47 Reasons To Avoid The Democratic Party or the Republican Party
To ween liberals away from their addiction to Democrats and ween libertarians from their addition to the Republicans, an immense shift of consciousness is required; this is not yet nearly in place. I think that everyone who does understand the mechanisms that make the Dem Party or Repub Party so pernicious should try to transmit this understanding whenever possible. If you are a writer, a film-maker, someone in a position to spread political ideas, I think this kind of thing should be done. If you simply have friends and family with whom you can exchange ideas, I think discussing the rottenness of Democrats and Republicans whenever possible is an important activity.
One of them is this: there are concepts involved in understanding just why the Democrats and Republicans are not a potential vehicle of change (& in fact, are a primary obstacle to it). There are concepts involved in understanding just what the Dems' or Repubs real function in the mechanism of society is. These concepts, and the relevant supporting history, are not obvious. Some of them are counter-intuitive. They must be studied & learned before one really gets the idea,...
47 Reasons To Avoid The Democratic or the Republican Party
1) The Democrats and Republicans are just a faction of the enemy -- not allies of any voter in any sense. One is not the "lesser evil" of the other: they are both auxiliary subdivisions of the same evil. They have betrayed us beyond all possible reconciliation, and are more truly allies of only each other than they are "friends" of ours.
2) It's just a fallacy to believe that the Democrats and Republicans can somehow be transformed into a political force defending the interests of the broader public. That's not what they are. That they dare posture as the "party of the people" is an insult to our collective intelligence. In reality, they use this tattered & tired popular image to collude, confuse the public, & sell us out at every turn.
3) I encourage you to rethink your well-intentioned support of Democrats and Republicans. (The writing of Howard Zinn is useful, in this connection.) The history of the Dem Party is one of deep partnership with Republicans, not of genuine opposition. The ballyhooed "rivalry" is just on the surface -- essentially, just a deception. The Dems were full co-partners in building the military-industrial complex and the national security state; in inflicting criminal wars in SE Asia & Latin America, etc etc. And since 2000, they have outdone themselves in shameless unprincipled collusion.
4) The U.S. non party system is ready for the dustbin of history. The only "help" we should give them both is helping them get out of power. We should focus on laying the groundwork for a competitive assortment of parties that genuinely represents our interests and provide voter choices, instead of helping to resurrect one of the hydra-headed disgraced & decaying enemy parties.
5) The Kuciniches and McKinneys are different from the Hillary types -- but there are compelling reasons not to get too excited about them, either. First of all, they are used by the party as a "Left decoration," simply to keep potential left defectors in tow. Secondly, the party power brokers will NEVER in a million years let the Kucinich-McKinney faction have any real power. The same can be said for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party.
6) In other words, the progressive Dem faction is cynically used as a marketing tool by the national party. They are dangled before your eyes to make you think that the Dems are still the "lesser evil" (since the Republicans offer no such Left decorations). The same can be said for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party.
7) But the real face of the Democratic or Republican Party is revealed, for example, by the way they had police drag people out of the 2004 convention for wearing anti-war tee-shirts, or the Democratic party smothering competitive Green/Nader campaigns with police state tactics in the Northewest; or by both the Democrats (in Maine, against a Green party win) or the Republicans (in Texas, against everybody) gerrymandering electoral districts to remove competitive party frameworks and make their parties the only mechanism to power. Or by Skull and Bonesman "Democrat" John Kerry, who has repeatedly covered up for the Bush family "Republican" illegal wars and drug trading. It was the "Kerry Commission" non-investigation into fellow Bonesman Bush Senior's Iran Contra, which refused to get into Bush/Clinton connections in drug trading through Mena, Arkansas. Then Bonesmen Kerry ran against Bonesman Bush Junior in 2004, with Kerry illegally bowing out in the face of vote fraud on the Bush side. This was similar to Gore bowing out in 2000 with vote fraud on the Bush side. Both Gore/Bush or Kerry/Bush ran on identical platforms in 2000 and 2004.
8) In other words -- don't be fooled by the existence of a few decent Dems or Repubs. They make no real difference in the overall alignment of their parties, and will never be internally influential. They are a distraction.
9) Taking over" one of these parties is a naive illusion. Both parties are dominated and driven by the interests of huge corporations and plutocrats. Neither gives the slightest hoot about the well-being of the general public -- which, as both of them well know, is utterly defenseless, politically. Both parties regard the public as a lamb to be fleeced on behalf of their (the parties') patrons. This condition is non-negotiable & not subject to alteration by ordinary well-meaning people.
