Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:15 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
Populist Revolution? How a Bold New Voter Coalition Can Reshape the Nation
uesday's election will be regarded as a pivotal one in US history. For 30 years the top 1 percent has manipulated the masses to vote against their own interests. It was able to do that because the feelings of the white middle and lower classes about social issues overwhelmed their economic considerations.
But something interesting happened this year: high levels of minority and young voter turnout, together with an increased Obama-tilt among all voters earning less than $50,000 a year, routed the GOP. In one sense, the election represents the triumph of the Reverend Jesse Jackson and his “Rainbow Coalition." The Reverend Jackson was the first serious challenge of a black man for the presidency, and with his Rainbow Coalition, he ran for the Democratic nomination in 1984 and in 1988, with a platform that represented an anthology of progressive ideas from the 1960s. He attracted a large number of supporters, many of them from the white working-class. Each time his movement looked like it was gaining electoral traction, the Democratic Party establishment would invariably mobilize against him and elect feeble white liberals – Mondale and Dukakis – who plummeted to defeat by Reagan and George Bush Sr.
It would be absurd to suggest that today’s Wall Street-dominated Democratic Party is the natural outgrowth of this coalition. That said, Jackson provided the template on how to counter the onslaught of conservative, big money politics (which helped to produce the Reagan presidency). It was Jackson, after all, who first devoted considerable resources toward increasing black registration for national elections, a pattern increasingly being replicated for other minority blocs, which are soon likely to become the majority as we move toward an increased “browning” of America. But Jackson’s appeal went beyond race, as he was the first to see the value of building a progressive coalition which espoused many of the ideas now articulated by groups such as Occupy Wall Street, notably income inequality and the taboo subject of class. Jackson knew that you can’t build an effective coalition around identity politics. You have to bring people together through their shared economic interest.
5 replies, 998 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Populist Revolution? How a Bold New Voter Coalition Can Reshape the Nation (Original post)
|Anthony McCarthy||Nov 2012||#3|
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:02 AM
Anthony McCarthy (507 posts)
3. It was the Obama of the second and third debates
who won the election with populist support, not the remote, elite Obama of the first debate. I think it's necessary for us to tell him that he came close to blowing it when he went Harvard-U of Chicago instead of community organizer.
He still could go down as a great president if he finds a successful strategy of dividing the Republicans in the House to pass bills. The only way he can divide Republicans is through populism. Of course the Senate has to make it extremely difficult for Republicans to obstruct in the Senate. If they'd done that in 2009 a lot of the 400+ bills that Nancy Pelosi got passed but which died in the Senate would have been law now. The more elite of the two houses were what almost destroyed his administration.
Your points are excellent. I'd only add that if Republican voter suppression had succeeded as it did in 2004 we'd be preparing for a Romney administration with a Republican Senate and they'll be trying harder next time. LAWS REPAIRING OUR VOTING SYSTEM HAVE TO BE PUT INTO EFFECT, IT CAN'T BE PUT OFF AGAIN. We should have lots of people who would love to not have their TVs and mailboxes full of Republican lies and hate and the necessary response we have to make to that. Even Republicans don't like to have to wait in line for hours to vote. The officials in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, .... who tried to keep people from voting should be investigated for possible law breaking and to expose their efforts.
Response to Anthony McCarthy (Reply #3)
Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:24 AM
drm604 (16,199 posts)
4. The President did say recently that we have to do something about those long lines.
So apparently electoral reforms are on his mind. I'm not sure how much power the federal government has over the states regarding elections, but it would be great if we could have some good national standards regarding registration, how we vote, when we vote, and how the votes are counted.