A Disorganized Party or Country?

This weekend, I helped campaign for a local Democrat running for the US House against one of the most corrupt, decadent, incompetent, and dishonest Republicans in the House; and that is saying something in this current pack of do-nothing right Republicans. Standing among the crowd of campaigners waiting for a parade to start, I had a variety of conversations with traditional and less traditional Democrats and was constantly reminded of Will Roger’s quote, “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat." Like Rogers, in some ways I am proud of that position. Democrats don’t tend to fall in line as do their docile Republican counterparts. Democrats argue because they think, they have independent opinions, they sometimes realize the complexity of the problems the nation and their community face and the fact that some problems have many possible solutions. Those are good things.

foot shootThe down side of Democratic disorder is that an awful lot of people who drift into the Democratic Party have simply wandered to that place driven by their dislike of the monotheistic Republican doctrine of worshiping the rich and powerful. Their grip on the actual issues is so base and simplistic that they might as well be Republicans. The complexity of real solutions just frustrates them and they degenerate into bickering factions easily defeated by the conservative Marching Morons.

dem_vs_rep_prof_vignette_1200_630For instance, there was a pair of conflicting groups at this rally: labor and environment. Two of the new Democratic members were from the steel workers union and they argued that the party needs to focus more on labor if it wants to win, especially in the rural north where people are backwards, uneducated, and completely dependent on outside investment for any sort of occupational or economic activity. So their big issues are the major polluting and high carbon construction projects like the Enbridge Energy Line 3 oil pipeline and the PolyMet copper mines near the Boundary Waters. It should be obvious that these are both corporate welfare projects with minimal long term employment opportunities for Minnesota and it should be even more obvious that they are both projects with the potential for massive negative environmental impact. It should be, but it isn’t to the labor faction and pressing that issue is likely to drive them back to the Republican hoards. Hearing that “we have plenty of environmental protections in place to protect the environment” from a union guy who clearly could care less about the environment, as long as he got a union wage for his part in destroying it, was pretty depressing. I know someone who was in the EPA during the short period it was allowed to actually protect the environment and I suspect the two union guys at the rally would do everything possible to avoid hearing how limited and powerless the EPA has become, even before Trump castrated it with an oil company promoter.

civil warRogers also said, "You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one." For sure you have to have a well-developed sense of humor, at least. With Trump and a perfectly corrupt Congress full of bought-and-paid-for Republicans and not a few equally completely owned Democrats, you’d think this would be the traditional mid-term election where the party in power loses its grip. I wouldn’t count on it. Democrats and “progressives” have shown an ability and willingness to snatch defeat from the claws of victory in all situations. Part of that comes from the “purity test” mentality and part comes from true fact that all issues are infinitely complex and hard to grasp and a bigger part comes from the fact that America is no longer anything resembling a collection of United States. Humans, as a species, have never shown much will toward creating a better future for our offspring but modern Americans clearly would eat their own children if it came to that or missing a meal. I think we should get ready to accept the possibility that this mid-term election might signal the end of this collapsing empire.

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