10) Both parties represent little more than the will of giant oil, banking, media and defense corporations. The only way they differ is in marketing strategies, target populations, rhetorical style, & external fluff.
11) You make the oft-cited argument that the Republican Party was "taken over." This is not quite true. The Republicans were always the party of Wall Street & Northern manufacturing. The Democrats were the party of the Southern slaveocracy. When the national Democrats defied southern racism by passing the Civil Rights Acts in the mid '60's, the southern states bolted, destroying the Democratic coalition. The Republicans profited from this by adapting to southern tastes, values, & religious/cultural conceptions.
12) In other words, neither party is particularly virtuous, and both are merely fronts for coalitions of big-money interests. The Republicans weren't virtuous before they merged with the Religious Right out of self-interest, and they aren't virtuous now. The Democrats weren't virtuous when they were allied with Southern racists, and they aren't virtuous now. Virtue has nothing to do with it.
13) Together, the 2 parties form a governing structure that responds only to the needs of American subsidized nonmarket, political crony, corporate driven unsustainability. If you go to the Dem Party "pooh-bahs" and say, "I have some nice ideas for peace, housing, environment, and education," they'll laugh in your face. If you go and say, "I have a $10 million donation for you from ExxonMobil, if you just relax a wee little regulation about mileage standards," they will say, "Please come into my office. I believe we can do business." If you go to the Repub Party "pooh-bahs" and say, "I have some nice ideas for shrinking government, expanding human freedom from regulations, removing entangling alliances overseas, cutting taxes, and helping the family farmer," they'll laugh in your face. If you go and say, "I have a $10 million donation for you from ExxonMobil, if you just relax a wee little regulation about mileage standards," they will say, "Please come into my office. I believe we can do business." Then you notice that the Dems and the Repubs have an interior double door that allows people to walk between their offices unobserved.
14) The point is that both US parties are big-business parties, responsive ONLY to the needs & desires of corporations. The personnel of both parties are tightly linked to lobbyists. Both parties are stuffed to the gills with consultants, fund-raisers, careerist apparatchiks, connections in the MSM, & so on. All together, this forms an institutional structure similar to the one party state of the Mexican Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that is completely unresponsive to the needs and aspirations of ordinary people.
15) When you try to sell the feel-good idea of "Let's take over the Dem Party or Repub Party," you're in effect proposing a project that ignores the true nature of the Dem or Repub Party. This is too big a thing to overlook. The far right was able to take over the Republican Party because that kind of alliance was always very much in the nature of the Republican Party anyway. It was compatible with, not contradictory to, the big-business nature of the Republican party. Forming an alliance with fascists, racists & religious zealots ADVANCED the big-business agenda.
16) But your idea of taking over the Dem Party -- & presumably using it as a force for defending the interests of ordinary people against the depredations of the giant corporations -- is diametrically at odds with the true corporate nature of the Dem Party. That's why there is precisely zero chance that it can be done. (And in fact, if you tried to do it, and you started having any slight success, your "friends" in the Dem Party would move against you -- just as they gave the cold shoulder to Feingold last week, just as your creepy Congressman Rahm Emanuel has moved against real progressive candidates in Illinois, & as the Dem poo-bahs barely tolerated Kucinich's antiwar positions in 2004, & as they looked the other way without an investigation, when the Bushes killed Senator Wellstone for opposing the Iraq War.)
17) Do you understand the difference between a nice feel-good movie like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and the far uglier reality of how things actually work in Washington? A Dennis Kucinich can win only in a feel-good movie -- only in your (or my) dreams. A Ronald Reagan (with his VP of Bush Senior, who attempted to assassinate him in March 1981) can only win in a feel-good movie as well.
18) But outside of dreams, it's a matter of consultants, corporate donations, favorable mainstream media treatment, approval of career party apparatchiks, and so on. A candidate that has the media against him, the military against him, and corporate American against him -- is not even a faint possibility.
19) To ween liberals away from their addiction to Democrats and ween libertarians from their addition to the Republicans, an immense shift of consciousness is required; this is not yet nearly in place. I think that everyone who does understand the mechanisms that make the Dem Party or Repub Party so pernicious should try to transmit this understanding whenever possible. If you are a writer, a film-maker, someone in a position to spread political ideas, I think this kind of thing should be done. If you simply have friends and family with whom you can exchange ideas, I think discussing the rottenness of Democrats and Republicans whenever possible is an important activity.
