Home Main Forums General Discussion Bernie is the Democratic trifecta.

  • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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    Bernie is the Democratic trifecta.

    I went to a great program held at the public library last night entitled something like “Marxism, racism and classism.” There were a lot of good points about the intersection of class and race.What was interesting to me was the perspective of some panelists whose white trade unionist families voted for Reagan. But the main take away I got was a framing of how classism and racism were not traditionally coupled  in the Democratic Party.

    Certainly there was plenty of racism in the implementation of the New Deal. The New Deal was an advancement in terms of class consciousness, but Eleanor Roosevelt’s advocacy for POC was not sufficient to make the New Deal racially just, in an era when lynching was still rampant. Then LBJ was able to inject racial consciousness into Democratic policy in the mid 60s. But the McGovern Commission , although committed to racial and gender diversity, diminished the influence and participation of labor, possibly related to a cultural schism with white working class voters. Those “hard hat” voters were still generally in favor of a war of choice in Viet Nam.

    So the Party sacrificed class values in favor of racial and gender values and in 1972, for the first time since the New Deal, organized labor was not solidly Democratic (the Teamsters endorsed Nixon and the AFL-CIO sat out).  Also, the incorporation of young voters meant the Party was focused on both inclusiveness and environmental justice. So we went from a party of class consciousness to a party emphasizing social and environmental justice. The neoliberal takeover of the Party in the late 80s exacerbated the apathy for the interests of working people.

    Fast forward to Bernie Sanders. His campaign had meteoric success during the 2015 “Summer of Sanders,” but encountered two BLM protests which created an image problem with black voters, initially. That problem has long since been turned into a strength for Sanders. He is the most popular politician in America and his popularity is highest among African Americans, of any ethnic group polled.

    The synthesis of these phenomena in 2015 was that Sanders emphasized social justice in addition to economic and environmental justice, in his stump speech and policy initiatives.

    Viewed in the light of FDR, LBJ and McGovern, Bernie can be seen as the first Democrat to successfully combine the three pillars of economic, social and environmental  justice in one coherent message. FDR had strong class consciousness in his approach, but an emphasis on racial justice was lacking. LBJ focused on both racial and economic justice, but the modern environmental movement had not yet achieved critical mass (the first Earth Day was in 1970). The McGovern Commission was long on diversity and McGovern’s presidential campaign was certainly robust for that time on environmental issues, but because of a cultural schism, labor was de-emphasized. Thomas Frank, in “Listen, Liberal,” discusses how that watershed has led to a permanent abandonment of the working class by the Democratic Party, from trade deals, to a lack of good policy on minimum wage, right to organize, etc.

    So Bernie, by re-introducing class consciousness into the political equation in a way Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich could not, has fulfilled the promise of the Democratic Party.  In other words we have a potential candidate for 2020 who is electable precisely because he convincingly embraces the three pillars of economic, social and environmental justice.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGovern%E2%80%93Fraser_Commission

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    Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel

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  • 2 weeks ago #4
    • Ferd Berfel (5216 posts)
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      1. Prior to Kenedy and LBJ

      Classism and racism WERE traditionally part of the Democratic Party.  LBJ and Nixon’s Southern Strategy reversed that, no?

      …and you think you’re going to stop this simply by ‘pulling a lever’, in a booth, behind a curtain, every 2 years? - Know yourself. And if you need help with that, call the FBI. -  There is only ONE solution to this mess:  New Party !  
      • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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        2. I can't agree regarding classism.

        FDR orchestrated a sea change in class consciousness in the Dem Party. FDR was rightly considered a class traitor by the economic elites with whom he was raised and went to school. “I welcome their hatred.” New Deal Democrats were strong on class consciousness, especially relative to the GOP of that era.

         

        Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel
        • Yardener (424 posts)
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          22. Not classist/racist? Historical legislation disagrees.

          Classism and Racism are inexorably linked. If you can tease them apart, you are probably underpaid. But more likely over-confident.

          Adam Ruins The Suburbs

          • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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            23. Still can't agree.

            Do classism and racism usually have an intimate relationship? Definitely. But not always. Black journalists being barred from FDR’s press was all about racism and nothing to do with classism.

            Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel
      • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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        5. I don't remember LBJ reversing that in his public posture at all.

        In what manner do you see lbj as reversing it?

        or kennedy for that matter?

        • Ferd Berfel (5216 posts)
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          7. Civil rights act

          Knowing the dems would lose the south for a generation if he did it

          …and you think you’re going to stop this simply by ‘pulling a lever’, in a booth, behind a curtain, every 2 years? - Know yourself. And if you need help with that, call the FBI. -  There is only ONE solution to this mess:  New Party !  
          • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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            10. ah, i read you wrong; your point was classism and racism were the dem

            tradition, prior to….fdr?

            gotcha now.  i think

          • duckpin (5360 posts)
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            11. Except the Democrats didn't lose the south for a generation, they seem

            to have lost it forever.

            FDR used Farley, his Postmaster general, to employ African Americans and by the beginning of WW2, reliable estimates showed that fully 25% of the black middle class were postal employees. (Farley was FDR’s patronage person.)

            "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
            • Ferd Berfel (5216 posts)
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              12. Lost for a generation

              Was the speculation at the time. Its still lost due to the DLC and Clinton policies.

              …and you think you’re going to stop this simply by ‘pulling a lever’, in a booth, behind a curtain, every 2 years? - Know yourself. And if you need help with that, call the FBI. -  There is only ONE solution to this mess:  New Party !  
              • duckpin (5360 posts)
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                13. I think you have hit on the reason for the continuing lack of Democrats elected

                to national office. The south is the poorest per capita region, white and black, and no play has been made to address their precarious economic situation.

                And what was the deal with Obama refusing to let the former Democratic governor of Alabama, Siegleman, out of jail?

                "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
            • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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              15. Excellent point.

              It is simplistic to say that the New Deal was racist. Real economic gains were made for black Americans during the FDR era. Putting aside Madison and Jefferson and the Republican Democrat Party, it can be said that the Democratic Party began with the genocidal racist Andrew Jackson. The Democrats maintained their racist roots right through the Woodrow Wilson/KKK/Birth of a Nation era. So FDR’s sea change was racially enlightened for the times. But Jim Crow and the Southern  Democrats being part of the Roosevelt coalition was still a significant part of those times. If memory serves, black voter migration began in the New Deal era and then was consummated in the LBJ era. So the New Deal was a mixed bag: relatively enlightened for a deeply racist nation. My point in the OP was that the Democratic Party did not take on de jure institutional racism until LBJ, a profound step in the history of the USA.

              Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel
              • duckpin (5360 posts)
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                16. I agree with your point 100%. Racism wasn't faced head-on until LBJ.

                Roosevelt did what he could consistent with keeping the south in the Democrat’s column. People have to remember, I know you do, that African Americans were denied the vote in states of the old Confederacy. New England was solidly Republican and the political map was very different in the 1930’s.

                "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
              • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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                24. +++

                Thanks for the balanced view.  I’ve noticed there’s been what looks like a deliberate push to rewrite the new deal as a deeply racist enterprise, and this is more to the point.  And yeah, black voter migration from Rs (because the party of lincoln) to Ds (because the new deal did benefit black americans in multiple ways) under fdr.

                http://rooseveltinstitute.org/african-americans-and-new-deal-look-back-history/

                With respect to the critical issue of employment, for example, we know that by 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was employing approximately 350,000 African Americans annually, about 15% of its total workforce. In the Civilian Conservation Corps, the percentage of blacks who took part climbed from roughly 3% at its outset in 1933 to over 11% by the close of 1938 with a total of more than 350,000 having been enrolled in the CCC by the time the program was shut down in 1942. The National Youth Administration, under the direction of Aubrey Williams, hired more black administrators than any other New deal agency; employed African American supervisors to oversee the work the agency was doing on behalf of black youth for each state in the south; and assisted more than 300,000 Africa American youth during the Depression. In 1934, the Public Works Administration (PWA) inserted a clause in all government construction contracts that established a quota for the hiring of black laborers based on the 1930 labor census and as a consequence a significant number of blacks received skilled employment on PWA projects…

                As the leader of a political party that was heavily represented in Congress by racist Southern Democrats who supported segregation and even opposed the adoption of a federal anti-lynching law as an infringement of state’s rights, FDR had to choose his battles carefully and at times appears timorous in the face of racial injustice-especially when viewed from today. But this is the President who appointed a far greater number of blacks to positions of responsibility within his government than any of his predecessors, so much so in fact that this group became known as the “Black Cabinet” or “Black Brain Trust” in the press. FDR was also the first president to appoint an African American as a federal judge; to promote a black man to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army; and, incredible as it might seem, the first president to publicly call lynching murder — “a vile form of collective murder”-which W.E B. Dubois applauded as something that sadly was long overdue. Overall FDR’s administration tripled the number of Africa Americans working for the federal government, including thousands of black engineers, architects, lawyers, librarians, office managers, and other professionals, and under his leadership, and with the strong support of Eleanor Roosevelt, the Democrats included the first specific African American plank in the party platform at the 1936 convention.

                http://rooseveltinstitute.org/african-americans-and-new-deal-look-back-history/

                I have some pretty right wing relatives, but among the generation that lived through the depression, fdr was revered and i never heard a bad word spoken of him.  “You don’t know how bad things were” (the depression) is what i heard.

    • area woman (5075 posts)
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      3. Posted on The Daily Radical

      I'm so cute I shit kittens.
    • Enthusiast (10167 posts)
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      4. Yay, Bernie!

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. There would be no place to hide."  Frank Church "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, 1848
    • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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      6. is the library in a big city? i've never seen a library hold a presentation

      that included any of those words, let alone draw a crowd with one.

      our library is lucky if it gets 10 people at a book discussion group or a knitting class.

      free material items are a big draw though.

      • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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        8. Lawrence, KS.

        Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel
        • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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          9. college town, right? still, i've not seen it even in a public library in a

          college town.

          and kansas; maybe the times they are a changing…

          • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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            14. Kansas has a strong history of populism.

            Lawrence was the focal point of Bleeding Kansas as pro-slave forces under Quantrill’s Raiders sacked our town during the Civil War. The University of Kansas was also a midwestern outpost for the SDS in the Viet Nam era. They set fire to the Student Union on campus. In 2000, Nader received 20% of the vote throughout the county.  We had the first Occupy Wall Street group in this region. Lawrence has one of the most highly educated populations in the US, per capita. So in considering Lawrence, stereotypes about Kansas can be highly misleading.

            Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel
            • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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              19. yes, i know the history, but then there's the modern version: "what's

              the matter with kansas?”

              but i figured lawrence wasn’t the norm there.

              • Admiral Loinpresser (105 posts)
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                20. Unfortunately, the stereotype of people voting against their interest,

                as presented by Thomas Frank, applies to most of the state. I think the fault lies more with the Kansas Democratic Party than the electorate. We had a Berniecrat (Thompson) run for Congress in a special election in 2017 and he did 16 points better than his centrist predecessor in 2016. He achieved that with only $20k from the state party and nothing from the DCCC. He’s running again next year with an organization and name recognition, so we could flip at least one seat in KS next year.

                Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel
                • Coldmountaintrail (3003 posts)
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                  21. wow, did not know that. here's hoping it happens.