Democracy Within the Democratic Party: Presidential Elections - Part 1 of a Series*
Last edited Wed May 25, 2016, 08:10 AM - Edit history (3)
[SIZE=2][CENTER]THE NEW DEALS AND FAIR DEAL SUCCEED FOR THE NATION--AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. [/SIZE][/CENTER]
Those who do not know their history are doomed not to know their history. To help save Democrats from terrible tautologies (and annoying alliteration), this post offers some history about the Democratic Party's War on Party Democracy, aka WOPD or DPWOP. (I know: I don't like the fake war labels or their acronyms, either, but will indulge, just this once.)
For reasons I've never understood, the following statement of irrefutable fact causes anger: Contrary to billions of July 4 speeches, the United States of America is not a democracy; it is a republic. Cross my heart. In a democracy, all citizens have the right to vote on all issues and actions. Just imagine being able to vote against war, against tax increases and for commemorating National Mocha Toffee Chip Day! American citizens who don't hold elected office don't get to vote on those things because their form of government is not a democracy, but a republic. In a republic, citizens get to vote nationally only on who represents them in Congress and in the Oval Office, using "represent" very loosely.
Often, voting for politicians who "represent" us has meant a choice between voting for "evil" or for "the lesser/slower of two evils" (aka, LOTE). Typically, Republican voters perceive the Republican candidate as the LOTE and also as the way to prevent election of the greater evil, aka, the Democratic candidate. Of course, Democratic voters perceive the opposite. Primaries are--were--the way in which Americans could at least help decide who the candidates of their respective political parties would be. Swell! Every little bit of democracy is good, right? Wrong! At least, wrong, if you are a professional politician. Which brings us (only because I say so) to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
FDR was arguably the most beloved President in United States history and indisputably the most elected. Why? Yes, he was Commander in Chief during arguably the last war the nation ever won, as well as the last war against a clear and unimaginably heinous foe to boot--a war even a pacifist could support. However, by the time that World War II began, Americans had already become unable to quit FDR.
A combination of Wall Street "crash," caused by massive fraud, and its reverberations, plus the Dust Bowl, had many American voters and their families headed en masse toward joblessness (or croplessness), then homelessness and perhaps foodlessness, aka starvation. From his wheelchair, FDR had grabbed them (and also Wall Streeters and bankers) back with his New Deals and his so-called court-packing plan, shouting "Not on my watch." What's not to re-elect? FDR's successor, President Harry S.Truman, supported what was left of the New Deals by the time HST had become President and added the Fair Deal.
The cumulative result of the New Deals and the Fair Deal was twenty consecutive years of Democrats in the Oval Office, ousted only a World War II hero-general, and Democratic domination of Congress, almost continuously, for forty years. Additionally, the nation, including the Supreme Court of the United States, had been pushed several giant steps and a couple of umbrella steps left: even Republican politicians dared not light out with their right out. What more could any political party have dreamt? Small wonder Democrats clung tenaciously to New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies, correct? Well, no.
Democratic politicians have deliberately disassociated themselves from New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies and also from the Great Society programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson. They have, among other things, re-named themselves New Democrats, descried big government and targeted New Deal and Great Society programs for dismantling, much as had Republicans during FDR's era. Why? Because many politicians tend to aspire to be President of the United States and becoming President of the United States is much more difficult for a Democrat than it had been before Truman ran in 1948. Or so "they" have been telling us.
*Some of you have seen this elsewhere. It's posted here for those who have not.