20) One of them is this: there are concepts involved in understanding just why the Democrats and Republicans are not a potential vehicle of change (& in fact, are a primary obstacle to it). There are concepts involved in understanding just what the Dems' or Repubs real function in the mechanism of society is. These concepts, and the relevant supporting history, are not obvious. Some of them are counter-intuitive. They must be studied & learned before one really gets the idea, and as of right now, most people -- even most opponents of Bush -- do not remotely have the conceptual basis for understanding them.
21) Even in most discourse, there is way too much reflexive fondness for Democrats and Republicans. People talk about "taking our country back," or "taking our party back," or "working within the party to bring about change," etc. This all reflects continued illusions in the Democrats and Republicans -- even if the person who says it is "nice" and "sincere."
22) The Democratic Party is one of two big business parties. Together, the 2 parties own a complete monopoly of the political system, & they use this monopoly to maintain ruling-class dominance. To believe that the slightly-less-evil of these parties can ever be a tool for freeing the great majority of the population from ruling-class control -- is utterly ludicrous. One can only accept such nonsense if one is brainwashed (as all of us in this country are, from birth), then refuses to open one's eyes.
23) Let me try to rephrase it one more time, to try to get the absurdity across: Maintaining a belief in Democrats and Republicans means you expect that a big business party whose function is ensuring continued ruling-class dominance, is going to fight to keep you safe from the depredations of this ruling class. And it means you are ignoring all the history that demonstrates beyond any doubt that Democrats and Republicans will not do this.
24) Real change can't come until people cease nurturing illusions in Democrats and Republicans. And when large numbers of people finally get angry enough to throw the Democrats and Republicans overboard, the time for change will be nigh.
25) The real danger of voting for a Democrat or Republican doesn't come from the physical act of pulling the lever (or pressing the Diebold key, to update that old phrase). It comes from the perpetuation of illusions, which in turn, tends to promote the undeserved & unfortunate general sense that the public is reasonably content with the choices that it's offered.
26) Conversely, a mass defection from the Dem Party or the Repub Party would be a development of the greatest importance; it would represent a popular repudiation of the official political setup.
27) What's to be gained by clinging fearfully to a party as demonstrably spineless and corrupted as this one?
28) If you look at the last 5 years (and actually, at the last 40), what additional proof could you require of the worthlessness of the Dem or Repub Party? How could they possibly have accomplished less? Their "big success" was that Clinton won twice -- and he gave away the store to the corporations, supports the Iraq War, and now spends all his time at Daddy Bush's vacation homes. The Repub Party for the last 40 years as well as slowly grown larger and larger government.
29) By arguing for "saving" the Dem Party or Repub Party, you are encouraging people in the illusion that staying inside this society's traditional institutions will allow ordinary citizens to make far-reaching & fundamental changes in the way society is organized.
30) This simply cannot be. Our society is the way it is, precisely because it has been organized to function in the interests of a narrow slice of the population at the top. By definition, a "traditional" institution in this society (like the Dem party, the Repub Party, or the media) is PART of the very machinery that permits society to function like this. These institutions work to maintain the social order -- not to change it. They are against meaningful change.
31) Aside from the New Deal, the Democrats have never been allies of the "little guy." They've merely pretended to be this. The history of the party, if you subtract out the New Deal (and this was a special case, because it was required to save the capitalist system from major social upheaval), is quite undistinguished, & frequently despicable. The party started out as the political arm of the Southern slaveocracy. It was represented by corrupt big-city machines like Tammany Hall. It won elections by holding the allegiance of southern racists until the mid 1960's. It was in office when the CIA and national security state -- some of your personal favorites, I believe! -- came into existence in the late '40's. It was more responsible for Vietnam than the Republicans were. What the hell is the attraction of a record like this?
32) And there has probably never been a party in all of history more spineless and impotent than the Democrats and Republicans of the last 30 or so years. They back little Bush's unconstitutional police state at every step. You know this as well as I do.
33) It's not the case that the "the Democratic Party has been infiltrated," or "the Republican Party has been infiltrated." Rather, they are, and have always been (except for the special case of the New Deal & its political sequelae, aka Medicare) a faction of the enemy. Both parties play a highly treacherous role in the system -- that of the common man's false friend. They have not been infiltrated -- they are simply degenerated institutions that have generally served elite interests by pretending to be "the party of the people."
34) Not only is it wrong to fight to save them -- the truth is, no progress can be made until the Democratic Party or the Republican Party has been completely discredited & abandoned. They are nothing but a Pied Piper that leads people off into directions where they are guaranteed to be impotent in terms of challenging the status quo.
35) They want "progressives and greens" to be toothless, gutless, polite, and quite harmless to the powers that be. That's what the Democratic Party is -- the social mechanism charged with ensuring that even people enraged by the status quo can only find political expression via a "party" whose real mission is to cripple, frustrate & defang them. They want "libertarians" to be equally toothless, gutless, polite, and quite harmless to the powers that be.
