation and aggression in the Middle East and Southwest Asia; the near-total deterioration of the economy from the viewpoint of working-class and middle-class people; continued degradation of the environment; health-care legislation that keeps the health-care insurance industry and pharmaceutical industry on top of the health-care heap while denying health care to millions of Americans; a laizzez-faire corporate system that punishes the 99 percent while rewarding the 1 percent with grotesquely inequitable income distribution; a post-September 11, 2001 national security apparatus that makes anyone suspect who does not fit the mold of the two-party electoral system.
The vicious police-state tactics that have been used for over two months in an attempt to squelch the Occupy Wall Street movement is a bald-face example of how genuine political movements in this nation are treated. The Internet and advanced technology make it easy to view the egregious manner in which the police have acted as tools of the state. Whether pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators on the streets of New York City, or at the University of California at Davis, or shooting tear gas canisters directly at protesters in Oakland, California, the viciousness of the system is obvious for all those who care to see.
Despite the pronouncements of Mayor Michael Bloomberg or President Barack Obama about supporting the right of OWS protesters to speak out against the abuses of the system, their rhetoric means nothing when the billy clubs begin to swing, the tear gas explodes, or the pepper spray is dispensed. These examples of state-sponsored police brutality drive home just how little the political, economic, and social system will tolerate change.
Debates can go on endlessly about whether or not the system can be reformed. The betrayal of the New Deal is the universal fate of all movements and efforts to reform the system within the Democratic-Republican party system. Both parties have long since been given over the the corporate and military behemoths and there can be no realistic expectation that genuine change can be imposed by either party, especially since the Supreme Court allowed the unlimited flow of cash to the two parties that further erodes the political system to the benefit of the wealthy.
Recent figures released by the US Census Bureau show that 1 in 3 Americans are either at or near the poverty level. For a society that purports to be a democracy, these figures tell much about the degradation of the social-economic system for more than three decades. No political party controlled by grotesque levels of wealth can possibly seek to remediate that chasm!
Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer.