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Sun May 29, 2016, 09:59 AM

Expecting Sanders Supporters to "Close Ranks?" [View all]

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/22/expecting-sanders-supporters-close-ranks

Think again. Here's why many won't.

"Expecting people to 'close ranks' around the Democratic nominee harkens back to a time that no longer exists."


When the Clinton campaign and the corporate press call for Sanders to drop out and turn his supporters over to Hillary, they reveal just how out of touch they are. Sanders’ army is not his to command. They arose out of a profound dissatisfaction over politics as usual, and many – if not most – will not be persuaded to vote for a status quo politician they perceive to be part of the problem, no matter how frightening a Trump Presidency could be.

Here are some of the reasons why:

Reason #1 – Party Affiliation Doesn’t Matter as Much as it Used to. In 1960, 75 percent of Americans belonged to one of the major political parties, and just 20 percent claimed to be independents. Today, 44 percent of Americans call themselves independents, and only a little over half of the people belong to a party. Most of the dropouts came from the Democratic Party, which claimed 50 percent of Americans in 1960. For the most part, Republicans have hovered between 20 and 25%, standing at 23% today.

(snip)

Reason #2 – The Myth of the Centrist Majority and the Disenfranchisement of the People.
Democrats’ share of voters fell sharply after Carter, and continued to fall thereafter, as the DLC brand of corporate centrist Democrats took over the party – something both Clintons embraced whole-heartedly. In short, as the party abandoned the people, the people abandoned the party. The further Democrats drifted from the New Deal, the more ground they lost.

(snip)

"The oligarchs controlling the Party believed people had nowhere else to go, particularly with Republicans having a protracted psychotic breakdown, and until Sanders, it worked."


(snip)

Reason #3 -- In Response to their Diminished Status, the Democratic Party Moved to Protect the Entrenched Status Quo, rather than to Assure a Democratic Process. Closed primaries shut out independents -- the largest block of voters -- and in some states, including New York, rules made it difficult for the young or newly interested voters to engage.

(snip)

Reason #4 -- The Rise of the Oligarchy: In their landmark study, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens, Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page found that the US was functionally an Oligarchy, not a democracy.

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Ferd Berfel May 2016 OP
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