36) It's like a big machine: into one end, you feed millions of people who might potentially support radical change. You march them through the Democratic Party, and out the other end comes people who are tamed, docile, & politically disoriented. They might want universal health care & major cuts in defense spending, so they get seduced into supporting the Kerrys & Hillarys based on cheap lines about "progressives focused on the common good." And in a twinkling of an eye -- they find themselves sold out by these cynical charlatans. Into the other end, you feed millions of other people who might potentially support small government. You march them through the Republican Party, and out the other end comes people who are tamed, docile, & politically disoriented.
37) The whole M.O. of the Democratic or Republican Party is not about being on our side, but about convincing us that they're on our side, without even seriously discussing just what that might entail.
38) Right now, "our" (ie, the broad public's) general perspective is not valid. In general, people don't even understand where the problem is really coming from. Many think it's just Bush, or just the Republicans, or just this group of Republicans, etc. Some think it's the 2-party system; some think it's the underlying foundation of our society & economic system - i.e., capitalism. And even among those who think it's capitalism, there are differences of opinion about how a better system could be implemented.
39) If one's fundamental analysis is wrong, most action based on that analysis will also be wrong. Suppose you think the whole problem is just Republicans. Then it is logical to work for the Democrats in the next election. But if your analysis is wrong, working for the Democrats will not help -- even with the best intentions in the world, and tons of practical action. Suppose you think the whole problem is just Democrats. Then it is logical to work for the Republicans in the next election. But if your analysis is wrong, working for the Republicans will not help -- even with the best intentions in the world, and tons of practical action.
40) The game changes when large numbers of people begin to develop an accurate shared analysis of where the roots of the crisis lie. Then it's time to start planning practical action. Only then will it have the power that comes from a valid underlying perspective.
41) Right now, we are limited to well-intentioned but largely impotent protest. The individual protests are scattered and uncoordinated. Anti-war groups, labor groups, environmental groups, independent media groups, 3rd party groups, honest election groups, 9-11 truth groups, etc etc are all working separately. This, despite the fact that they all have the same enemy, and largely common interests.
42) You are passively going along with what a corrupt power structure wants you to do, much like German citizens in the 1930's.
43) Our leaders are murderers, looters and destroyers. Right now they are concentrating on killing Iraqis, but they will come for us next. In all of this, the Democrats and Republicans are their partners.
44) There is a long established history that richly illustrates that political parties which have become grotesquely corrupted CANNOT be "reformed." This entire line of thought is a waste of time and energy -- and we don't have that much time.
45) You say, as an excuse to continue supporting Democrats and Republicans, "I think we'll all be too afraid to trust that our votes won't be thrown away.." Do you imagine your vote is NOT being thrown away when you vote for a Democrat or Republican? Even a contemptible weasel like Kerry, whose policies were 98% the same as Bush's -- if you voted for him in Ohio, the Republicans quite likely literally threw out your vote -- and Kerry himself didn't even have the balls to demand a serious inquiry into it! How is voting for someone like that NOT seeing your vote thrown out? And what about the Republicans that rolled over in 1963 when the vote fraud was on the Democratic side? How is voting for someone like that NOT seeing your vote thrown out?
46) To know the first thing about politics is to know that primaries and general elections are not decided by "the people." They are decided by media propaganda and official opinion makers. How do you suppose Kerry won the nomination? Because the media told people that he was the only "electable" one. How do you suppose Bush won the nomination in 2000? Because the media told people that he was the only "electable" one.
47) Most people are too ignorant or frightened to vote on the merits of positions and issues. For the very same reason that people like you remain in the Democratic or Republican Party (ie, it's "practical;" only major-party candidates "can win," etc), most people will only vote for candidates that the media tells them are "electable."
These are of course all quotes by RichM-a force of nature.
These are intended to sharpen the Dems' message, defining what they stand for and how they're different from Republicans.
1. "We Surrender."
2. "Please don't yell at us, we're frightened."
3. "Would you like us to roll over on our backs now, or do you prefer that we remain on our knees?"
4. "Let's bomb Iran."
5. "We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the President."
6. "We stand for rule by a kinder, gentler military-industrial complex."
7. "What's good for MobilExxon, Citicorp, and Northrop-Grumman is good for America."
8. "If you like venal cowards and betrayal, vote for us!"
9. "Please don't ask us to stand up to the Republicans. They get very angry if anyone opposes them -- and it's really scary!!
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